Whether you’re looking for cash back or travel rewards, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is one of the best cards around.
When I first learned about credit card rewards, the Chase Sapphire Preferred was the very first card I applied for. With this card alone, our family of four was able to fly home for Christmas practically for free!
With the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points. In my opinion, these are the most valuable and flexible rewards points out there. You can redeem them for cash back, transfer them to travel partners (such as Southwest or United Airlines), or book travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal.
By booking through the Ultimate Rewards portal, your points are worth an extra 25%! So, for example, a $500 plane ticket would cost you 40,000 points.
When you spend $4,000 in the first three months after opening your Chase Sapphire Preferred, you earn 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points.
80,000 Ultimate Rewards points can be redeemed for $1,000 in cash back, or $1,250 in travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards booking portal.
In addition, you can earn up to $50 in statement credits for grocery purchases in the first year.
Just for reference, I signed up for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card when the welcome offer was much less than 100,000 points, and it was still one of the best deals out there!
Chase Sapphire Preferred – Best Overall Rewards Credit Card!
The Chase Sapphire Preferred was the card that launched our journey into credit card rewards. The welcome bonus of 100,000 points is worth $1,250 toward travel or $1,000 cash.
Details: $95 annual fee | Earn 100,000 Chase UR points after spending $4k in 3 months
Chase Sapphire Preferred Review
Here’s a quick overview of the features of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card:
- Earn 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending a minimum of $4,000 in the first three months
- Earn 2X points on travel and dining out (including delivery services and takeout)
- Earn 1 point per dollar on all other purchases
- $95 annual fee
- $0 foreign transaction fees
- Additional benefits including –
- Trip Cancellation Insurance
- Lost Luggage Insurance
- Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver
The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is one of the strongest offers available today, whether you prefer cash back or traveling rewards.
If you plan to do any traveling, it can be a especially great card to have with the 2X bonus on travel/dining spending, and the additional 25% reward bonus for booking travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal.
How to Redeem Ultimate Rewards Points
While there are many great rewards credit cards out there, Chase has built what I consider the best and most flexible rewards system with their Ultimate Rewards points.
In general, 100 Ultimate Rewards points = $1.00 in value, but there are ways to get even more value out of them!
Here are just a few ways to redeem your points and get the most out of your rewards.
1. Redeem Points for Cash Back (Up to 25% Bonus)
Most cards give you either good cash back rewards or good travel rewards. But not Chase. With Ultimate Rewards points you get both.
If you’d like to get cash back through a statement credit or direct deposit, you can redeem for 1 cent per point. That makes the 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points welcome offer worth $800 in cash back.
However, you can also use the Pay Yourself Back feature to get an additional 25% of value from your points when you redeem for a statement credit toward purchases in select, rotating categories. This increases the value of your 80,000 points to $1,000!
2. Book Travel Through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Portal (25% Bonus)
One of my favorite features of Chase Ultimate Rewards is their travel booking portal. This is where I end up booking most of my travel as you can spend your points pretty much like cash.
With Chase’s booking portal, each Ultimate Rewards point is worth 1.25 cents as long as you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. So that makes your 100,000 points worth $1,250 in travel.
You can book airfare, hotels, and more, all using your points and receiving a 25% boost in value.
3. Transfer Points to a Chase Airline or Hotel Partner (Variable Bonus)
It’s always worth comparing what it would cost to book an airline ticket or hotel room in the Ultimate Rewards portal vs. transferring the points to one of Chase’s travel partners.
For example, if you’re looking for a luxury hotel stay, it can often be cheaper to transfer points to Hyatt and book using Hyatt points rather than Ultimate Rewards points. In some cases, you could almost double the value of your points depending on your exact redemption!
Chase’s transfer partners include:
- British Airways
- Southwest Airlines
- Aer Lingus
- Singapore Airlines
- Virgin Atlantic
Other Ways to Earn Ultimate Rewards Points
One of the benefits of Chase Ultimate Rewards is that you can earn points through many of their credit cards, both business and personal.
Here are some of the other Chase credit cards that earn Ultimate Rewards points:
- Chase Ink Business Preferred (best for business or side hustle owners)
- Chase Ink Business Unlimited (best for business cash back)
- Chase Freedom Unlimited (best no fee personal credit card)
The Chase Sapphire Preferred, and Ink Business Preferred have some special perks that earn you extra value when redeeming through the Chase travel portal, and also allow you to transfer your points to Chase’s travel partners.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited and Ink Business Unlimited do not have those abilities by themselves, but as long as you have one of the “premium” cards above, you can combine your points in that account to take advantage of the extra rewards.
How We Use Our Chase Sapphire Preferred Cards
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is one of the central credit cards I always keep my our wallets. Most of my daily spending is done using this card because of the excellent point earning potential.
When my wife and I first go our Chase Sapphire Preferred cards, we were able to book our travel home for Christmas with two kids for practically free, and we still had some points left over!
Here are some tips on how I maximize the value from my Chase Sapphire Preferred:
- If we’re dining out, I make sure to use the Chase Sapphire preferred for the 2X point bonus.
- Both my spouse and I applied for and got the card. This allows us to double our earning potential and also combine our points into one account.
- Before booking travel, I always check the cost of booking through the Chase portal vs. transferring points. In some cases, it can be a lot cheaper to transfer to a partner and book from there.
- If you do transfer points, just remember you can’t get them back into your Chase account afterwards.
- If you need a little help meeting the minimum spend requirement, I’ve found that it’s easy to pre-pay recurring bills like phone, cable, utilities, insurance, etc. They never seem to mind getting paid early!
For a more in depth look at how we use credit card rewards, check out how we easily earn $2,000 in rewards points per year and haven’t paid for a plane ticket in over 4 years!
If you’re looking for other types of reward credit cards, here are the best of the best in various categories:
- Best Cash Back Cards
- Best Travel Rewards Cards
- Best 0% APR Cards
- Best Balance Transfer Cards
- Best Small Business Cards
- Best No Annual Fee Cards
- Best Cards (Overall)
Andrew Herrig is a finance expert and money nerd and the founder of Wealthy Nickel, where he writes about personal finance, side hustles, and entrepreneurship. As an avid real estate investor and owner of multiple businesses, he has a passion for helping others build wealth and shares his own family’s journey on his blog.
Andrew holds a Masters of Science in Economics from the University of Texas at Dallas and a Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University. He has worked as a financial analyst and accountant in many aspects of the financial world.
Andrew’s expert financial advice has been featured on CNBC, Entrepreneur, Fox News, GOBankingRates, MSN, and more.