What to do with your Chase Sapphire Preferred

What to do with your Chase Sapphire Preferred

August 30, 2017

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For several years, the Chase Sapphire Preferred was one of the best travel reward credit cards. It offers double Ultimate Rewards points on all travel and dining purchases, and your rewards could be transferred to miles with seven airlines or points with four hotel programs. You can also redeem points for 1.25 cents each towards travel reservations made through Chase.

In 2016, Chase’s Sapphire Reserve card was introduced. It offers 3x points for travel and dining purchases, and points are worth 1.5 cents towards travel reservations. It also offers airport business lounge access and a $300 annual travel statement credit.

Not only did the Sapphire Reserve overtake the Sapphire Preferred, it became one of the most sought after credit cards ever introduced. For a while, Chase even had trouble printing enough of them. Yet those who have received a Sapphire Reserve were often left wondering what do with their old Sapphire Preferred card.

Sapphire Preferred vs. Reserve

Often, a new credit card will provide benefits that complement existing offerings. For example, if a new Chase card offered bonus points for entertainment and grocery store purchases, then it might make sense for some to hold this card and keep their Sapphire Preferred. But the Sapphire Reserve’s benefits completely equaled or surpassed those of the Sapphire Preferred. For instance, the Sapphire Reserve offers triple points where the Preferred only offers double points. And every cardholder benefit offered to Preferred cardholders is granted to Reserve cardholders, and more.

The Three Choices

If you hold both the Sapphire Reserve and the Sapphire Preferred, then you are left with three choices:

Option 1. Keep the Sapphire Preferred. There are few logical reasons to keep this card if you already have the Sapphire Reserve. One reason is to continue to build your credit by having more credit extended and another account on your credit report. But with a $95 annual fee, this is an expensive way to build credit.

Option 2: Cancel the Sapphire Preferred. This seems like the obvious choice for many cardholders when they realize that the Sapphire Preferred card’s benefits are completely redundant to the Sapphire Reserve. The advantages of this strategy is that you’ll save the $95 annual fee, and have one less card to worry about. On the other hand, you will be reducing your credit extended and you’ll have one less account adding to your credit history. For those with a shorter credit history, or with very few credit cards, this could have a small, negative effect on your credit score.

Option 3: Request a product change. A product change is where a card issuer keeps your account open, but changes the type of card associated with it. And when you product change your Sapphire Preferred to a card without an annual fee, you can save $95 while keeping your account open and on your credit report. In addition, you can also enjoy the complementary advantages of another Chase credit card.

For example, you could perform a product change to the Chase Freedom card, which offers 5x rewards on up to $1,500 spent each quarter at merchants in featured categories, and 1x everywhere else. Or you could product change to the Freedom Unlimited, which features 1.5x rewards on all purchases. Neither of these cards have an annual fee, and most importantly you can transfer your reward points earned from these cards to your Sapphire Reserve account.

With the Freedom Unlimited, this means that you can earn 1.5 points on all purchases that don’t qualify for a bonus. And if you chose the standard Freedom card, you could earn 5x points on select purchases each quarter. Either of these benefits is better than having to pay $95 for the redundant benefits of the Sapphire Reserve.

Bottom Line

It’s always a good problem to have when your credit card has been replaced with a better one, but you still need to figure out what to do with your old card. By understanding all of your options, you can choose the best one for you needs.

Intro (Purchases)
N/A
Intro (Transfers)
N/A
Annual Fee
$95
Regular APR
16.99% - 23.99% Variable
Credit Recommended
Good/Excellent
Intro Rewards Bonus
50,000 bonus points

Highlights

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
See additional details for Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card