Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card Benefits

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I’ve written this blog for seven years as of today, and I know a few of you have been around since day one (hi mom and maybe one other person!). Over time there are certain products/concepts I mention frequently in passing, but haven’t dug deep into for a long time. And fairly frequently people stop me and say “wait a second, what’s that?”

I figured I’d make a post about my all around favorite credit card, which is the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. While I hold onto a ton of credit cards long term, if I could pick just one card it would be the Sapphire Preferred. When I talk to readers about credit card strategies, it never ceases to amaze me how many people don’t have this card.

I use the Chase Sapphire Preferred more than any other, and it’s arguably the most valuable card in this hobby. Credit cards are one of the best ways to rack up points for those in the US, and deserve just as much attention as the redemption side of things, in my opinion.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Sign Up Bonus
50,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 within three months
Additional 5,000 Ultimate Rewards points when you add an authorized user to the card that makes a purchase within three months
Annual FeesForeign Transaction Fees
$0 for the First Year, then $95None

Chase Sapphire Preferred Earning Rates

  • 2x points on travel (includes airfare, hotels, car rentals, subway tickets, taxis, parking, etc.)
  • 2x points on dining (includes restaurants, coffee shops, etc.)
  • 1 point per dollar on all other purchases, with no limits

It’s rare to find a card that offers double points on dining, which is a key expense for many people, so that’s a win right away.

It’s also worth noting that unlike some other cards, the double points on travel with the Chase Sapphire Preferred include not just airfare purchased directly with an airline, but also airfare purchased through online travel agencies, and I’ve found their definition of “travel” to be quite generous.

CSP-Parking-Meter
Even paying for a parking meter can count as “travel”

Chase Sapphire Preferred Rewards Program

The Chase Sapphire Preferred earns Ultimate Rewards Points, which I find to be one of the most valuable flexible points currencies.

Ultimate Rewards points transfer at a 1:1 ratio to the following programs, and in most cases transfers are instant:

Air France KLM Flying BlueIHG Rewards ClubSingapore KrisFlyerUnited MileagePlus
British Airways Executive ClubKorean Air SkyPassSouthwest Airlines Rapid RewardsVirgin Atlantic Flying Club
Hyatt Gold PassportMarriott RewardsThe Ritz-Carlton Rewards

Points are also worth 20% more when redeeming for travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal. So you can apply points towards any “revenue” ticket at a rate of 1.25 cents per point.

That means that a $625 flight will cost you 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points, though you’re almost always going to get a better value by transferring points directly to the airline or hotel partner.

Shop Through Chase

Having the Sapphire Preferred gives you access to Shop Through Chase, which is the card’s online shopping portal and can really accelerate the points you earn. By “clicking through” the portal you can earn extra points per dollar with purchases at dozens of online retailers.

I earn several thousand extra points each year on purchases I would have made anyway just by clicking through the Shop Through Chase portal first.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Benefits

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is issued as a Visa Signature, which gives you access to all of those perks, such as the Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection. You also receive the following benefits with the card:

Visa Signature BenefitsDetails
Baggage Delay Benefit• You can be reimbursed up to $500 when some or all of the cost of a common carrier ticket is charged to your card (therefore award tickets should be eligible if the taxes are charged to the card)

• You can be reimbursed a maximum of $100 per day for emergency purchases of essential items at a destination other than your current residence
Lost Luggage Reimbursement• Receive reimbursement for lost or damaged checked or carry-on bags and personal property

• Maximum reimbursement is $3,000
Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance• Receive the non-refundable amount of the passenger fare or $5,000 (whichever is less) in the event of a trip cancellation or interruption

• The cancellation or interruption must be caused by death, accidental injury, disease, or physical illness of the passenger or immediate family member

• This also covers you if your airline goes out of business or tickets are otherwise cancelled by the carrier
Trip Delay Reimbursement• Receive up to $300 if your trip is delayed for more than 12 hours

• The trip has to be delayed by an equipment failure, inclement weather, labor strikes, or hijacking
Purchase Protection• Receive up to $500 for personal property that has been stolen, damaged, or lost within 90 days
Return Protection• Receive up to $500 per item if you are dissatisfied with a purchase and the retailer won’t return the item

• There are lots of exclusions, including items purchased overseas, and all items have to be returned to Chase as part of the process
Price Protection• Receive up to $500 if you purchase a product and find it advertised for for less within 90 days of purchase (the difference in price is refunded to you)

• The advertisement has to be printed, and doesn’t include internet retailers, so this won’t be useful for many of us
Warranty Manager Service• Extends the free repair period under the original manufacturers repair warranty up to one additional year

• Motorized vehicles (boats, cards, aircraft, etc.) aren’t included

Other Cool Features Of The Chase Sapphire Preferred

Primary CDW Coverage On Rental Cars

This is a fairly new benefit, and coverage is primary as of July 20, 2014. The Sapphire Preferred offers insurance against damage up to the cost of most rental car vehicles provided you decline the CDW coverage offered by the rental agency. Includes economy through luxury class vehicles, vans that carry less than 7 passengers, and SUVs.

