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Insider Secret: With the outstanding Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card you can turn your points into First Class flights, luxury hotel suites and more. I’ve done it and it’s pretty easy.
I’ve had the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card for over 5 years. I’ve used it all over the US, Canada, Mexico, Caribbean and Europe. In this Chase Sapphire Preferred review, I’ll reveal the secrets to getting $1,000+ worth of travel from the sign-up bonus.
Chase Sapphire Preferred Bonus
You earn 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points when you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening the account. I’ll show you tricks to get $1,000+ worth of travel from those 60,000 points.
Though instead, you can get $750 worth of travel with no brain-work whatsoever (when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards). You could also turn the 60,000 points into $600 if you prefer cash.
3 ways to use Chase Ultimate Rewards points you earn with the Chase Sapphire Preferred
1. Cash Back
I used to be a cash back person. But then Million Mile Secrets showed me how to get double my money’s worth when using points for travel. Now I’m Managing Editor of Million Mile Secrets. So you can see the progression!
60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points turns into $600.
You need at least 2,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points ($20) to get your cash back. You can apply this as a statement credit or as a deposit in your bank account.
If you want to use your Chase Sapphire Preferred as a cash back card, you certainly can. You’d earn 2 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar you spend on travel and restaurant purchases. So that’s essentially 2% cash back in those categories. You’ll also earn 1 point on every other dollar you spend, or basically 1% cash back.
I still use cash back cards. But to me, using your Chase Ultimate Rewards points for cash back instead of travel is like using a Ferrari only to pick up groceries once a week.
2. Select Nearly Any Flight, Hotel, Cruise, Rental Car
This is very easy. Many of you will be very happy to use your points this way. Heck, I still use my points this way sometimes!
You just log into the Chase Travel portal and pick your flight or hotel just like you do on Expedia. Yes, the prices are the same or very close. (But when booking rental cars or cruises, shop around. Though many readers tell us they get great rental car prices through the portal.)
What’s cool about this method for booking airlines and hotels, is there are NO annoying blackout dates. So if there’s a flight for sale, it’s yours with Chase Ultimate Rewards points.
60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points nets you $750 worth of travel when you use their portal with the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.
It’s very easy to book with the Chase portal. You’ll see it looks very similar to booking on Orbitz or any other such sites.
In the screenshot above, you might notice that a $356.60 ticket does NOT cost 35,600 points. That’s because your Chase Ultimate Rewards points are NOT worth just a penny! They’re worth 1.25 cent each when you use your Chase Sapphire Preferred, so ticket prices are discounted 20% with points.
So, again in the screenshot, you’d use 28,528 points for this flight. Would you rather turn those 28,528 points into $285.28, or into a $356.60 flight, or into an award flight to Europe?
3. Transfer Your Points to Travel Partners (This Is How You Can Get $1,000+ Worth of Travel From 60,000 Chase Points)
This is where the magic happens. Chase Ultimate Rewards points are the best points currency because you can transfer to the best airline partners to get just about anywhere in the world.
Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfer at a 1:1 ratio directly to the following airlines:
Aer Lingus (Ireland, here we come!)
British Airways (Shh! This is the secret to super cheap flights to Hawaii from the West Coast and cheap flights within Europe)
Flying Blue (KLM & Air France)
Singapore Airlines (take their amazing First Class bed and champagne service to Japan or Australia)
Southwest (No blackout dates + 2 free checked bags)
United Airlines (This is how I fly to Europe. I don’t fly on United Airlines; I use their terrific partners)
And they transfer to these hotel programs:
Hyatt (the BEST use of your Chase Ultimate Rewards points for hotels. This is how I stayed at the Hyatt Zilara all-inclusive on the beach for $0 per night instead of $500 per night)
Quick example: Transfer 50,000 Chase points to Hyatt. Stay 2 nights at a hotel like the Grand Hyatt New York or Park Hyatt Vienna. Oftentimes those luxury hotels cost over $500 per night!
Another quick example: Transfer 26,000 Chase points to Aer Lingus. Fly round-trip during the 8 months of “off-season” to Ireland. There are non-stop flights from Boston, Chicago, New York, and more! These flights often cost $1,000+. Hint: Last-minute flights that would be expensive are a great deal with points.
After you get your card, come back here to Million Mile Secrets and we’ll show you step-by-step how to book your award flights with points.
This works with hotels too.
- Jason on our team got a ~$3,259 All-Inclusive Resort stay for 65,000 Chase points (that he transferred to Hyatt). He said it was the “best hotel points booking I’ve ever made. [My wife and I] couldn’t have been happier or more relaxed when we left. The service, food, and setting were top notch.”
