Previously, I posted about the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, which is currently offering 40,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. This is quite a good deal, as 50,000 points can be redeemed for $625 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards™ (you can buy a more expensive ticket from any website and simply pay the difference). The Preferred card has no annual fee for the first year, but is $95 in future years. See the original post for more details.
If you don’t want to deal having to remember to cancel your card, the regular non-Preferred Chase Sapphire® Card is now offering 10,000 points worth $100 in travel rewards when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards, after you spend $500 in purchases within the first 3 months, and an additional 2,500 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening. There is no annual fee in the first year or subsequent years. The non-preferred used to give out their bonus with no minimum purchase requirement, so personally I’d rather take the extra $500 travel bonus via the Preferred.
Ideas for reaching the purchase limit without spending more money that you would otherwise include: prepaying any monthly bills like utilities and let the credit go down over time, pay your 6-month auto insurance or home insurance bills via lump sum, buy American Express gift cards that don’t expire and then spend them gradually, purchase gift cards at a discount from places you will shop at eventually through PlasticJungle or similar (Home Depot, Target, etc.), buying $1 coins from the US Mint (you’re basically buying cash), or buying grocery store gift cards (Safeway cards at Safeway). Basically just shift your usual expenses.
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