Chase has improved the bonus to 40,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, plus 5,000 additional bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a rewards credit card that has upped their sign-up bonus to new cardholders to 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. No annual fee for the first year, $95 in future years.
Rewards Program Summary
Points under the Chase Sapphire program are pretty flexible. There are also no earning caps or expiration dates. You also earn a 7% “dividend” on your earned points each year, even if you already redeemed them. I guess this is their way of encouraging you to keep your card, so you don’t waste the “interest”.
2X points on travel and dining at restaurants. Earn 1 point for every dollar in other purchases (100 points = $1, or the usual 1% back).
Simple cash rewards. 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.
Points redeemed towards travel are worth 25% more, and easy to use. As noted above, hotel room or airplane ticket redemptions can also be maximized because you can book wherever you want 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. You’re able to use every last point on this program. On other cards, you would have to go up another tier and spend an extra 10,000 point chunk.
Transfer to airline miles. If you prefer, you can also transfer to United Airlines, British Airways, Hyatt Hotels, Marriott Hotels, and Amtrak. 1 Sapphire point = 1 mile/hotel point for these transfers. If you collect miles, this is really lucrative as I don’t know of any other card that gives 2 miles/dollar spent on travel and dining.
Ultimate Rewards points are instantly transferable to other accounts like family members, so you can pool points for trips and such.
In addition, this card has no foreign transaction fees, making it handy for travel. Chase Sapphire cards also promote 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, no phone trees or typing those darn 16 digits over and over. You can use this feature to redeem cash rewards over the phone for free, although booking rewards tickets over the phone costs $20 (doing so online is free).
I’ve gotten the bonus for this card already, and also combined it with the Chase Ink Bold business card which got me another 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points. Finally, this thing is heavy! It fees like a thin piece of aluminum or other metal sandwiched between plastic. Completing the unique look is the fact that no raised numbers are on the front.
Update: The Chase Sapphire Preferred is adding chip-and-signature EMV technology, which helps improve the acceptance of your credit card internationally where it is a popular security measure, especially Europe. This can be handy along with the no foreign transaction fee feature. Here’s a picture of what the new card will look like.
Current cardholders can request a new chip-enabled card (free) by either calling in (remember, no phone trees with Sapphire…) or using the secure message feature of the Chase website. They’ll even send a prepaid mailer to return back your old card, since it is metal and thus hard to shred.
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