Credit card companies such as Chase Bank offer military discounts to active duty members and waive all annual fees. Chase has dozens of credit card options for military members to consider.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card offers cardholders up to five points on the dollar for travel purchases and other special benefits.
Chase Sapphire Preference: Overview
Military personnel interested in applying for a Chase Sapphire Preferred card should know some basic information.Cost: The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card has a $95 annual fee, but Chase waives this fee for active duty members under the Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act (SCRA). This card also has no foreign transaction fees. Interest: Interest rates on the card are between 15.99% – 22.99% variable APR. Sign Up Bonus: Cardholders can earn 60,000 bonus points when they spend $4,000 within the first 90 days of opening an account.
Chase Sapphire Preferred Rewards
The list of rewards for Chase Sapphire Preferred cardholders is long. For eligible travel purchases, you get between two and five points for every dollar you spend. All other purchases get one point per dollar.
You will receive additional points for making travel arrangements through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. Various store-specific rewards change from year to year. Last year, Chase offered higher rewards for DoorDash and Peloton purchases.
On account anniversaries, Chase Sapphire Preferred cardholders receive a $50 credit toward hotel stays. You will also receive bonus points worth 10% of the previous year’s purchases (2,500 points if you spent $25,000).
Chase Sapphire Preferred Military Benefits
Chase waives annual fees on all of their active-duty military credit cards. If you are approved for a Chase Sapphire Preferred card, you can send Chase a copy of your orders to receive SCRA benefits.
To submit your documents electronically, go to Chase.com and choose ‘new post’. Then select the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) option from the drop-down menu.
Chase cannot process photos from documents created on mobile devices. If you are unable to scan your documents to submit them online, please email copies to:
Attn: SCRA request
PO Box 183240
Columbus, OH 43218-3240
Please contact Customer Support after submitting your documentation to ensure that your account information is updated.
Pros and Cons of Chase Sapphire
As with any credit card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card has pros and cons.
The 60,000 point sign-up bonus ($600 cash value) for your first $4,000 in fees is a serious plus. You can redeem points for a check, statement credit, or even an Amazon gift card.
Military members can also waive their annual allowance, which is always an advantage. After being a Chase Sapphire Preferred cardholder for one year, you can also upgrade to a Chase Sapphire Reserve card, which offers more rewards, such as a $300 annual travel credit.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred card has its drawbacks. While it offers many travel rewards, some Chase customers have reported problems filing a travel cancellation or insurance claim.
You must redeem your points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. If the portal or site is unavailable for any reason, you will not be able to redeem them.
Getting Approved for Chase Sapphire Preferred
Chase requires applicants to have good to excellent credit (680 and above). However, that’s not the only factor Chase considers when approving new and existing customers for a Chase Sapphire Preferred card.
The Chase 5/24 Rule
Chase has a strict 5/24 rule for approving new credit applications. To be approved for a Chase credit card, you must have opened fewer than five accounts in the past 24 months. This includes credit cards from all banks, not just Chase.
Likewise, if you opened two or more accounts in the last 30 days, you may not be approved. You can check the status of newly opened accounts by viewing your credit report.
If you opened your fifth account on February 5, 2020, you will have to wait until March 1, 2022 to apply for a Chase card.
This rule helps Chase make sure you don’t have too many open accounts at once.
The difference between Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve
One of the perks of being a Chase Preferred cardholder is the ability to upgrade to a Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card.
Making the switch will increase the annual fees from $95 to $550 if you don’t qualify for an annual fee waiver through the SCRA. The increase in annual compensation offers more opportunities to earn points, such as 10 points on the dollar for hotel and car rental purchases made in the Ultimate Rewards portal.
Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders also receive a $300 annual credit toward travel purchases and access to more than 1,000 airport lounges across the United States. Reimbursement for TSA PreCheck fees is another benefit.
At this time, new Chase Sapphire Reserve customers also get one year of Lyft Pink for free.
Chase Sapphire Preference vs. Other Cards
The average annual fee for reimbursed travel credit cards is $139, according to the 2019 US News Consumer Credit Card Fee Study. So the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card is about $44 cheaper than the average.
Active duty military personnel who submit SCRA documentation do not have to pay these fees at all.
When you redeem your rewards points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal, you will receive 50% more value for your points. So if you have 60,000 loyalty points, you can redeem them for $600 in cash or redeem them for $750 travel credit.
Why Apply for a Chase Sapphire Preferred Card When You’re in the Military?
You can save $95 a year on Chase’s annual costs when you take advantage of your Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act benefits. With SCRA benefits, you can even lower your interest.
Whether the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is right for you depends on your lifestyle. If you travel often, earning five times the points on travel purchases makes the card worth it.
Make sure you meet Chase’s strict approval policy before you spend time applying.
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