Chip & Signature Enabled For International Travel

This seems minor, but is a nice feature, particularly for travel to Europe. The added heft of the Chase Sapphire Preferred means it sometimes doesn’t swipe in foreign card readers, so being able to use the chip functionality at small merchants and train ticket kiosks is quite helpful.

It’s Sexy

Seriously, I don’t remember the last time I made a purchase with it and didn’t get a comment of pure admiration. It even occasionally gets me numbers (or something like that).

It’s Not An American Express

A lot of small businesses don’t accept American Express cards due to the higher merchant fees, so it’s useful to have a Visa.

Great Customer Service

This is advertised as “24/7 direct access to dedicated customer service specialists” and they mean it. When you call the number on the back of the card, a human picks up right away. Literally. There’s no phone prompt.

I don’t have any other credit card or elite status with any airline or hotel program that gets me service that quickly.

Bottom Line

This has been my go-to credit card for a few years now, and for a vast majority of people I think the Chase Sapphire Preferred is the most rewarding for airfare purchases, between the bonus points, lack of foreign transaction fees, and baggage protection.

I live in hotels full time, so 90% of my credit card spend is on airfare, hotels, other travel purchases, and dining. You can guess which spend that card goes on!

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Comments

  1. Hey Lucky, with the recent improvements to the Citi Premier, would you be able to do a refreshed comparison post between the two?

  2. Hey Ben
    Thanks for all the info. I am learning so much,
    As I am sure you know many of us are without an American bank account so all these cards are not relevant to us.
    Do you know about banks that would allow to open zen account online?
    How would foreign people like us be able to enjoy this world.
    Just an idea
    Regards

  3. I have the card and like it too. It’s a good solid everyday card, but I wonder if your preference for this card is heavily influenced by your unique lifestyle of living full-time in hotels. Feels like you are quite a unique case where this makes much more sense than it would for your typical reader (even given a high traveler demographic of your readership). I use it, but don’t really use it except for the travel and dining category bonuses. Probably not worth the annual fee for me (at $95/yr, would have to spend $9500 on travel to break-even if your next best card offered 1% on those categories – though in reality, there are many other cards that bonus the same categories). I do like the transfer partners, though, that’s for sure.

  4. It seems that according to the latest Membership Guide, “Price Protection” now includes online retailers.

  5. The “Primary CDW Coverage On Rental Cars” is pretty useless. I was not able to use it when I dented the front corner of the car. They say they will only cover it if you charge the full amount with no discounts whatsoever applied to the rental. I rented a car from Hertz and had a coupon for a discount so Chase refused to cover any of the $600 damage.

  6. The thing I don’t like about the CSP is the spending requirement. $4K in 3 months is way beyond my budget, unless I had one or two major purchases, and even then it would be close (I don’t MS). With the addition of VS to the Citi TYP program, I’m starting to pay more attention to the Citi Premier & Prestige cards.

  7. I just picked up this card. It says it gives 3 points/$1 if travel if booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

  8. I use m y CSP a lot, and at least 3-4 times a day I get a comment from the cashier about the weight of it… I think it’s one of the most impressive cards to have, well, next to the Amex Centenarian (aka Black) card

  9. This is the best card out there hands down! It is especially valuable for those of us who travel frequently and are stuck in a Delta hub. Even if my butt-in-seat miles are worth crap, through Chase I at least have awards access to Star Alliance member airlines! I’ve told everyone I know who holds the Delta Amex that they need to stop doubling down and get Chase Preferred.

  10. A majority of the benefits listed are Visa Signature benefits that can be found on many other cards Visa Signature cards (Fairmont, Chase Ink, etc..). Essentially you are paying a $95 fee after the first year for double points (triple on first Fridays for restaurants), year end bonus, and for waived foreign transaction fees. You can get the Visa Signature benefits with the Chase Preferred card which is fee free. I think for a majority of people downgrading the CSP when your first annual fee kicks in is the best move.

    If you want the sign up bonus go for the CSP, but a good selling point is to tell people to downgrade the card if they want the Visa Signature benefits without having to pay an annual fee.

  11. Most of the travel insurance is outsourced on this card. The 2-3 times I have applied for reimbursement for a delayed bag or cancelled flight, I have not gotten anything. Just loops of paperwork to fill and some third party insurance company who never responds after a couple of rounds of paperwork. Chase does have good first line customer service reps, but they can’t deal with this stuff. I just give up.

