The Chase Sapphire Preferred’s bonus gives you a round-trip flight to (almost) anywhere on earth
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The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has an all-time high welcome bonus at the moment — 80,000 Chase points after meeting minimum spending requirements (ending Nov. 8, 2020). This is an interesting amount of points — namely because it’s enough points for a round-trip ticket to just about anywhere.
Imagine opening a credit card that offered a blank plane ticket to anywhere. That would be one heck of a welcome bonus, wouldn’t it?? If you know how to use Chase points, that’s exactly what this bonus is. Apart from Antarctica (and a very short list of other areas), you can pretty much spin the globe and point to somewhere, and the welcome bonus from the Sapphire Preferred can take you there. It’s like earning a blank award ticket.
We know that many people aren’t booking international travel right now, but you can still stash these points away for a time when flying to another country is less restricted.
One great thing about award flights is that they cost similar prices no matter where you depart from. Whether your home airport is Los Angeles or Wichita, the number of points shouldn’t deviate too much. The downside is that award flights are more plenteous from big airports, so you may just not find available flights for your desired dates. However, if you’re planning for 2021 travel (like most of us are), you shouldn’t have an issue finding available seats if you’re planning far enough ahead.
Let’s look at some extra faraway places that you can go with the Chase Sapphire Preferred 80,000-point bonus. Not only can you visit any of these places, but you can go just about anywhere in between.
Chase Sapphire Preferred bonus can take you just about anywhere (ends November 8)
As a reminder, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card comes with 80,000 bonus Chase points after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. That is the highest bonus we’ve ever seen for this card, and it will no longer be available in just a few days (November 8, 2020). In fact, it’s possibly the best credit card bonuses currently available. If you want this card with its increased bonus, you don’t have much time left to apply. Read our Chase Sapphire Preferred approval tips if you’re interested.
We estimate Chase points value is 1.7 cents each, on average. That makes this bonus worth potentially $1,360 in travel — and even much more! Read our post on the best ways to use Chase points to understand how powerful Chase points can be.
Flights (and more) to anywhere that costs $1,000 or less
Let’s get the obvious bit out of the way first. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card bonus is worth $1,000 when you book travel through the Chase Travel Portal. See, Sapphire Preferred cardholders can redeem their points for a value of 1.25 cents each for flights, hotels, car rentals, and cruises. So if you can find flights for under $1,000, you’re getting a completely free flight.
If you monitor deals, this alone can net you a round-trip flight to just about anywhere — especially if you live near hub airports like New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta or Chicago. For example, I once found a round-trip to Johannesburg for under $400 from Washington, D.C. You can read our post on how to find the cheapest flights to anywhere to learn how to find airfares that are outlandishly low.
However, you can often score much better Chase points value by converting them to miles with Chase transfer partners, like United Airlines miles, Air France-KLM Flying Blue miles or British Airways Avios points. This way you can book award flights to pretty much anywhere on the planet. And while there are usually taxes and fees associated with super long award flights, they shouldn’t be enough to deter you from booking.
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And finally, you can actually cash out your points with Chase’s Pay Yourself Back feature to erase grocery, dining and home improvement store purchases at the same rate as using them in the Chase travel portal (until April 30, 2021). So 80,000 points would cover $1,000 of groceries, food delivery, etc.
Let’s take a look at some random routes from random U.S. airports!
You can transfer 80,000 Chase points to United Airlines for a round-trip award flight to New Zealand. This particular fare (Denver to Auckland) sells for $1,300+, and that’s if you’re lucky. Note the taxes and fees, but $76 is a small price to pay for 15,000 miles of flying.
Ushuaia is the southernmost commercial airport in the world. It’s at the very tip of Argentina — about 600 miles from Antarctica. You can book an award flight by transferring 58,000 Chase points to Flying Blue (the loyalty program of KLM and Air France). Flying Blue is a member of the SkyTeam airline alliance — a partnership that also contains Aerolineas Argentinas, which flies to this remote airport.
Booking this ticket through Flying Blue is surprisingly inexpensive, and will leave you 22,000 of your Chase Sapphire Preferred 80,000-point bonus for later use.
Back to United Airlines. By converting 77,000 Chase points into United Airlines miles, you can book a flight to middle-of-nowhere, Tibet, for a view of the majestic Himalayas. United Airlines partners with Air China, which unlocks all kinds of peripheral locations on the Pacific Rim and beyond.
The route to this location (which is murder, by the way, with three connections on this particular itinerary), retails for $8,500! That’s excessive, but you’ll find that no matter your departure point, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a round-trip coach ticket under $3,000. As always, mind the taxes and fees.
Cape Town is one of the single most popular destinations among miles and points collectors. It’s got a beach, it’s got mountains, it’s got vineyards, it’s got… shark cage diving! It’s also really, really far away. With the below example booking (Los Angeles to Cape Town), expect to fly 23,000 miles in total.
By transferring Chase points to Flying Blue, you can book this round-trip for a total of 72,000 miles, plus taxes and fees.
Israel is my favorite destination of them all, and booking an award ticket through Flying Blue is one of the absolute cheapest ways to get there. The program has historically considered Israel a part of Europe instead of the Middle East, which is why it’s priced lower than countries to its immediate right.
A measly 52,000 miles can get you from the U.S. to Tel Aviv (which is just 50 minutes from Jerusalem). This flight generally costs $1,000+, so scoring that ticket for 52,000 miles and $215 in taxes and fees is a steal.
While the Galapagos islands technically aren’t the farthest from home you can possibly roam, they have an air of inaccessibility that makes them feel worlds away — despite a few hundred-thousand people visiting the islands every year.
Round-trip coach flights from the below sample route (Indianapolis to Baltra Island) retails for nearly $900. But when you transfer 44,000 Chase points to United Airlines, you can book an award flight with, admittedly, annoyingly high taxes and fees. Still, a great deal for 44,000 points.
Many airline currencies will charge you more than 40,000 miles each way to visit Bali — one of the hottest tourist destinations in recent years — from the U.S. Fortunately, Flying Blue is an exception. By transferring 75,000 Chase points to Flying Blue, you can book a round-trip coach flight to Bali (plus taxes and fees). Reasonable for a route that regularly costs over $1,000.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred comes with 80,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. But that bonus will disappear on Nov. 8, 2020, and we don’t know what the new bonus will be. All indicators point to it being significantly lower.
An 80,000-point bonus is an all-time high for this card. In fact, it gives you enough value to travel to just about anywhere from just about anywhere. That’s a big deal. Read our Chase Sapphire Preferred approval tips for everything you need to know before you apply.
Let us know if you plan to open this card before the bonus decreases! And subscribe to our newsletter for more credit card inspiration and how-tos delivered to your inbox once per day.
Featured image by YangYang / Getty Images.
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