- 1 Chase Sapphire Preferred – 50,000 Point Signup Bonus
- 2 Upgrade Your Chase Sapphire Preferred and Earn 7,500 UR (or more!)
- 2.0.1 Now Through March 14, Convert and Reap the (Ultimate) Rewards
- 2.0.2 First, Second, Third AND Fourth Friday Dining Bonuses
- 2.0.3 Updated Chase Freedom Vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred Calculator
- 3 Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. American Express Premier Rewards Gold: Which card is better?
- 3.1 Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. American Express Premier Rewards Gold: Which offers more points?
- 3.2 Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. American Express Premier Rewards Gold: Which has a lower fee?
- 3.3 Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. American Express Premier Rewards Gold: Which has a lower APR?
- 3.4 Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. American Express Premier Rewards Gold: Which has better perks?
- 3.5 Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. American Express Premier Rewards Gold: Which card is better overall?
- 4 In-Depth Guide to Travel Insurance and Benefits: Chase Sapphire Reserve vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred
Chase Sapphire Preferred – 50,000 Point Signup Bonus
Are you looking for a credit card that can get you the most free travel? Then take a look at the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. Currently they are offering up 55,000 bonus points if you can meet a couple requirements after you open your account. First, you need to spend $4,000 in the first 3 months after your account becomes active. Then you can earn an additional 5,000 bonus points after you add an authorized user to your account and they make a purchase within the first 3 months.
The $4,000 in the first 3 months can be a lot, but if you charge a lot to your current credit card then the bonus is well worth it. 50,000 bonus points is worth up to $625 in free travel when you book through the Chase Ultimate Rewards site. If you can add an authorized user then you are looking at even more in free travel.
To take your points earning power even further you can earn 2 points for all travel and restaurant dining purchases. You will earn one point for every dollar spent on everything else. The one thing this card is lacking is a 5x point category on purchases(although this is possible if you already have the Chase Freedom Card, explanation below), but with the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card offering a 50,000 point sign up bonus its hard not to make the Chase Sapphire card one of the top options for the frequent traveler.
Note: If you already have the Chase Freedom Card, which has a 5% cash back category, you can transfer your Chase Freedom points to your Chase Sapphire Card account. This way you can get the most out of the money your are spending with both cards.
If you decide to go with the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card then you will wonder what you can do with all of the points in your account. The rewards system, referred to as Chase Ultimate Rewards, is up there with some of the best. We’ll start at the bottom and then get to the best redemption options.
- If you want cash back or gift cards then your points are worth 1 cent each, leaving much better options for credit cards if this is what you are looking for in rewards.
- If you choose to book your travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards site, your points will be worth 1.25 cents each. This is because you will receive a 20% discount if you choose to pay with your points. Therefore $100 in travel purchases will only cost you 8,000 points.
- Lastly you can transfer your points at a 1:1 ratio to your airline or hotel loyalty program, with no black out dates or restrictions. Depending on how each partner values their points will determine how much each point is worth. Which in some cases can be a great option.
Here are the partnered programs that you can transfer you points to.
- British Airways Executive Club
- Korean Air SKYPASS
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
- Hyatt Gold Passport
- Internation Hotels Group Rewards Club
-T he Ritz-Carlton Rewards
The Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card comes with an annual fee of $95, which is waived for the first year. Included with all this are some great benefits that you would expect with a card at this level.
- No foreign transaction fees when traveling abroad
- Travel and Purchase Protection
- Human based customer service agents
- Car rental insurance waiver option
With all of the travel options that the Chase Sapphire Card offers it is a great option to consider when looking for a travel rewards credit card.
The best way to get this offer is to utilize our partnered CardMatch Tool below. The CardMatch Program matches you with targeted credit offers based on some simple information that you enter. If you see the Chase Sapphire Preferred 50,000 point signup bonus, or any other offer worth getting, all you need to do is apply and, if you are approved, you will be qualified for the offered sign up bonuses that comes with them.
Upgrade Your Chase Sapphire Preferred and Earn 7,500 UR (or more!)
Today I’ll go over a way to supercharge your Chase Sapphire Preferred, earning 7,500 or more UR along the way. I’ll go over why this is the ideal time of the year to process this upgrade, and I’ll also end today’s post with a clear cut way for you to retain all the benefits of a Chase Sapphire Preferred card while avoiding the Annual fee.
Now Through March 14, Convert and Reap the (Ultimate) Rewards
The card I’m advocating you upgrade your CSP to is the amazing, Chase Freedom (Preferred):
The New Chase Freedom (Preferred) Card with Chip and Sig.
