Home > Chase, Credit Cards > Sapphire Preferred ain’t nothin’ without Freedom

Sapphire Preferred ain’t nothin’ without Freedom

I got the Chase Sapphire Preferred last year when I started applying more widely for credit cards. It had a 50,000 point bonus for spending $3000 in 3 months, although that bonus is now 40,000 points. I still consider that to be a great deal, since Ultimate Rewards points can be transferred to United, British Airways, and Hyatt, three very powerful partners.

(If you’re interested in getting a 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points bonus, the Chase Ink Bold is still available. The Ink Bold is a business charge card, so you’ll need a business to apply for the card, and spend $10,000 in 3 months)

When I first got the Sapphire Preferred, it didn’t have much going for it, but they’ve added more transfer partners, such as Southwest Airlines, Korean Air, and Marriott; I don’t find value in those, but it’s good to have choices. They also started giving 2x points on dining and travel. For a while, this was my go-to card for travel and dining. (Not only that, but it’s a pretty sexy card, as it’s all metallic and makes a distinct sound if you drop it on a hard surface. I’ve definitely had waitresses and bartenders take note of that ;)).

However, I’ve found myself using my Chase Freedom card a lot more lately, because of its better earning potential than the Sapphire Preferred. The Chase Freedom is a no annual fee card that looks pretty plain and simple, yet packs a powerful punch in terms of earning. Sounds like my type of card!

My Sapphire Preferred’s annual fee recently posted. I called Chase to ask for the $95 fee to be credited back to my account, but they refused. To be honest, I had a hard time arguing about it. The Sapphire Preferred, combined with the Chase Freedom, is a powerful card, especially since my Freedom is tied to a Chase Checking account.

I commented on a similar post at Online Travel Review and thought I’d expand on my Sapphire Preferred + Freedom thoughts:

On 1x purchases, I earn (1.1x + 10) points per dollar using my Chase Freedom, better than the 1.07x with Sapphire.

The Freedom has great 5x rotating categories each quarter for up to $1500 of purchases. Right now, it’s “Gas Stations + Restaurants” and in Quarter 4, will include “Airlines, Hotels, Kohls, and Best Buy.” That adds up to more than 30,000 Ultimate Rewards points for $6,000 of careful spending per Freedom.

We have 3 Freedoms in our family, do that’s 90,000 Ultimate Rewards points for $18,000 of spending. Even though we have different Freedoms, we can transfer them to my Sapphire Preferred account, where I can turn them into United miles.

The Sapphire Preferred is great for travel and dining, as well as foreign transactions (though I use my Chase British Airways card more because it’s a chip and earns 1.25 Avios instead of 1.07 Ultimate Rewards).

The only real reason I’m keeping the Sapphire Preferred is to “activate” the Freedom points and turn them into United miles.

Which is why I kept my Sapphire Preferred and will downgrade/cancel my family members’ cards. I’ll give them authorized user cards on my Sapphire Preferred in case they need to use it for a large 2x purchase. But now we pay just $95/year for 3 cardholders to earn 5x United miles.

Not bad.

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Categories: Chase, Credit Cards
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