5 Reasons Why Chase Sapphire Preferred Is The Best Starter Travel Credit Card

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Forbes has partnered with The Points Guy for our coverage of credit card products. Forbes and The Points Guy may receive a commission from card issuers.

If you’re brand new to the world of points and miles, selecting a primary credit card to use as you work towards free travel is one of the most critical decisions you can make. However, the sheer number of options make this a daunting proposition. Thankfully, one card stands above the rest. Here are my 5 reasons why the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card should be the first one you add to your wallet.

1. Get Up to $1,155 in Value for Signing Up

The Chase Sapphire Preferred offers a standard sign-up bonus of 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months. Based on the valuations we use at TPG (which are calculated based on the average worth per point you can expect to get with flight and hotel redemptions), those 50,000 points are worth $1,050. You can also earn another 5,000 points if you add an authorized user to the card and make a purchase in the first three months, boosting the value to $1,155. Plus, you don't have to pay the card's $95 annual fee during the first year of membership.

2. Bonus Points on Travel and Dining

The Sapphire Preferred is not alone in offering bonus points for dining and travel expenses. But what makes this card (and its more premium sibling, the Chase Sapphire Reserve) stand out is how wide the definitions span for both dining and travel. You can earn 2 points per dollar at many bars, bake shops and delivery sites like Seamless in addition to at sit-down restaurants, and on the travel side you'll earn double points on everything from Ubers to rental cards to tolls.

3. Great Options for Using Points

Transfer Ultimate Rewards points to transfer partners to get even more value from your points.

Chases's Ultimate Rewards points are among the most valuable loyalty currency out there. There are two main ways to put your points to use: by booking directly through Chase's travel portal, where you'll get 1.25 cents per point in value toward flights and hotels, and by transferring your points to one of Chase's 13 travel partners, including British Airways, United, Hyatt and Marriott. There are many ways to utilize Chase points with each transfer partner, but some high-end examples include a stay at the Park Hyatt Tokyo and a flight in Singapore Airlines' Suites class. With up to 55,000 points from the sign-up bonus and adding an authorize user, you're already well on your way to some amazing travel experiences.

4. Strong Travel Protections

The Sapphire Preferred Card offers primary car rental insurance.

Beyond earning you valuable points that you can redeem toward travel, the Chase Sapphire Preferred includes some strong protections that come in handy while you're on the road. These include primary car rental insurance, trip delay insurance of up to $500 per ticket, trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance of up to $10,000 per trip and baggage delay insurance of up to $100 per day for up to five days. The card doesn't have foreign transaction fees, either.

5. Chase's '5/24' Rule

If you're considering applying for various credit cards, you'll want to make sure the Sapphire Preferred is at or near the top of your list — not only because it's a great tool to have in your wallet, but because Chase has restrictions on how many cards it will approve you for. The issuer's so-called 5/24 rule dictates that if you've opened five or more cards in the last 24 months, you likely won't get approved for any of its cards. This means you'll want to prioritize applying for the Sapphire Preferred and other Chase cards above signing up for cards from other issuers.

Forbes has partnered with The Points Guy for our coverage of credit card products. Forbes and The Points Guy may receive a commission from card issuers.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/thepointsguy/2018/03/

This article is only publisher's viewpoint.

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