Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card review

Yesterday my mom asked me: “What is the best credit card for me right now?”

She travels internationally on a regular basis, likes to stay in classy hotels and dine at nice restaurants.  Without hesitation, I told her that the card for her was the Chase Sapphire Preferred.  I’ve talked briefly about my love for Chase and this card in the past. 
Chase makes this card looks so shiny and blue - the real card is actually a dark blue
First thing I did was log in to her Credit Karma account to make sure her credit score was fine.  With a score of 800+, I knew she would have no problem getting approved for this card.  She was happy to see this message pop up after I helped her apply for the card:

The most useful benefits for my mom include:
2X POINTS ON TRAVEL*Earn 2 points per $1 spent on travel when you use your card to pay for airfare, hotels, cruises, rental cars, train tickets, taxis, tolls and more.
2X POINTS ON DINING*Earn 2 points per $1 spent at restaurants. No matter where, or what, you eat – from fast food to fine dining.
1 POINT PER $1 SPENT ON ALL OTHER PURCHASES*In addition to earning 2 points per dollar at restaurants and on travel, you'll earn 1 point for every dollar you spend on all your other purchases.
1 ADDITIONAL POINT ON TRAVEL*Earn 1 additional point (total of 3 points) per $1 spent when you book airfare or hotel accommodations online through Ultimate Rewards.*
7% ANNUAL POINTS DIVIDEND*Chase Sapphire Preferred will automatically award you a 7% Annual Points Dividend on all new points earned on purchases throughout the year – even points you have redeemed.
NO FOREIGN TRANSACTION FEESPay no foreign transaction fees when you use your card on purchases made outside the United States.
20% OFF TRAVELGet 20% off airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises when you redeem through Ultimate Rewards. For example, a $500 flight requires just 40,000 points.
1:1 POINT TRANSFER WITH NO TRANSFER FEESTransfer points to participating frequent travel programs with no transfer fees and at full 1:1 value – that means 1000 Ultimate Rewards points equal 1000 partner miles/points. Travel programs include United MileagePlus®, Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards®, British Airways Executive Club, Korean Air SKYPASS, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards®, Marriott Rewards®, Hyatt Gold Passport®, Priority Club® Rewards and Amtrak Guest Rewards®.
24/7 DIRECT ACCESS TO EXPERT SERVICE ADVISORSTalk directly to an expert advisor anytime without pressing "#" or "0."

The 40,000 Ultimate Rewards points welcome bonus after spending $2,000 within the first 3 months of having the card is an excellent deal.  The 40,000 UR points equals $400 in your checking account or $500 worth of travel airfare since the Chase Sapphire Preferred offers 20% discount on flights when you use your points to purchase.

I think my mom will also really appreciate how the Sapphire Preferred card is made of metal.  This card is NICE, feels great in your hand, and looks very classy.  Yes I am a credit card snob and I love a good looking credit card!  That's one of the reasons why I applied for the JP Morgan Palladium card.

Each year, Chase will give you 7% free bonus points off the total amount of points that you’ve earned throughout the year, including points earned on the welcome bonus as well as any points that you redeem for rewards.  That’s a free 2,800 points just for earning the 40,000 welcome bonus points - which can be transferred directly into airline miles.

When you call the 800 number on the back of the card, a real live person will help you immediately so you don’t have to speak with a computer or punch in your account information.  This is a refreshing and excellent feature of this credit card.

The best thing about the Chase Sapphire Preferred is the Ultimate Rewards program.  You can earn points quickly at the Ultimate Rewards Shopping mall.  The UR points are extremely flexible.  Currently I value each Ultimate Rewards point far greater than American Express Membership Rewards or Citibank ThankYou points. 

With the Ultimate Rewards program, you can easily transfer and share points without expiration with any member of your family or friends. 

Don’t let the $95 annual fee scare you.  

The first year of card ownership is free.  If after the first free year you still don’t appreciate the value of the Sapphire Preferred card, you can call the customer service rep and have them downgrade the card into a regular Chase Sapphire card.  Downgrading the card doesn't affect your credit score while closing the credit card can lower your credit score by a few points.  

The main differences between the Sapphire Preferred and the normal Sapphire card are that the normal Sapphire card:
  • Will charge you foreign transaction fees
  • Won’t be made of metal like the Sapphire Preferred.  The normal Sapphire card is made of plastic like a normal credit card, but it still looks pretty nice.
  • Won’t let you transfer your points to any other frequent flyer or hotel programs
  • Won’t give you 7% annual dividend bonus
  • Won’t earn 2x points on travel, however still earns 2x points at restaurants
  • Has no annual fee
Before you apply for this card, check this website to see if Chase has already preapproved you for a targeted offer.  When I first signed up for my Sapphire Preferred card, Chase targeted me with a mailed offer for 50,000 bonus points after my first purchase.  Others have received targeted offers for 75,000 and even at one time, 100,000 bonus points in the past.  You just need to enter your name, address, and last four digits of your social security number.  You may already be qualified for this card.  If not, you can still apply for this card directly.
The new 40,000 Ultimate Rewards points bonus is earned once you spend $3,000 

You can apply for this card here.  Once you spend $3,000 in 3 months of account opening, you will earn 40,000 Ultimate Rewards points.

Other excellent features of the card include:
TRIP CANCELLATION INSURANCE*Receive reimbursement for travel due to covered cancellations and emergencies when you purchase tickets with your Chase Sapphire Preferred card.
AUTO RENTAL COLLISION DAMAGE WAIVER*Receive coverage at no additional cost for covered damage due to collision or theft up to the actual cash value of most rental vehicles. Remember to charge your entire rental transaction to your Chase Sapphire Preferred card and decline the rental company's collision damage waiver coverage.
TRAVEL ACCIDENT INSURANCE*Receive coverage while traveling for covered common carrier accidental death or dismemberment at no extra cost when you charge your travel fare on your Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card.
TRAVEL AND EMERGENCY SERVICES*Get help coordinating medical, legal and travel assistance services while you're away from home.
LOST LUGGAGE REIMBURSEMENT*Carry-on or checked luggage is covered if lost or stolen when you purchase your common carrier ticket using your Chase Sapphire Preferred card.
TRIP DELAY*When a covered trip is delayed more than 12 hours due to a covered event, expenses incurred as a result of the delay, such as meals and lodging, can be reimbursed.
BAGGAGE DELAY*If your checked bags are delayed for a period of 18 hours or more by a common carrier, you can be reimbursed for the emergency purchase of covered essential items.
ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE*Arranges emergency roadside assistance such as jump-starts, tire change, towing and gas delivery if you get stuck on the road.
ZERO LIABILITY*If unauthorized purchases are made with your card, you won't be held accountable.
PURCHASE PROTECTION*Replaces, repairs or reimburses you for eligible items of personal property within ninety (90) days of the date of purchase.
EXTENDED PROTECTION*Doubles the free repair period under the original manufacturer's U.S. warranty up to 1 additional year on eligible warranties of 3 years or less.
PRICE PROTECTION*Receive a refund of the difference between the price you paid for an eligible item on the card and a subsequent covered lower advertised price for the same item within the first 90 days of purchase.
RETURN PROTECTIONIf a retailer will not accept a return within the first 90 days of purchase, you can be reimbursed for the cost of an eligible item purchased on your card.
CHASE GLOBAL LIFELINESMWhether you're traveling within the U.S. or abroad, emergency service assistance – including Emergency Card Replacement and Cash Access – is available to you around-the-clock.

Go here to read about all the card benefits.  I've copied and pasted the best ones above.

If you're looking for a great credit card to keep in your wallet at all times, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is hard to beat.

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