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KEY LINK: card_name – bonus_miles_full annual_fees

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card gets a bit of a bad rap in the miles and points community.  I get the sense that it’s widely panned by some, because it’s very (VERY) widely mentioned by many travel bloggers.  It gets to the point where sometimes it feels like every post by some folks, no matter what the question or topic, ends up with the answer being APPLY FOR THE CHASE SAPPHIRE PREFERRED CARD!

But, there are valid reasons to talk about the card_name card – if you’re just starting out in the miles and points world and wanting to use your good credit to help you travel more, the Chase Sapphire Preferred can make a lot of sense as your first card.

Getting the Chase Sapphire Preferred card as a first card

Amongst my family and friends, I am known as the “credit card guy”.  I suspect if you’re reading this blog, that probably applies to many of you as well. It is not uncommon that friends or co-workers will ask me my opinion of what credit card to get.

Typically, this is someone who is not really interested into getting into MY lifestyle and signing up for multiple credit cards at a time, but is just looking for 1 or maybe 2 cards to take a specific trip, and even that’s only after I make them decide on where they want to go FIRST. And of course making sure that they are already in solid financial health where they have the  ability and financial discipline to pay off their bills in full EVERY month.

I’d say that in over 75% of the cases, the card_name is the card (or one of the cards) I recommend they get


Why Chase Sapphire Preferred?

What are some of the reasons I find myself generally recommending the Chase Sapphire Preferred as a “first” card?

  1. Usually gives a very good signup bonus (currently you can bonus_miles after meeting the minimum spending requirement)
  2. Reasonable annual fee (currently annual_fees )
  3. Many folks I talk to already have a Chase Freedom Flex or card_name as their “go to” card.  So signing up for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card lets you use those Ultimate Rewards you might ALREADY have with your Chase Freedom Flex or Chase Freedom Unlimited by transferring them to travel partners (instead of only using them for statement credits at 1 cent per point)
  4. It allows you to get a valuable signup bonus without locking you in to a particular hotel or airline.  You can use your Chase Ultimate Rewards to transfer to British Airways (for my friend who is always flying to New York) or United or Southwest or Hyatt (or some combination of the above!)
  5. Plus if you ARE later going to get into multiple credit cards, the Chase 5/24 rule might make it more difficult to get the Chase Sapphire Preferred card later on

Comparing Chase Sapphire Preferred vs Chase Sapphire Reserve

I originally wrote this post right after the card_name came out a few years ago.  It seemed like the entire miles and points world had their head asplode.  I do agree that the Chase Sapphire Reserve card is a very good card, and for people with a basic understanding of miles and points, it definitely makes sense.

(SEE ALSO: I just got a Chase Sapphire Reserve (and didn’t even get the signup bonus))

(SEE ALSO: Chase Sapphire Reserve vs Chase Sapphire Preferred card)

But I’m not sure I feel comfortable recommending the Chase Sapphire Reserve card as someone’s first miles and points card to get.  I think that the annual_fees annual fee (although possibly offset by annual $300 travel credits) has a high chance to be wasted, either from forgetting about the $300 travel credits, or by not redeeming them correctly.  Remember that annual_fees comes due right off the top on your first statement.  So while I do think the Chase Sapphire Reserve card is a good one, it’s not one I’d recommend for beginners or other people starting out.

The CSR is a little bit less attractive now than it was last summer as the $300 travel credit is now by cardmember year instead of calendar year (preventing you from double dipping the first year) and also the signup bonus is down.

The Bottom Line

KEY LINK: card_name – bonus_miles_full annual_fees

So why does the Chase Sapphire Preferred card get so much press? Undoubtedly at least part of it is due to affiliate relationships, where people receive a commission for people that sign up through the card.  If you want to apply for this or any other top travel cards and support PWaC, you can find apply for the card_name here.  And just because people like to talk about it doesn’t mean that it’s not a good card.

As always, please understand the risks of credit cards before you apply for one, and DO NOT SIGN UP FOR A CREDIT CARD JUST BECAUSE SOME GUY ON THE INTERNET SAID SO.

Interested in travel hacking but unsure where to start? Here's why I keep recommending the Chase Sapphire Preferred for people starting out

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