- I’ve stayed twice at a Hyatt all-inclusive on the beach using 25,000 Chase points per night instead of paying $500 per night
- Jasmin transferred 45,000 Chase points to Hyatt for a 3-night stay at the Hyatt Regency Paris Etoile. (Notice the Chase Sapphire Preferred sign-up bonus is 60,000 points). If she paid money instead of points, it would’ve cost her $800. She loved the view of the Eiffel Tower from her room.
Benefits and Perks of the Chase Sapphire Preferred
Earn 2x points on restaurant and travel purchases
Remember, Chase points are often worth more than points you earn on other types of cards. I’ve also had great success earning 2x points at bars and nightclubs because those establishments are often classified as a restaurant with the credit card processor.
Primary car rental insurance
This covers damage due to theft or collision to your rental car when you pay for the rental with your Chase Sapphire Preferred card.
Real-life experience: Joseph on our team rented a car for nearly a month in Ireland. He turned down the rip-off car insurance at the desk because it would’ve cost him $300! He relied on the primary rental car insurance from his Chase Sapphire Preferred. He scraped and dinged the car. Avis tried to bill him $2,300 for this minor damage! Thank goodness Chase completely took care of it and Joseph was in the clear.
Trip delay reimbursement
Get up to $500 back per ticket when your trip is delayed more than 12 hours or requires an overnight stay for expenses such as meals and lodging.
Extended warranty protection
Paying with your Chase Sapphire Preferred extends the time period of the US manufacturer’s warranty by an additional year, on eligible warranties of 3 years or less.
Baggage delay insurance
This Chase Sapphire Preferred benefit reimburses you for essential purchases like toiletries and clothing for baggage delays over 6 hours by passenger carrier up to $100 a day for 5 days.
I absolutely love the “extras” you get with this credit card.
Is the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card worth it?
Absolutely. I’ve paid this fee 4 times because I ALWAYS get MUCH more than my money’s worth because of the points and perks.
You have the best chance of being approved for the Chase Sapphire Preferred when you have excellent credit. Your score is likely high enough if it’s 750+. I probably wouldn’t recommend applying if your score is below 725, although you never know. Chase has the final word.
There are other factors Chase will use to determine if they want to bless you with this card. Chase may consider your income, your banking relationship with them, etc.
That said, Chase created this card and bonus for a reason. So don’t be shy! When I was approved for my Chase Sapphire Preferred I had an 800 credit score (still do) and a middle class income.
If you’re in one of these 2 categories, you very likely will NOT be approved for the Chase Sapphire Preferred:
1. You have opened 5+ new credit cards from any bank within the past 24 months. But wait, this does NOT count small business cards from AMEX, Bank of America, Chase, Citi, and Wells Fargo.
2. You already have a Chase Sapphire Preferred OR a Chase Sapphire Reserve card.
Apply here for the Chase Sapphire Preferred.
How to earn points with the Chase Sapphire Preferred
You earn 2X points on travel. This includes airlines, hotels, Airbnb, campgrounds, car rentals, cruises, travel agencies, trains, taxis, ferries, toll bridges, parking lots and more.
You earn 2X points on dining. This includes any establishment that codes on your credit card bill as a restaurant. In my experience I’ve earned 2X points at restaurants, bars, nightclubs and fast food places both in the US and overseas.
You earn 1 point per $1 on every other purchase.
Here are the best ways to use Chase Ultimate Rewards points.
Does the Chase Sapphire Preferred have a foreign transaction fee?
No, the Chase Sapphire Preferred does not have a foreign transaction fee. I hate cards that hit you with a junk fee when you use them outside the US. That’s why I take my Chase Sapphire Preferred on all my international trips. Plus it’s a Visa credit card so it’s accepted nearly everywhere.
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card customer service
It’s great. I love that a human answers your call instead of one of those annoying robot menus. Also, throughout the years I twice had fraudulent charges on my card and twice they quickly removed the charges and mailed me a new card without any problem whatsoever.
Credit Cards Similar to the Chase Sapphire Preferred
If the Chase Sapphire Preferred isn’t a match for you, these competing cards are fairly similar:
I recommend getting the Chase Sapphire Preferred before you get those, but really you can’t go wrong with any of the three. I do like the Chase Sapphire Preferred the most because its points are the most valuable.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is the #1 credit card for those of you who are pretty new to using points instead of cash for travel expenses. I’ve kept my metal Chase Sapphire Preferred in my wallet for years because I love it.
Right now the sign-up bonus is 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points in your account after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening your card.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred has a strong benefits package that includes bonus points, trip delay insurance and primary car rental insurance for a very reasonable annual fee.
What’s your Chase Sapphire Preferred review? Would you recommend the Chase Sapphire Preferred to a friend who’s just starting out with using points for travel?