    After spending over 50k on this card over 2-3 years, I will likely move my business elsewhere.

  12. You should try the Ritz-Carlton card, it’s 100% metal and much heavier than the CSP. When I used it at a restaurant recently, the waitress assumed I was an executive at Ritz-Carlton, LOL.

  13. I’m an Authorized User in my spouse’s CSP. If I rent a car with this card, would I be eligible for Primary CDW?

  14. I’ve used the Capital One Venture & Spark Business cards for many years and receive 2% cash back on everything. I just got the Sapphire, which is sexy but I can’t seem to make the math work out for using the Sapphire.

    Is it better to take the cash and buy whatever travel you want? There is no blackout dates since it is cash and you get the freq flyer miles for the trip.

    Once you grab the signup bonus the Venture seems better.

  15. I am having a tough time deciding whether to keep the Barclays WorldArrival MC versus this one; because the Barclays Card gives 2x on all expenses. Would you be able to do a head to head comparison between how the benefits between the two compare? Maybe you can add the Citi Premier to that like the first poster suggested.

    The point Larry made about Chase not reimbursing CDW if discounts are used is very interesting. I wonder if others have had similar/differing experiences

  16. I agree the outsourced fringe benefits are super terrible when actually trying to use them. (idiotic rejections, tons of paperwork)

    Thumbs down for making a purchase decision based on those benefits.

  17. At the risk of asking a stupid question, if my wife has a CSP and I have a Chase Freedom, is there any way to transfer my Freedom points to her CSP, so that they remain Ultimate Rewards points that are directly redeemable? Just trying to figure out if we both need to keep our CSPs. Thanks!

  18. Forget price protection. To me it is a negative benefit since they have you go to a lot of effort and they decline to pay anyway. In my case, bought an ipad and saw a print ad from best buy for $100 less. Sent them all of the info (nothing can be done online). They turned it down because the sale said limited quantities. Waste of time. It is an outsourced group and I don’t think they care. I’d be curious if they payout on anything. Made a second claim on the same item with a different ad and got no response. Maybe you can only ask once. Otherwise I like the card but they should get rid of this benefit instead of building expectations.

  19. Agreed on most points, especially booking travel with points (which you can do self-serve on the rewards website.) And if you don’t have enough points, you can automatically charge the difference to your card and again earn points for charged travel. And most of the reward travel/air counts towards frequent traveler programs. But two dings. Chase dropped the yearly 7% points rebate as of 2015. This was incredible. If you earned 100,000 points during a cal year, they would give.you a 7% points bonus (in this example, 7000 points). Also, more often than not, I end up calling Chase Travel Rewards if an air iteninary or hotel I want isn’t showing up on the website.

  20. @Matt B

    in agreement, most credit cards are completely opinionated and subject to their individual holder. That said there are things about the sapphire preferred that greatly increase its value passed its bonus categories. Here’s why other cards that offer higher earn rates may not compete.

    A) the transfer partners: the diversity and flexibility of UR points greatly increase their initial value.
    B) other cards: pairing this card with Chase Freedom and Ink Cash you can drastically accelerate your point earning, combine that with the shopping portal like Ben stated and your earning points much faster then other cards might offer.
    C) customer service / special events / same bank convienece

    The value of the $95 annual fee is mitigated by the value people find in their benefits but I find the increased earning between 3 URcards alone more then pays for the annual fee.

  21. Heavy metal CSP was the only card that would bust thru the ice on a parking meter last winter. At $95, it’s only slightly more than a parking ticket.

  22. Thank you. That settles a bet I had with a friend on whether one extraneous UR point that I had earned last month was a bonus due to parking meter usage!

  23. I have the card and use it a lot, but have never gotten any comments about it. Wondering what I’m doing wrong if others are getting comments every time they use the card!

  24. I agree that that the travel “insurance” is a joke. My wife was diagnosed with breast cancer after we had booked a flight to Asia using United Mileage Plus miles. United, itself, was quite gracious about refunding the majority of the taxes and re-depositing our miles into our accounts, all with a single letter from her oncologist. Chase, on the other hand, with its purported promise of travel insurance threw a boatload of paper at us to get a refund of the remaining charges. Your time needs to have very little value since jumping through these many (wholly needless) hoops will likely cause you to lose money on this purported benefit. Yes, it is outsourced by Chase but Chase is the one doing the outsourcing and Chase is choosing an outfit that is designed to dissuade the claimant and not to satisfy Chase’s promise. The taint lingers, and it makes me question whether its other “promises” aren’t equally hollow.

