Chase has increased the bonus on the Sapphire Preferred Card from 50,000 Ultimate Rewards to 60,000 Ultimate Rewards without increasing the minimum spending requirement which is still $4,000 within three months of account opening. The 50k bonus was worth at least $625*, more like $1,000* if you utilize valuable airline loyalty program transfer partners. Now it’s worth at least $750*, and more like $1,200* transferring to airline partners.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is the answer to a lot of a questions.
It’s always the first card I recommend to travel credit card beginners. With a solid earning structure and approachable annual fee, it’s simple to understand and great for those just wanting to dip their toe in the pond. For a cost of $95 a year, you’ll 2 points per dollar spent on travel and restaurant purchases. You’ll also be able to use the card when you travel as there are no foreign transaction fees. You have the option to redeem your points for 1.25 cents each on cash flights and hotels through the Chase travel portal, or you can transfer them to any of the following airline or hotel loyalty programs to redeem as airline miles or hotel points:
|Airline Partners||Hotel Partners|
|Flying Blue (Air France/KLM)||Marriott|
|Iberia||Ritz-Carlton (same as Marriott, but different branding)|
It’s also not the hardest card to get approved for, with an acceptable applicant credit score range of 670 to 850. Start here and after a year of cutting your miles and points teeth, upgrade to its premium cousin, the Chase Sapphire Reserve (which is a harder to get approved for, more expensive annually, and requires more participation to reap the myriad of benefits). Upgrading from the Sapphire Preferred to the Sapphire Reserve is much easier than outright getting approved for the Sapphire Reserve.
For Stacking Power (Intermediate)
It’s great for Chase Freedom and/or Chase Freedom Unlimited cardholders who want to drastically increase the value of their points for just $95 a year. And if you have the Freedom and/or Freedom Unlimited, holding a Sapphire Preferred gives you the ability to morph those Freedom or Freedom Unlimited points from a value of 1 cent a piece to the kind of Ultimate Rewards earned by the Sapphire Preferred, that can either be redeemed for 1.25 cents in the form of travel credit, or for even higher values by transferring to airline and hotel loyalty programs. All you have to do is move your Freedom/Freedom Unlimited points to your Sapphire Preferred account and voila.
For Vets Who Credit Card Churned and Now Want In
In Why I Credit Card Fasted, I explained how I ran a credit card churning race for a good long while, and picked up speed before the Chase 5/24 rule went public.
Locked out for years, I eventually decided to halt applications and drop my new account total back in the range that Chase would consider me for their lucrative cards. I wanted at least a few key cards to hold longterm.
With the intention of upgrading after a year, I strategically made the Sapphire Preferred my first application when I reached that range, as I know it’s much easier to get approved for than the Sapphire Reserve. Consider it a safer stepping stone to the Reserve, particularly when you’re taking a trepidatious step back into Chase territory and don’t want to start that relationship with a denial.
Sapphire Preferred Quick Facts
- Sign-up Bonus: 60,000 Ultimate Rewards for spending $4,000 within three months
- Category Bonuses: 2x on travel and restaurants
- Value of Ultimate Rewards: Worth 1.25 cents toward the purchase of any cash ticket OR can be transferred to various airlines and hotels for higher value redemptions
- Global Acceptance: Chip technology and no foreign transaction fees
- Annual Fee: $95 a year
You cannot hold both the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Sapphire Preferred at the same time. If you don’t have either and are otherwise eligible for one, the 60k elevated bonus offer is a reason to jump. In my opinion, you should already have one of those cards if you’re eligible for them, and the bonus on the Preferred is now 10,000 Ultimate Rewards higher than the Reserve for the same minimum spending requirement. If you think you can get approved for the Reserve, then unless you have an immediate need for an extra 10k Ultimate Rewards, I think the Sapphire Reserve should be prioritized. I’d wager you will get more than 10k of Ultimate Rewards in value from it in the first year pretty easily. But if you don’t want the price tag that comes with the Reserve, or are worried about your credit score or history resulting in a denial for the Reserve, then go the Sapphire Preferred stepping stone route to the Reserve.