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The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is quite easily the very best beginner travel rewards credit card. Not only does it start you out with an impressive sign-up bonus of 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, but it also earns lots of points in useful bonus categories.
Cardholders earn 5x points on all travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3x points on dining, including eligible delivery services and takeout, 3x points on select
purchases (excluding Target, Walmart, and wholesale clubs), 2x points on all other eligible travel purchases, and 1 point per dollar on everything else.
When I was new to credit cards, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card was the first travel card I opened. And now, nearly a decade later, it’s still the first card I recommend to friends and family who are looking to start earning and using travel rewards.
Beyond a flashy sign-up bonus and competitive earnings in useful bonus categories, the card is packed with lesser-known perks that can save you money and inconvenience, whether you’re traveling or staying closer to home.
Here’s a look at seven of the best benefits of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card you might have overlooked.
Chase Sapphire Preferred benefits
16.24% – 23.24% Variable
Recommended Credit Score
Good to Excellent
16.24% – 23.24% Variable
Recommended Credit Score
Good to Excellent
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
- Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back(SM), your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
While some other travel credit cards offer hefty benefits, you’ll often pay an eye-popping annual fee to match. The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is unique in that it provides a broad range of travel and purchase protections that are competitive with those of premium cards, but only charges a $95 annual fee.
Most of these benefits can protect you if things go awry when you’re traveling or with a new purchase. Of course, nobody hopes they’ll have the occasion to use them — but if you end up needing this coverage, the card may save you a ton of cash.
Read more: The Chase Sapphire Preferred card’s travel insurance has saved me over $4,000 — here’s why I’ll never cancel it
1. Pay for your rental car with the Sapphire Preferred to get coverage for damage due to theft or collision
If you’ve ever been at the rental car desk and had the agent try to scare you into buying expensive rental insurance, you can confidently turn it down if you pay with the Chase Sapphire Preferred. Extra insurance can cost $10 to $20 per day, but the Chase Sapphire Preferred includes primary car rental insurance — which means you won’t have to bill your personal insurance company before its coverage kicks in.
Read more: 5 credit card benefits that can protect your summer travels, from rental car coverage to trip cancellation insurance
This benefit covers up to the cash value of the eligible vehicle for damage due to theft or collision on most rental cars in the US and abroad. Be aware there are limits to types of damage and vehicles that may not be covered, so double-check your guide to benefits to make sure this insurance applies to your rental. Keep in mind, too, that you’re still responsible for liability insurance — either through your own policy or purchased separately through the rental agency.
2. You’ll get up to $50 in hotel stays annually with the Chase Sapphire Preferred
As part of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card’s overhaul last year, cardholders now receive up to $50 in statement credits each year toward hotel stays booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® travel portal. You can book anything from familiar brands to luxury resorts to small-town independent hotels through the portal, and the selection is usually decent compared to other online travel agency sites.
If you’ll have at least one paid hotel stay each year, this credit is nearly as good as cash. Just keep in mind because the Chase portal is considered a third-party site, you won’t earn hotel points or elite credits on your booking, and might not receive any elite status perks you’re entitled to.
3. Sapphire Preferred trip delay insurance will reimburse your hotel and meals if your flight is canceled
The Chase Sapphire Preferred card comes with excellent benefits, and two that come in very handy for frequent travelers are trip cancellation and interruption insurance and trip delay reimbursement coverage.
Read more: Your credit card might cover your next flight delay — as long as you have the right one
If you ever miss a connection or have a flight canceled due to weather, the airline will likely rebook you, but it won’t cover meals or a place to stay if you’re stranded overnight. But if you used the Sapphire Preferred to pay for your ticket, you won’t be on the hook.
For example, if your flight is delayed by 12 hours or more, or the delay requires an overnight stay, trip delay reimbursement covers up to $500 per ticket for meals, lodging, and essentials like toiletries. Filing a trip delay claim with the card’s benefits administrator is straightforward — just be sure to keep your receipts.
If your trip is canceled or interrupted by illness, severe weather, or other covered situations, the card will reimburse up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip for eligible pre-paid, non-refundable reservations.
Read more: Your credit card’s travel insurance might cover cancellations, interruptions, and delays — but if your trip goes awry due to COVID, you may be out of luck
4. If your new gadget breaks, Sapphire Preferred purchase protection could have you covered
The excitement of buying a new phone, computer, or other expensive item can quickly turn to heartbreak if it gets damaged or stolen right away. For instances like this — like if you drop your new phone or spill water on your fancy laptop — Chase Sapphire Preferred purchase protection may cover repair or replacement as long as you used the card to pay.
Read more: 5 reasons why the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still one of the best travel credit cards you can get
Purchase protection covers eligible new items against damage or theft for up to 120 days after purchase. Coverage is up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account. As long as it wasn’t intentionally damaged, it’s a pretty simple process to file a claim for repair or replacement with the benefits administrator.
5. Sapphire Preferred cardholders can get $10 worth of free stuff each month through Gopuff
One of the newest benefits of the Chase Sapphire Preferred is $10 per month in credit toward Gopuff purchases. Gopuff is an on-demand service that offers items like groceries, snacks, household supplies, and even alcohol delivered in 30 minutes or less.
Read more: Chase Gopuff delivery credits can save you $10 a month per credit card — here’s how to use them
To earn the Gopuff credit on the Chase Sapphire Preferred (or other eligible Chase cards), be sure to add your card as your method of payment in your Gopuff account and make a purchase of $10 or more.
6. The Sapphire Preferred can extend your manufacturer’s warranty
The Sapphire Preferred card adds an additional year to eligible US manufacturer’s warranties of three years or less. Coverage is up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account.
There are some exclusions — most notably boats, automobiles, aircraft, other motorized vehicles, items purchased for resale, professional, or commercial use, used or pre-owned items, and computer software. Check your guide to benefits for the full list of ineligible items.
7. You can transfer points from other Chase cards to increase their value
The Ultimate Rewards points you earn with the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve are among the most valuable rewards you can get from a credit card.
If you have a card like the Chase Freedom Flex℠, Chase Freedom Unlimited, Ink Business Cash Credit Card, or Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card, your points are worth 1 cent apiece toward cash back, gift cards, and travel. But when you transfer points from those cards to your Sapphire card, you’ll unlock better, more valuable redemption options.
Read more: How to earn, redeem, and maximize Chase Ultimate Rewards points
With the Chase Sapphire Preferred, points are worth 1.25 cents each when redeemed through the Chase Travel Portal . With the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you can also transfer points to Chase’s travel partners like United, Southwest, and Marriott, and you may be able to get even more value per point.
Your credit card’s benefits are only valuable if you actually use them, and often cardholders don’t even realize what kind of coverage they can get simply by paying with their card.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is an excellent example of this. If you have the card, it’s a no-brainer to use it to pay for travel and expensive purchases to automatically get coverage for the unexpected..
Read more: 7 reasons to choose the Chase Sapphire Preferred over the Sapphire Reserve — even though it doesn’t come with as many fancy perks
The Chase Sapphire Preferred has a $95 annual fee, and it’s easy to get at least that much in value from points you’ll earn if you use the card regularly. The additional benefits and perks are an extra bonus, and can be worth hundreds (or thousands) more if you need to use them.