Top Ten Reasons I Love the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

Key Link: Chase Sapphire Preferred

You can earn the most bonus points with the Ink Plus® Business Card because it earns 5 points per dollar on telecommunications (cell phone, internet, satellite/cable tv) and at office supply stores (with all the myriad things you can buy there) plus it has a signup bonus of 50,000 points after $5000 spend within 3 months and a $0 fee the first year ($95 thereafter). Here are the top 10 things I love about the Ink Plus card.

But for someone looking for just one card, wanting to know which one is best, I recommend the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.

Here are my 10 favorite things about Sapphire Preferred.

  1. 40,000 Point Signup Bonus.. Plus 5000 More!

    At 40,000 bonus points after $3000 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.

  2. 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..

  3. 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.

  4. 7% Annual Bonus on Points Earned

    7% Annual Bonus Is No Longer Offered.

    For many people this alone more than covers the annual fee (it’s $0 the first year, $95 thereafter). You get the 7% bonus on all the points you earn, even for spend that earns double points, so it’s more correct to say you get 2 points per dollar on travel and dining for instance.

  5. 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. I love the extra points on Travelocity purchases, extra point per dollar at Expedia, and I use regularly.

  6. 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.”

  7. Transfers to Airlines in Each Alliance and More

    These points transfer to United, Korean, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Southwest.

    Even after United’s devaluation it’s still a highly useful partner because of one-way awards, generous routing rules, no fuel surcharges, and because the price of most awards in economy and business class remain reasonable — it’s international first class on partner airlines that’s gotten out of hand.

    But transferring to British Airways Avios can be a good use of points, especially for short-distance non-stop flights (think as low as 9000 points roundtrip for a coach award).

    You get access to Skyteam award space through Korean Air which has some very favorable awards. Plus the ability to redeem for international first class through Korean and not just business class, something Delta doesn’t allow.

  8. 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.

  9. 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 except Costco.

  10. Now comes with a Chip

    They started issuing the card with an EMV chip back in the fall, which makes it easier to use when traveling in Europe.

What are your favorite features of the Sapphire Preferred card?

(Note that cards in this post offer credit to me if you’re approved using my links. The opinions, analyses, and evaluations here are mine. The content is not provided or commissioned by American Express, by Chase, by Citibank, US Bank, Bank of America, Barclays or any other company. They have not reviewed, approved or endorsed what I have to say.)

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, 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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  1. Can you explain “different product” as it relates to applying for various credit cards?

  2. #0 – The affiliate program is still going strong.

    Can’t say this is your best work, Gary. Many EU merchants require not just a chip but chip and PIN, which this card doesn’t support.

    On the other side of the world in Japan, many card readers won’t be able to swipe a thicker than usual card.

  3. Gary, any reports recently if the CSP Visa is considered a different product than the MasterCard for sign up bonus?

  4. Gary,
    I first want to say your blog is great. But, your countless posts on the CSP is getting old. Yes, it is a great card, I have it, I know, I love it. But the fact is 2+ times a week for a post on how great it is is old news, give us something new.
    Hopefully no hard feelings,

  5. @garyleff “For MANY people [the 7%] alone more than covers the annual fee”
    I don’t understand this line of thinking. Even if used strictly for travel and dining (no Bluebird), and assuming a generous 2¢/UR, by my calculations, you’d have to spend $35k/year to get that $95 back with the dividend. For us casual travelers in the points game, this seems a bit of of reach.

    @Jason I’ve yet to be denied use of a Chip and signature card (Paris suburbs, Rome, Bristol & London)

  6. Maybe you should just rename the blog that. “Top Ten Reasons I Love the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card”

    But seriously, I’m very experienced in this hobby of ours, and I can certainly say that Chase UR points are just not very good any more.

    So here are my “Top Ten Reasons I Don’t Love the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card”:

    1) It has a fairly small number of partners (smaller than MR or SPG, for example).

    2) Of the small number of partners, an even smaller number are actually *useful* and *relevant* airline partners: UA, BA, SW (and maybe add Korean for some limited and specific circumstances)

    3) United awards are generally not competitively priced any more.

    4) BA awards are mostly only useful in specific circumstances (e.g. short domestic coach flights). I think transfering to BA is actually the best use of UR points currently. This says a lot–when BA last devalued their chart into its current shape, we all cried and couldn’t sleep for days… That same new awful award chart is now probably the best you can get from UR.

    5) SW… well, is that really something UR should be proud of–that SW is perhaps one of its best flight award options? I don’t think so. I only put them here because I have a Companion Pass and I could see a point in the future when I’ve run out of SW miles (not likely), and decide to add to my stash via UR.

    6) Korean awards are a pain in the @$$ to redeem, and only a good option for some types of awards.

    7) Extremely limited hotel partners. Hyatt is really the only option here. No other hotel option is even remotely as useful.

    8) Speaking of Hyatt, they have a very limited network of properties. Many places where I want to go don’t have any Hyatts.

    9) There is no way to get the annual fee waived or off-set (for example by speaking with a retention specialist)

    10) The sign-upbonus is nothing compared to what it used to be. I got my CSP Visa a couple of years ago with 100k. I also got a CSP MasterCard later with 50k. I would not apply for anything under 50k (including the current bonus), given the limited uses outlined above.

