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.
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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?
I’m pretty the 10% is only earned on the base spend, not the category multiplier. So your example about $800 tickets * 4 people * 5x multiplier would actually only be 10% of 3200= 320. I could be wrong, but that’s what I’ve been seeing just about everywhere else.
Also, gas gets the 2x for “other travel”? The card is certainly worth getting for the signup bonus, but I don’t know about everyday spend. The portals have inflated prices and the Citi Premier has better spending categories overall.
You’re correct and the post is updated.
Transferring points to airlines makes little sense other than to top off an account. Why redeem a point for a penny when you can book through UR and get 1.25 cents per point plus earn miles with the airline…
I would agree with Kyle. The 10% bonus is only on the base earnings and you should revise your post.
Kyle is correct about the 10% bonus. Your calculations are not correct.
Robert, transferring points to airlines is the way to get max value from your points. That’s way most of us play this game.
It’s only valuable that way if you’re transferring to a fixed award proving airline. The example of southwest makes no sense to transfer then redeem vs just redeeming via UR.
And thx for letting me know that I’m clueless. Please continue to use your points on less effective ways
Southwest makes sense if you’re topping up an account or if you need flexibility (likely cancellation or date move without penalty.) I mentioned both of those use cases in the post.
Now that the commenters have corrected your errors, do you still find the 10% bonus to be the card’s most valuable feature?
Another error. PH Maldives costs 30,000 and not 25,000 points per night for a standard room.
Good catch, I missed the move up in 2019. It had been 25k for four years prior to that.
Unfortunately not sure if the premise of the post holds post correction
1) You only earn an extra 10% in points on the base spend
2) Other cards (like the Chase Freedom Unlimited, Citi Double Cash) are superior for a variety of goods and services (like gas and cable)
3) I find it hard to believe that a travel blogger like yourself will book all of your flights and hotels via the Chase Portal – you are more likely to book direct (the exception is when redeeming the $50 hotel credit, which is one of the more valuable perks of the card)
The fact is the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a valuable card, but frankly both the Preferred and Reserve should only be used for bonus categories, and there are many better cards (even those offered by Chase) for everyday spend. Obviously you are better off earning 1.5 UR on gas on a Chase Freedom Unlimited than 1.1 UR via the Chase Sapphire Preferred.
FWIW by far the most useful benefit of CSP is transfer to travel partners
@Anthony – Thank you for reading and for commenting.
1) This is true and correct in the post.
2) We can agree to disagree. If you live in a city where you don’t buy gas, or have it reimbursed by your employer, gas category bonuses don’t really do anything for you. Many would value the restaurant multiplier above cable for this card level, though the American Express Gold (more expensive annual fee) has a higher multiplier if that is the sole use of the card.
3) You’d be surprised just how many nights, stays, and flights I book (and other bloggers) outside of the direct brand pages. Why? Some properties aren’t part of a chain and depending on the venue, it might make more sense to book elsewhere. Airfare really depends too. There’s no status penalty to booking outside of the brand’s website so if I book United EWR-FCO, once the reservation is made I have all of the same rights and privileges. Changing those tickets can be a pain, but not one that the 1K desk can’t easily navigate so for a substantial point incentive I would absolutely book through the portal. I was also clear that this is the card I recommend for starters in the hobby, that I use a Chase Sapphire Reserve and that the anniversary points has me considering making a switch – not that every travel blogger or highly frequent traveler should switch to solely the Chase Sapphire Preferred. That’s an argument I didn’t make.
Lastly, I wouldn’t argue that if you’re solely looking for a gas card this one wouldn’t be it. I personally put my gas expenditures on my Chase Freedom card, but I also have a large selection of cards to choose from. For example, if you’re a small business owner and use the Chase Ink Cash card that’s a 2% bonus on gas or 33% better than the Freedom card. If you’re choosing just one easy card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred will generally put you ahead of where the Freedom would in my opinion.
Agree with Anthony, I jave the Flex, unlimited and the old Freedom and they all give me 3× on Pharmacies. As well as the same 5× on lyft. Add to the fact that the rotating categories on the Freedom/Flex give 5× (and for a time the 1st year of any Freedom card gave 5× on groceries, I would only use the Preferred for travel and dinning.
Like you said its a great card, but for random spending the Unlimited card is probably better at a rate of 1.5× and pharmacy shopping better with the Freedom/Flex
@Jake – Thanks for your comment and for reading the blog. I think, in both your case and Anthony’s, that it goes to show that incentives are personal. Anthony finds gas and Cable to be particularly bountiful bonus categories. Until recently, my employer paid for all of my gas for seven years so that wouldn’t net me much. I don’t spend a lot in pharmacies personally so that doesn’t add much for me, but for you it’s very valuable.
If anything, maybe Chase will roll this feature out more uniformly across the portfolio as it encourages more spending on the card.
I think that the “improvements” are largely worthless, as other blogs have discussed. Benjy Harmon did a better job than most covering this. That said, I’ll likely keep my CSP because of two major values: trip delay/luggage insurance on award tickets and primary rental car CDW coverage. I find those benefits to be quite worthwhile.