I’ve been carrying the Chase Sapphire Preferred card for a few years now, and have also included it in my Top 6 Credit Cards to build your Travel points collection. This is a great card by Chase with both great points-earning benefits and customer service.
For starters, let me describe why it’s great for using at restaurants & for travel, and it’s quite simple:
- Earn 2x points at all restaurants in the U.S. year round.
- Earn 2x points on all travel (and transportation) related purchases. This includes flights, hotels, cruises, ferries, car rentals, etc. but ALSO includes light rail (think subway or commuter rail that you take to work), taxis, etc.
These reasons describe how many Chase Ultimate Rewards points you’re earning on a regular basis, just for using it at restaurants and travel purchases that you’re likely making regularly anyway – and it’ll add up quickly.
Now, if you’re signing up for the card, there’s a great incentive: 40,000 bonus points after spending $3k on the card within the first 90 days. So you end up with at least 43,000 Ultimate Rewards points just for the sign-up. You can also earn an additional 5,000 points by adding an authorized user on the account.
So now what do you do with all those points?
Ultimate Rewards points from this card are transferable 1:1 to many travel partners including (but not exclusively):
- Southwest Airlines
- United Airlines
- British Airways
- Korean Air
- Priority Club
- Virgin Atlantic
If you think about it, that makes this card, and UR points quite flexible and versatile in how they can be used. You can always use some UR points to top off your airline or hotel points accounts when they are expiring. 40,000 points can definitely be used for some short-haul round-trip flights domestically as well.
How else can you earn Ultimate Rewards points?
Chase has a few cards that allow you to earn UR points. I currently have 5 of the 6 of them as I’m able to combine all the points into one pool and use them as I see fit. They’re quite flexible.
- Chase Freedom (apply before June 30th for double the bonus signup points)
- Chase Sapphire – no annual fee version of the preferred card
- Chase Sapphire Preferred
- Chase Ink Plus – business credit card with special benefits
- Chase Ink Cash – business credit card with no annual fee
Other great benefits for the Chase Sapphire Preferred:
- No FTFs! (Foreign Transaction Fees)
- Great customer service! When you call the customer service line, a person picks up right away. No waiting. No pressing numbers to reach an agent. (It’s pretty impressive and gives American Express’s customer service a run for their money – although I still find AMEX to be tops at C.S.)
- Earn a 7% dividend on all the points you earned each year. According to ThePointsGuy: “you get a 7% annual dividend on all the points you accrue during the year (excluding the sign-up bonus, but including all regular 2x bonus points). The 7% dividend posts within your February statement (each year).”
- The card is free for the first year, and $95 per year thereafter. So you have a year to decide to keep the card or not.
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