For years, the Chase Sapphire Preferred has been the No. 1 credit card that I’ve recommended for travelers — especially beginners. The card allows you to dip your toes in the points and miles game — at a low cost — and increase your Ultimate Reward point balance. With Ultimate Rewards being one of the strongest and flexible travel currencies, there’s an opportunity for everyone. And since Chase Ultimate Reward points are typically worth about 2 cents apiece, this makes the welcome offer of 60,000 points valued at around $1,200 towards travel!
Welcome offer: Earn 60,000 Chase Ultimate Reward points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. $95 annual fee.
How do you redeem Chase Ultimate Reward points?
When using your Chase Sapphire Preferred card you are earning Ultimate Reward points. This currency is extremely valuable as you can either redeem your points through the Chase travel portal or transfer your points to partner airlines and hotels.
The first method of redeeming through the Chase travel portal is the most simplistic, where you points are worth a fixed 1.25 cents per point. With this redemption, you don’t have to worry about airline or hotel availability or blackout dates. For example, a $500 flight booked through the portal will only cost you 40,000 points. This means the 60,000 points earned from the welcome offer is worth a fixed $750 towards travel.
Or, you can transfer your points to partner loyalty programs at a 1-to-1 ratio. This means if you transfer 1,000 points to a partner airline or hotel, you’ll end up with 1,000 points in that particular loyalty program. Partner loyalty program include: United, Air Canada, British Airways, Singapore Airlines, Air France KLM, Southwest Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Iberia, JetBlue, Aer Lingus, Aeroplan, Hyatt, IHG, and Marriott.
Redeeming through a partner program will typically get you the most value for your points — especially if you are looking to redeem for business class flights or an expensive hotel. For example, Hyatt is a partner and you can stay at the Grand Hyatt Washington, Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego or the Hyatt Regency Lisbon for only 15,000 Hyatt points per night — thus requiring only 15,000 Ultimate Reward points.
Or, for slightly more points, you can stay at the incredibly expensive Grand Hyatt Baha Mar for 25,000 points per night during standard dates. With this 60,000 point offer, you can stay at this expansive resort — for free — for two nights. And best of all, when you use your points for a free night stay, Hyatt waives the resort fee — a huge savings at a property like Baha Mar.
Hyatt also has many all-inclusive properties, where you can use your points. Unfortunately though, many of them recently went up in the number of points required, but you still might find a great value. And when you use your points, all of your food, drinks, activities and even the kids club is fully included, for no additional points.
Or, let’s say you prefer to fly business class over economy (I mean who doesn’t, but you need to have the points or make a ton of money!), you can fly roundtrip Boston or Chicago to Spain for 68,000 Iberia points — again requiring 68,000 Ultimate Reward points. This business class flight can easily cost over $4,000 (something I’d never pay for), making each point worth well over 5 cents per point. Of course the value of your points will vary based on your travel desires, but assume an average of 2 cents per point — making the 60,000 point sign up offer worth around $1,200 towards travel.
Increased point earning
Chase recently upped the ante by increasing the points you already earn on many popular purchases. With the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you’ll now earn the following points per dollar spent:
- 2 points on all travel purchases (or 5 total points if purchased through Ultimate Rewards)
- 3 points on dining (including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out)
- 3 points on select streaming services
- 3 points on online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
- 5 points on Lyft rides (through March 2025)
- 1 point on all other purchases
Additionally, at each account anniversary, you’ll earn 10% bonus points on all total purchases made in the previous year. So if you spend $15,000, that’ll earn you an additional 1,500 bonus points, for example.
In addition to the bonus points you’ll earn on all travel purchases, the card offers automatic travel protection in case of an unfortunate event happening. When you book a flight or other non-refundable travel expenses (hotels, tours, etc.) with the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you’ll receive coverage in case of a flight cancelation, flight delay, lost baggage and more.
For example, if you have to cancel a trip due to a covered reason (sickness, severe weather, etc.) you are able to be reimbursed up to $10,000 per trip for pre-paid, non-refundable travel expenses. For lost luggage, you are covered up to $3,000 per passenger (which includes you or immediate family members). Or if your luggage is just delayed for 6+ hours, you can be reimbursed for toiletries and clothing at $100 a day for up to 5 days.
Although my ultimate favorite (and the most common protection) is if your flight is delayed more than 12 hours or requires an overnight stay, you are covered for unreimbursed expenses (i.e., meals and hotels) for up to $500 per ticket.
You’ll also receive primary auto rental coverage, which allows you to decline many of the insurance options presented to you a car rental company, thus saving money.
Although the card is quite inexpensive — especially when compared to more premium travel credit cards — there are some opportunities to offset the annual fee.
A new-ish feature of this card is that you’ll receive a $50 annual credit on hotel stays purchased through Ultimate Rewards. Although it may or may not be too valuable to you — since you need to book through Chase directly and you can’t use points for a free night stay — it’s definitely a way to save some more money.
Who is Eligible for this Card?
Although a great offer, Chase has cracked down on allowing people to sign up for too many cards. For starters, there is the Chase “5/24” rule where if you’ve been approved for 5 or more cards in the past 24 months, Chase will automatically deny you of being approved for a new card. Also, they stopped allowing you to get multiple cards in the same “family”, i.e., if you already have the Chase Sapphire Reserve, they will not approve you for the Chase Sapphire Preferred.
Additionally, a few years ago, Chase put further restrictions on both the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve cards. Chase will no longer approve you if you’ve received the sign up bonus offer in the past 48 months for the card.
This is definitely a favorite card amongst most and one to put high on your radar. I personally have had this card for years and it was my go-to for quite some time. Now, with many other Chase Ultimate Reward credit cards, I split my purchases against a few different cards, depending on the category purchase to maximize the points earned.
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®
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