Why The Chase Sapphire Preferred Should Be Your Go-To Travel Card For 2019

Each year, you need to set out your travel goals and how you plan to achieve them. This includes and how you are going to use your travel rewards credit cards to maximize your earning from every transaction and leveraging your hard-earned points for their maximum value. Many travel aficionados have chosen the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card as their go-to card for overseas travel, and one of the best to help them hit their travel goals. So here are eight reasons why the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is the right card for you.

Graphic: Simple Flying

High-value welcome bonus

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card features a highly valuable welcome bonus of 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points. To earn the welcome bonus, you will need to meet the minimum spending requirement of $,4000 in the first three months of card membership. You can redeem your bonus directly with Chase through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Portal at a value of 1.25₵ per point. This works out at an impressive $750 of value.

Alternatively, you can transfer your point to a host of Chase airline travel partners. Although this route is not as simple as redeeming your points directly with Chase, you can often leverage your points for much better value.

Graphic: Simple Flying

Great earning rates

The biggest expense when traveling are general travel expenses (airlines tickets, Hotels stays, and Car rental, etc.) and Dining out. All these will earn you an impressive 2X points per dollar when you use your Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card to pay for them. Fortunately, Chase is even more generous in what it terms travel, and you can pick up 2X Chase Ultimate Rewards for a host of everyday travel purchases. As per the Chase website, Chase classifies the following as travel.

“airlines, hotels, motels, timeshares, campgrounds, car rental agencies, cruise lines, travel agencies, discount travel sites, operators of passengers trains, buses, taxis, limos, ferries, tolls, bridges, highways, and parking lots and garages.”

While these earning rates may not grab headlines, you have to take a closer look to appreciate their value. When you compare the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card earning rates on travel and dining to other cards with a  similar annual fee, it becomes apparent that the Chase Sapphire Preferred is very good value if not industry leading.

No foreign transaction fees

No foreign transaction fees with Chase Sapphire Preferred. Image: Pixabay
No foreign transaction fees with Chase Sapphire Preferred. Image: Pixabay

One of the biggest bugbears when traveling overseas is hefty foreign transaction fees often applied when you make purchases on your cards. Typically, credit cards charge a 3% fee when making a purchase overseas. Although this sounds small, it can soon add up if you are making a lot of purchases abroad (including hotel stays, travel, and eating out). Spending $5,000 on overseas travel will incur foreign transaction fees of $150, which is simply unacceptable. Even if you don’t spend a lot per trip but take lots of trips these fees can soon add up.

When traveling overseas the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card comes into its own, and you will be charged no foreign transaction fees whatsoever. One thing to remember is that no foreign transaction fees on the Chase Sapphire Preferred extends only to purchases. If you make a cash withdrawal abroad on your Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you will be hit with a 5% charge or $10 whichever is greater.

Travel insurance coverage

When traveling the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card provides you with a rich and diverse range insurance benefits. The CSP covers you for the following:

Trip interruption & cancellation protection:  If your trip is canceled or interrupted, you will be covered by Chase Sapphire Preferred for any non-refundable travel costs. This coverage kicks into place if your trip is interrupted or canceled for reasons like weather or sickness

Trip delay protection: The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card covers you for up to $500 of expenses (accommodation, food, and essentials) if your trip is delayed by more than 12 hours or you need to make an overnight stay

Baggage delay and lost baggage coverage: If your bags are delayed you are covered for $100 per day up to a maximum of $500 with Chase Sapphire Preferred. Cover kicks in after your bags are delayed for six hours or more. If your bags never make it to your final destination, Chase Sapphire Preferred has you covered with up to $3,000 to replace your belongings

Primary car rental insurance: When hiring a car, you can decline the often-overpriced additional insurance, and you will still be covered with your Chase card in case of damage, theft or loss

When you consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card‘s reasonable $95 annual fee, the travel insurance benefits are brilliant and are very similar to those offered by theChase Sapphire Reserve®, a more premium card with a $450 annual fee. Compared to other cards with a similar annual fee, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card insurance benefits are hard to beat.

Baggage_reclaim
Rushing off the plane is no good if your bag’s not there. Photo: Wikimedia

Earn points from other cards

One of the secrets to earning lots of Chase Ultimate Rewards is combining points from different cards into one account. You can convert cash back earned from the Chase Freedom® and the Chase Freedom Unlimited® into your Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card account. This can be very rewarding when you consider that the Chase Freedom® earns 5% back each quarter in bonus categories (up to $1,500 spend per quarter), while the Chase Freedom Unlimited® earns 1.5% back on everything.

Graphic: Simple Flying

You can convert cashback from your Chase Sapphire Preferred card to Ultimate Rewards Points at a rate of 1 cent per point. At this rate, each dollar of cashback earned will yield 100 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points, which you can then redeem via the Chase Ultimate Rewards Portal for $1.25 (points are redeemed at 1.25₵ per point). Converting you cashback to points and redeeming them automatically gives you a 25% boost in their value.

Refer friends and earn even more points

If you want to spread the word and refer friends who can also take advantage of the features and benefits of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card you will be rewarded. For every friend you refer, and their application is successful, you will receive 10,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points as a bonus. You are not limited to one referral bonus per year. You can earn up to 50,000 Bonus Chase Ultimate Rewards Points per year from referral bonuses.

Great point redemption options

Chase Ultimate Rewards points are one of the most valuable of all flexible point currencies out there. The key to their strengths is the large number of options you have for redeeming your points. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. Choosing to redeem your points through the Chase travel portal at a value of 1.25₵ apiece is a great option. For instance, if you earn 50,000 points per year, you would end up picking up $625 of value which is a great return.

Alternatively, you can choose to transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards Points to a host of travel partners. Including some of the leading airline and hotel brands of the world. Partners include United Airlines, JetBlue, Singapore Airlines, and Air France/KLM.

Singapore Airlines 787-10 Business Class. Photo: Singapore Airlines

Typically, you can transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to airlines and hotels at a ratio of 1:1, with a minimum transfer of 1,000 points. The speed of the transfers varies, with most happening instantaneously while some can take up to a week.

Savvy points and miles aficionados can leverage their points for even better value using this strategy. We value Chase Ultimate Rewards Points at 2 cents a piece when you transfer points to airline partners. In this case, if you earn 50,000 points per year, you can redeem them for at least $1,000 of value, which is an excellent return.

Attractive annual fee

If you have read all the benefits offered by the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card so far, you would rightly expect the card to come with a hefty annual fee. The list of benefits associated with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card reads like those more commonly associated with Premium cards costing several hundred dollars per year.

Graphic: Simple Flying

You will be surprised to know this is not the case; the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card comes with a very reasonable mid-tier annual fee of $95. Weighing up the huge array of benefits against the annual fee makes the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card brilliant value.

Final thoughts

Sure, there are other premium travel rewards cards on the market today that offer more perks and benefits, but they also cost more. That is why, if you ask any points and miles expert if they could only have one Chase card in their wallet which one would it be, the answer is almost always the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. As a package, it is one of the most attractive cards on the market today, and our go-to travel card for 2019.

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