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Updated October 8, 2014

Chase Sapphire Review

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Families looking for a credit card that will earn them rewards on dining and provide them with a feeling of security on their occasional trips may want to consider the Chase Sapphire. It comes with a long list of travel perks and protections, including trip cancellation insurance and access to emergency assistance with no annual fee. Read on to see if the cons outweigh the pros for the way you would use the Chase Sapphire.

11/15/2014 Update: We're sorry, Chase Sapphire® Card is no longer available on CreditDonkey. This offer may have been discontinued or may no longer be available to new applicants.

Overall Score

3.5

Rewards

3.0

Interest Rates

3.0

Fees

4.0

Benefits

4.0
5-point scale (the higher, the better)

Pros and Cons

  • Promotional bonus
  • No annual fee
  • 3% foreign transaction fee

Bottom Line

Good rewards card with no annual fee for the occasional domestic traveler

Rewards

Almost all purchases earn 1 point per dollar spent. The exception is spending done at restaurants, which earn double points (2 per dollar). To get the most out of your points, you’ll want to redeem them through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards platform, which offers travel rewards, gift cards, cash back, or merchandise.

The general redemption rate is 1%, so it will take 2,500 points (the equivalent of $2,500 in spending without accounting for any double points earned) to purchase a $25 gift card. There is no limit to the number of rewards you can earn, no blackout dates on redemption, and no expiration date on points.

Protection Programs

Chase Sapphire cardholders enjoy the following protection programs on eligible purchases made with their card:

  • Purchase protection: Eligible purchases are covered against damage and theft for 120 days up to $500 (with a $50,000 limit per account).

  • Extended Warranty: Cardholders can feel at ease with extended warranty protection that extends the time period of the warranty by an additional year (applies to eligible purchases that have manufacturer warranties of three years or less.)

  • Price Protection: This applies to eligible purchases for 90 days, during which price differentials of up to $500 per item (totaling no more than $2,500 per year) will be refunded upon request.

  • Return Protection: Another benefit of the card covers eligible purchases that cannot be returned to the store, up to $500 per item ($1,000 per year) for 90 days from the date of purchase.

Travel Perks

Travelers will appreciate the Chase Sapphire’s assortment of offerings related to travel insurance and services. This includes:

  • Trip cancellation/interruption insurance, which covers you on up to $5,000 in non-refundable travel expenses.
  • Travel accident insurance up to $500,000.
  • Lost luggage reimbursement up to $3,000 per passenger.
  • Trip delay reimbursement up to $500 per ticket, and baggage delay reimbursement up to $100 per day for up to five days.

You can also avoid paying for collision insurance on an eligible rental car through the rental company if you charge the entire rental to your Sapphire card, and should you need any type of emergency assistance while traveling inside or outside the U.S., you’ll have access to the Chase Global Lifeline around the clock, every day of the week.

Customer Service

Cardholders can take advantage of 24/7 access to a credit advisor through the customer service number.

Fees

The Chase Sapphire has no annual fee, but it does tack on a 3% fee on balance transfers and foreign transactions. Late payment fees and return fees can cost up to $35.

Sign-Up Bonus

New cardholders are eligible to earn 10,000 bonus points by spending just $500 with the card in the first 3 months after they open the account. Redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards and those 10,000 points will translate to $100 in travel rewards. As an additional bonus, if you add an authorized user to your account, you’ll earn another 2,500 in bonus points if that person makes a purchase within 3 months of becoming a cardholder.

Pros

  • Sign-up bonus: The $500 spending threshold and 3 month timeframe make this one of the easier sign-up bonuses to obtain compared to other credit cards on the market.
  • Customer Service: 24/7 live support and access to a 24/7 global assistance program for travelers needing emergency assistance are nice perks.
  • No annual fee: This card comes with a nice array of rewards, protection program, and travel perks for a card without an annual fee.

Cons

  • Rewards program: Most purchases will earn just 1% in rewards. Other rewards cards on the market offer rotating bonus rewards categories, a wider array of purchase categories offering double and triple points, or special redemption offers.
  • Foreign transaction fee: For a card that offers a number of perks specifically designed to appeal to frequent travelers, the 3% foreign transaction fee is a major drawback, especially since several comparable cards don’t charge such a fee.

How It Compares

Chase Freedom Chase Freedom: There are quite a few similarities between the Freedom card and the Sapphire card: similar signup bonus offers and no annual fee. The Freedom comes with the added perks of a 0% APR introductory period for 15 months on balance transfers (after that, a variable APR of 13.99% - 22.99% depending on your creditworthiness) as well as the opportunity to earn 5% cash back (as opposed to the regular 1% rate) on bonus spending categories that rotate every three months. If you’re looking for travel insurance and protection, though, the Sapphire is the clear winner — its list of travel perks is much more extensive than that of the Freedom card.

