The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is good for travelers and those who also spend a lot on dining as it gives 2 points for travel and dining purchases. All other purchases earn only 1 point per dollar. The sign-up bonus is quite standard for travel cards – 50,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months. Where this card stands out is redemption options. Redemptions through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards site have the best value – if you redeem for travel, your points are worth 1.25 cents apiece. If you decide to transfer your points, you will be able to do it at 1 to 1 value. American Airlines is not the Sapphire’s balance transfer partner, but there are other 7 partners including British Airways and United MileagePlus.
If your spendings are broader, the Sapphire card won’t perform at its fullest potential. You may want to earn more than 1 point in a general spending category. The Discover it® Miles card will let you earn rewards and can be a better overall option. The Discover it® Miles allows to earn unlimited 1.5 miles on all purchases. The Discover it® Miles does not have a fixed bonus offer but offers a mile-for-mile match, which means all miles you’ve earned first year will be matched at the end of the first year (only for new cardmembers). Thus, if for example, you earn 35,000 miles, you get 70,000 miles. The card’s redemption value for all airlines is 1 mile = 1 cent. So those 70,000 miles translates into $700 when you redeem them. On top of that, if you redeem for travel, such expenses like taxes, surcharges, and fees, that are included into a travel transaction, they will be included in the overall redemption as well.
All in all, we would recommend supplementing the Chase Sapphire Preferred card with the Discover it® Miles card as it allows cash redemptions and cash can cover travel expenses that are not covered by the Sapphire card.