Why is Chase’s Sapphire Preferred Offering a 60,000 Point Initial Bonus?

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Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card was the ‘it’ card several years ago and it remains just as good. It had a generous initial bonus, earned double points on travel and dining, came with primary collision coverage when you rent cards, and points transfer to a variety of airline and hotel points programs.

Here’s the current list of transfer partners:

  • Airlines: United, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Air France KLM, Jetblue, Singapore, Southwest, Iberia, Aer Lingus
  • Hotels: Hyatt, Marriott, IHG

I consider Hyatt, by the way, to be the only worthwhile hotel transfer partner of any of the transfer currencies. And they have the best US airlines of the transferable currencies, too.

So why the need to increase the bonus to 60,000 points after $4000 spend in the first 3 months of cardmembership? It has to be that in a crowded card marketplace they need to shout louder to get noticed.

Certainly Sapphire Reserve is shinier with triple points on travel and dining and a priority pass card for airport lounge access. However too many readers have told me they’ve been denied applying for Sapphire Reserve (even being below ‘5/24’). Approval standards for that Visa Infinite card have seemed tough.

I find Sapphire Preferred offers,

  • The best card for those new to miles and points
  • The best card if you want Sapphire Reserve, get the Sapphire Preferred and request a product change after a year — some have better luck with that than applying straight away for Reserve
  • The best annual fee card at the under $100 price point

You can earn more points with Sapphire Reserve, with Citi Prestige, with the American Express® Gold Card and its 4 points per dollar at restaurants worldwide and on the first $25,000 per year in US supermarket spend. Those cards have higher annual fees.

Plus Sapphire Preferred or Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card can be used as a ‘Chase hub’. Since Chase allows you to combine their Ultimate Rewards points from different credit card accounts you only need one Chase premium (annual fee) credit card because those cards let you transfer your Chase points to other loyalty programs. Then you can really take most advantage of Chase cards that earn more than one point per dollar spent in various categories which have no annual fee.

I consider Chase points to be worth 1.8 cents apiece. 60,000 points then are worth $1080. Even net of the card’s $95 annual fee that’s $985 just for getting approved for the card and meeting its $4000 spend requirement in the first three months from account opening.

It was back in 2011 when I first applied for this card and it’s still a great role-player, especially as a ‘Chase hub’ where you earn points at accelerated rates with Chase’s no annual fee cards and then transfer them to the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card so that those points can then be moved to airline miles and hotel points.

Letting new cardmembers earn 60,000 points as an initial bonus should bring it some of the attention it still deserves, since that’s the most valuable personal card bonus in the marketplace right now in my view.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. Still no reason to keep it after the first bonus and Chase has never waived the annual fee at renewal time. Spin it every 48 months now because of the newest rule change.

  2. Best card under the $100 AF is hands-down the Amex Blue Business Plus. 2x on all spend up to $50K/yr. No annual fee.

    Sapphire is only worthwhile for the signup bonus. BBP is a long-term keeper.

  3. Been thinking about this for 19 year old son but he has only a 20k income. Very high credit score but not much history and only a primary card for 18 months.

  4. In terms of travel spending + customer service. Would the Amex Gold be a better option? Does Chase wave foreign transactions fees? Asking because I’m flying to Europe for a couple weeks and looking to open my first truly travel card for it. I’m not beholden to an airline (because prices for tickets change too much and I don’t live in a hub city), and I care more about customer service… especially when traveling abroad. Thoughts comparing Amex gold to Chase?

  5. QUESTION ON CHASE CARD TRAVEL INSURANCE:

    I currently have the Chase Ink business Preferred for the 3 X on all travel but gas.

    Now that Citi has dumped all travel insurance I am going to move most of my non cancelable travel bookings to Chase.

    We do a lot of theatre and concerts when traveling. and spend a large amount of money for tickets. I called Chase Benefits department and was told that the insurance on the INK Preferred does not cover “missed events”. CitiBank did and was getting settlement was fast and easy.

    Know the Sapphire Reserve has ” medical evacuation” but does anyone know if there are other travel insurance differences between the Chase INK Business Preferred, Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve.

    I have tried calling Chase benefits but agent could only tell me about my benefits based on my card number which tell her the Chase product. Agent said she had no way to access the benefits page for the two Sapphire cards since I could not give her a Sapphire card number

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