Key Link: Chase Sapphire Preferred

The offer for the card is 40,000 points after $3000 spending within 3 months, and an additional 5000 points for adding an authorized user and making a purchase. The annual fee is $0 the first year ($95 thereafter).

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card has been probably the all-around most lucrative credit cards in the market for the past three years.

At 45,000 total bonus points it has one of the richest bonuses of any card.

Transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards Points to Airline, Hotel, and Train Programs

While you can redeem these points at 1.25 cents apiece towards paid travel, that’s not their best use. You want to hold onto them and transfer them to frequent flyer programs most of the time.

I value ‘flexible’ points the most, points where you can choose where to point them at the time you’re ready to redeem for an award.

If you accumulate miles in an airline program, then you need that program to have the award you want at the time you want to fly.

But with points that transfer to your choice of programs, you increase the odds substantially of getting the award you want — if one program doesn’t have the award, another one likely will.

The transfer options with this card are:

  • Airlines: United, Virgin Atlantic, Korean Airlines, Southwest Airlines, British Airways
  • Hotels: Hyatt, Ritz-Carlton, Marriott, Priority Club
  • Train: Amtrak

The best hotel transfer value is Hyatt in most cases, but it’s really valuable to be able to top off an account towards an award no matter which account of yours that winds up being.

Usually I think of United as the best value for points transfers, since the award chart is reasonable and available on Star Alliance partners is really pretty good in business class to Europe and Asia.

But transferring to British Airways Avios can be a good use of points, especially for short-distance non-stop flights (think as low as 9000 points roundtrip for a coach award). And while many awards on BA involve fuel surcharges, if you use those points to fly American Airlines domestic or to South America, LAN to South America, or Alaska Airlines for instance there are no fuel surcharges. (Also quite reasonable intra-Asia on Cathay Pacific and Aer Lingus Boston or New York to Ireland.)

Meanwhile, not only do you get Star Alliance awards via United and oneworld awards via British Airways, you have coverage of the third alliance — Skyteam — as well. You get access to the same Skyteam award space as if you had Delta miles. And in some cases there’s a favorable award chart.

Plus the ability to redeem for international first class and not just business class, something Delta doesn’t allow. And one-way awards, also not offered (except at the same price as roundtrip!) by Delta. I actually value these points the most, probably for transfers to Korean since I have my eye on flying first class on the Korean Airlines A380 with pretty good award availability, New York to Seoul to Hong Kong. And I want to use the points to fly first class on the China Southern A380 and also first class on Saudia Airlines.

Meanwhile, it’s also one of the very best cards for earning points based on spending. Of course the most leveraged thing you can do with your spending is get a new card with a big signup bonus (like this one), it’s also great for everyday spend as well:

A Very Strong Card for Earning Points

In addition to the standard points-earning, you also get:

  • Double points on travel and restaurant spending
  • 7% bonus on all points earned through purchases each year
  • Visa acceptance, so even my dry cleaner takes it
  • No foreign currency conversion fee
  • Additional points for your online shopping through access to the Chase Ultimate Rewards mall, a mileage-earning shopping portal that often has the most lucrative opportunities to earn extra points for the online purchases you’d make anyway. I love the 2 extra points per dollar on Travelocity purchases, extra point per dollar at Expedia, and I love it when Drugstore.com gets up to 10 points per dollar spent.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is part of my one-two punch for most spending with the Starwood American Express card. If you use my link for the card, which offers the best bonus out there, then I will receive credit for the referral which I very much appreciate as well.

  1. Felicia said,

    “The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is part of my one-two punch for most spending with the Starwood American Express card.”

    In what cases would you use SPG Amex over the Sapphire? I just signed up for sapphire & currently have delta reserve & marriott annual fee cards.

    Are you saying you use Sapphire ONLY for dining, travel, and international spend, and then everything else on SPG amex? just want to understand why it would be important for someone like me to ALSO add SPG amex when I am also using single-alliance credit cards in those cases.

    Thanks

  2. Gary said,

    @Felicia – I use Sapphire for dining, travel, international and everywhere that doesn’t take American Express. All told, for me, that’s a ton of my spendinig. I personally value 1 Starpoint more than 1 Chase point though.

  3. Gabbai said,

    It would have been great if they had extended the complimentary Lounge Club benefit to the Sapphire card [presently only available on Chase Ink Bold cards].

  4. nelumbo said,

    I was quoted fuel surcharge for AS award reservation redeemed by Avios recently.

  5. Mikey said,

    I applied for the chase Sapphire and ink cards a few weeks ago, got the ink card, denied ( will call to ask again) before the 30 days in the denial letter are up)

    I managed to rack up the $10k for the full 50k miles using it for business purchases.

    However, once I started to see mileage required for first or business class flights ( I go to S.E. asia on mileage) I find the mileage needed on their partner airlines ( and “fees”) are much higher than with my Citibank AA card

    I have first class travel next month using AA for 135K miles, $47 fees.

    Same trip on Korean air ( and only business class offered) if 137500 miles and $347 in Fees.

    IMHO the chase cards ( points transfer for air travel) are not as good as AA.

  6. nknight said,

    I had my wife sign up for this on Saturday and she was instantly approved. Would love to get in on the new 2k spend requirement instead of the 3k on her app. What’s the best way to do this? Is it relatively easy, or should I expect push-back? Thanks in advance.

  7. Felicia said,

    @Gary thanks for your response!

  8. Nic said,

    Wow! almost all blogs in boardingarea are reporting on this deal, I wonder why?

  9. Gary said,

    @nknight – i would expect pushback. Chase usually seems to match signup bonus amounts within 90 days of applying, but i haven’t seen them reduce spending requirements. can’t hurt to try though.

