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Key Link: Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
I’ve been a fan of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card as an important tool for frequent flyers for a long time because:
- It earns one of the most valuable points currencies, which transfer to a variety of airlines (including in all 3 major airline alliances) and hotels.
- It earns points quickly, with double points on both travel and dining (what travelers tend to spend on most).
Recent reports are that Chase has only wanted to approve this card for new customers that haven’t applied for 5 new cards in the past two years.
That means three things.
- If you’re applying for cards all the time, and don’t have a Sapphire Preferred, you may need to take a break from new applications for awhile… or skip this one.
- If you haven’t made 5 new applications for credit cards in the past two years, you want to apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card right away. It should be your first application, before other cards, since it’s one of the only cards where the number of applications is such an important factor in approval.
- Getting Sapphire Preferred in that sense allows you to apply for other cards more easily, since once you have it other card signups won’t have the downside of preventing you from getting it later.
Here are my 10 favorite things about Sapphire Preferred.
- 40,000 Point Signup Bonus.. Plus 5000 More
At 40,000 bonus points after $4000 in spending within 3 months, it has a rich signup bonus. And it’s even better than that because you can get another 5000 bonus points for adding an authorized user to the account and making a purchase.
- Double Points on All Travel and Dining
That’s what most of my spend is, especially reimbursable spend — not just air and not just hotels, but both and cars and taxis and tolls, plus meals on the road.
- No foreign transaction fees
So I don’t mind using the card outside the United States, and especially for paying hotel bills and eating out during my travels since the card also offers double points on travel and dining. When I’m outside the country nearly all of my expenses are travel and dining.
- Ultimate Rewards Mall
Additional points for your online shopping through access to the Chase Ultimate Rewards mall, a mileage-earning shopping portal that often has the most lucrative opportunities to earn extra points for the online purchases you’d make anyway.
- Primary Rental Collision Coverage
If you rent a car with this card you don’t just earn double points (for travel) but get extra protection. Most premium cards offer secondary collision coverage, they pay what your insurance doesn’t (which usually means they cover your deductible). With Sapphire Preferred’s primary coverage, rental a qualifying vehicle and charge it to the card and your insurance company may not even need to know…
- The Card Has a Great Look and Feel
This isn’t a reason to get a card but it’s a sleek card, heavier than what you’re used to and without any raised numbers (and in fact, no numbers on the front of the card). Lucky called it “the poor man’s Centurion card.”
Milepoint member AndyAndy decided downgrade his Chase Sapphire Preferred card to a regular Sapphire card with no fee (no longer available). He tried to dispose of the card himself. With a blow torch.
- Transfers to Airlines in Each Alliance and More
These points transfer to United, Korean, Singapore Airlines, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Southwest.
United gets you Star Alliance availability to Europe and Asia and no fuel surcharges. British Airways gets you cheap short-distance non-stop awards as 4500 points each way for coach tickets on American, US Airways, and Alaska.
You get access to Skyteam award space through Korean Air which has some very favorable awards — like some of the cheapest awards to Hawaii and 80,000 mile business class roundtrips to Europe (plus fuel surcharges). You also get the ability to redeem for international first class through Korean and not just business class, something Delta doesn’t allow.
And transfers to Singapore are exceptionally useful because using Singapore Airlines miles you get much better availability redeeming for Singapore business and first class flights than what’s offered to their partner airline members.
- Transfers to Several Hotel Chains and to Amtrak
Hyatt is the best value, but points transfer to Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, IHG Rewards, and Amtrak as well.
- Visa acceptance
The card is a Visa, while many other valuable cards are American Express, and that means you can use it pretty much everywhere (soon even Costco).
- Past cardmembers are welcome back
If you’ve had the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card before and don’t any longer, you’re eligible to apply again and still receive a bonus provided it’s been 24 months since you last received the bonus.
Key Link: Chase Sapphire Preferred Card