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Is Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card worth it?

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Is Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card worth it?

I have 10 credit cards with $112K credit limit. I typically use 3 cards which have 1.5%, 1.5%, and 2% unlimited cashback. I typically spend $40K per year on credit cards as my apartment allow credit card payment for rent. At this point, I feel like I am not making most out of cashback by taking statement credit. So I am looking at Chase Sapphire Preferred card, If I spend $20K on that card I may get 20000-25000 points, which come in handy when I plan for travel. At this point I am thinking if it is worth it to take the card and get Hard Pull on mycredit report and $95 annual fees. Existing card holders, please shed some light on this.

Message 1 of 15
14 REPLIES 14
New Contributor

Re: Is Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card worth it?

Does one of your 1.5% cards happen to be a Freedom Unlimited? With one of the Sapphire cards, you'd be able to transfer all of your cash back from the Freedom Unlimited to URs and get that bonus on non-category spend.

It seems like if a big portion of your spend is rent, 1.5 UR could get lucrative quite quick.

I also believe the Sapphire Preferred is a great way into Travel rewards in general. If you are looking to switch into Travel rewards, you'd easily get more value out of the Preferred the first year with the current 60K SUB being offered. And if you're willing to chase good transfer value, you likely still would get more value out of the Sapphire Preferred than 1.5 and 2% cash back after the first year.
Scores: (9/1/18) EQ: 750, EX: 739, TU: 728
Message 2 of 15
Established Contributor

Re: Is Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card worth it?

CSP is not a great earning card by itself. Unless you likes the transfer partner, or you can get a lot of points from other chase card of yours, or if you like some perks of it, citi premier would be a better card.

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Message 3 of 15
Established Contributor

Re: Is Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card worth it?

If you're considering the Sapphire Preferred, I suggest you consider the Sapphire Reserve also.  (I considered both cards but now carry the Sapphire Reserve.) You didn't mention credit score or income, but it sounds like your house is in order in that regard.  (Reserve is a little harder to qualify for since it has minimum credit line of $10K as a Visa Infinite.)  Whether the Preferred or Reserve is a good card for you depends on your spending habits and travel habits.  Incrementally, it doesn't take much difference to justify the difference in the higher-fee Reserve.  Let me explain.

 

The AF on CSP is $95 and CSR is $450.  However, CSR automatically credits back the first $300 you spend every year on the card for travel including hotels, rental cars, airfare, cruises, tolls, and taxis.  That is easy money, and effectively lowers the difference in fees to $55.  ($150 vs $95.)  If you travel internationally, you can get $100 back on the CSR once every 5 years for TSA Global Entry.  (CSP doesn't include this.)  Your net savings = another $20 per year on average, so $130 per year and only a difference of $35 ($130 vs $95).  If you have AAA Roadside assistance, CSR covers up to the first $50 per service call on 4 calls per year, equivalent to basic AAA plan which costs about $50 annual fee.  (CSP provides dispatch but no financial coverage.)  These three things alone cover the difference in price.  Plus, with CSR, you get access to Priority Pass airport lounges (1200 locations but mostly at large US airports or international).  The equivalent membership access level (Priority) would cost you $429 a year if purchased separately.  CSP does not give you this.

 

How much do you spend on travel and dining out per year?  You get an extra 1% (3% vs 2%) back on all those charges every year with CSR. 

 

Actually, it's even MORE than that if you redeem the points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal for travel where you get 50% more value, so your 3% becomes 4.5%.  And if you transfer points from a Freedom 5% rotating category card or Freedom Unlimited 1.5% cash back card, those redemptions become worth 6.25% or 1.875% when rolled over to your CSP but become worth 7.5% and 2.25% when rolled over to a CSR UR portal.  (Chase lets you combine points from different cards onto one account.)  There is real value here if you have other Chase cards, either with the CSP but especially the CSR. 

 

CSP is a Visa Signature with minimum CL $5K.  CSR is a top-level Visa Infinite with minimum CL $10K.  Visa provides superior travel benefits for Chase through the Visa Infinite program.  While Signature is good, Infinite is much better. 

 

The SUB on the CSP right now sounds slightly higher (60K points for $4K spending in 3 months) versus 50K points for $4K spending in 3 months on CSR.  That is a cash-out value of $600 (CSP) vs $500 (CSR) at a penny per point.  However, if you redeem those points on the UR portal at 1.25 vs 1.50 value, the valuation is exactly the same at $750 either way. 




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AAoA = 9.5+ years; AoYA = less than 1 year (Aug 2019)
Total Open Credit Lines Over $400K. Utilization Less Than 1%. Inquiries until May 2020 (TU:1 -- EQ:0 -- EX:5)
*Hover cursor over each card to see name, CL
Message 4 of 15
Senior Contributor

Re: Is Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card worth it?

CSP is often not the best option.

