The Chase Sapphire Preferred® card offers premium dining and travel rewards and a generous sign-up bonus (60,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening) that can be redeemed for cash, travel, or other options. Travelers looking to maximize rewards points might benefit the most from this rewards credit card.

This travel card stands out for travelers and is considered to be one of the best credit cards for travel because when you redeem points for travel booked through Chase’s rewards program, Chase Ultimate Rewards®, points are worth 25% more. That extra 25% goes a long way toward airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises. Meanwhile, you’ll earn 2 points for every dollar spent at restaurants and cafes.

You can even combine points from other cards in the Chase Ultimate Rewards family to stretch your rewards. Premium rewards come at a small price, though. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® card charges a $95 annual fee, but it also provides a heftier welcome bonus than many other rewards cards.

Is the Chase Sapphire Preferred® card worth its $95 annual fee? Read on to decide.

Best for: Frequent travelers, people who dine out regularly, and people who like concerts and other events.

Rewards: 2X points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases. All other purchases are worth 1 point. If you want to gain the most value from your rewards, redeem them for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, where they’re worth 25% more. That means when you redeem 60,000 points for airfare, hotels, car rentals, and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, they’re worth $750, compared with the cash redemption value of $600.

You also can redeem points for cash, gift cards, products, and services offered through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® program or third-party merchants. Points are worth less (100 points equals 80 cents instead of $1) when redeemed for a statement credit to cover purchases at Chase Pay® merchants. Another plus: the Chase Sapphire Preferred offers 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs.

Other perks: The Chase Sapphire Preferred® card gives access to Chase Experiences®, which include events such as the Sundance Film Festival and The Chase Sapphire Private Dining Series, along with concerts, shows, and premium sports events. The impressive travel benefits package includes baggage delay insurance, travel accident insurance, trip cancellation/ trip interruption insurance, purchase protection, roadside assistance, and car rental insurance. The Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card also has no foreign transaction fees, so you can rest easy knowing you won’t have to pay extra for your travel purchases. 

More good news for travelers: This credit card offers flexible travel redemption, meaning there’s no blackout dates or travel restrictions when you book your airline tickets through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

Annual fee: $95. Sure, Chase Sapphire Preferred® dings you with an annual fee, but its $600 cash back or $750 welcome bonus easily offsets that. You also can earn plenty of cash back with 2X on travel and dining.

Bonus: The 60,000-point welcome bonus offer — worth $600 in cash, or $750 in travel credit when booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards® — after you spend $4,000 in three months after account opening more than makes up for this card’s $95 annual fee. Savvy cardholders can make their bonus points stretch further (25% more) by redeeming points on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards. Even if you redeem welcome bonus points for cash, you’ll still get a cool $600.

A word of caution, though. If you typically don’t spend $4,000 in three months, make sure you don’t rack up a balance that you wind up struggling to pay off. If you think paying off $4,000 is a problem, you’d be better off with the Chase Freedom card, a cash back card with a smaller welcome bonus ($150). You need to charge only $500 in the first three months to score that bonus.

How the Chase Sapphire Preferred might bring joy to your wallet

Frequent travelers will be the most joyous Chase Sapphire Preferred® cardholders. In addition to 2X points on restaurant and cafe dining, they can redeem points for travel with Chase Ultimate Rewards to boost their point value by 25%.

How the Chase Sapphire Preferred might not bring joy to your wallet

If it sounds appealing to spend $4,000 in three months to snag the 60,000-point welcome bonus, be sure you don’t amass a big balance whose interest charges will wipe out the value of the rewards.