Yes, that’s right. The $0 Annual fee, Chase Freedom (Preferred) is the card we’ll be discussing today. Because of the way Chase has created the 5x Chase Freedom (Preferred) Calendar the best possible time to get rid of a Chase Sapphire Preferred and upgrade to the Chase Freedom (Preferred) is right now:
Upgrading your CSP between now and March 14th allows you to earn 7,500 UR at grocery stores between now and the end of March.
Grocery stores are an absolutely fantastic place to buy gift cards. Between the 5X UR, Grocery store gas rewards and possible coupons or discounts on Gift cards you should be checking your local stores and using your Upgraded Chase Freedom for the complete $1500 bonus this quarter. In addition to this 7,500 UR bonus I’ll highlight other areas where your upgraded Chase Freedom will continue to out-earn your lowly Chase Sapphire Preferred in the rest of this post.
First, Second, Third AND Fourth Friday Dining Bonuses
The CSP has proven itself time and time again to be a poor card at earning UR. The signup bonus sure is great, but the longer you hold the more you miss out on these Chase Freedom Bonus categories.
One of the Benefits often touted online about the Chase Sapphire Preferred is the “First Friday” dining bonus the CSP offers. Instead of 2UR per $1 you earn a massive 3UR per $1 at restaurants. In contrast the upgraded Chase Freedom (Preferred) You’ll earn 5UR per dollar every Friday in April, May, and June.* And you won’t just earn 5UR only on Fridays. No, you’ll earn 5 UR per $1EVERY DAY in April, May and June on your upgraded Chase Freedom (Preferred)
*Bonus 5x UR only on first $1500 spent in the quarter. All other Restaurant spending will be at 1 UR per $1.
Updated Chase Freedom Vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred Calculator
Over a year ago I put up a CSP vs CF calculator. I used it to illustrate that for most people who aren’t heavy spenders in travel or resturants the Chase Freedom is a better card. I’ve updated the calculator to reflect the changes in the Chase Freedom and Sapphire Preferred . Try it out and see how much better the Freedom is for you:
Click to open the calculator in a new window
The above calculator has a fatal flaw–it assumes you only are allowed to use either the CSP or the CF (or both together). For real maximum earning I’d suggest adding in the Fidelity Investor Rewards American Express for all 1 and 2x UR categories.
Feel free to use the Ultimate Rewards Shuffle along with the new and improved 13 month-itch to keep a CSP and never pay an annual fee. The two ways to do this are to either alternate applying for CSP and Chase Ink cards, or Simply churn the CSP every 2 years. There isn’t good evidence that you won’t get the bonus for a CSP application 2+ years after your original one.
The above Ultimate Rewards Shuffle either takes you into the year 2018 in single player mode, or into the amazing to say 2021 if you play with a partner. I wouldn’t dare try to forecast that far into the long term, because too much could change between now and then. Chase seems to continually tweak their products, and the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Freedom are not immune to such tweaking. As long as the products stay the same as they are today along the way continue to convert your Chase Sapphire Preferred cards to Chase Freedom (Preferred) cards, and let the Ultimate Rewards Roll.
Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. American Express Premier Rewards Gold: Which card is better?
You may be lusting over the  Chase Sapphire Reserve  — which has bewitched millennials and credit card reward-point hoarders  alike since it was released in August  — but are perhaps finding the bar to entry a little bit of a reach.
But with sky-high $450 annual fees , the Chase Sapphire Reserve, as well as its peer card, American Express Platinum, can be a lot of to take on: You'll have to spend a lot to make the fee worthwhile.
If you're not quite that big a spender but are on the market for a generous rewards  card  — maybe just one "tier9quot; down — there are hundreds to choose from. Two of the most popular are the  Chase Sapphire Preferred  card and the  American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card .
Of course, it's hard to know which card is a good fit until you compare all the details.
We dug into the fine print for the two "mid-tier9quot; Chase and American Express cards and matched them head to head to see how they stack up on fees, perks and ongoing value to the user.
Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. American Express Premier Rewards Gold: Which offers more points?
Chase wins this category — narrowly. Let's break it down.
Chase Sapphire Preferred cardholders earn 50,000 bonus points after they spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months after opening an account. That bonus is valued at $625.
By contrast,  American Express Premier Rewards Gold cardholders earn half the points — 25,000 — after spending half as much, $2,000, in the first three months.
