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5 Reasons Why the Chase Sapphire Preferred Is a Great Card, Even for a Casual Traveler

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Jarrod West
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Jarrod West

Senior Content Contributor

446 Published Articles 1 Edited Article

Countries Visited: 21U.S. States Visited: 24

Boasting a portfolio of over 20 cards, Jarrod has been an expert in the points and miles space for over 6 years. He earns and redeems over 1 million points per year and his work has been featured in o...
Edited by: Stella Shon
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Stella Shon

News Managing Editor

101 Published Articles 710 Edited Articles

Countries Visited: 25U.S. States Visited: 22

With a degree in media and journalism, Stella has been in the points and miles game for more than 6 years. She most recently worked as a Corporate Communications Analyst for JetBlue. Find her work in ...

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The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is one of the top card options for points and miles travelers thanks to its combination of rewards, perks, and low $95 annual fee.

But casual travelers might be wondering whether that Chase Sapphire Preferred card would be worth it for you — especially with its new welcome bonus offer: Earn 60,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.

In our view, even if you only travel once or twice per year, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is worth having — here’s why.

1. Great Bonus Categories

One of the main ways to judge the effectiveness of any travel rewards card is its bonus categories and whether those categories will help you earn as many points as possible toward your next trip.

This shouldn’t be a problem for Chase Sapphire Preferred card holders, as with it, you will earn:

  • 5x points on all travel booked via the Chase Travel portal
  • 5x points on Lyft purchases (through March 31, 2025)
  • 3x points on dining purchases, online grocery purchases, and select streaming services
  • 2x points on all other travel worldwide
  • 1x point on all other purchases

This combination of bonus categories should ensure that you will rack up the points on a variety of purchases throughout the year. Even more so when you consider that dining, grocery purchases, and streaming services can make up a large portion of your month-to-month expenses.

Further, the travel category is quite broad and doesn’t just include purchases like flights and hotels. It also includes rental cars, cruises, trains, parking, tolls, public transportation, taxis, travel agencies, vacation rentals, and more.

Lastly, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card comes with a 10% anniversary point bonus based on the total amount you spent on the card in the previous year. If you spent $25,000 on your card in a year, you’d receive an additional 2,500 annual bonus points — and that’s in addition to the points you earned at the time of purchase.

2. Flexible Redemption Options

Once you’ve built up a stash of points, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card gives you multiple great redemption options to ensure you always get great value out of your points.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Upgraded Points LLC 10 Large
Redeem your Chase Ultimate Rewards points toward your next vacation. Image Credit: Upgraded Points

Thanks to the 25% point bonus on redemptions made through Chase Travel, you can redeem your points at a rate of 1.25 cents per point toward essentially any travel purchase through Chase Travel, including flights, hotels, rental cars, cruises, and more.

That said, our favorite redemption option, and the one that often offers the best value proposition, is transferring your points to one of Chase’s travel partners. In our view, this is the best way to redeem Chase points, as it allows you to book flights and hotel stays for far less than what you would need when booking through Chase Travel or what the cash price would cost you.

Of course, travel isn’t your only redemption option when it comes to your Chase Ultimate Rewards points. You can also redeem your points for cash-back, gift cards, shopping with select merchants, and more, at a rate of 1 cent per point.

3. $50 Annual Hotel Credit

Each year, on your account anniversary, you’ll receive a $50 statement credit that can be used toward hotel bookings made through Chase Travel.

This is a great feature for casual travelers as it easily gives you the ability to knock $50 off a hotel booking you make each year. Presuming you would have made at least 1 hotel booking each year anyway, this lowers the effective annual fee to just $45.

4. Travel Protections

Even if you only travel occasionally, it pays to have a travel rewards card that keeps you protected when things go wrong during your travels.

Rental Car Unsplash
The Chase Sapphire Preferred card keeps you covered when you’re on the road. Image Credit: Unsplash

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is a great fit here and offers a variety of travel protections like:

  • Primary Rental Car Insurance: Keeps your rental car covered in the case of accidental damage or theft, and kicks in before your personal auto insurance.
  • Trip Delay Insurance: If your flight is delayed 12 hours or requires an overnight stay, you can be reimbursed for up to $500 in expenses toward items like meals and lodging.
  • Trip Cancellation and Interruption Insurance: If you need to cancel a trip due to illness, severe weather, or another covered circumstance, you can receive up to $10,000 in coverage toward non-refundable travel expenses.
  • Baggage Delay Insurance: If your checked baggage is delayed by more than 6 hours, you can receive up to $100 in coverage toward essential items per day for up to 5 days.
  • Travel Accident Insurance: Receive up to $500,000 in coverage should you or your immediate family members experience accidental death or loss of speech, sight, or hearing during your travels.

The less often you travel, the less likely you are to need any of these protections. But in the event that something goes wrong during any of your trips, you will be very glad that your Chase Sapphire Preferred card has you covered.

5. No Foreign Transaction Fees

Even if you only travel a few times a year, if any of those trips ever take you internationally, then it’s imperative that you have a card in your wallet that does not charge foreign transaction fees.

Otherwise, without a card that does not charge foreign transaction fees, these fees can add 2% to 3% to each transaction you make overseas, which can get quite costly depending on how much you spend.

Final Thoughts

Even casual travelers who only take a few trips a year can greatly benefit from adding this to their wallet.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card offers great bonus categories to help you earn more points, flexible redemption options, solid travel protections. Plus, it doesn’t charge any foreign transaction fees, all for a relatively low annual fee — making it a great all-in-one travel rewards card.

Jarrod West's image

About Jarrod West

Boasting a portfolio of over 20 cards, Jarrod has been an expert in the points and miles space for over 6 years. He earns and redeems over 1 million points per year and his work has been featured in outlets like The New York Times.

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