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Of the 26 credit cards in my possession (yes, 26—it’s possible I take points and miles too seriously), one of the cards I use most often is the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. Just before I sat down to write this article, I used it to order food via DoorDash, pay my Netflix bill, and book a hotel via the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal. Which is all to say: Even the most advanced points and miles hobbyists will find some use out of this entry-level travel rewards card.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has a low annual fee of $95, a lucrative rewards structure, and a bevy of benefits that help the card pay for itself. This makes it one of the most approachable and easy-to-use travel credit cards available right now. I’d recommend it to anyone looking to get started with points and miles for travel—and even if you don’t travel at all. Read on for a full Chase Sapphire Preferred review, with information on its perks and ways to spend your accumulated points.
Why it’s worth it
My friends often ask me, “What’s the best starter credit card for travel rewards?” Without fail, I name the Chase Sapphire Preferred as a perfect card for points and miles beginners. Its varied spending categories make it easy to use both at home and abroad, especially because it does not charge foreign transaction fees and, as a Visa card, it’s widely accepted around the world.
The card has an annual fee of $95, but this fee can be offset by the card’s annual travel credit: $50 credited back to your account when you use the card to book a hotel stay through the Chase travel portal. So by booking a night at a hotel worth at least $50, you’re effectively reducing the card’s annual fee to $45. From there, the card’s other benefits are easily worth $45: trip cancellation and delay insurance, delayed or lost baggage insurance, a complimentary DoorDash DashPass membership, and more—not to mention the multiple points you earn per dollar on various types of spending.
However, other credit cards on the market have higher earning rates for the same spending categories. For example, I could use the Chase Sapphire Preferred to earn three points per dollar at restaurants, but more often, I use my American Express Gold Card to earn four points per dollar while dining out, and stick to the Preferred for delivery. If you’re someone with multiple travel credit cards, you might find the Sapphire Preferred somewhat lacking when it comes to earning points on everyday spending—for newcomers, though, it’s an easy way to get your points strategy started.