Both cards offer one point for every $1 spent on eligible purchases (these include goods and services minus returns and other credits — not included are fees or interest charges, balance transfers, cash advances, purchases of traveler's checks or purchases of other cash equivalents).
Each card also has generous bonus points for particular purchase categories.
The Chase Preferred card offers  double points on travel purchases (including airfare, hotels, taxis and trains) and dining worldwide.
The AmEx Gold card offers  triple points  on airfare, and double points on dining in the U.S. and at U.S. gas stations and supermarkets.
There are some other  restrictions  that may affect how you earn these points, though: Wholesale clubs like Sam's Club, Costco or similar stores are not considered supermarkets, and any restaurant that is owned by a U.S. company but located abroad does not count as a U.S. restaurant.
Setting aside the fewer initial bonus points offered by the American Express card — since the spending threshold is also half as large — the restrictions on the Gold card's points (U.S. establishments only, with further limitations on which shops qualify), gives the points advantage to Chase.
Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. American Express Premier Rewards Gold: Which has a lower fee?
In this category, Chase has an edge again, though certain factors could make the contest more of a draw.
Both of these cards let you skip annual fees — for the first year. After that grace period, the Chase Preferred costs  $95 a year and the American Express Premier Rewards card goes up to $195 a year .
Sure, that's a $100 difference between the two, but both fees are still a whole lot less than the $450 fee on the more premium cards that each company offers.
Plus, the fees end up being more comparable when you consider that the American Express card offers a $100 credit for airline fees (such as baggage fees and other incidentals) charged on the card. Once you've gotten that credit, you're only paying $95.
Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. American Express Premier Rewards Gold: Which has a lower APR?
This comparison is a little tricky.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred card comes with an annual APR of 16.24% to 23.24% , depending on your credit. Balance transfer rates are the same and the cash advance APR is even higher: 25.24%.
So if you think you might slip up and pay your card late, cross both cards off your list now — other cards  offer much lower rates .
Technically, the American Express Premier Rewards Gold has no annual interest rate because it is a  charge card , not a credit card. Charge cards have no credit limit and the balance is due at the end of each month.
With the Gold card, if you do not pay in full each month, you incur a penalty of   2.99% of your balance , which is a functionally a huge interest rate when annualized — it can end up being even higher than the Chase APRs:   36% or worse , over a year.
Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. American Express Premier Rewards Gold: Which has better perks?
This category is something of a draw: Though the perks are different between the two cards, they are comparable in value.
With the AmEx Gold card, members can pay with points — with no blackout dates or restrictions — when booking flight, hotel, vacation or cruise reservations through American Express Travel .
There are also upgrades and benefits available when lodging at associated hotels booked through the American Express  Hotel Collection .
The AmEx Gold card offers roadside assistance (jump, towing, tire repair) four times a year. When renting a car, the  secondary insurance covering loss or damage to the car will be covered.
Eligible purchases made on the card are protected from loss or damage for 90 days, and certain items are eligible for extended return protection  and/or an additional year of  warranty  coverage.
Alternatively, one of the most appealing perks of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is that points redeemed for travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards are worth 25% more than if redeemed for cash.
When  Preferred card points are redeemed for cash, each point is worth one cent. Cashing in 100 points is equal to $1. But each point redeemed for travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards is worth one and one-quarter cents. That means that every 100 points is worth $1.25 in redemption value when used to brook through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 towards travel, or $500 when redeemed for cash.
Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. American Express Premier Rewards Gold: Which card is better overall?
The annual fees and other perks of these two cards are arguably comparable, so deciding between them most likely comes down to the cardholder's lifestyle and spending habits.
The Chase card is likely going to be better for international travelers — and will earn travelers more points, whereas the Gold card could earn more points for those whose primary purchases are in the U.S.
Depending on your spending habits, you might be able to rack up more points — with the three-times and two-times points categories — on the Gold card, but the points you do get will likely go further with the Chase card's 25% value increase upon redemption.
Finally, the Gold card's rewards are limited to a narrower group of partners — and the card may not be as widely accepted as Visa or MasterCard abroad.
So, for its relative flexibility and added value, the Chase Sapphire Preferred takes the lead in our comparison.
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In-Depth Guide to Travel Insurance and Benefits: Chase Sapphire Reserve vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred
We recently wrote about how to use the Chase Sapphire Reserve Auto Rental Insurance and a few of our readers asked how the travel insurance and benefits from the Reserve and the Chase Sapphire Preferred differed. Let’s dive in!
For reference, here are links to the benefits guides for the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Chase Sapphire Preferred.
