How to Maximize Your Chase Sapphire Preferred® Benefits

Every time one of my friends gets a Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card — or “CSP,” as the cool kids call it — I suddenly feel like Aladdin. 

Cue: “I can show you the world. Travel, transfers, and DashPass. Tell me, now, when did you last max out your rewaaaards?

Because the truth is, there really is a “whole new world” that opens up when you get the CSP. The card has benefits ranging from $15 Instacart credits to free hotel nights — and that’s not even including transfer partners, lucrative Chase offers, and handy, hidden features like combining points. 

So, as someone who’s had the slick, metal CSP for over a decade, here are 14 pro tips I recommend to all new cardholders. 

Erika Taught Me

  • It’s best to save your Chase Ultimate Rewards® points for travel redemption since you’ll get 25% more value through Chase Travel℠ and possibly even more with a transfer. 
  • You can move points you’ve earned with your Chase Freedom Flex® or Chase Freedom Unlimited® to your Sapphire Preferred account and earn 25% extra on those.
  • Cardholders get free fourth nights, room upgrades, welcome drinks, and breakfast at over 130 Ennismore network hotels.

. . .

1. Set a Reminder to Meet Your Welcome Bonus

One of the best things about the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is that it usually offers a rather high welcome bonus relative to its cost:

  • Rewards rate: 5x on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠; 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries; 2x on all other travel purchases; 1x on all other purchases
  • Welcome offer: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Annual fee: $95

The only catch is that you’ll have to spend a certain amount in a limited time to earn it. Miss that target, and you’re leaving quite a pile of cash on the table. 

How to do it

Set a few calendar reminders to ensure that you stay on track and meet your spending goal. 

You might also want to set it as your default payment method on Amazon and PayPal for a while, as well as move it to the front of your wallet to remember to use it during checkout. 

Chase says it takes six to eight weeks for your bonus points to be posted to your account. 

2. Know Your Rewards

Chase has different earning amounts for different categories, such as dining and delivery, streaming services, and travel. 

These could change from time to time, so make sure you know what earns the most — and what exceptions may apply. 

Also remember that the rewards refer to points, not cashback. For example, 5x denotes five points per dollar spent — not 5% cashback. 

That’s an important distinction to make since your points can be worth way more than a penny each, especially when it comes to transfers to other loyalty programs. (More on that in a bit.) 

How to do it

Most products and services will count as a purchase for earning rewards but there are some exceptions, like balance transfers, cash advances, gambling, interest, and fees.

You can check the full list of what's eligible (and what's not) on Chase's Rewards FAQ page.

Your points don't expire, so long as your account is active and in good standing.

3. Check Your Chase Offers Regularly

In addition to your regular cashback rewards, Chase also offers temporary cashback promos with specific big-name merchants.

At the time of this writing, there were 51 Chase Offers total for the CSP, with some going as high as 25% cashback. 

Screenshot by author

There tends to be a fair number of streaming services on here (e.g., AMC+) and food delivery subscriptions (e.g., Home Chef), but you’ll also find some travel-friendly ones, too.  

How to do it

You can access your offers by going to your account home and looking for the “Chase Offers” bubble in the bottom right. 

4. Save Your Points for Travel

As you probably noticed, one of the key selling points of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is the 25% bonus you’ll get on any points redeemed through Chase Travel℠. 

To the uninitiated, Chase Travel℠ is a KAYAK.com-like travel portal where you can book hotels, flights, cars, cruises, and tours using points, cash, or a mix of both. 

Screenshot by author

If you book Chase Travel℠ using your Chase Sapphire Preferred, you’ll get 5x rewards back — for example, 2,500 points on a $500 booking. 

However, if you book using points instead of cash, your points will be worth 1.25 pennies each — for example, 75,000 points would be worth $937.50 on Chase Travel℠. 

How to do it

You can search for flights, hotels, and rental cars all directly through Chase Travel℠. From there, you can choose to book with your card or points if you have them (or a mix of both). If you use a mix, your card will be charged the remaining dollar amount.

Your new points balance (whether you earned or spent) should be updated in your account by your next statement cycle.

5. Know Your Transfer Partners

To preface, redeeming your Chase Ultimate Rewards® points through Chase Travel℠ for 25% more value is always a safe bet. But if you have the time and patience to do a little math, you can get even more value from a transfer. 

In total, Chase has 14 transfer partners that allow you to convert Chase points to their points at a 1:1 ratio. That includes 11 airlines: 

  • Aer Lingus
  • Air Canada
  • British Airways
  • Emirates
  • Air France KLM
  • Iberia
  • JetBlue
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Southwest
  • United Airlines
  • Virgin Atlantic

And a trio of hotels: 

  • IHG Hotels & Resorts
  • Marriott Bonvoy
  • Hyatt

You’ll often see promos, too, such as 40% bonus points with Marriott and 30% with Virgin Atlantic. 

