Is the Chase Sapphire Preferred the Best Travel Rewards Credit Card?

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For the last few years, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has been at the top of personal rewards credit cards, and the Chase Sapphire Preferred (CSP) is still the first travel rewards card that I recommend to new readers, friends, & family. Let me review why, and how the Chase Sapphire Preferred is head & shoulders above the competition.

Link to apply and see more details on Chase’s secure site: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Tremendous Chase Sapphire Preferred Offer

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card currently has an offer of 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 in 3 months. Plus, you’ll receive an additional 5,000 Ultimate Rewards (UR) points if you add an authorized user and they make a purchase in the same time period. This is a tremendous bonus, and Ultimate Rewards points are my personal favorite rewards points, mostly for their flexibility.

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Chase Sapphire Preferred

The Ultimate Rewards program is what makes the Sapphire Preferred a top card. Of course, you can redeem UR points for merchandise, gift cards, cash back, or for statement credits.

After spending $4,000 in the first 3 months with your Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you would have 54,000 Ultimate Rewards points, or $540 cash back! Ultimate Rewards points can be redeemed at a 1:10 ratio for cash back.

For travel, you can redeem your Ultimate Rewards points through their online portal, and you will get a 20% discount. So, 50,000 points is worth $625 in travel when you redeem your UR points through their website. Not bad. This can be a good use of your UR points if you want to book a cruise or domestic flight (when there’s no availability on a transfer partner, or you want to fly an airline that isn’t a transfer partner).

Should the Chase Sapphire Preferred be the First Rewards Card You Apply for Today? 

It is harder to get approved for the Chase Sapphire Preferred than it was a couple years ago. Many people are reporting being denied if they have had more than 5 other credit card applications in the last 24 months. This means that it’s more important than ever to apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card before other cards if you’re new to travel rewards credit cards. Simply because if you were to apply for some other cards before the CSP, you wouldn’t be eligible, and no one wants that.

If you’ve had the Chase Sapphire Preferred card before, you can apply again as long as it’s been 24 months since you last received the bonus (and you’re within the rules above).

Ultimate Rewards Transfer Partners

Now, to my favorite part. The Ultimate Rewards transfer partners are a huge reason why the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is the first card I recommend to new users. You can just do so many things with your points. Whether your travel goal is an international trip to Europe, or you just want to go to Orlando, Florida, Ultimate Rewards points can make it happen.

Domestic airline transfer options include Southwest and United. I just flew Southwest from Austin to Newark for just over 7,000 points one-way. And United domestic awards start at 10,000 miles one-way. But the great thing about being able to transfer your UR points out to travel partners is that once you have a mile in a certain airline’s loyalty program, you can fly ANY airline that’s a partner or in the same alliance as that airline. Let me explain –> You can fly American Airlines by transferring your Ultimate Rewards points to British Airways Avios because they are in the same OneWorld Alliance. And British Airways has a distance-based award chart that starts at only 4,000 miles one-way internationally, and 7,500 Avios domestically. Whaaaaat.

You can also use your UR miles to transfer out to Singapore Airlines and fly United domestically since they are both in the Star Alliance. Why do that? Because you can actually use less Singapore miles for United flights domestically (40k round-trip in business) and to Hawaii (35k round-trip in economy) than through redeeming with United miles. Go figure.

Don’t care about domestic flights? Let’s talk about how to use your Ultimate Rewards points for international travel. I love transferring my UR points out to Singapore Air for travel in one of their premium cabins.

You can fly Singapore Suites for as cheap as 57,375 Krisflyer miles from JFK-FRA. United airlines is also a great option for international flights, since they have a lot of flights to & from a lot of cities. For example, award flights to Europe start at only 60,000 miles one-way in economy. United is in the Star Alliance, where a favorite airline of mine, Lufthansa, is also a partner. There was even a sale this year on Lufthansa business class awards through United. 57,500 United miles for a Lufthansa business class seat is a good deal.

I’ve also used my Ultimate Rewards points from my Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card many times for hotel redemptions. Usually, I’m transferring my UR points out to Hyatt for an award stay or cash & points stay. We recently stayed at 2 Hyatt properties in Australia, and loved both of them. Hard not to like a Park Hyatt, though.

The full list of Ultimate Rewards partners are: United, Southwest, British Airways, Korean Air, Virgin Atlantic, Hyatt, Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, Marriott, IHG, and Amtrak.

Transferring Ultimate Rewards points to travel partners can help keep points active.

Other Perks of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card: 

The value of Chase Ultimate Rewards points is what really sets the CSP apart from competitors, but it still has a lot of daily spending and travel perks.

You will earn 2x UR points on dining and travel purchases. Nifty. It’s also great for traveling since there are no foreign transaction fees, and it’s enabled with chip technology.

I’m also a big fan of their dedicated customer support that you have by calling the number on the back of your card. Other travel benefits include trip cancellation/insurance, baggage or trip delay reimbursements, primary CDW car rental insurance, and travel accident insurance. Plus, you get the benefits of purchase protection and extended warranty on eligible purchases.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is also a Visa Signature card, so it comes with additional sweet benefits.

Conclusion 

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is still the first rewards card I recommend to friends, family, and readers. And it’s more important than ever for it to be the first travel card for someone new to miles & points to apply for. Ultimate Rewards rock. They give you the ability and flexibility to travel all over the world, in the style you prefer. Or you can just receive cash back. That’s flexibility!

Link to apply and see more details on Chase’s secure site: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

 



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Geoff Whitmore

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Is the Chase Sapphire Preferred the Best Travel Rewards Credit Card?
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About the Author

Geoff Whitmore
Geoff writes about how to book travel with award miles & points, reviews top travel credit cards, and basic rewards news.

3 Comments on "Is the Chase Sapphire Preferred the Best Travel Rewards Credit Card?"

  1. Gilbert Lanese | April 23, 2017 at 8:31 am | Reply

    Which Hotels can I use my Chase Sapphire Preferred Card points on in Prague e.g. Marriott?

  2. Hi , I want to ask an information. I can require Chase Sapphire Preferred Card even
    if I am living in Italy .

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