You might associate travel credit cards with points, miles and the free travel the rewards can offer. However, the best cards can give you valuable perks and benefits for the entirety of your vacation, helping you save and maximizing your fun wherever you go.
At a modest $95 annual fee, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card packs a solid set of benefits to make your next trip more rewarding. Below, CNBC Select breaks down how the card can help you at every stage of your vacation — from the moment you book it to catching a Lyft ride home back from the airport.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
$50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3X points on dining, 3X points on select streaming services and online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs), 2X points on all other travel purchases, and 1X points on all other purchases
Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
20.74% – 27.74% variable on purchases and balance transfers
Balance transfer fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
Foreign transaction fee
Booking a vacation
A vacation can get expensive very quickly. Depending on where you’re going and for how long, the cost can range between a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. Booking with credit card rewards can help you save on these expenses — and Chase Ultimate Rewards® points can be a lucrative rewards currency.
You can book flights, hotels and more using Chase’s travel portal. With the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you’ll get the value of 1.25 cents per point when redeeming rewards this way. This means that the card’s welcome bonus, which currently is 80,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first three months after account opening, can cover at least $1,000 of your vacation costs when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. And you can get even better value when transferring points to certain airline or hotel partners.
Even if you don’t redeem your points for travel, you can still earn valuable rewards. The card offers 5X points on travel booked through Chase. Outside of the portal, travel purchases, which include anything from flights, hotels, trains, parking, and more, will earn you 2X points.
As a little cherry on top, the Chase Sapphire Preferred also gives you a $50 annual credit to spend on hotels booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.
Planning your trip
For many travelers, the anticipation that comes with planning a vacation is an important part of the experience. What no one wants to think about, however, is what to do if things don’t go according to plan. What if you get stranded at the airport because of the bad weather or an airline mess-up? What if you have to cut your trip short or cancel it altogether?
If you’ve booked your trip with the Chase Sapphire Preferred, don’t fret. The card offers trip cancellation and interruption insurance of up to $10,000 per covered person and $20,000 per trip. With this coverage, you may get reimbursed for expenses like airfare, lodging and car rentals.
Another type of travel insurance the Chase Sapphire Preferred provides is trip delay reimbursement which can cover the cost of expenses incurred as a result of a delay that’s 12 hours or longer. These can include meals, hotel, medication and toiletries. The coverage limit is $500 per ticket.
Getting to and from the airport
If you prefer grabbing a rideshare when traveling to and from the airport, you can earn extra rewards with the Chase Sapphire Preferred. Through March 2025, cardholders can earn 5X total points on Lyft rides.
For those who prefer a taxi or public transportation, the card still comes in handy. The Chase Sapphire Preferred earns double points on “travel”, a broad category that includes buses, passenger trains, taxis and much more.
Waiting for your suitcase at baggage claim
Nobody wants to arrive at their destination only to find out their luggage didn’t arrive with them. Luckily, if your bag doesn’t show up on the baggage carousel, the Chase Sapphire has got your back.
If your luggage is more than six hours late, the Chase Sapphire Preferred can reimburse you for purchasing essentials, such as clothing, toiletries, chargers for your electronics and more. The card’s baggage delay insurance can cover these expenses for up to $100 per day and a maximum of five days.
And if your bag ends up never making its way back to you, the lost luggage reimbursement on the Chase Sapphire Preferred can cover the cash value of your checked baggage for up to $3,000 per trip.
Note that in both of these cases, you’ll have to report the delay or loss to the airline first and give them the opportunity to reimburse you. But if the airline fails to come through, the card’s coverage will kick in.
Renting a car
If you’re renting a car on your trip, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is one of the best cards you can use.
First, you can earn 5X points when booking car rentals through Ultimate Rewards — or get the 1.25-cent-per-point value when redeeming your rewards for car rentals when booking through the Chase Travel portal. If you’re not using the portal, you’ll still earn double points as car rentals are considered a travel purchase.
Second, you also get car rental insurance with the card. The coverage is primary, meaning you don’t have to submit a claim to your insurance provider first. The Chase Sapphire Preferred’s auto rental collision damage waiver provides reimbursement for damages caused by theft or collision up to the rental’s actual cash value. The coverage applies to rental periods of up to 31 consecutive days.
Shopping on your trip
Should you decide to indulge in some shopping while on your trip, the Chase Sapphire Preferred protects eligible purchases on the card against theft or damage within 120 days from the date you made them for up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account. With the purchase protection coverage the Chase Sapphire Preferred offers, the item can be replaced or repaired. Otherwise, you can get reimbursement for the item’s total price.
If the item you bought with the Chase Sapphire Preferred comes with a U.S. warranty of three years or less, the card can extend the warranty for an additional year. Your purchase will be covered for the original price of the item, up to a maximum of $10,000 per claim and $50,000.00 per account.
And if your destination is outside of the U.S., you won’t have to worry about paying any foreign transaction fees when using the card, giving you one more incentive to hit the stores.
Checking out local restaurants
Trying out local foods is an essential part of the travel experience. With the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you’ll earn 3X points on dining, whether you dine in, get takeout or order through an eligible delivery provider.
If the latter sounds like the most appealing option, you can also take advantage of a complimentary one-year DoorDash and Caviar membership the card offers (activation required). The subscription allows you to avoid delivery fees and pay lower service fees. Note that the offer might not be available in all states or countries.
Staying safe until the end of your trip
Peace of mind is critical to a successful vacation. To help you achieve it, the Chase Sapphire Preferred offers the following benefits:
- Roadside dispatch, a pay-per-use assistance program that can help you with services like towing or roadside assistance — think tire changing, jump start and fuel delivery.
- Travel accident insurance, which covers you and your immediate family members in case of tragic events on your trip, such as death, dismemberment and others. The coverage limit is $500,000 if the accident happened on a common carrier and $100,000 if it occurred during the trip itself.
- Travel and emergency assistance, which can help you in case of an emergency on your trip. Some examples of the available services include medical and legal referrals, emergency transportation, translation and others. Note that all associated costs are your responsibility.
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If you’re planning your next vacation, don’t forget to plan which credit card you’re going to use. The Chase Sapphire Preferred is an excellent candidate, offering a solid package of benefits and protections for every stage of your trip. Just keep in mind that for all these perks to kick in, you need to make sure to charge all associated expenses on the card.
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Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.