Since retiring in 2012, my wife and I have traveled to over 20 countries around Europe and Asia. During this time, we hardly paid for any flights thanks to our Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card.
If you're looking for a travel rewards credit card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card is our credit card of choice. We've each owned the card for over 10 years and love all the benefits.
Sapphire Benefits Snapshot
Here is a quick snapshot of the basics:
- Annual Fee: $95
- Card Type: Travel Rewards
- Foreign Transaction Fee: 0%
- Credit Score Range: Excellent or Good. Approximately 690 and above
- Introductory Offer: 100,000 point bonus when you spend $4,000 on qualified purchases in the first 3 months.
- Purchase Protection: You are protected against damage or theft up to $500 for new purchases in the first 120 days. Extended Warranty Protection adds an additional year of coverage onto eligible purchases.
- Credit score: Enjoy complimentary credit score updates every week to make sure your credit is moving in the right direction.
- Rewards points never expire.
Main Benefits Of The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
The main reason why we love the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is that you get 2X points on travel and dining. As early retirees who like to live the good life, the Chase Sapphire Preferred matches our lifestyle perfectly.
We live in San Francisco, the #1 city in America for food as rated by Conde Nasté Traveler magazine. We go out at least three times a week to try the latest new restaurant. Finally, we also love going down the list of the top 20 Zagat-rated restaurants each year.
You also get 1X points per dollar spent on on all other purchases. If you love to eat great food and travel to wonderful places like we do, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is great.
We spend roughly $35,000 a year on travel and food a year. Therefore, each year, we get roughly 70,000 travel rewards miles which are enough for two roundtrip tickets to Hawaii. If we want to go somewhere international, we'll generally put everything on our card for two years and then redeem our points.
Your Chase Ultimate Rewards points are also equivalent to 25% more when you book your air travel and hotel accommodations through Chase. This means that Chase’s 100,000 point welcome bonus gives you up to $1,250 in travel rewards where other best credit cards would only give you $1,000.
More Benefits Of Chase Sapphire Preferred
Here’s a full list of travel benefits you get with the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card:
- Trip Cancellation / Interruption Insurance up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip. If you get sick, encounter severe weather, or run into another covered scenario your travel expenses, even if they are non-refundable. This includes all your passenger fares, tours and excursions, and hotels. Talk about amazing peace of mind when traveling!
- Auto Rental Collision Damage Insurance with coverage up to the entire cash value of the vehicle. This goes for theft and collision damage for most rentals in the U.S. and abroad. This type of insurance is very valuable because you don't want to get your own auto insurance involved. If they do get involved, your auto insurance premium will likely go up.
- Baggage Delay Insurance that reimburses you for must-haves that go missing when airlines lose track of your luggage. This includes toiletries and clothing for any baggage delays that’s over six hours. You’ll be covered for up to $100 a day for five days. During our many trips abroad, we've had our bags go missing for one or two days each time. We've been able to utilize the $100 credit a day to buy underwear, shirts, and pants.
- Trip Delay Reimbursement for long delays. The worst thing about travel are the occassional delays. And the worst type of delay is the delay that lasts LONGER than the flight itself! Argh. With the Chase Sapphire Preferred, any delays more than 12 hours or requiring an overnight stay will be reimbursed. Your meals and lodging, up to $500 per person, will be taken care of free of charge. $500 is like booking a room at a luxury resort. Not bad!
Chase Sapphire Preferred Airlines Partnerships
Chase Sapphire Preferred has over 10 travel partners across airlines and hotels all over the world. Having this card is like being a private member of each airlines and hotel, which gets you even better service and benefits.
During long flights, being able to rest in the executive lounge at the airport is huge. You can charge your electronic devices, get free food and drinks, and often take a shower. Below is a sample of some of their travel partners (subject to change).
Chase Airline Travel Partners
- Aer Lingus, AerClub
- British Airways Executive Club
- Emirates Skywards
- Flying Blue AIR FRANCE KLM
- Iberia Plus
- JetBlue TrueBlue
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
- United MileagePlus
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
Hotel Travel Partners
- IHG Rewards Club
- Marriott Bonvoy
- World of Hyatt
Chase Sapphire Preferred Travel Protection And Assistance
There will be ups and downs during your travels. But that's part of what makes travel so exciting. Having a Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card is like having a trusty travel companion to lean on just in case something bumpy happens.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card has travel and emergency assistance services in case you get into legal trouble or have medical issues. There is a big team on standby to help you out wherever you go.
- Emergency Messaging Service: for sending messages to other travelers, family, or colleagues
- Medical Referral Assistance: to help with the process of medical referrals, monitoring, and follow-up, including a directory of English-speaking doctors, dentists, and hospitals
- Legal Referral Assistance: to arrange contact with English-speaking attorneys, U.S. embassies, or consulates
- Emergency Transportation Assistance: in the event of an accident requiring an ambulance or air transport to a medical facility
- Emergency Ticket Replacement: for when you lose your ticket
- Lost Luggage Locator Service: to help with your claim if your baggage is lost
- Emergency Translation Service: for telephone assistance and help finding local interpreters
- Prescription Assistance: to help get your necessary meds filled while abroad
- Valuable Document Delivery Arrangements: to transport medical documents you may have forgotten about
- Pre-Trip Assistance: to give you the low-down on ATM locations, health precautions, local currency, exchange rates, and more
With the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you can now travel to an unknown country with confidence.
Chase Sapphire Preferred Final Verdict
Traveling is one of the greatest joys you can ever experience. Not only do you get to see new things and eat new food, you also experience different cultures. It's sad that the majority of Americans don't have passports. If we did, there would be more harmony on Earth.
Despite the $95 annual fee, the benefits of owning the Chase Sapphire Preferred card are far greater. The 70,000 a year in points we earn from travel and dining out are worth $700. Then add on the tens of thousands of more points we earn from basic spending. In other words, we derive more than 10X the benefit than the cost.
Go through your annual budget and see where you enjoy spending the most amount of money. If you love to travel and go out to eat, the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card is the card for you.
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About the Author
Sam worked in investment banking for 13 years at Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse. He received his undergraduate degree in Economics from The College of William & Mary and got his MBA from UC Berkeley. In 2012, Sam was able to retire at the age of 34 largely due to his investments that now generate roughly $350,000 a year in passive income.
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Disclosure: Credit card terms and features are subject to change.