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Chase Sapphire Preferred: now better than gold?

By , CardRatings contributor
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JPMorgan Chase celebrated the second anniversary of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card by doubling reward points on purchases made at a long list of travel and dining vendors. Company officials announced the change to reporters this month, stating that their Sapphire Preferred credit card now rivals other companies' gold cards as an essential personal finance tool for affluent consumers.

Although other rewards credit cards let cardholders rack up extra points for dining at restaurants and travel purchases, Chase Sapphire's extended list of qualifying transactions could set a new industry standard. Cardholders now earn 2X points for every dollar spent with merchants in the following categories:

  • Travel. Many reward cards multiply miles or points for purchasing airfare, train tickets, car rentals or hotel nights. Chase Sapphire Preferred Card customers now get double points for all of those expenses, plus their transactions in taxi cabs and at general travel agencies.
  • Dining. Chase Sapphire Preferred Card has also broadened its definitions of "dining" to include coffee shops, fast food joints, and fast casual eateries along with traditional, sit-down restaurants.

The new earning opportunities complement other features of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card credit card, including a dedicated customer service team that answers calls without the assistance of a "phone tree" or automated response system. Cardholders can redeem their points through Chase's Ultimate Rewards program, which includes exclusive "experiences" like VIP parties at major sporting and entertainment events. Chase customers can also exchange reward points for frequent flyer miles and hotel nights with partner airlines and lodging brands.

Chase officials told reporters they intended to spread the news about the upgraded credit card with a new advertising campaign, gently poking fun at the rising value of gold on international commodity markets. New customers can enjoy a 40,000 point signup bonus when spending $4,000 on purchases with the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card within the first three months from account opening.

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