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The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is easily one of the best personal travel rewards credit cards out there. Its solid signup bonus, valuable Ultimate Rewards points, and great travel perks make it hard to beat. If you're new to maximizing miles and points credit cards for free travel, this card is a great place to start. Let's dig into the reasons why!
Why the Sapphire Preferred is Worth Applying for
Here are some reasons why the Sapphire Preferred should be one of the first cards you apply for if you're looking to earn travel rewards.
Difficulty Receiving Approvals for Chase Credit Cards
If you're just getting started earning points and miles, Ultimate Rewards points are a wise choice, not only because of their value, but also because of difficulties applicants have getting approved on new Chase credit card accounts. Chase restricts approvals of its rewards cards to folks under 5/24, so if you have been approved for 5 or more credit cards in the last 24 months, you won't be approved for a new Chase rewards card. Grabbing this card first helps eliminate that potential challenge down the road.
Great Signup Bonus
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is widely touted as the best personal travel rewards card because of its many great benefits. Those great benefits start with a lucrative signup bonus. Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. The annual fee is $95.
Earn Valuable Ultimate Rewards Points
Let's talk about the value of Ultimate Rewards points. Ultimate Rewards points are known for their flexibility, as they can be used in a variety of ways. You can redeem them for statement credits, merchandise, gift cards, and of course, travel. For a full list of options, check out our post on 19 different ways to redeem Ultimate Rewards points.
To redeem your Ultimate Rewards points for travel, you can go a couple of ways. First, you can redeem them for flights, cruises, car rentals, and/or hotels through the Ultimate Rewards online portal. You can redeem 50,000 UR points for $625 when redeeming this way. That's because you get a 20% discount on travel booked through the UR website! This can be a good option for domestic flights, car rentals, and cruises.
The other route, and arguably the best way to redeem your Ultimate Rewards points, is to transfer them to travel partners. Ultimate Rewards transfer partners include Southwest, United, British Airways, Singapore Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Flying Blue, Hyatt, Marriott, and IHG.
You can see all of the Ultimate Rewards transfer partners here.
Having the option to transfer your points to travel partners is extremely valuable, as it gives you more flexibility with your points, and the ability to redeem them at a higher value, especially for international flights.
Here are some examples of how you can redeem your Ultimate Rewards points by transferring them out to airline partners.
British Airways Avios
British Airways Avios is an attractive option for short-haul domestic flights on American Airlines. You can use your Avios miles for American Airlines flights since they are both in the OneWorld alliance. British Airways has a distance-based award chart, and award flights start at just 4,500 Avios one way! You can also use your Avios for international short-haul flights. It's worth mentioning that the British Airways Visa Signature® Card has a nice offer as well. It's a great card to get if you already have the Sapphire Preferred.
The United MileagePlus program can make your dream trip to Europe a reality. Round-trip economy tickets are only 60,000 United miles. You can fly any airline in the Star Alliance with your United miles. You can also fly business class on United metal for just 110,00 miles round-trip.
Singapore Airlines is a terrific airline to fly, especially in their premium cabins. Business Class one-way awards from Houston to Moscow are only 48,875 miles, and you can fly their prestigious Suites Class from NYC-FRA for only 57,375 Krisflyer miles! Singapore Airlines is also a part of Star Alliance, so you can use your miles for any airline in the alliance, like United.
You can also transfer your Ultimate Rewards points out to hotel partners like Hyatt, IHG, and Marriott. The options with the UR program are strong!
All Ultimate Rewards transfers to their travel partners are instant and are done at a 1:1 ratio. You will need to be a member of the loyalty program you're transferring points to, but those memberships are free and easy to set up.
Sapphire Preferred Travel Benefits
The perks and benefits keep coming with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. There are no foreign transaction fees and it has chip and signature technology, making it an easy and smart choice for international use.
Other travel benefits include primary CDW on car rentals, up to $10,000 trip cancellation/interruption insurance, travel accident insurance up to $500,000, luggage reimbursement up to $3,000 per passenger, $500 in eligible delayed expenses, and extended warranty on purchases. You can see more about these travel benefits here.
The main benefits here are the primary CDW insurance on car rentals, no foreign transaction fees, and chip and signature technology. Hopefully, you would never need to file a claim for the other benefits, but it is good to know they are there!
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a no-brainer if you're looking for a great travel rewards card. The 60,000 signup bonus is very competitive with other top travel rewards cards, and it comes packed with travel benefits and perks that make it extremely attractive for any traveler.
If you don't have more than 5 credit card applications approved in the last 24 months, and you're interested in the Sapphire Preferred, you should apply for this card while you can.
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