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5 Reasons Why the Chase Sapphire Preferred is the Perfect Starter Travel Credit Card

Advertiser Disclosure: Most products in our articles are from partners who may provide us with compensation. However, opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain.

So, you’re ready to open your first travel rewards credit card. 

Let’s talk about five reasons why the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card may be the best all-around choice. Here they are in a nutshell, with more information below. 

  1. You can earn an 80,000-point sign-up bonus for a limited time. 
  2. Chase Ultimate Rewards points are flexible, valuable, and easy to redeem. 
  3. The annual fee is a relatively low $95. 
  4. Get up to 5x per dollar on everyday spending. 
  5. The card offers some of the strongest trip and purchase protection benefits out there.  

1. You Can Earn an 80,000-Point Sign-Up Bonus.

Chase is offering a generous sign-up bonus on the Sapphire Preferred—and one of the best bonuses you can find today. The 80,000-point offer after you spend $4,000 within the first three months from account opening is a whopping 20,000 points more than the previous bonus. 

You can cash in 80,000 points for $1,000 worth of travel redeemed through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. Or you can transfer the points to Chase’s airline and hotel partners and possibly get even more value from your 80,000 points. .

2. Chase Ultimate Rewards Points Are Valuable, Flexible and Easy to Redeem.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card gives you the opportunity to earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points. These points are some of the most desirable credit card rewards on the market. Here’s why.

  • They’re redeemable at a rate of 1.25 cents per point towards travel booked through the Ultimate Rewards travel portal.
  • They can be transferred to 14 hotel and airline partners at a 1:1 ratio.
  • According to our independent valuations, Chase points are worth 2.2 cents each due to the ability to transfer points to valuable travel points.  
  • They never expire.
  • They can also be redeemable for gift cards, cash back, experiences and more.

The Sapphire Preferred also plays well with other Chase credit cards. If you hold other Chase accounts, like the Chase Freedom Unlimited® Card, you can transfer those points to your Sapphire Preferred and access the enhanced transferable redemption options detailed above.

3. The Annual Fee is a Low $95.

Aside from the fantastic sign-up bonus, the Sapphire Preferred’s low $95 annual fee is one of its best features. It’s easy to redeem enough rewards and benefits to offset this cost each year, and that can make the card a wise choice for those who are new to the world of travel rewards.

However, this annual fee is reduced to only $45 when you factor in the annual $50 hotel credit cardmembers enjoy. 

4. Earn up to 5x Points on Everyday Spending.

Earning rewards from purchases you need to make anyway is one of the most appealing benefits of having a rewards credit card. The Chase Sapphire Preferred card gives you the opportunity to earn the following points:

  • 5x points on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 3x points on dining
  • 2x points on any eligible travel-related purchases
  • 1x points per dollar you spend on all other eligible transactions

5.  Travel Protection Benefits and More. 

On top of all of the great features mentioned above, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card offers several more meaningful benefits, including:

  • $50 annual hotel credit
  • 10% anniversary point boost
  • Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance
  • Trip Delay Insurance
  • Baggage Delay Insurance
  • Auto Rental Insurance Coverage
  • Extended Warranty Protection on Eligible Purchases
  • Purchase Protection
  • No foreign transaction fees

Even if you only take advantage of one or two of these perks, it can add onto the value you’re already receiving from the account.

Bottom Line

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card can be a great choice for travel rewards beginners and veterans alike—especially when you take the 80,000-point sign-up bonus into account. 

While we work hard on our research, we do not always provide a complete listing of all available offers from credit-card companies and banks. And because offers can change, we cannot guarantee that our information will always be up to date, so we encourage you to verify all the terms and conditions of any financial product before you apply.

Michelle Black
Michelle Black
Michelle Black is founder of and Michelle is a leading credit card journalist with over a decade and a half of experience in the financial industry. She’s an expert on credit reporting, credit scoring, identity theft, budgeting, small business, and debt eradication. Michelle is also a certified credit expert witness and personal finance writer.
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