• With most people stuck at home right now, this might be a time when many of you are open to new credit card offers, since living our lives mostly online right now and ordering things for delivery tends to entail the use of cards instead of cash.
  • Chase has the perfect credit card to consider adding to your wallet if you don’t already have it, especially if you’re looking for the best credit cards for rewards. This is our look at the Chase Sapphire Preferred benefits, plus all the other reasons this is the perfect card to sign up for at the moment.
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Even before the coronavirus pandemic upended everyone’s daily life and routines — such that we’re now, among other things, relying on credit cards more than ever as we all socially distance at home, which means ordering more things online — the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card was already regarded as one of the best mid-tier credit cards on the market. The best card, period, among some people, even, thanks to the way it’s gotten so many people started in the points-and-miles game and how it’s served as the first rewards credit card for many consumers who want to earn something back from purchases they make with plastic.

With so many great credit cards out there, why is this card still so highly regarded today? In this post, we’ll walk through our reasoning.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred has two primary bonus categories: 2x on dining and travel. The surprising thing, though, is that even though that probably doesn’t seem like cardholders are earning across a ton of purchases, lots of things end up getting coded as travel or dining expenses on your card statement. That’s because Chase defines both categories very broadly, so many expenses that you may not assume would earn bonus rewards actually do.

For example, bars and breweries that don’t serve food, plus parking lots and garages, tolls, and vending machines are just a few of the things that Chase generally counts as dining and travel.

Chase Ultimate Rewards program

Let’s also talk for a moment about credit card rewards programs. Of the top four (including American Express Membership Rewards, Capital One Rewards, and Citi ThankYou Points, along with Chase Ultimate Rewards), Chase and Amex are generally regarded as the most valuable because of their transferable currencies. Even though no one is really traveling right now because of the coronavirus, it’s good to know that Chase Ultimate Rewards offers a 25% redemption bonus when you book eligible travel through its travel portal. For economy flights (excluding some one-off amazing deals), you can often get more value from booking through the portal than by transferring then to Amex Membership Rewards.

Pairing with other cards

Meanwhile, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is also great because of how easy it is to pair with other cards as part of a well-rounded credit card strategy.

Within the Chase ecosystem, for example, you can pair the Chase Sapphire Preferred with Chase’s no-annual-fee cash back cards (both the consumer and business variants), and the rewards earned with those other credit cards can then be converted into Chase Ultimate Rewards points. At that point, you’d be able to use points for 1.25 cents each through the Chase travel portal, or you could transfer them to partners.

The final word

Consumers can definitely get a ton of value from the Chase Sapphire Preferred while only having to pay $95 a year for the annual fee. Put that fee up against all the rewards and benefits you can enjoy with this card, like travel protections and a complimentary year of DashPass, and you can see that the benefits easily offset that annual expense.

What you run into often from savvy cardholders who’ve mapped out their card strategy is that they use the Chase Sapphire Preferred for a solid portion of non-bonus spending and the travel and dining purchases that won’t earn rewards on other credit cards. For these and other reasons, we continue to recommend the Chase Sapphire Preferred to points and miles beginners and casual travelers who are looking for a great all-around rewards credit card.

Andy is a reporter in Memphis who also contributes to outlets like Fast Company and The Guardian. When he’s not writing about technology, he can be found hunched protectively over his burgeoning collection of vinyl, as well as nursing his Whovianism and bingeing on a variety of TV shows you probably don’t like.