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With travel spending on the rise, some consumers are likely in the market for a strong travel credit card to help fund any upcoming trips. If that's the case, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card would make a good addition to your wallet. For a $95 annual fee, cardholders gain a nice selection of travel protections -- plus a flexible and lucrative rewards program.
If you're a traveler who doesn't fly exclusively with one airline or stay at a specific hotel brand whenever you're away from home, the Chase Sapphire Preferred could be right for you.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a versatile option for the general traveler. It provides plenty of rewards, useful perks, and a flexible redemption system. Plus, it doesn't have a foreign transaction fee, so you can use it overseas without any issues.
Redeem your rewards for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards to get a 25% redemption bonus, or transfer your rewards at a 1:1 rate to Chase's travel partners. By transferring points, cardholders could find a greater per-point value, providing an even higher return on your spending.
If you have any planned trips on the horizon, now is the time to get this card. For a limited time, Chase is offering new cardholders 60,000 points for spending $4,000 in the first three months with the card.
Reward redemption is where the card truly shines. While the rewards are solid, what you can do with them elevates the whole experience.
Cardholders can redeem points for:
But the most lucrative redemption option will be to transfer your points to Chase's travel partners. Points transfer at a 1:1 rate, but you could find a greater per-point value given the right deal. Points are usually worth 1 cent each, however, with the right transfer deal, they could reach 1.5 cents or more.
Take a look at a few of Chase's airline and hotel partners:
For a $95 annual fee, the Chase Sapphire Preferred provides plenty of value. In addition to an anniversary bonus, you'll likely experience less travel-induced stress thanks to its protections.
Prospective cardholders can apply directly on Chase's website. They'll fill out an application with all of the required information including monthly rent or mortgage payments, contact information, and income, among other things. Chase will likely make an instant decision unless it requests additional information.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is designed for consumers with good credit. That means their FICO credit score would need to be at least 670, or their VantageScore would need to be at least 661.
Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth 1 cent each. However, if you were to redeem points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards for the 25% point bonus, they would then be worth 1.25 cents each. Or, you could transfer the rewards to one of Chase's travel partners where, given the appropriate transfer deal, you might be able to find a per-point value of 1.5 cents or more.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred has a $95 annual fee. It also has a late/returned payment fee, balance transfer fee, and cash advance fee.
However, it doesn't have a foreign transaction fee, so you can bring the card with you overseas and not have to worry about incurring any additional transaction fees.
If you travel more than a few times a year, are able to reach the welcome bonus without spending on things you normally wouldn't have, and can utilize point transfers, it's worth it. The potential return on your travel spending will likely dwarf the $95 annual fee.
It's versatile, rewarding, and has plenty of good perks. The protections guard against inconvenient situations such as a delayed trip or misplaced luggage, and the rewards cover enough bonus categories where the card shouldn't collect any dust in your wallet.
Additionally, if you already have a card in the Chase Ultimate Rewards family like the Chase Freedom Flex℠ or Chase Freedom Unlimited®, you can transfer rewards from either of those cards to the Sapphire Preferred. From there, redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards to get a 25% bonus, or transfer points to Chase's travel partners to potentially find even greater value.
However, if you only travel once a year at most and don't often spend on travel purchases, a general rewards card would likely suit you better. Consider a flat-rate card like the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card, or the Citi® Double Cash Card.
If you need a travel card to add to your wallet, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a solid choice. It's rewarding in terms of spending and flexible when it's time to redeem those points. The welcome bonus offers additional value -- if you can reach it without spending on things you normally wouldn't buy -- and the anniversary bonus is a nice touch.
The transfer rate is what truly makes this a strong choice. Chase has a number of popular travel partners including JetBlue, Southwest, United, IHG, and World of Hyatt. By utilizing point transfers, cardholders could find a per-point value of 1.5 cents or more.
If you're looking for something that's perhaps a little less complicated or doesn't carry an annual fee, there are a few alternatives to think about.