Our experts answer readers' credit card questions and write unbiased product reviews (here's how we assess credit cards). In some cases, we receive a commission from our partners; however, our opinions are our own. Terms apply to offers listed on this page.
- Please note: While the offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication, they're subject to change at any time and may have changed, or may no longer be available.
- Chase just raised the sign-up bonus on the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card for the first time since 2015.
- Starting today, new cardholders can get 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points when they spend $4,000 in the first three months.
- That's worth $600 as cash back, $750 toward travel purchased through Chase, or more transferred to travel partners.
- Be sure to read our comparison of the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve.
Get the inside scoop on today’s biggest stories in business, from Wall Street to Silicon Valley — delivered daily.
Thanks for signing up!
Access your favorite topics in a personalized feed while you're on the go.
For the first time since 2015, Chase has increased the standard sign-up bonus on its flagship Sapphire Preferred credit card, improving what was already a lucrative deal for new cardholders.
Starting today, eligible new cardholders can earn a sign-up bonus of 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 in the first three months. This is up from the previous standard bonus of 50,000 points — it was raised from 40,000 points in fall 2015.
While its beefier sibling, the Chase Sapphire Reserve, offered a limited-time 100,000-point sign-up bonus when it was launched in 2016, the current offer on the Sapphire Preferred is the highest-ever standard offer on a Sapphire-brand card. The Sapphire Reserve's bonus does not appear to be increasing, meaning the lower-tier Preferred now has a higher bonus than the premium card.
Also beginning today: The Sapphire Preferred will no longer waive its $95 annual fee for the first year. However, the additional 10,000 points in the sign-up bonus should more than make up for that. Ultimate Rewards (UR) points can be redeemed for 1¢ each as cash back, 1.25¢ each for travel booked through Chase, or potentially more by transferring points to frequent-flyer partners.
The new sign-up bonus adds to the list of reasons why the Sapphire Preferred remains a powerhouse in the credit card rewards space.
Read on to see why it's still one of the best rewards credit cards available.
Earn rewards on everyday spending quickly
The Chase Sapphire Preferred offers 2x per dollar spent on travel and dining, and one point per dollar on everything else. Travel and dining are defined broadly — travel includes everything from taxis, subways, parking, tolls, and Uber to things like airfare, hotels, cruises, and Airbnb, while dining includes restaurants, bars, coffee shops, fast-food restaurants, most bakeries, and more.
Those points add up quickly. A significant portion of my own spending is on things that fall into the travel or dining categories, so getting bonus points on those purchases is incredibly lucrative.
Use points how you want, and get a great value no matter what
The Sapphire Preferred earns Chase's in-house rewards currency, known as Ultimate Rewards (UR) points. There are a few different ways you can redeem them.
One option is to simply redeem them for cash. One UR point equals one cent, so if you have 10,000 points, that's $100. You can get the cash as a statement credit or direct deposited to your linked checking account.
Another option is to use points to book travel through the Ultimate Rewards travel website. It works like any other online travel agency, such as Priceline or Expedia. You can search for flights, hotels, rental cars, cruises, vacation packages, or more. The best part is that when you book travel through Chase and use points, you'll get a 25% bonus, making each point worth 1.25 cents. If you have 50,000 points, they'll be worth $625. If the trip you want to book costs more points than you have, you can always pay the difference.
The most valuable way to use points is transferring them to Chase's travel partners. While this is more complicated, you can generally get more value by booking frequent-flyer award tickets than you can by using your points as cash or through Chase. You can even book flights in business or first class for fewer points than you might expect.
You canread more about why transferable points are so valuable.
Even with the new changes, the Sapphire Preferred has a (much) lower annual fee than the Sapphire Reserve
While there are other cards, like Chase's Sapphire Reserve, which offer slightly higher rewards-earning structures or more benefits, they also come with higher annual fees. The Sapphire Preferred has an annual fee of $95, on the other hand. It's easy to get way more than $95 a year in the form of rewards, not to mention other benefits the card has.
The sign-up bonus is extremely valuable
When you open a new Sapphire Preferred card, you can earn 60,000 UR points when you spend $4,000 in the first three months. That's worth $600 as cash back, $750 toward travel purchased through Chase, or more transferred to travel partners.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred card has some great benefits in addition to rewards
Trip-delay insurance covers your expenses if you're traveling and end up delayed overnight, or for 12 hours. Each covered person on the trip can be reimbursed for up to $500 a day in reasonable expenses, including food, toiletries, a change of clothing, and hotel accommodations. This can be useful if you end up stranded due to delayed or canceled flights — even when the causeis bad weather.
The Sapphire Preferred also offers a primary auto rental collision damage waiver, or free loss and damage coverage when you use the card to pay for a rental car. Just decline the collision/damage/loss coverage offered by the rental agency.
The card has several other benefits, including trip cancellation/interruption insurance, extended warranty coverage, luggage delay insurance, and other purchase protections.
Senior Reporter, Airlines
David is a Senior Transportation Reporter for Business Insider. He primarily covers airlines and air travel. A native New Yorker and avid photographer, David previously covered travel, credit-card rewards, and frequent-flyer programs. Before joining Business Insider, David was a freelance writer and editor — before that, he worked in public affairs. He earned his bachelor's degree from Muhlenberg College and his master's from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, UK. You can follow him on Twitter or Instagram, visit his website, or send him an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Here are some of his recent stories:
- The president of Emirates says passengers will never again be as comfortable as they have been aboard the enormous discontinued Airbus A380
- 'Delta may be onto something': Experts describe how the company is winning with customers even though rival airlines can fit more passengers
- United's CEO argued it's not a problem that airlines will keep burning tens of millions of cash per day for months
- Delta's CEO reveals why the airline industry is nixing the change fees that once produced 3% of revenues —and how happier travelers could make up the difference
- The pandemic is reshaping airlines — and how you fly will never return to 'normal'
- DHL execs explain how they'll capitalize on the airlift of a lifetime and deliver billions of COVID-19 vaccine doses
- New data shows how US airfares plunged alongside demand early in the pandemic, dealing airlines a double blow
- United is shifting its strategy as it rebuilds its flight schedule, targeting new pockets of demand in Africa, India, and Hawaii
- American will lose its crown as the biggest US airline and could fall behind Delta and United as it struggles to pay off $38 billion in debt
- A Bill Gates-backed aviation startup founder reveals how he got $21 million to build a hydrogen plane that won't go to market for a decade
- An American Airlines worker reveals why he's giving up his dream job — and his paycheck — to take a buyout
- JetBlue founder David Neeleman reveals how his new airline can succeed by flying weird routes for low prices
- Airline CEOs say it doesn't matter how well they protect passengers from COVID-19 —travel demand won't bounce back until the pandemic ends
- Boeing may have to shell out billions to airlines after regulators erased one of the 737 Max's key selling points
- Airbus redesigned a key part of the A350 jet cockpit after spilled drinks caused two midair engine shutdowns
- I flew on Qantas' 'Project Sunrise,' a nonstop flight from New York to Sydney, Australia, that took almost 20 hours and covered nearly 10,000 miles — here's what it was like