Chase Sapphire Preferred: Top 19 Common Questions (And Their Answers)

See why the Chase Sapphire Preferred is one of the most recommended credit cards for travel perks, generous rewards, and a variety of redemption options.
Last updated May 6, 2020 | By Ben Walker
Chase Sapphire Preferred: Top 19 Common Questions (And Their Answers)

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The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is one of the most popular travel credit cards available. With its valuable benefits and easily navigable rewards structure, it appeals to a wide range of consumers.

If you love traveling or dining out (or both!), you might consider making a space in your wallet for this card. To help you see whether it’s the right fit, we’ll answer some of the most common questions people have about the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

Chase Sapphire Preferred: Top 19 common questions

1. What are the benefits of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card?

The benefits of the Chase Sapphire Preferred are its biggest draw and show why it’s an amazing credit card to hold. With this card, you have access to the following:

  • A sign-up bonus that allows you to Earn 60,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
  • Rewards on your purchases, including the ability to earn 5X on Lyft rides, 2X points on eligible dining and travel, and 1X points per $1 on all other eligible purchases
  • Unlimited DoorDash deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on qualifying purchases with a complimentary one-year DashPass subscription (currently valued at $9.99)
  • 25% more value when redeeming points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Points transfer at a 1:1 ratio to more than a dozen travel partners
  • Trip cancellation/interruption insurance
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver
  • Baggage delay insurance
  • Trip delay reimbursement
  • Travel and emergency assistance services
  • Purchase protection
  • Extended warranty protection

2. How much is 60,000 Chase points worth?

With the current sign-up bonus on the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you can Earn 60,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Each Chase Ultimate Rewards point is worth 1 cent for cash redemptions, or $1 for every 100 points. So 60,000 Chase points are worth $600 when redeemed directly for cash.

You can also redeem your Chase points for gift cards, travel, and products or services available through Chase. In fact, with the Chase Sapphire Preferred, your points are worth 25% more when redeemed for travel through the Chase travel portal. So 60,000 points would be $750 toward travel in the form of airfare, hotel stays, car rentals, cruises, and more.

You can potentially get even more value out of your points if you transfer them to more than one of a dozen Chase transfer partners. It’s a 1:1 point transfer from Chase to its travel partners. That means you could transfer 60,000 Chase points to your United account and end up with 60,000 MileagePlus miles. Or you could do the same with a hotel partner, such as the Marriott Bonvoy program. This opens up more opportunities to redeem your Chase points in different ways.

3. How hard is it to get approved for the Chase Sapphire Preferred?

To qualify for the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you’ll likely need a credit score of good to excellent. According to FICO, a good credit score will start off at 670; an excellent or exceptional score is 800 or above.

4. What is the highest credit limit for the Chase Sapphire Preferred?

Chase does not post information regarding how high of a credit limit its cards can have, though there have been reports of credit limits reaching over $10,000 and even $20,000. If you’re approved for the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you can expect to have a minimum credit limit of at least $5,000. Because this is a Visa Signature card, that is its official minimum credit limit.

5. How long does it take for a Chase Sapphire Preferred Card to arrive?

The typical time frame to receive a new Chase credit card is three-to-five business days after you receive approval. There have also been reports of people receiving their new cards in as little as one-to-two business days.

6. How do I activate my Chase Sapphire Preferred?

You can activate your Chase Sapphire Preferred Card either online or over the phone.

To activate your Chase card online

  1. Go to the Chase verify website.
  2. Login if you already have an account or sign up for a Chase account.
  3. Once you’re in, navigate to your new card and click the activation button.

To activate your Chase card by phone

  1. Call 800-432-3117.
  2. When requested, enter the last four digits of your credit card and follow the automatic prompts to activate it, or you can talk to a representative.

7. What is the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card made of?

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a credit card made out of metal, as opposed to the typical plastic most credit cards are made of. This doesn’t affect the usability of the card in any way, though it does make it more durable. It also makes it really fun to slap down on the table when you pay for something.

8. Does the Sapphire Preferred offer Chase purchase protection?

Yes, the Chase Sapphire Preferred offers Chase purchase protection, along with many other cardholder benefits such as extended warranty protection, trip cancellation/trip interruption coverage, and lost luggage reimbursement.

With Chase purchase protection, Chase will repair, replace, or reimburse you for eligible items that have been damaged, stolen, or lost within 120 days of the original purchase date. Items are eligible for this benefit when they have been purchased with the Chase Sapphire Preferred card or Chase rewards points.

