Chase Sapphire Preferred Card: Easy $400 Signup Bonus!

Chase Sapphire PreferredThe Chase Sapphire Preferred® is a rewards credit card that is now offering new cardholders 40,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. This is quite a good deal, as 40,000 points can be redeemed for $500 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards™ (you can buy a more expensive ticket and simply pay the difference). Earn 5,000 additional bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening. No annual fee for the first year, $95 in future years.

[This card is the "big brother" of the regular Chase Sapphire® Card, where you can get 10,000 points after you spend $500 in the first 3 months (no minimum amount) - that's $100 in travel rewards when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards! and there is no annual fee in the first year or subsequent years. As well as 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. I would personally rather go for the 40,000 points offer since the annual fee is waived for an entire year.]

Rewards Features
As a rewards card, the Sapphire offers 2 points per dollar spent on travel, 2 points per dollar spent on dining at restaurants and 1 point for every dollar on all other purchases (100 points = $1, or the usual 1% back). However, this card separates itself with it’s flexible redemptions. Cash redemptions are easy – you can redeem in $1 increments as long as above $20, so you could cash out $27 or $253 without anything left over. There are no earning caps, or points expiration dates.

As noted above, airplane ticket redemptions can also be maximized because you can book any ticket and simply pay the difference. For example, 25,000 points can be used for any ticket up to $312.50, but if say you wanted a $325 ticket you could just pay the $12.50 difference. On other cards, you would have to go up another tier and spend an extra 10,000 points or similar.

More Details
In addition, Sapphire also promotes a “premium, dedicated service line that gives you access to a live person anytime, 24/7.” I tested this out and it really works! A real person picks up after a couple rings… it’s actually a bit disconcerting. You can also redeem cash rewards over the phone for free, although booking rewards tickets this way costs $20 (doing so online is free).

Fine print:

Earn 40,000 bonus miles - That’s $500 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards™
You will receive 40,000 bonus points with this bonus offer, which can be redeemed for a round trip ticket on most major airlines up to a $500 value. Ticket value exceeding $500 can be charged to your new card. A service fee of up to $20 per ticket may be charged for the use of our toll-free number to book or change airline itineraries. Redemptions made online do not have a service fee. Cardmember is responsible for any airline or government imposed fees. To qualify and receive your bonus, you must make qualifying transactions totaling $3,000 or more during the first 3 months from account opening. Qualifying transactions include purchases, balance transfers, and any checks that are used to access your account, and exclude cash advances. After qualifying, please allow 6 to 8 weeks for bonus points to post to your account. To be eligible for this bonus offer, account must be open and not in default at the time of fulfillment. This one-time bonus offer is valid only for first-time cardmembers with new accounts. Previous and existing cardmembers/accounts are not eligible for this bonus offer.

I already have the Chase Sapphire regular card and got my $250 (previous offer). But given how easy it was to redeem the reward, I’m going to have Mrs. MMB apply for a Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card as well this time. (I try not to bother her too much unless it’s very juicy.)

“Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the issuer. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer. This site may be compensated through the issuer’s Affiliate Program.  “The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.”

Comments

  1. Are the rewards worth the annual fee in credit cards? I suppose for heavy spenders, it might be worth it, but for an average person who only spends $4000-$5000 a year in credit card purchases, i think no annual fee cards with OK rewards will do the job.

  2. Can I get the reward and then cancel the card after 11 months?

  3. I like to go for the annual fee cards as long as the fee is either smaller than the increase in rewards, or the fee is waived for the first year. The only card I pay an annual fee for is the Starwood card right now:

    http://www.mymoneyblog.com/archives/2007/01/multiple-uses-for-the-starwood-american-express-card.html

    Try the card out for up to a year, and then decide if you want to keep it. If you decide it’s not for you, then you can always cancel.

    http://www.mymoneyblog.com/archives/2006/05/credit_score_my_1.html

  4. You can either get your cash back as a statement credit or a check mailed to you. Better than dealing with gift cards IMO. Never tried the plane tickets.

  5. Do you know how often you can apply for a Chase card? Is it every six months? I just got the Southwest Chase Visa and redeemed my two free flights so I think its too soon – I also have several older Chase cards and don’t want to take a credit inquiry hit and be turned down for applying too soon

  6. I like the idea of grabbing a cool $250. However, that is the only reason I would want the card. I do not want the $85 annual fee and I’m not sure if canceling the card would be good for my FICO score either. Would I be able to convert the card to some other program and avoid the fee after the first year…or say…after I get my $250?

  7. twblues says:

    These types of credit card bonuses sound great. I just worry about what the effect will be on my credit score, if I open several accounts, use them just enough to satisfy the rules for the bonus, and then close them within a year. Does anyone know?

  8. Vicfrom ATL says:

    Can existing regular Chase Sapphire Card holder apply for this and qualify for this offer?

    Thanks.

    Vic

  9. On canceling cards:
    Credit Score Myths – Don’t Cancel Old Accounts

    @twblues – Applying for any credit card will “ding” your credit score temporarily about 5 points and lasts about 6 months, afterward it bounces back (although it can vary a bit based on your credit history). As long as you have a good credit score, the hit shouldn’t be too bad, especially if you do not carry a balance that is large relative to your credit limit. I set a personal limit of about 3-4 cards every 6 months, and usually only if I get at least $100.

    @Vic – I’m not sure, but I don’t think so. (I wish!) Both are “Sapphire” cards. Based on past experience, you can still apply and get the bonus if you just have other Chase cards.