Chase Slate Chase Slate: The big draw of the Chase Slate is its introductory balance transfer offer: 0% APR on balance transfers for the first 15 months (after that, a variable APR of 12.99%, 17.99%, 22.99% depending on your creditworthiness), and no fee on balance transfers for the first 60 days. That’s great news for consumers who find themselves with a good deal of credit card debt and quickly mounting interest payments. The Slate doesn’t offer any rewards program to speak of, however, and is not a card that offers much in the way of travel perks.

Barclaycard Arrival Barclaycard Arrival: A true travel rewards credit card, the Arrival card provides rewards for every dollar spent with it in the form of miles that can be redeemed for airline tickets, hotel stays, or even gift cards and merchandise. Travel and dining earn 2 points per dollar while all other spending earns 1 point per dollar. The redemption rate, much like the Sapphire, is about 1%, meaning 20,000 miles can be redeemed for a reward valued at about $200. The Arrival card comes with the nice perk of 10% in bonus miles every time you redeem miles for travel rewards. It also has a 0% APR introductory offer for 12 months for each balance transfer made within 45 days of account opening (after that, a variable APR of 14.99% or 18.99% depending on your creditworthiness) and no annual fee, though its sign-up bonus of 20,000 miles requires $1,000 in spending within the first 90 days (as opposed to the Sapphire’s spend $500 in 3 months for the 10,000 points offer). But perhaps the Arrival’s biggest perk is its lack of foreign transaction fees.

Bottom Line

If you’re an occasional traveler looking for an all-purpose rewards credit card, the Chase Sapphire is a good option. Though not as generous in its rewards structure as some of the other credit cards on the market, the travel perks relating to insurance coverage, reimbursements, and emergency services is worth considering.

Rewards aside, the Barclaycard Arrival card and its lack of foreign transaction fees, its attractive APR introductory offer, and its generous miles redemption offer make for competition against the Chase Sapphire.

11/15/2014 Update: We're sorry, Chase Sapphire® Card is no longer available on CreditDonkey. This offer may have been discontinued or may no longer be available to new applicants.

Follow @CreditDonkey or write to Leah Norris at leah@creditdonkey.com
Leah Norris is a research analyst at CreditDonkey, a credit card comparison and financial education website. Our data-driven analysis has been recognized by major news outlets across the country and has helped consumers make savvy financial and lifestyle decisions. (read more)

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by Chase. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by Chase. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.

Disclaimer: This content was first published on September 26, 2014. This content may have been updated on October 8, 2014. Information including APR, terms and benefits may vary, be out of date, or not applicable to you. Information is provided without warranty. Please check Chase website for updated information.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.

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Compare Chase Sapphire to:

Chase Freedom

Chase Freedom®

Intro APR (Purchases)Intro APR (Balance Transfer)Regular APR
0% for 15 months
0% for 15 months
13.99% - 22.99% (Variable)
  • Earn a $100 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn a $25 Bonus after you add your first authorized user and make a purchase within this same 3-month period
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers. After the intro period, a variable APR of 13.99-22.99%
  • 5% Cash Back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases between 1/1/15-3/31/15 at grocery stores (not including Walmart® and Target® purchases), movie theaters, and Starbucks® stores
  • You'll enjoy new 5% categories every 3 months like restaurants, gas stations, and Amazon.com. It's free and easy to activate your bonus each quarter!
  • Unlimited 1% Cash Back on all other purchases
  • No annual fee and rewards never expire as long as your account is open
Apply for Chase Freedom
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Intro APR (Purchases)Intro APR (Balance Transfer)Regular APR
N/AN/A
15.99% (Variable)
  • Earn 40,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $500 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards(SM).
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees, plus Chip and Signature enabled for international travel.
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading frequent travel programs at full value - that means 1,000 Ultimate Rewards points equal 1,000 partner miles/points.
  • 24/7 direct access to dedicated customer service specialists
  • Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95
Apply for Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

Intro APR (Purchases)Intro APR (Balance Transfer)Regular APR
NoneNone
15.24% - 19.24% Variable
Introductory Bonus Airline RewardsAirline RewardsCar Rental InsuranceExtended Warranty
  • Earn 30,000 bonus miles after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases within your first 3 months.
  • Earn a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.
  • Earn As You Spend: Get 2X miles on Delta purchases and 1X miles for all other eligible dollars spent.
  • Check your first bag free on every Delta flight - that's a savings of up to $200 per round trip for a family of four.
  • Settle in sooner with Priority Boarding.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Terms and Restrictions Apply.
Apply for Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express

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Chase Freedom

With its sign-up bonus, rotating 5% cash back categories, and 0% introductory APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, the card is one of the most popular no-annual-fee rewards cards. Read this Chase Freedom review to see if this ...
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About CreditDonkey®
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Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed on this page are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

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