  25. Much as I love the CSP, there are two issues with the card that don’t seem to be highlighted much.

    a) You cannot use this card at retail outlets which require card imprints as it does not have embossed, raised numbers.This has been a problem when renting cars in South Africa where most major chains require a card imprint (in addition to the standard electronic approvals).

    b) Chase does not subscribe to Verify by Visa. So any transactions using merchants that insist on VbV authentication will be denied. You then have to call Chase and they will manually approve the charge and you have to run it again. You can’t call in advance. You have to try the charge once and have it denied and then only will Chase approve it the second time. Annoying.

  26. CPS counts expenditures like tolls(ie. monthly ez pass), parking and bookings made through 3rd party as travel spend which are X2 UR.
    i really don’t get all the hate comments when chase is being so generous with this card.

  27. If you can get good value out of your redemptions and enjoy premium redemptions then CSP/Ink would be good choices. But for economy travel the average person will probably be redeeming at around the Southwest Airlines level (1.4 cents a point) in which case Barclay Arrival+ or any of the 2% no annual fee cards would be better.

  28. @ Daniel — Wish it were practical/possible, but unfortunately unless you have a US SSN you can’t apply for US cards. Some other countries have good cards as well, though admittedly they’re rarely as lucrative as in the US.

  29. @ Matt B — There’s no doubt the card is especially useful to me since I spend half my time outside the US and travel almost nonstop. That being said, I think there’s also value outside of the points earning structure, like having no foreign transaction fees.

    And to clarify on the math, you’re valuing the return on this card on travel at only 2%? At a minimum you can redeem the points for 1.25% cash back towards travel, which is a return of 2.5%. And it’s possible to get a lot more value than that by going through a transfer partner.

  30. @ James — Should be possible, yes! She can add you as an authorized user, and you can transfer points between spouses.

  31. @Lucky – There are ways to get a US credit card without an SSN. Two that I know of are :

    a) Set up a US company and acquire a TIN for that. Use that to acquire a Business/Corporate Card and nominate yourself as a corporate user.

    b) Transfer a foreign Amex account to Amex USA. You will get an Amex US card and a credit file started.

  32. There are a suspiciously high number of comments on this thread. Maybe Chase’s PR people going into overdrive.

    I have this card and I paid the annual fee once because I wanted the travel insurance on award trips where I had only paid a few dollars in tax with the card. I’m not aware of other cards with that benefit. I’m a bit dismayed by some of the reports above about the struggle of using the benefits once you actually need them. I’ll probably cancel/downgrade this year when my wife gets the card. I think each family probably needs a freedom, an Ink and a CSP and you are good to go.

  33. For me the big choice always comes down to Sapphire Preferred s vs Barclay’s Arrival Plus…I think in the first year it’s a toss up with a slight edge to Sapphire– but after that,once the fee kicks in and the bonus period is over, I think Arrival has the edge if you are not a huge spender or if you have a general mixed type of expenses.

  34. In my case, the CSP card in combination with my two Freedom cards and a Chase Total Checking account provides a substantial earning rate per $, without much of mfg spending. It definitely was valuable when I transferred some UR points for the trip last year, and for a hotel stay for my parents in a rather nice hotel.

    The bonus for checking customers goes away after 2015. At least until then the annual fee is worth it for me.

  35. Any chance they grandfather in for year end sign up bonus? I got the card a little over a year ago and would love the 7% year end returns!

  36. Ben–does the improvement in car rental coverage make this equivalent to the United Explorer card? Are they now identical in this regard?

  37. I don’t like Chases customer service. Two years ago, my chase freedom suddenly had unknown charges to it originating in the UK. I found out about it first before Chase. I had to report it to them. That was a big disappointment. That’s one of the reasons I haven’t signed up for a chase in a while.

  38. I have the Chase Sapphire and it is good, but my daughter got a Capitol One Venture card that gave her the 40 thousand sign up bonus and she gets 2X points on everything she buys. Even though I use the Shop Through Chase feature, she racks up points a lot faster than I do. She gets double points when she pays her cable bill and property taxes with her card.

  39. Capital One pulls ALL three of your credit reports though. NO credit card is worth 3 pulls when you can get 3 cards and 3 bonuses instead of the single 40k Cap1 bonus. Plus there are plenty of 2% cashback cards that are better than the Cap1 card as well.

  40. can you tell us how the insurance/protection benefits on this card compare to amex gold/platinum or the TYP cards that have suddenly become attractive.

  41. Can anyone tell me if the Sapphire credit card gives you a yearly expense report like blue from American Express? Its a feature which I come to expect at the end of the year. Just wondering, I’ve always heard great things about the Sapphire card, and was wondering if they offer this feature.

    Thank you.

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