Here’s some important information to keep in mind:

  • The maximum benefit is up to $500 per claim and up to $50,000 per account
  • Certain items will not be covered, including boats, cars, computer software, and used or pre-owned items
  • You have 90 days from when the loss, damage, or theft took place to notify the Benefit Administrator
  • You have 120 days from when the loss, damage, or theft took place to submit a completed claim form and supporting documentation; the Benefit Administrator will send you a claim form after your first contact
  • For items that have been stolen, you must file a police report within 48 hours of the theft

9. What counts as travel with the Chase Sapphire Preferred?

Any purchase that a merchant codes as travel on your credit card statement counts as travel for the Chase Sapphire Preferred. This will most often include:

  • Airfare
  • Hotel reservations
  • Timeshares
  • Rental cars
  • Cruises
  • Taxis and rideshares
  • Buses and trains
  • Ferries
  • Toll bridges and highways
  • Parking lots and garages
  • Travel agencies
  • Discount travel sites
  • Campgrounds

In some cases, there are purchases you might expect to code as travel, but they will not. This may include sightseeing activities, in-flight goods and services, purchases from gas stations, and tourist attractions. Unfortunately, there’s little you can do to try and convince Chase to change how it codes any of its purchase categories. You just have to make note when it happens so you know for the future if you’re trying to get the most rewards for your purchases.

10. Does the Chase Sapphire Preferred get you into airport lounges?

There are no lounge access benefits with the Chase Sapphire Preferred. You can get free Priority Pass Select lounge access with the Chase Sapphire Reserve, though. This premium credit card benefit allows access to more than 1,300 airport lounges within the Priority Pass worldwide network. Lounge amenities may include free Wi-Fi, snacks, and beverages for members.

11. Can I get the Chase Sapphire Preferred if I have the Reserve?

Consumers are limited to having one Chase Sapphire product at a time, so if you already have the Chase Sapphire Reserve, you cannot have the Chase Sapphire Preferred as well. If you have one of these cards and would like to have the other, you can call the customer service number listed on the back of your card to see whether you’re eligible for a product change.

12. How often can you get Chase Sapphire Preferred bonus?

Any existing Chase Sapphire cardholder is limited to one Sapphire sign-up bonus every 48 months. This means you can receive either the Chase Sapphire Preferred sign-up bonus or the Chase Sapphire Reserve sign-up bonus every 48 months.

13. Which is better: the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Preferred?

If you compare the Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. the Chase Sapphire Reserve, you’ll find each of these cards has its own unique benefits. You might consider one over the other depending on how they fit your spending habits and lifestyle.

Both the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Sapphire Preferred are great credit cards to have for anyone interested in travel rewards and amazing cardholder perks and benefits. Here’s a quick comparison of what’s included on each card:

Chase Sapphire Preferred Chase Sapphire Reserve
Trip delay reimbursement Yes Yes
Trip cancellation insurance Yes Yes
Baggage delay insurance Yes Yes
Lost luggage reimbursement Yes Yes
Car rental insurance Yes Yes
1:1 point transfer Yes Yes
No foreign transaction fees Yes Yes
Emergency evacuation and transportation No Yes
Global Entry/TSA PreCheck reimbursement No Yes
Airport lounge access No Yes
Purchase protection Yes Yes
Extended warranty protection Yes Yes
Return protection No Yes

There are many shared benefits between the two Chase Sapphire cards, but the Chase Sapphire Reserve will ultimately have more perks as it is a premium credit card. Whichever card is better for you will depend on a few factors, including how much you want to pay for the card and how much you’ll benefit from the travel perks.

If you’re concerned about fees, the Chase Sapphire Preferred has an annual fee of $95 compared to the Chase Sapphire Reserve’s annual fee of $550. If you don’t travel enough, you may not get enough value out of your card to offset a $550 annual fee. For many, the $95 annual fee on the Chase Sapphire Preferred may be the more reasonable option.

If you’ve opened five or more new credit card accounts, including authorized user accounts, within the past 24 months, you won’t be eligible for either of these cards. This is according to the unofficial 5/24 rule implemented by Chase.

Your credit score may also determine your eligibility for either card. The Chase Sapphire Preferred typically requires a good or excellent credit score; the Chase Sapphire Reserve normally requires an excellent credit score. A good FICO credit score starts off at 670; an excellent or exceptional score is 800 or above.

14. How do you upgrade from Chase Sapphire Preferred to Reserve?

To see whether you’re eligible for a product change, you can call the customer service number listed on the back of your Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. If you’re eligible to upgrade to the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card, keep in mind that you will not be eligible for the new cardmember bonus on the Chase Sapphire Reserve if you change products. Existing Chase Sapphire cardholders are limited to one Sapphire sign-up bonus every 48 months.