CSR gives better rewards and protections.
Cobrand Chase cards often have better bonuses and perks like free checked bags or renewal nights.
Most spend: CSR, CFU, BBP
Rewards/AAoA ballast: CF, Discover, Costco, ED, Arrival
Perks: Schwab Platinum, IHG49, Hyatt75, Brilliant, Delta Platinum
Potential closures/downgrades: Savor, BCP, Double Cash
Message 5 of 15
Valued Contributor

Re: Is Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card worth it?

It's no surprise to anyone here that I use "another issuer" as my card of choice for 98% of my spend; however, I do carry a CSP for one area of travel that is not included as a benefit (for now) with my preferred issuer, and that is Primary CDW coverage for rental cars. The $95 fee is a small cost and provides huge benefit for me as I travel.

Message 6 of 15
Regular Contributor

Re: Is Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card worth it?

If you travel, or plan to travel more annually, the CSP is a great card imo. The CSR is even better (i plan to PC to the CSR next year). I haven't had the card long, but i've already hit my SUB and am collecting points to use towards my honeymoon next year. In which case, by then, i should have enough points to cover a 1st class ticket round trip for both of us, to just about anywhere we want to go.

 

However, if you aren't planning on traveling much, and don't spend much on eating out then there are definitely better cards out there.



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Message 7 of 15
Super Contributor

Re: Is Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card worth it?

When the CSP had the $95 AF waived the first year it was arguably a good starter travel card. Now that it is $95 immediately, the CSR is a better choice, as long as you can use the $300 travel credit, and spend on dining and travel anyhow.

And I too am interested to hear if OP has a CFU already. If not, and OP is just getting started on travel cards, leading with the CFU for rent payment would be a good place to start.
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Message 8 of 15
Moderator Emeritus

Re: Is Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card worth it?

Well this thread has many excellent points and recommendations! Gave me a great view on a few options! Good luck on your selection of a card?
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Message 9 of 15
Super Contributor

Re: Is Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card worth it?


@Aim_High wrote:

If you're considering the Sapphire Preferred, I suggest you consider the Sapphire Reserve also.  (I considered both cards but now carry the Sapphire Reserve.) You didn't mention credit score or income, but it sounds like your house is in order in that regard.  (Reserve is a little harder to qualify for since it has minimum credit line of $10K as a Visa Infinite.)  Whether the Preferred or Reserve is a good card for you depends on your spending habits and travel habits.  Incrementally, it doesn't take much difference to justify the difference in the higher-fee Reserve.  Let me explain.

 

The AF on CSP is $95 and CSR is $450.  However, CSR automatically credits back the first $300 you spend every year on the card for travel including hotels, rental cars, airfare, cruises, tolls, and taxis.  That is easy money, and effectively lowers the difference in fees to $55.  ($150 vs $95.)  If you travel internationally, you can get $100 back on the CSR once every 5 years for TSA Global Entry.  (CSP doesn't include this.)  Your net savings = another $20 per year on average, so $130 per year and only a difference of $35 ($130 vs $95).  If you have AAA Roadside assistance, CSR covers up to the first $50 per service call on 4 calls per year, equivalent to basic AAA plan which costs about $50 annual fee.  (CSP provides dispatch but no financial coverage.)  These three things alone cover the difference in price.  Plus, with CSR, you get access to Priority Pass airport lounges (1200 locations but mostly at large US airports or international).  The equivalent membership access level (Priority) would cost you $429 a year if purchased separately.  CSP does not give you this.

 

How much do you spend on travel and dining out per year?  You get an extra 1% (3% vs 2%) back on all those charges every year with CSR. 

 

Actually, it's even MORE than that if you redeem the points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal for travel where you get 50% more value, so your 3% becomes 4.5%.  And if you transfer points from a Freedom 5% rotating category card or Freedom Unlimited 1.5% cash back card, those redemptions become worth 6.25% or 1.875% when rolled over to your CSP but become worth 7.5% and 2.25% when rolled over to a CSR UR portal.  (Chase lets you combine points from different cards onto one account.)  There is real value here if you have other Chase cards, either with the CSP but especially the CSR. 

 

CSP is a Visa Signature with minimum CL $5K.  CSR is a top-level Visa Infinite with minimum CL $10K.  Visa provides superior travel benefits for Chase through the Visa Infinite program.  While Signature is good, Infinite is much better. 

 

The SUB on the CSP right now sounds slightly higher (60K points for $4K spending in 3 months) versus 50K points for $4K spending in 3 months on CSR.  That is a cash-out value of $600 (CSP) vs $500 (CSR) at a penny per point.  However, if you redeem those points on the UR portal at 1.25 vs 1.50 value, the valuation is exactly the same at $750 either way. 


Thank you for that. I would say your post is the most informative piece I have ever read on the Chase CSP and CSR. Wow. I finally understand.


Total revolving limits 719k (592500 reporting) FICO 8 scores: EQ 735 TU 782 EX 746
Message 10 of 15
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