Screenshot by author

How to do it

On the website, visit: Ultimate Rewards® > Travel > Transfer points to partners.

It’ll take a bit of research on your part, but if you can find a transfer partner with individual points that are worth more than 1.25 cents each, you can stretch your Chase points further. 

For example, World of Hyatt points are generally considered to be worth around 1.7 cents each, meaning 100,000 Chase points could be worth $1,700 when transferred to Hyatt. 

6. Combine Points From Other Chase Cards

When I first got my CSP, I remember wishing that it had slightly better rewards for everyday purchases. 

The Chase Freedom Unlimited®, for example, offers 1.5% cashback on all purchases and the Chase Freedom Flex® gives you 5% cashback on quarterly rotating categories like gas and Amazon. 

So I honestly felt like I wasn’t using my CSP enough to keep it — until I discovered the Combine feature. 

The Combine option allows you to move Chase Ultimate Rewards® points you’ve earned with one card onto another card. 

Screenshot by author

That means you can earn points with your Chase Freedom Flex® or Freedom Unlimited® cards and spend them with your Sapphire. 

All the points I earned with those cards are now in my Sapphire account, where they’re worth 25% more in travel and can also be transferred to Hyatt et al. 

How to do it

You can access the Combine option on the website from Ultimate Rewards® > Rewards details > Combine points. 

Screenshot by author

7. Look for “Sales” on Gift Cards

In most cases, redeeming 1,000 credit card points for a $10 gift card is a waste since you might as well swap them for cash at the same rate. 

That is unless there's a sale on gift cards. 

For example, at the time of this writing, you can get a $25 Nieman Marcus card for 2,125 points (~1.18 cents per point) or a $15 Uber Eats card for 1,350 points (~1.1 cents per point). 

How to do it

Head to Ultimate Rewards® > Shopping & Experiences > Redeem for gift cards in your Chase account, then filter by “Sale.” You'll see a litany of options where your points are worth more than a penny each.

Screenshot by author

8. Refrain From Using Pay With Points

Now that we’ve discussed plenty of redemption options to consider, here’s one to avoid

Many big retailers like Target and Amazon will let you “pay with points” at checkout instead of using your credit or debit card. The choice may be tempting at first — after all, why pay $100 in real money if you can pay with 10,000 points instead? 

But when you pay using points instead of your credit card, you won’t earn any rewards on that purchase. Pay with your Chase Sapphire Preferred and you’ll get anywhere from 1x to 5x back. 

9. Don’t Forget Your $50 Hotel Credit

To further help offset the annual fee, your Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card comes with a $50 hotel credit that resets every year. 

If you choose to spend it on a burger, fries, and shake via room service, I totally wouldn’t blame you. 

How to do it

Book the hotel stay through Chase Travel℠ with your Chase Sapphire Preferred card. (You can’t use points.) You’ll then get $50 back on your statement within a few weeks. 

10. Score a Free Night at an Ennismore Hotel

Speaking of hotel perks, one of the lesser-known benefits of being a CSP cardholder is that you’ll be treated like royalty at Ennismore hotels. 

Ennismore is a hospitality collective comprising 14 brands and over 130 properties worldwide. Mama Shelter, Mondrian, Rixos, Gigi, Girafe, and Mun are all Ennismore brands, and even if you’ve never heard of them, it might be worth looking to see if there’s a location in your next travel destination. 

That’s because Sapphire cardholders get a boatload of perks like every fourth night free, free upgrades, free breakfast, $30 in dining credit, complimentary welcome beverages, and more. 

For now, the perk is specific to Delano, Hyde, Mondrian, Morgans Originals, and SLS hotels, so selection may be limited, but definitely worth looking into. 

How to do it

To access the perks, you need to book directly with Ennismore and use the code CHASE at checkout. (And, of course, book with your CSP card.)

Screenshot by author

11. Know How Your Free Trip Insurance Works

While your Chase Sapphire Preferred card is designed to make trips go right, the card also has your back if things go wrong. 

That’s because the card is loaded with travel insurance. Book a trip with your CSP and you’ll get:  

  • Travel accident insurance, which can provide up to $500,000 in the event of accidental death and dismemberment (grim, but important). 
  • Trip cancellation/interruption insurance, which can reimburse you up to $20,000 per trip if your plans are canceled or cut short by sickness, severe weather, and other situations. 
  • Trip delay reimbursement, which can help cover costs if your trip is delayed more than 12 hours (after flight delay compensation kicks in first). 
  • Baggage delay insurance, which can help cover toiletries, clothes, and other things while your bag is missing (after the airline pays out). 
  • Lost luggage reimbursement, which provides up to $3,000 if the airline loses a bag. 
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver, which provides complimentary auto rental collision insurance so you don’t have to purchase it separately. 
  • Travel and emergency assistance, which can provide travel, legal, and medical referrals during times of crisis. 

This massive wall of insurance provides a cozy layer of peace of mind when I travel. 

