How Does the Chase Sapphire Preferred<sup>®</sup> Card Hotel Credit Work? How Does the Chase Sapphire Preferred<sup>®</sup> Card Hotel Credit Work?

How Does the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card Hotel Credit Work?

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The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is one of the most popular cards on the market — for good reason. With a ton of transfer partners, access to Chase's travel portal, and a modest annual fee, this card has many benefits that travelers can take advantage of. One of those benefits can offset more than half of the card's annual fee each year: the annual $50 hotel credit. Let's take a look at exactly how this works.

What Is the Chase Sapphire Preferred Hotel Credit?

When you use your Sapphire Preferred card to book a hotel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal, a credit of $50 will be applied to your account automatically. Thus, you don't need to enroll or choose which bookings will receive the credit.

screenshot of offer details for Chase Sapphire Preferred annual $50 hotel credit

Before taking advantage of this perk, you should understand the following:

  • There is a maximum of $50 annually, issued as a statement credit.
  • This benefit is available each cardmember year, meaning it's based on the 12 months following your account opening date — not the calendar year.
  • You do not have to register for the credit; it will be applied automatically.
  • You must book through the Ultimate Rewards Portal to receive the credit.
  • There is no minimum spending amount required for using this benefit.
  • The credit will usually post to your account within two days of a qualifying purchase; however, Chase states that it can take up to two billing cycles.
  • Credits will apply automatically to the first $50 of qualifying hotel bookings each cardmember year.

Downsides of the Sapphire Preferred Annual Hotel Credit

While we love this perk, there are some things to keep in mind. The biggest potential downside is that you may not earn loyalty program points or elite night credits. That's because you are booking through a third party, instead of booking directly with a hotel. This also means you may not receive any loyalty program benefits, like room upgrades or free meals, if you have elite status with that hotel's loyalty program. It's worth trying to add your loyalty number after making the reservation. You can do this by calling the hotel or asking at check-in. Just be aware that the hotel may not honor your status level (if you have one) or give you stay credit on these bookings.

Another potential downside is that the Ultimate Rewards portal may not always have the best prices. Essentially, the $50 credit is useless if you're spending more money out of pocket by booking through the portal instead of directly with the hotel. Make sure to do your research before deciding when to use it. Ensure that the price in Chase's portal is lower in the end, once you factor in the $50 credit.

Maximizing Value

How can you ensure you're getting the most value out of your Sapphire Preferred hotel credit? Here are a few things to consider:

  • You can book a small boutique hotel where you wouldn't earn any loyalty program points.
  • Try to book something that is as close to $50 as possible, so that it covers the majority of your bill.
  • Along the same lines, book a stay that is only one night.
  • Consider a chain hotel if the cash price is low for the night and it would be worth paying less out of pocket.
  • Further, consider a chain hotel with which you don't have any loyalty program perks that you'd forego by booking in a portal.

How to Use Your Sapphire Preferred Hotel Credit

Now that we've covered what the credit is and how it works, let's look at the process to book a stay that qualifies for the credit.

First, log into your Chase account. Then, head to the Ultimate Rewards portal. Once there, you will select the down arrow that's listed next to your account balance. After this, you should select “travel” from the drop-down menu.

screenshot of menu options in the Chase travel portal

From here, enter your destination and dates, along with the number of people staying in the room.

screenshot of input fields for hotel booking in the Chase travel portal so you can use the Sapphire Preferred annual $50 hotel credit

When the results pop up, we recommend changing the search to list your options from lowest to highest price. This will show you options where your $50 credit may cover the entire price. If you aren't as concerned about fully covering the price, you can keep the default sort option: recommended hotels.

After this, select your hotel and choose your room preference.

screenshot of hotel price in the Chase portal, this hotel costs $48 per night

Once you've done this, complete the booking process as normal by entering your personal information. It's important that you use your Sapphire Preferred to pay. Additionally, you'll have the option to pay with a combination of points and cash. If you'd like to do this, make sure to pay at least $50 in cash so that it triggers your annual hotel credit.

screenshot of checkout page to pay for a hotel in the Chase travel portal

The credit will appear on your Sapphire Preferred billing statement as “annual hotel credit.” As we previously mentioned, it usually shows up within a few days of the hotel charge posting to your account. However, it can take up to two billing cycles.

screenshot of statement credit for $50 from using the Chase Sapphire Preferred annual hotel credit benefit

Bottom Line

While $50 may not be much, it's just over half of the $95 annual fee for the Sapphire Preferred. Essentially, using this credit means that you're only paying $45 for this card each year. The hotel credit perk — along with other benefits like primary rental car coverage, trip delay or cancellation coverage, lost or delayed baggage protection, Instacart+ membership, and more — make this card a staple for every traveler's wallet. For more details, see our full review of the Sapphire Preferred.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Annual Fee$95
Welcome Bonus Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
Our #1 recommended beginners rewards card featuring a 60,000-point signup bonus after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. This card comes with great benefits and earns valuable Ultimate Rewards points.
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining, and 2x on all other travel purchases, and $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024.
  • Member FDIC
  • 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2025
  • 5X points on travel purchased through Chase
  • 3X points on dining at restaurants worldwide
  • 3X points on eligible streaming services
  • 3X points on online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart, and wholesale clubs)
  • 2X points on all other travel
  • 1X point per dollar spent on all other purchases

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