    In short, I still have a large stash of Chase UR points and I was surprised to find that I don’t have much use for them! I’ll probably eventually move them to BA or SW, if I run out of miles with either one (which is not very likely). I can definitely foresee my UR points just sitting and rotting in my account for years, with no great options to use them.

  7. My only issue with this card was the fact that it was only chip & signature. I travel to Australia a lot and more and more places are chip & pin only – I believe it’s chip and pin only from August 1st onwards.

    Thankfully Chase has seen the light and looks like they will be the first major card issuer to offer chip & pin later this year.

  8. After a while in this game now, I am thoroughly convinced that only folks with monster employer reimbursed expenses should be chasing category spend. 2x is nothing compared to the leverage of most bonuses out there. And, flying only one airline alliance and staying with only one hotel chain, I havent really ever run out of bonuses to chase for that long.

    The multiple transfer partners for these cards just arent that useful unless you have a ton of employer reimbursed spend or do an insane amount of MS. Its not like the average person is going to earn the bazillion UR points needed for an avios award AND a korean award through 2x dining…

    The average person should just chase bonuses IMO. This can be one of those bonuses but then move on for a bit.

  9. I’m guessing Gary checked his affiliate account today and said ‘crap I’m low, better bust out a Chase advertisement’. No other reason for this ‘article’.

  10. I get you want to make money off the blog, but these blatantly shill pieces which add zero information really do detract from the VFTW blog. It feels like I stumbled into the FTG blog for a second

  11. I was pleased when Chase sent my replacement Sapphire with the chip, but upon arriving, and I do mean arrival, in Spain in February, something prevented my card being accepted. Arrived in Madrid, wanted to buy a ticket to Barcelona, on Vueling Air, but the card was denied, and I had to go to my backup card. Called Chase, was told it must be the fault of the reader, but after several days, I came to the conclusion all the card readers in Spain were defective. I now have a replacement for that card, but I won’t know until next time in Spain if it works. Probably just a defective chip.

  12. Gary,

    I wonder if you’d be willing to tell your readers how much each CSP referral nets you, versus a Starwood Amex referral, or a AA Citi Visa 100,000 mile referral. Clearly it makes you more, because there are many good reasons why these cards are better (as are others) than CSP.

  13. The customer service is excellent. With the suspected annual fee increase, I would like to see them offer the features of the Freedom card so I only have to carry one.

  14. Gary, I love your blog, I really do. I have never posted anything negative in response to these Chase promos, but for some reason this time I feel compelled to chime in and join with the others in pleading for you to maintain some semblance of credibility and objectivity. Most of the time when you post these promotional pieces, there’s some plausible — albeit fairly transparent — justification you’re able to cobble together. But not this time. Please don’t lower let this blog fall to the bottom of the food chain. I’m a longtime reader, but the trajectory here seems quite ominous.

    One more thing. I have NO problem whatsoever with credit card posts as a general matter; in fact, I often find them quite helpful. My concern is NOT that you make money as an affiliate; it’s that when you post a Chase promotional piece based upon NO new news whatsoever, for no particular reason and with no apparent trigger, it makes your readers, myself included, approach your advice with a fair deal of skepticism. There’s still time to right this ship, so please try to do so…

  15. @Bo

    He does not get a referral kickback for the Citi AA 100k card. There is no affiliate link for that, THANK GOD otherwise they would push it 20 times a day. You can tell the sleazebags from the less slimy ones by seeing how many times this card gets mentioned.

    Affiliate contracts prevents bloggers from disclosing how much they get. A good guess for premium cards like Chase Ink and Amex Plat is $200-$300 which is why they get mentioned SO MANY times.

  16. @Jay #12

    To the best of my knowledge, all the information provided in this puff piece created to pimp the CSP card is factually correct…. so I don’t see how you can confuse it with the FTG blog

    I find it hard to believe that “it pays me a hefty affiliate commission” didn’t crack the top 10 reasons you love the CSP. Surely you like that “feature” of the card more than something trivial like its design, right?

  17. It is undisputed that this comes up more frequently than a daily reader would care for, but it subsidizes a lot of valuable information. And, this blog’s readership surely is intelligent enough to discern the ads from the value pieces. So just hit the Page Down button.

  18. I don’t mind the occasional pimp but do get frustrated when it becomes over the top. The summer SPG promotion where just 5k extra point (5k!!) sends affiliates into a frenzy of carpet bombing posts. Clearly, they are being encouraged to make a big thing of it, and the do. Beyond that, I do get a lot of value from the bloggers here, and appreciate what is brought.

  19. Very disappointing. A respected blogger lowers himself to the levels of TPG and MMS…

  20. @paul was as in the first few months after the card was introduced, since then it has become the same mediocrity I expect from Chase. If you want to know what good customer service is like see Discover.

    As for the pimping of Chase and Amex, well the eltisim that points bloggers have don’t cheap. So err please get this card or they have to huddle with masses and visit some places that Hyatt doesn’t have hotels. Please think of the poor blooger having to stay gasp at a holiday INN. Please please please get that chase card today.

  21. I recently got this card for a trip to Europe (needed a chip card and zero foreign transaction fees). It wasn’t metal! I called and they said the metal version is available upon request.

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