Updated: Jan 16
If only we had a time machine—we could jump back to June of 1997 and purchase Amazon stock for less than $2.00 per share! What a difference 24 years make as the stock has now risen to over $3,700 per share! What is the lesson? A good deal doesn't always stick around.
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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
On a similar note, credit card issuers will often offer a welcome bonus—often in the forms of miles or points—to entice new customers. Chase is no exception. They offer some of the best welcome bonuses in the form of points—Chase Ultimate Rewards.
Chase has also recently enhanced the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. Previously, the credit card rewards were a bit lackluster; that has changed! More to come on the beefed up rewards.
Chase recently introduced the BEST welcome bonus for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card since it was introduced to the public in 2009—at 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards® points! Although that offer is no longer available, it currently packs a punch with a welcome bonus offer at 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards® points! This is a must-have credit card for anyone getting started with Award Travel. You can apply for this card here! How much are 60,000 Ultimate Rewards® worth?
Miles and points earned through credit card use can be redeemed in a variety of ways. There is the traditional cashback option. In this scenario, 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards® would be valued at $600. Nevertheless, this PROBABLY is not the best way to redeem your points; however, there may be some scenarios where this could be a viable option.
Pay Yourself Back℠
Chase currently has a Pay Yourself Back℠ program whereby you receive a 25% boost over and above the cashback redemption when used as a statement credit to "erase" Airbnb, awaytravel.com, and select charity transactions. The Airbnb and awaytravel.com redemptions are valid through March 31, 2022 whereas the select charities redemption is valid through December 31, 2022. Essentially, this would transform your 60,000 points into $750. An extra $150 in your pocket versus the cashback redemption makes this an intriguing option—another reason to consider applying for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card! You can apply for this card here!
Chase has a powerful Travel Portal powered by Expedia. Your points receive a 25% boost when booking through Chase's Travel Portal by having the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. Similarly, 60,000 points are valued at $750 when used in this manner. The travel categories that can be booked include flights, hotels, vacation rentals, automobile rentals, and cruises.
Additionally, you will now earn 5X total points on travel purchases through Chase's Travel Portal. This is an enhanced benefit; previously, you would only be able to earn 2X total points on travel purchased in this capacity.
Chase now offers a new $50 annual Ultimate Rewards® Hotel Credit. You are able to earn up to $50 in statement credits each account anniversary year for hotel stays purchased through Chase's Travel Portal.
Another new benefit is the 10% anniversary points boost. Each account anniversary, you'll earn bonus points equal to 10% of your total purchases made the previous year. For example, if you spend $20,000 on purchases, you'll get 2,000 bonus points.
Perhaps the least understood but, often, the most valuable method of utilizing your existing points is to transfer your points to a transferrable partner! Chase currently has 14 partners—11 airlines and three hotels. Basically, you are transferring your points to a partner of Chase, and redeeming those points with that partner for an award booking.
"Using transfer partners is like having extra money you didn't know you had."
Although the transfer rate is fixed—1:1 point transfer to any airline or hotel partner—the end value is not. When done strategically, it is possible to get a value of MORE than 1.5 cents per point! Redeeming your 100,000 points at 1.5 cents per point would equal $1,500 in value!
Not all Chase credit cards allow you to transfer your Ultimate Rewards® to a transferrable partner. For example, you are not able to do this using the Chase Freedom Flex℠ or the Chase Freedom Unlimited®. You can compare and apply for these credit cards here! This is another reason why you will want to seriously consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card! However, you can combine your Ultimate Rewards® earned using the three aforementioned credit cards and have one large "pot" to store your points.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has recently enhanced it's credit card rewards. You will now earn 3X points per dollar on online grocery purchases (excluding Walmart, Target, and wholesale clubs), 3X points on dining, 3X points on select streaming services, 5X points on Lyft rides, 5X points on Peloton equipment, 5X points on travel purchased through Chase's Travel Portal, and 2X points on other travel categories. It earns 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.
Do you want to determine the value of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card based on your spending habits? Feel free to use our Credit Card Selector Calculator for FREE! It uses our proprietary algorithm which determines the best credit card in our database based on your spending habits. You will be able to determine the value of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card in your first year of use. You can apply for this card here!
Although there are other credit cards that may offer better credit card rewards, there are essentially three reasons why the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is considered one of the "best" and a "must-have" credit card for anyone entering the award travel arena:
The WELCOME BONUS! You do not want to leave the current welcome bonus on the table.
Access to TRANSFER PARTNERS! The Chase Sapphire Preferred is one of three credit cards that opens the door to Chase's fourteen transfer partners.
Solidifies a RELATIONSHIP WITH CHASE! Chase is the "prized pony" when it comes to credit card issuers offering products that are tailored for award travel. A good relationship with Chase creates more opportunities to use additional products they offer; this is extremely valuable over time.
It has an annual fee of $95. This is a relatively small amount when you consider all of the benefits you will receive over the course of an entire year.
Travel Benefits and Purchase Protection
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card comes with a multitude of travel benefits and purchase protection. This provides peace of mind when unexpected events take place that impacts your trip.
The travel benefits include Trip Cancellation/ Trip Interruption Insurance—up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip. It also includes primary Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver coverage. There are Travel and Emergency Assistance Services. There is also Trip Delay Reimbursement—up to $500 per ticket. It includes Baggage Delay Insurance—up to $100 a day for 5 days. And, there is Lost Luggage Reimbursement—up to $3,000 per passenger.
The Purchase Protection covers new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account. The Extended Warranty Protection extends the U.S. manufacturer's warranty period by an additional year on eligible warranties of three years or less.
Welcome Bonus Stipulations
The current 60,000 Ultimate Rewards® welcome bonus does come with some stipulations. One requirement is that you will need to spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Additionally, you will not be eligible for the welcome bonus if you currently have any Sapphire card or have received a new cardmember bonus for any Sapphire card in the past 48 months.
Chase's 5/24 Rule
In addition, there is what is known as "Chase's 5/24 rule." This "rule" indicates you will not be approved a Chase credit card if you have opened five or more credit cards—across all banks—within the last 24 months. (I.e. American Express, Capital One, etc.)
However, Chase does not have a published policy to validate the 5/24 rule. Interestingly, there are data points where an individual has been over "Chase's 5/24 rule" and has been approved a Chase credit card. Nonetheless, most data points support the conclusion that an individual will need to be under "Chase's 5/24 rule" to be approved for a Chase credit card.
If you are under "Chase's 5/24 rule," and feel this card would be a good fit for your lifestyle, you can apply for this card here!
Credit Card Miles & Points Consultant
Do you feel overwhelmed with all the options available when it comes to redeeming your miles & points? Would you like some assistance to get you started in the right direction? You will benefit from the services of a Credit Card Miles & Points Consultant. They may be able to assist you with regards to earning miles & points through credit card use and redeeming those miles & points for award travel. Get started today!