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The Chase Sapphire Preferred® offers a valuable blend of travel benefits with a relatively low annual fee of $95. If you're a new cardholder or thinking of getting the Sapphire Preferred soon, here are a few things you can do to maximize the card's value and unlock its full potential.

1. Earn the Sign-Up Bonus

The Chase Sapphire Preferred features an incredibly generous sign-up bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Chase Ultimate Rewards® points earned with the Sapphire Preferred are worth 25% more when redeemed through Chase Travel℠, making the bonus worth up to $750. 

To help ensure I met the requirement for the bonus, I moved all of my regular spending over to my new card. Since I have a large family, I'm able to do this with just my normal spending habits. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® earns bonus rates in specific categories, which can help you earn even more points while pursuing the sign-up bonus.

2. Use the $50 Annual Hotel Credit

The Chase Sapphire Preferred features a $50 annual statement credit on hotel stays booked through the Chase Travel℠ portal with the card. The credit is available each account anniversary year and will be applied automatically to your account after your booking.

While I usually prefer to book hotel accommodations directly, the hotel credit can be a great way to save and can help offset more than half of the annual fee alone.

3. Activate Your DashPass Membership

DoorDash delivery


Like several other Chase cards that offer additional partner benefits, the Chase Sapphire Preferred comes with a complimentary DashPass membership for DoorDash and Caviar for at least a year (must activate by December 31, 2024). This membership normally costs $9.99 per month and includes benefits such as $0 delivery fees and lower service fees on eligible orders.

As someone who orders food delivery at least once a week, the complimentary DashPass perk is convenient and a great way to save on overall fees.

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4. Start Your Complimentary Instacart+ Subscription

Instacart is another Chase partner with benefits for Sapphire Preferred cardholders. Those who regularly use Instacart will love this perk. You can get six months of complimentary Instacart+ when you activate the benefit by July 31, 2024. Instacart+ comes with benefits like free same-day delivery on orders over $35, lower service fees and complimentary access to the popular streaming service, Peacock. Instacart+ currently costs $99 annually or $9.99 per month. 

Our family frequently rents a house or condo when on vacation, and we've used the Sapphire Preferred card's Instacart+ perk to save money on grocery deliveries for our trips. If you've ever visited a grocery store near Walt Disney World or other popular vacation destinations, then you know how busy they can be. We use grocery delivery services like Instacart to avoid the crowds while stocking up for the week.

5. Book a Trip Through the Portal

All travel booked through the Chase portal earns you 5x points per dollar spent, which can help you earn points even faster for your upcoming travel plans.

When you've earned enough points, redeem them through the Chase Travel℠ portal where they are worth 25% more. You can use the portal to book flights, hotels, rental cars, activities and experiences and even cruises using points. Whenever it's time to book travel, I almost always search the Chase portal, even if I'm planning on booking direct. You never know when you'll find a deal.

If you have another Chase card like the Chase Freedom Unlimited, you can pair it with the Sapphire Preferred to get even more value out of your Chase points.

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6. Transfer Points to a Travel Partner



The Chase Sapphire Preferred® card includes entry into Chase Ultimate Rewards, one of the most versatile and coveted loyalty rewards programs for credit cards. One of my favorite perks of the card is the ability to redeem points in multiple ways, including when you transfer them to Chase travel partners. Currently, you can transfer points at a 1:1 ratio to 11 airlines and three hotel partners. 

I've transferred points to Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, JetBlue, IHG, Marriott and Hyatt. Always check availability and costs before you transfer your points, as you can't move points back to Chase once they've been transferred.

7. Earn Rewards on Your Spending

Enjoy elevated rewards on select spending categories with the Chase Sapphire Preferred. If you spend heavily on dining, online groceries, streaming subscriptions and travel, earning points will feel effortless.

Here are the spending categories that earn bonus points: 

  • 5x points per dollar spent on Chase Travel℠
  • 3x points on dining, including eligible takeout and delivery services
  • 3x points on select streaming services
  • 3x points on online grocery purchases, excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs
  • 2x points on other travel purchases
  • 1x point on all other purchases 

Having multiple spending categories earning different rates can sometimes be a chore to track, but the rewards can add up quickly. 

8. Set Up Autopay

Paying your full balance each month helps you avoid expensive interest charges. Whether you pay off your card each month or carry a balance, do yourself a favor and set up automatic payments. I make it a point to pay off my card most months, but I still set up auto payments for the minimum payment amount to avoid late fees. It also protects my credit score since payment history accounts for 35% of FICO credit scores, more than any other factor. 

You can still pay off your balance or make multiple payments if you set up autopay.

9. Create a Calendar Reminder for the Annual Fee

Chase Sapphire Preferred’s $95 annual fee is affordable compared to some travel rewards cards, especially when considering the valuable benefits it offers. Because the card offers a sign-up bonus, the Sapphire Preferred card's potential value is highest in year one. 

Therefore it’s important to add a recurring reminder or calendar notification before the annual fee hits each year. When the reminder pops up, use it as a chance to review how much value you received from the card over the past year, which features or benefits you used and determine whether keeping the card is worth it before the fee hits your account.

Recommended No-Annual-Fee Credit Cards

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Citi Double Cash

Citi Double Cash® Card

$200Cash Bonus More Info

Earn $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.

2%Cashback More Info

Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases. To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time. Plus, for a limited time, earn 5% total cash back on hotel, car rentals and attractions booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through 12/31/24.

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

1.5%Extra Cash Back More Info

Earn an extra 1.5% on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) — worth up to $300 cash back. That's 6.5% on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 4.5% on dining and drugstores, and 3% on all other purchases.

1.5% - 5%Cashback More Info

Enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

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Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in purchases in the first 3 months.

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Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases.

Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card

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Earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months - that's a $200 cash redemption value. Dollar Equivalent: $200 (20,000 Points * 0.01 base)

1x - 3xPoints More Info

Earn unlimited 3X points on the things that really add up - like restaurants, travel, gas stations, transit, popular streaming services, and phone plans. Plus, earn 1X points on other purchases.

10. Monitor Your Credit Score

Chase app


Chase offers free credit score monitoring through Chase Credit Journey. You don't need a Chase account to use the free service, but cardholders can access Credit Journey through the mobile app. Credit Journey allows you to check your credit score at any time, get advice on improving your score and access identity protection tools.

Keeping tabs on your credit health is always a good idea, and the free service through the Chase app makes it even easier for cardholders.

Unlock Your Card's Full Potential

Like any credit card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is most valuable when you know how to leverage its many benefits and perks. With a manageable $95 annual fee, it's not difficult to recoup the cost. Plus, Chase Ultimate Rewards points don't expire as long as your account is in good standing, so you can save up for larger redemptions or use them immediately.


Kevin Payne

Kevin Payne is a personal finance, credit card, and travel writer. He is the family travel and budget expert behind Kevin lives in Cleveland, Ohio, with his wife and four kids. His work has appeared on several websites, including FinanceBuzz, Credit Karma, Millennial Money, Club Thrifty, Student Loan Planner and Slickdeals.