Our pick for the Best Travel Credit Card in December 2018 is the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, which was also named the Best Travel Credit Card by MONEY® Magazine, 2016 and 2017.
In the following, we will discuss why the previous best travel credit card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card, gave way to the Preferred Card, thus mentioning its benefits.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is very popular due to its approachability for wider categories of people. The Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card charges an intimidating $450 annual fee, while the Preferred Card only requires a $95 fee after a free first year. If we compare the Preferred Card with the most expensive card on market - The Platinum Card from American Express, which costs $550 annually, we can clearly see that the Preferred Card while charging much less, provides the same perks for the travelers. For example, the Platinum Card gives you 60,000 points after you spend $5,000 in the first three months, while the Preferred Card gives 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months. The Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card, while charging $450 annually, gives $300 annual travel credit, delivers unique rewards rate of 4.5% and gives users access to airport lounge and TSA Pre, which may sound like a great deal. But in order to justify having such an expensive card, the traveler needs to spend at least $12 000 annually. This condition is not acceptable for many travelers. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is the best option for people, who don’t want to spend $450 annually or don’t have a high enough credit score to qualify for a Premium Card like the Reserve Card. Thus it is not surprising that the Value Penguin has named it the Best Travel Credit Card for Most People.*
The luxurious Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card stands out with its three points on travel and dining and one point on all other purchases. The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, being less expensive, does not perform terribly, offering 2x points on dining and travel related expenses and also 1x points on other expenses. The industry’s average rewards rate on travel is 2% **, while the Preferred Card offers 2,5%, not bad for the card which doesn’t charge you with an annual fee during the first year. Both cards are part of the Chase Ultimate Rewards Program, which allows the card holders totransfer their points at 1:1 ratio to any of the 13 transfer partners including Air France–KLM, British Airways, Korean Air, Singapore Airlines, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, and Virgin Atlantic. This feature is unique for these 2 travel cards, but in the case of Reserve Card you need to pay $450 and for the Preferred only $95 after the first free year. The Preferred Card, made of metal, shares other great features of its luxurious sibling, the Reserve Card,as no foreign transaction fee, no blackouts or restrictions, 24/7 emergency service, trip cancellation/trip interruption/trip delay/lost or delayed luggage reimbursement as well as a generous travel accident insurance. But at the same time it is affordable, which makes it the best travel credit card for August 2018.
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