  10. Gary said,

    @Mikey – it is NOT the case that only business class is offered. Korean Airlines offers first class, 160k to Hong Kong and to the North. Also one ways at 80k with stopover and really good availability.

  11. Gary said,

    @nelumbo what amount, pray tell and what route?

  12. Will said,

    I applied for the Chase Sapphire Preferred a year ago and was denied because I have the CHase Sapphire card. Called the reconsideration line and they confirmed the denial and would not budge. Do you think it is worth trying once again?

  13. Jeff said,

    @ Will try again my wife have the regular sapphire card from 2001 still active. Applied for sapphire preferred last year and was approved with 50K bonus…

  14. David said,

    Gary,

    Really enjoy your blog. You mention that sapphire preferred cardholders have access to Skyteam “as if you had Delta miles” but I can’t for the life of me figure out how to use Korean Air miles for Delta flights. Do you have to call up, is that my problem?

    Friendly albeit self-serving suggestion — this question would make for a great post on how to access award seats on major carriers via redemption of partner airlines’ miles.

  15. Gary said,

    @David yes you will have to call Korean to redeem your points on Delta

  16. Mikey said,

    Gary:

    I should have written only business class was open for the dates and route I booked on KAL.

    Still $160k miles and huge “fees” kind of sour the deal IMHO.

  17. Gary said,

    @Mikey generally speaking Asia doesn’t involve ‘huge’ fees at all, much more modest than Europe. And remember it’s 80k one-way INCLUDING A STOPOVER. Sure American is 135k but no stopover permitted, Korean allows a stopover each direction.

  18. pointhound said,

    I’m glad I didn’t take your advice last week to apply before the new offer..

  19. Gary said,

    I offer best-possible advice from a risk-adjusted net present value basis given an unknown future. I was very clear I did not know what specific changes were coming.

  20. Lantean said,

    All nice and dandy but I think we can all agree that Ink Bold/Plus is the king of all credit cards, especially when part of the trifecta (bold/freedom/checking account).

    Sapphire is still very nice indeed, especially with this lower spending requirement.

  21. truthiness said,

    Gary, are there any downsides to booking with Expedia or Travelocity through UR mall? Do some airlines require you to book directly with them to get the 24 hour cancellation rule? What if trying to do same day standby – would that be affected by whether you booked directly through airline website or expedia/travelocity?

  22. Esteban said,

    I got my spend requirement reduced from 3k to 2k after a secure message.

    Btw, would you recommend my wife get this card if I already have it? Not sure we need 2 separate accounts if she can be added under my name and not pay another annual fee. So basically asking if the bonus alone is worth it, or is there better for our circumstances?

  23. Dan R said,

    Dan’s Deals is reporting the following tonight….

    “Quite frankly I have no idea what is going on, but Chase just let me know that the new Sapphire Preferred card with the $2K spending requirement is being pulled tomorrow, August 22nd at about 3pm.

    Take it for what it’s worth, your guess is as good as mine as to what is going on.”

    http://www.dansdeals.com/archives/23533

  24. Gary said,

    @Esteban – the bonus s worth it. After the first year have her switch to Chase Freedom and then move her points over to you

  25. Gary said,

    @truthiness – You get 24 hour cancel via Expedia/Travelocity as well. No problem with same day standby

  26. Reducing Your Spending Requirement for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Bonus, But Act Quickly! - View from the Wing said,

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  27. D said,

    has anyone had luck getting another chase card at the 6 week mark? And how many chase cards can one hold before chase starts to balk…? Just got the INK and BA card 6 weeks ago, so hesitant to apply for the sapphire and suffer the ire of chase.

  28. Gary said,

    @D has it been done? Yes. But honestly I’d hold off if you got new cards 6 weeks ago, give it another 6 weeks, I do think offers on Sapphire Preferred will be back that are probably as good as what we’re seeing now. I do not KNOW that, but I’m guessing it.

  29. D said,

    great thanks for the advice.

  30. robertw said,

    For me other than the 40K initial bonus SPG card works alot better for how I value the points and Fidelity 2% has a very customer oriented company behind the management of it. I could do 100K in a week with Fidelity and not have a single issue. With Chase there would be big issues for sure.

  31. What Credit Card Should You Use to Pay for a Hyatt Stay? It’s Not the One You Think - View from the Wing said,

    [...] transaction fees, so this works as one of the most rewarding options outside the U.S. as well. Chase Sapphire Preferred or the Chase Ink Cards. These earn 2 ‘Ultimate Rewards’ points per dollar, which [...]

  32. David G said,

    I’ve had the Sapphire card for several months; I like and use it a lot. But it’s becoming delaminated at one corner, which on occasion is a nuisance. So I called on the phone and requested a replacement, which they will send immediately. My phone call was answered within two rings, by a real human. That, alone, may be worth the renewal price.

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    [...] Sapphire Preferred. This is still the reigning king of all credit cards, it is a Visa so more widely accepted than Amex products. It earns 2 points per dollar on all [...]

  34. Pat said,

    Has anyone had any luck with getting the annual fee waived from Chase?
    I have a large amount deposited with Chase and was wondering if I request a fee waiver for my annual fee, will they consider this as Chase loyalty?

  35. The Fastest-Earning and Most Flexible Points for Your Credit Card Spending - View from the Wing - View from the Wing said,

    […] travel and dining plus a 7% annual bonus – and no foreign currency transaction fees, reasons why this is the all-around best points-earning card in my opinion) and the Chase Ink Plus Business Card (50,000 points after $5000 spend within 3 […]

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