  10. Derrick says:

    What do you do with all your cards?

  11. twblues says:

    @Jonathan: Thanks for responding. I’d prefer to cancel cards that I’m not going to use. I read your linked article about credit scores, but how would closing accounts effect my score if I don’t carry any balances on any of my cards, ever? I use credit cards as simple charge cards, for convenience only.

  12. @twblues

    There are four harmful things that happen to your FICO credit score when you open and close credit cards:

    1. Your FICO score drops 5-15 points when you apply for the card. Even if you choose to not open the account and/or even if you are not approved, simply the act of applying for the account drops your score.

    2. In addition to taking a credit score hit when you apply for the credit, an “inquiry” goes on your credit report. It is like a little black mark against you and it stays on there for the next 12 months. Even if your FICO score is excellent, another lender (in the future) may reject your credit application simply because you have too many inquiries.

    3. Once you close the card, your debt to available credit ratio changes for the worse. This means that you are automatically using up a higher percentage of your available credit than you were previously, which lowers the FICO score. This happens even if you pay off your balance in full in each billing statement. The only time this would not apply is if you have 0 debt (credit cards, mortgage, car loan, etc) and you NEVER accumulate any debt in the future.

    4. Closing the card early eliminates credit history length and reduces your FICO score. Your score goes up when you can prove that you can keep your accounts in good standing over long periods of time. If the account is closed, you stop accumulating history which prevents you from showing that you can manage your finances even years after initially taking on the new debt (or opening the credit card).

  13. Jonathan, thanks for this find! Just got my 25k bonus for the initial spend.

    So based on your comments of only paying a fee on your starwood Amex (which we also do), that means you cancel cards like this inside of the first year, right? Do you cancel as soon as the bonus is paid out? Wait till month 11 and try to get the fee waived again? Neither?

    What do you do post promo earn out?

  14. @Jeremy – Yes, as you noted I would make sure to cash out the reward before canceling. Unless the terms say otherwise, you can just cancel within the first year. They may offer you something to stay, which you can consider. You can also wait until 11 months, but then there’s the danger you might forget. Of course, most of the time you can call right away and they’ll still refund you the fee.

    Most of the time I just get the reward, wait a couple months to see if I still use the card, and then otherwise cancel if there is an annual fee. If there is no annual, I keep the card indefinitely. Sometimes cards have new promotions, etc.

  15. Eric Walton says:

    Not all it’s cracked up to be. I signed up hoping to use the bonus points for a free roundtrip flight. I found out later that you have to book the flight through the Chase website portal. Almost every flight I searched was an additional $30-$50 per ticket booking through the Chase website vs. Expedia and other travel sites. Free is free but still, this is deceptive in my opinion.

  16. I’ve had the sapphire card for awhile. Chase “upgraded” one of my Freedom cards to it maybe a year ago, at which point, I stopped using it. I recently got a thing in the mail saying from 7/1 through the end of the year I can get 5% back on gas, groceries, dining out, phone, cable, internet, and utilities with it. So I activated that online and now I’ve been using it for all of the above for about a month. Haven’t gotten a chance to see if the reward points are actually being given to me, but if so, it seems like a good deal.

    Totally unrelated — Jonathan, is there a way to tell when an article of yours was posted or last updated? I see on this page, right before the comments it says 5/18/10, so I’m guessing that’s when this one was posted/updated, but when I was checking your savings account recommendations here (http://www.mymoneyblog.com/online-savings-accounts-and-comparisons), I couldn’t find a way to determine when it was posted, which is kind of important since if it’s over 6 months or a year old, much of the info will probably be outdated.

  17. @Brent – The date on the bottom of individual posts is when they were first posted. For pages (as opposed to posts), I try to save those for either “timeless” posts/hub pages or for content I regularly update. The savings page was updated just a couple days ago, and I have added a date at the bottom as well. Thanks for visiting!

  18. Does anyone know if it would be possible to transfer this card to another Chase card without an annual fee after receiving the $250?

  19. Can one individual apply for both the Sapphire Preferred and the Sapphire regular card for both bonuses?

  20. Spending $3,000 in a 3 month span is difficult for me. If I were to purchase an item and return it, will that still count toward the $3,000 purchase requirement?

  21. I got my 250.00 check in the mail. And used the other ~3000 points for a ~30.00 statement credit :)

    BTW, this is my SECOND success with the chase sapphire preferred card. I first applied for it back in 2009 when they had the promotion where you only had to make ONE PURCHASE to get the 25K bonus points, not spend 3000. Back then I literally spent $1.07, got the 250.00 check, and canceled the card. Then I re applied every few weeks for a long time. Constant denial. But then, many months later, all of the sudden, they reduced my british airways credit line from 20,000 to 10,000 and approved me for another chase sapphire preferred. And yesterday that second check came in mail.

  22. i read in the fine print that existing Chase cardmembers don’t qualify for the $250 bonus. i already have a chase amazon.com card, so do i not qualify for the bonus?

Trackbacks

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  3. [...] You must enroll each quarter at ChaseBonus.com. All other purchases do earn a standard 1%, with no tiers or expiration of rewards. No annual fee.  If you’re interested in a bigger $250 sign-up bonus and human-with-no-hold-times on customer service (but no 5% cash back), check out the new Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. [...]

  4. [...] Chase Sapphire Preferred offering $250 in cash or $312.50 credit towards any major airline purchase – requires $3,000 in spending within 3 months. [...]

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