15. How do you downgrade the Chase Sapphire Preferred?

To see whether you’re eligible to downgrade your Chase Sapphire Preferred, you can call the customer service number listed on the back of your Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. Most of the time, you will be given a choice to downgrade to one of the two cards that make up the Chase Freedom family: the Chase Freedom and Chase Freedom Unlimited.

Chase Freedom

The Chase Freedom Card is a great credit card for consumers who want to earn cashback rewards in specific categories during each quarter of the year. With the Chase Freedom, you can earn 5% cash back in rotating bonus categories (up to $1,500 in combined purchases per quarter) and 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Chase Freedom Unlimited

If you’d rather not have to worry about rotating categories and just want a card that is worthwhile for everyday spending, the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card could be a more suitable option. With the Chase Freedom Unlimited, you can earn an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.

16. How do I cancel my Chase Sapphire Preferred Card?

If you’d like to cancel your Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, you can call the number listed on the back of the card and speak to a representative. They can walk you through the process.

As another option, you can always check with a customer service representative about downgrading your credit card. Canceling a credit card can affect your credit score because it affects your length of credit history. According to FICO, your length of credit history accounts for 15% of your score. The longer the average age of your accounts, the better your score.

A downgrade is considered a product change instead of a cancellation, so it won’t hurt your credit score. Rather, you can downgrade to a different Chase card and continue adding on to the length of time that account has existed. This will help maintain or build your credit score.

For more information on how to downgrade the Chase Sapphire Preferred, see question 15 above.

17. How much do you have to spend to make Chase Sapphire Preferred worth it?

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is best used on eligible dining and travel and Lyft rides because these are the only bonus categories currently available on this card. You earn 5X on Lyft rides, 2X points on eligible dining and travel, and 1X points per $1 on all other eligible purchases.

To see how much you would have to spend in any of the bonus categories to offset the $95 annual fee, we will calculate the rewards earnings at a 1.25 point valuation, as that’s the value of your points when you redeem them through the Chase travel portal.

To offset the $95 annual fee, you would have to spend the following if you were just trying to earn the annual fee back in one category:

Category Rewards rate Spend Points Redemption value
Lyft rides 5X $1,520 7,600 $95
Eligible dining and travel 2X $3,800 7,600 $95
All other eligible purchases 1X $7,600 7,600 $95

Of course, you probably wouldn’t use your card in one spending category alone. You could do any combination of spending in the three categories to offset the annual fee. If you think it’s likely that you’ll spend a few thousand dollars a year on dining and travel, plus some other everyday items, it will be quite easy to earn back your annual fee.

And if you take into account the value of the Chase Sapphire Preferred’s perks and benefits, it’s even easier to offset the annual fee:

  • There are new Chase DoorDash benefits included, like a complimentary year of DashPass. This subscription service is normally valued at $9.99 per month, so a year’s worth of DashPass would have a value of about $120. That benefit alone is worth more than the annual fee.
  • With Chase purchase protection, you can file claims on eligible purchases for up to $500.
  • With baggage delay insurance, you can be reimbursed for essential purchases for up to $100 a day for five days when your baggage is delayed for more than six hours.
  • If you decline a car rental company’s collision insurance and charge the entire rental to your Chase Sapphire Preferred, you can have primary car rental insurance without having to pay each day for it. This could possibly save you hundreds of dollars over the course of a car rental period.

18. Will the Chase Sapphire Preferred ever waive the annual fee?

The Chase Sapphire Preferred annual fee is $95. There is no official record of Chase currently offering to waive this fee, though it is completely up to the issuer’s discretion.

19. Is the Chase Sapphire Preferred right for you?

If you’re a frequent traveler, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a wonderful option to have in your wallet. Even if you don’t travel frequently, it could still be a great choice. With generous rewards and plenty of perks and benefits, it’s easy to take on the $95 annual fee and still come out ahead.

The travel perks alone could offset the annual fee. You have trip cancellation and interruption insurance, baggage delay insurance, trip delay reimbursement, and primary car rental insurance. If you add in the DoorDash benefits, purchase protection, and extended warranty protection, the value of this card continues to increase.


#1 Travel Rewards Card

Benefits

  • 60,000 point sign-up bonus
  • 2X points on eligible dining and travel purchases
  • 3x points on grocery purchases — up to $1,500 per month (ends June 30, 2020)
  • 25% more value when redeeming rewards for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Premium travel protection benefits