Chase has announced a number of new benefits for the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card but there is one feature that makes it incredibly valuable.
Chase Announces New Benefits
It’s been several years since the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card was introduced and for the most part the benefits have gone unchanged. However, this month, Chase announced new benefits for the card that I consider the best all-around card for travelers.
Here’s what the card offers today (8/22/2021):
- 5x points on airfare, hotels, and car rental purchased Chase Ultimate Rewards booking portal (NEW)
- Earn 3X points on dining. (NEW)
- Earn 2X points on all other travel purchases
- $50 Annual Ultimate Rewards hotel credit (purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards booking portal (NEW)
- 1.25¢/point for travel redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards booking portal
- 10% Anniversary points boost (NEW)
- Complimentary DashPass subscription from Door Dash
- Earn 3x points on online grocery purchases (NEW)
- Earn 5x points on Lyft, and Peloton equipment purchases (NEW)
- Pay Yourself Back by using your points to offset your balance at a rate of 1.25¢/point
That’s an awful lot of value for the card’s $95 annual fee.
What’s not on this list is the value of transferring points to partners at a 1:1 ratio. My personal favorite transfer partner is Hyatt Hotels for which I find tremendous value. For example, the ultra-exclusive Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa runs about $1,000/nt or just 30,000 points which can be transferred from earning Ultimate Rewards with the Sapphire Preferred (it moved up from a Category 6 to Category 7 prior to the Pandemic.)
Most Valuable Feature
Of all the new features announced by Chase (existing cardholders get these new features too), the one that makes the Chase Sapphire Preferred my go-to recommendation is the 10% anniversary points. With the new expanded earnings, every purchase results in a 10% bump.
Bonus categories make this especially impactful. For an upcoming trip, let’s say four passengers from New York to Rome, the cardholder will earn 5x points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards booking portal plus 10% of the base points added back at the end of the year. If those airline tickets were $800/each, then in addition to 5x points (800 points for the cost of the ticket x 5 points multiplier x 4 passengers = 16,000 points) there will be a 10% (3,2000 base points means 320 anniversary points) bonus applied on the cardholders account anniversary.
This one purchase might not be as inspiring as the “most valuable feature” to some, but it acts as a retention bonus every single year. Simply by keeping the card, the cardholder receives an annual bonus in a lump sum that gives their Ultimate Rewards points balance a boost every year.
In the past, my primary card has been the Chase Sapphire Reserve because of its accelerated earnings (Chase has increased earnings on that card too) but also because it’s the one card I can pull out of my wallet and not think about which one to use. That means that I purchase far more products and services on my Reserve than any other card in my wallet. The Chase Sapphire Reserve card, however, does not have this feature.
Here are some average annual spending and the points earned for those categories:
- $4,643 on groceries (3x points if purchased online – 13,929 Ultimate Rewards points)
- $6,600 on restaurants per household (3x points – 19,800 Ultimate Rewards points)
- $4,580 on vacations per household (5x points if purchased through the booking portal – 22,900 Ultimate Rewards points)
- $3,000 on gas per household (1x points – 3,000 Ultimate Rewards points)
- $1,392 on cable per household (1x points – 1,392 Ultimate Rewards points)
- $792 on rideshare (5x points on Lyft purchases – 3,960 Ultimate Rewards points)
During the course of the year for these expenditures (and nothing else) a cardholder would earn 64,981 and an anniversary bonus of 2,100 points at renewal (10% of $21,007.)
Other Reasons I Like The Card
Coinciding with this relaunch, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card has its highest ever opening bonus offer. New cardholders will earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within three months from account opening. That’s a reasonable amount of spending threshold for most families by putting everyday purchases like gas, groceries, streaming services, cable and internet, and restaurants as I outlined above.
I also like the attainability of the card. For those who are just starting out with credit, unlike other cards that require excellent to perfect credit scores and very high income, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is a better entry point. Approvals according to creditcards.com begin at 670 FICO scores.
Many of the travel transfer partners for Ultimate Rewards offer excellent value. I discussed Hyatt above, but the program is also the only bank to offer transfers to Southwest Rapid Rewards which can really come in handy for trips that require more flexibility or to top off accounts. I have made excellent use of JetBlue’s TrueBlue program and British Airways Avios in the past. Every airline alliance is represented in the portfolio and that ensures that no matter who carries the card, they will be able to find value for their spend.
The last factor in my card rating when I advise others is customer service. I have been a Chase client for many years and have had a card compromised in the past. Customer service in alerting me to potentially fraudulent charges was very fast, and the dispute and ultimate resolution of that issue was painless, quick, and easy.
Here at LiveAndLetsFly we don’t often discuss the myriad credit cards we carry but the new enhancements to the Chase Sapphire Preferred card warrant highlighting these new benefits. It’s attainable, easy-to-use, and offers some of the best bonus categories in the business right now. It’s all-time highest ever offer for such little spend adds to its value and the anniversary points rewards cardholders every single year. If you were considering a new credit card, this would be the one.
What do you think? Are you considering the Chase Sapphire Preferred card? What benefits do you find to be most beneficial?