You earn points when you book travel like flights, hotels, and rental cars. With the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you get 2x per $1 spent. With the Chase Sapphire Reserve, you get 3x per $1 spent.
When you book travel through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards portal, you can book flights for a discount. The prices are usually comparable to Google flights.
Points are worth 1.25 cents with the Chase Sapphire Preferred and 1.50 cents with the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
If you have points stored in your CSP account, you can transfer them to the Chase Sapphire Reserve Ultimate Rewards account (they transfer instantly) and redeem them for the 1.5o value.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with an annual $300 travel statement credit that helps offset the hefty $450 annual fee.
According to Chase, “travel” is defined as:
“Merchants in the travel category include airlines, hotels, motels, timeshares, campgrounds, car rental agencies, cruise lines, travel agencies, discount travel sites, and operators of passenger trains, buses, taxis, limousines, ferries, toll bridges and highways, and parking lots and garages.”
The following do not count towards travel:
“Please note that some merchants that provide transportation and travel-related services are not included in this category; for example, real estate agents, websites or owners that rent vacation properties, in-flight goods and services, on-board cruise line goods and services, sightseeing activities, tourist attractions, merchants within airports, and merchants that rent vehicles for the purpose of hauling. In addition, the purchasing of points or miles does not qualify in this category.”
Travel through airports often? Skip the security lines and spend more time in the airport lounges with TSA Precheck.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve provides a statement credit of $100 every 4 years for Global Entry or TSA Precheck credit.
The application fee for TSA Precheck is $85, and the application fee for Global Entry is $100.
Global Entry allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon entry to the US. If you have a valid US passport, it makes sense to get Global Entry because TSA Precheck is included in the fee, as opposed to only TSA Precheck.
Most credit cards have a 3% foreign transaction fee when you make a purchase abroad. The Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve do not have foreign transaction fees, which make them great travel cards.
Trip cancellation insurance reimburses you or your immediate family members for up to $10,000 for each trip if you can’t make a trip for a covered reason like serious injury, sickness, or severe weather.
Immediate Family Member means your Spouse or Domestic Partner and their children, including adopted children or step-children, legal guardians or wards, siblings or siblings-in-law, parents or parents-in-law, grandparents or grandchildren, aunts or uncles, nieces or nephews.
Just book the trip with the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve, and you’re covered.
If you or your immediate family member’s checked or carry-on bags are damaged or lost by the carrier, you’re covered up to $3,000 per passenger.
It’s a bit harder to be reimbursed for this benefit because you’ll need to provide original receipts for the items that were lost.
If your baggage is delayed for more than 6 hours by the carrier, Chase will reimburse you for essential purchases like toiletries and clothing.
Items NOT covered:
Essential items not covered by Baggage Delay include, but are not limited to: 1) contact lenses, eyeglasses or hearing aids 2) artificial teeth, dental bridges or prosthetic devices 3) tickets, documents, money, securities, checks, travelers checks and valuable papers 4) business samples 5) jewelry and watches 6) cameras, video recorders, cellular telephones and other electronic equipment and their accessories other than charging cables for cellular telephones In addition, this insurance does not apply to: any loss of property caused by or resulting from, directly or indirectly, the commission or attempted commission of any illegal act by you or intentional act including but not limited to any felony. any loss of property occurring when 1) the United States of America has imposed any trade or economic sanctions prohibiting insurance of any loss of property; 2) there is any other legal prohibition against providing insurance for any loss of property; or 3) in the event of a declared or undeclared War.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred requires the trip to be delayed for 12+ hours before trip delay insurance kicks in. The Chase Sapphire Reserve only requires 6+ hours.
You must purchase the tickets for the trip using one of the cards, and you’ll be reimbursed up to $500 per purchased ticket for lodging and meals.
In the event of a medical emergency (illness or injury) that results in an emergency evacuation, the Chase Sapphire Reserve will reimburse you up to $100,000.
The fine print: it acts as secondary coverage. You will be eligible to receive coverage for expenses not paid or payable by your medical insurance or other reimbursement.
The duration of the trip can’t be less than 5 days or exceed 60 days. The trip also has to take place more than 100 miles from your place of residence.
The evacuation must be pre-approved by the Benefit Administrator, so call the number on the back of your card to check if your situation is covered.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with access to over 1000 airport lounges around the world through Priority Pass.
This is an awesome perk because lounge access usually costs $50/person without a pass.
Curious to know what the best (and worst) Priority Pass lounges are? Check out our analysis here.