How to do it

To get the insurance protection, you’ll need to book your trip or rental car with the Chase Sapphire Preferred. Then, if something does go wrong, you’ll need to submit documents such as proof of travel and any communication with the travel company.  

Each type of insurance has different rules for when and how to submit, so check your benefits agreement to see what you need to do.

READ MORE:

@erikakullberg

What they don’t want you knowing about flight cancellations 🤯 #lawyer #travel #money

♬ original sound – Money Lawyer Erika

12. Know How Extended Warranty Protection Works

Similar to how travel insurance protects your trip, extended warranty protection protects your stuff. 

If you purchase a brand new product with your Chase Sapphire Preferred and it comes with a manufacturer’s warranty of three years or less, Chase will automatically extend it by one extra year. 

This is super handy for big investments like laptops, TVs, tablets, appliances, and more. 

How to do it

You can file online with Card Benefit Services or call them at 1-800-874-7702. Note that you'll need to notify Chase within 90 days of the product’s failure or 120 days after damage or theft. 

Once your claim is verified, your item will be repaired or replaced — although keep in mind that it’s at Chase’s discretion to determine whats’s a “valid and reasonable” repair.

13. Switch From Uber to Lyft

You can now pay for Lyft rides with your Chase Sapphire Preferred and earn 5x on every ride (good for 6.25 cents in travel). 

The promo expires in March 2025, but it feels like the Chase + Lyft promo has been running forever — so there’s a possibility that it’ll get extended once again. 

How to do it

All you need to do is add your CSP card to your Lyft account and use it to book your rides. You'll earn the bonus rate automatically on “qualifying” rides, which include rides taken in Classic, Shared, Lux, or XL modes, as well as bike and scooter rides.

However, gift cards, car rentals, vehicle service centers, miscellaneous fees, and other Lyft products and services are not included.

14. Start Using Instacart+ and DashPass

Sometimes, you just don’t feel like traveling overseas to get an authentic taste of India. Heck, sometimes you don’t even feel like leaving the house to get groceries. 

Chase seems to understand our plight, which is why the CSP comes loaded with six free months of Instacart+ and a full year of DashPass. 

  • Instacart+ members get unlimited free delivery on orders over $35, 5% credit back, one-hour delivery, lower fees, and more. You’ll also get a $15 statement credit each quarter by using your CSP.
  • DoorDash DashPass members get $0 delivery fees, reduced service fees, priority customer support, and member-exclusive promos (activate by December 31, 2024). 

One thing to keep in mind is that both services will automatically renew (for a fee), so you may want to set a calendar reminder to cancel if you don’t plan to keep them.

How to do it

To score both of these, you need to activate your CSP card in the apps. Once you set up your accounts with them, go into your profile and link your Sapphire Preferred, then click the “activate” button. 

FAQs

Does Chase Sapphire Preferred have lounge access?

No. In order to get lounge access, you’ll need to upgrade to a more premium card, like the Chase Sapphire Reserve®.

Does Chase Sapphire Preferred offer TSA PreCheck?

No. Unfortunately, you can’t get a statement credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry with the Chase Sapphire Preferred. However, the Sapphire Reserve does offer it. 

How do you increase your Chase Sapphire Preferred credit limit?

You can submit a request online or call the number on the back of your Chase Sapphire Preferred and formally request an increase. 

To determine your eligibility for an increase, Chase may look at your credit score, payment history, credit utilization ratio, change in income (if any), and other factors. 

Wrapping Up

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a veritable multi-tool for travel rewards. But you may simply forget everything that’s inside of it, despite carrying it around every day. 

So you might consider bookmarking this guide (or your Chase Benefits page) to ensure you’re not leaving any benefits on the table! 

. . .


Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.
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I'm an award-winning lawyer and personal finance expert featured in Inc. Magazine, CNBC, the Today Show, Business Insider and more. My mission is to make personal finance accessible for everyone. As the largest financial influencer in the world, I'm connected to a community of over 20 million followers across TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. I'm also the host of the podcast Erika Taught Me. You might recognize me from my viral tagline, "I read the fine print so you don't have to!"

I'm a graduate of Georgetown Law, where I founded the Georgetown Law Entrepreneurship Club, and the University of Notre Dame. I discovered my passion for personal finance after realizing I was drowning in over $200,000 of student debt and needed to take action-ultimately paying off my student loans in under 2 years. I then spent years as a corporate lawyer representing Fortune 500 companies, but I quit because I realized I wanted to have an impact; I wanted to help real people and teach them that you can create a financial future for yourself.

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Our aim is to help you make financial decisions with confidence through our objective article content and reviews. Erika.com is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as MileValue.com. This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers. Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our aim is to help you make financial decisions with confidence through our objective article content and reviews. Erika.com is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as MileValue.com. This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers. Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our aim is to help you make financial decisions with confidence through our objective article content and reviews. Erika.com is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as MileValue.com. This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers. Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.