This post is sponsored by Chase and ShopStyle. I have been using the Chase Sapphire Preferred® for many years and it’s my top recommendation for a travel rewards card. As always, I would never promote anything that I don’t personally use. Note I may receive commission from Chase if you sign up. Photos and opinions are my own.
When I started traveling more frequently, I knew I needed a solid travel rewards credit card. After asking around and doing my research, I found the Chase Sapphire Preferred® card fit my travel lifestyle perfectly. I was drawn to the generous sign-on bonus, 2x points on travel and dining and no foreign transaction fees. I’ve used it to book flights, hotels and other travel adventures. Additionally, their ‘Refer-A-Friend’ initiative allows you to earn 15,000 bonus points for each friend you refer and is approved.
This card isn’t for everyone, but if you travel a few times a year or frequently spend money on travel-related expenses and like to eat out, you’ll probably find this card to be quite beneficial.
I used it to book travels for a recent family trip to Joshua Tree and Palm Springs. For everything else that I charged to my card, I liked knowing I would be getting points to redeem for more travel in the future. All photos featured were taken during this trip.
Main Benefits of Chase Sapphire Preferred®
- sign-up bonus: 60,000 points after you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months from account opening
- 2x points on travel and dining (+1 point on other purchases)
- 25% more in travel redemption through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, their online portal, e.g. 60,000 points = $750 toward travel
How to Earn Rewards Points
There are multiple ways to accumulate rewards points that you can then redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® or other partners.
The card currently has a generous 60,000 point sign-up bonus after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
Earn 2x Points per $1 spent on travel and dining at restaurants. This includes obvious travel-related expenses like airlines, hotels and car rentals. It also includes travel agencies, timeshares, campgrounds, cruise lines, trains, buses, taxis, limos, ferries, tolls, highways and parking lots/garages.
Earn 1 point per dollar on all other purchases
Refer friends to the Chase Sapphire Preferred® card and receive 15,000 points for each friend that is approved for a maximum of 75,000 points (5 friends per year).
How to Redeem Rewards Points
There are many ways to redeem your travel points, but I’d recommend these 2 ways since they maximize the value of your points.
Redeem points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
This is Chase’s private online portal for everything rewards-related. When using it to redeem points for travel, you get 25% more value on airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750. There are also no travel restrictions or blackout dates, meaning if there’s a seat on a flight, you can book it. For me, this is a top benefit of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® card since I’m often booking last minute travel.
Transfer points to travel partners
You can transfer 1:1 points to a partner airline or hotel and book on their site. This may be more valuable than redeeming through the travel portal, but it all depends on timing and dates. The travel partners generally require more flexibility while booking with Ultimate Rewards has no blackout dates. I generally compare a range of options to find the best deal.
The 9 airline partners (and all of their partnered airlines) include Aer Lingus, Air France/KLM, British Airways, Emirates, Iberia, JetBlue, Singapore, Southwest, United and Virgin Atlantic. The 3 hotel partners are Hyatt, InterContinental Hotels Group and Marriott.
You can also redeem your points through other, less-valuable ways like cash back, statement credit or gift cards.
Besides rewards points, the card has many travel-related benefits. Here are some that I’ve personally used:
No foreign transaction fees
Fees can easily add up and I’m glad I don’t need to worry about them while traveling abroad.
Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Trip Delay Reimbursement
No one likes having a delay or worse yet, having to cancel a trip. With this insurance, at least you can get reimbursed for various unforeseen situations. See full details here.
Baggage Delay Insurance
Similarly, bag delays are a nuisance. Chase will reimburse you for essentials if your bag is delayed over 6 hours up to $100 a day for 5 days.
Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver
This is one of my favorite benefits and I’ve used it all over the world. It was a lifesaver when I got a flat tire in France and when someone ran into my rental in Taiwan. As long as you decline the rental company’s collision insurance and charge the entire rental cost to your card, you get coverage for theft and collision damage.
When using Lyft car service, you can earn 5X points on rides through March 2022.
Who should get Chase Sapphire Preferred®?
Like I said above, this card isn’t for everyone. It’s most beneficial for frequent travelers or those who spend money on travel-related expenses and can take advantage of the travel-related perks. These benefits easily make up for the $95 annual fee if your spending habits align.
Thank you to Chase and ShopStyle for sponsoring this post. I may receive a commission from Chase if you sign up for the card. As always, I would never promote anything that I don’t personally use. Photos and opinions are my own.
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