Chase Sapphire Preferred Card – Excellent Beginner Traveler Credit Card

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Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card is a great card for travelers – even if you only travel for leisure and not for business. Its $95 annual fee is easy on the wallet compared to the $550 annual fee charged by the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card. It makes a great beginner travel credit card that you can start with and upgrade to higher annual fee cards if you enjoy the benefits.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

Sign up bonus

Chase Sapphire Preferred card gives you 60,000 points after $4,000 in spend within the first three months.  You will also get up to $50 in Ultimate Rewards hotel credit every year. TPG values Chase Ultimate Rewards at 2 cents per point – that’s $1200 per year. You will also get 10% bonus points on your anniversary.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Rewards

$95 annual fee
No foreign transaction fees
3x points on dining
3x points on online grocery purchases (excluding Walmart, Target, and other wholesale clubs)
3x points on select streaming services
2x points on travel
5x on travel purchases through the Chase Ultimate Rewards website
1x points on all other purchases
25% additional value when you redeem through the Chase travel portal
1:1 transfer to many airline and hotel loyalty programs

What categories count as travel?

Chase is very generous in its definition of travel. Travel includes

  • Airlines
  • Hotels, 
  • Airbnb
  • Car rentals
  • Cruises
  • Trains
  • Taxis
  • Metros
  • Ferries
  • Tolls
  • Parking 

Other benefits

Primary rental car insurance

Most credit cards offer secondary rental car insurance. This means that your primary car insurance will pay for damages before Chase steps in. But Chase Sapphire Preferred offers primary rental car insurance coverage. You can submit claims directly to Chase and not have to deal with your primary auto insurance company.

Trip insurance delayed and lost luggage

The card offers trip delay, trip cancellation, baggage delay insurance, and lost baggage reimbursement.

  • $500 per ticket in trip delay insurance
  • $10,000 in trip cancellation insurance.
  • $100 per day in baggage delay insurance if your bags are delayed by more than 6 hours(max 5 days)
  • $3,000 per person in lost luggage reimbursement

Purchase protection

The card offers purchase protection up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account. Purchase protection can come in handy if your recently purchased item is damaged or stolen.

Extended warranty

Chase Sapphire Preferred provides an additional year of warranty coverage if the manufacturer’s warranty is three years or less.


Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal

Redeem for flight tickets, hotels, or car rentals at a fixed rate of 1.25 cents through the Chase travel portal. Booking through the Chase travel portal is similar to booking through Travelocity or Expedia.

Transfer to airline partners

Chase has 10 airline partners. You can transfer your points 1:1 to any of the following airline partners.

  • Aer Lingus
  • British Airways
  • Emirates
  • Flying Blue (Air France/KLM)
  • Iberia
  • JetBlue
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Southwest Instantaneous
  • United Instantaneous
  • Virgin Atlantic

Transfer to hotel partners

Chase has 3 hotel partners. You can transfer Chase Ultimate Reward points to any of the following hotel partners on a 1:1 basis.

  • Marriott
  • IHG
  • Hyatt

Pay yourself back

You get the best bang for your buck if use your points for travel. But Chase does have a “Pay Yourself Back” feature that allows you to redeem your points at 1 cent per point (temporarily 1.25 cents until September 2021). Note that if you use it for travel through the Chase travel portal, you can 1.25 cents (25% more). If you transfer the points to hotel or airline partners, you can get up to 2 cents per point.


The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is nicely sandwiched between the no-annual-fee Chase Freedom, Freedom Flex, and Freedom Unlimited cards, and the Chase Sapphire Reserve, which has an annual fee of $550. Not surprisingly, it offers more rewards than the no-annual-fee cards but fewer rewards compared to the Sapphire Reserve. If you are doing some travel, it’s a great card to have. The additional rewards easily pay for the $95 annual fee.

Chase 24/5 rule

Note that as with any Chase credit card, the 24/5  rule applies here. If you opened 5 or more Chase credit cards in the last 24 months, Chase will decline your application.

My Money Planet has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. My Money Planet and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.

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