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The card everyone needs- Chase Sapphire Preferred (CSP)

Updated: Sep 14, 2022

UPDATE: This promotion will end on May 31st so if you haven't taken advantage, now is the time!

As I write this, I was approved again for the Chase Sapphire Preferred after downgrading 10 days prior to the Freedom (I'll explain in a bit). The CSP is one of those cards that is great for entry-level, intermediate and experienced travel hackers alike. Right now the CSP is offering 80,000 ultimate rewards points after spending $4,000 in 3 months, which brings the card's value to $1000 in travel.

So let's break down the card's benefits:

  • 3x points on dining worldwide

  • 3x Points Earned on Select Streaming Services

  • 5X Points on travel purchased through Chase travel portal

  • 2x points on travel (hotels, parking, etc)

  • $50 anniversary hotel credit

  • 10% Anniversary Points Boost

  • Primary rental car coverage

  • No foreign transaction fees

  • Partnership with Doordash for free delivery

The card has some great travel partners as well which makes it easy for redemptions including Hyatt, United, Marriott, IHG, Flying Blue, Southwest, etc. Plus if you are paying attention, every so often there will be bonuses on select transfer partners which can help bring down the amount of points needed to book a flight or to book a hotel room. It has an annual fee of $95 which is on the lower end compared to most travel credit cards (Amex Platinum at $695) and much lower than its sibling the Chase Sapphire Reserved which comes in at a whopping $550 annual fee.

Now back to what I mentioned before. I originally applied for the CSP in 2017. Chase has a rule that you can not apply for another CSP if you currently have one or if it's been less than 48 months (4 years) since you received the sign-up bonus. Since it has been 5 years for me, I qualified. Chase also has the 5/24 rule which means if you have applied for 5 new credit cards in the past 24 months across all companies, not just Chase, you will be denied. I also was in the clear on this one.

Usually, Chase offers the CSP with a 60,000-point sign-up bonus. In 2021, they had a brief moment where 100,000 points were being offered after hitting your spend, I am guessing due to Covid. But since I knew that promotion was not coming back and I knew this 80,000 one was coming, I waited until April to downgrade my card so that I could re-apply in time for my summer travel because I knew I would need a card with no foreign transaction fees and with primary rental car coverage.

So I downgraded to the no-annual-fee Chase Freedom Flex, waited 10 days and then applied in branch. I did this because I heard through the travel hacker world that they would waive the annual fee for the first year, which they did, and I waited about an hour before I was informed I was approved (which has happened with most Chase cards I apply for usually due to an error on my end.)

I highly recommend this card because it is a great travel credit card thanks to its travel portal, travel partners, the low annual fee and of course the sign-up bonus. Take advantage and APPLY NOW because we don't know how long this promotion will be around for.

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