The Holy Grail of Credit Cards
One of my favorite credit cards of all time is the Chase Sapphire Preferred® which is now offering 50,000 bonus points to new applicants who spend $4,000 within three months of account opening. That's worth $625 in travel!
But even without its outstanding bonus offer, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® is a really great card since you can earn 2 points per dollar on all dining and travel purchases, and one point per dollar spent elsewhere.
Your earned points can be found in Chase's Ultimate Rewards program and can be redeemed for 1.25 cents each towards travel reservations made through their travel center or transferred to airline and hotel partners including United, Southwest, British Airways, Singapore, and Hyatt.
That's 25% additional redemption value compared to redeeming Ultimate Rewards through a card like the no annual fee Chase Freedom®!
By the time you reach the $4,000 minimum spending requirement, you'll have earned at least 54,000 bonus points, and that's before any bonus spending on travel and dining (2x points per dollar on travel/dining).
To maximize points, it's a no-brainer to add someone as an additional cardholder to earn the other 5,000 bonus points ($0 fee for additional cardholders).
So when all is said and done with your earned bonus points, you should have at least 59,000 points within the first 3-4 months if you do it right.
Continue reading for our 5 best ways to maximize that bonus!
1. Buy $737 worth of travel reservations
The easiest way to spend these points is to go to Chase's Ultimate Rewards travel portal and just book something.
59,000 points is worth $737.50 (remember your 125% redemption per point) worth of travel, including all mandatory taxes and fees.
Options include airfare, hotel, rental cars, and various activities.
For example, stay at the 5-star rated Loews Regency hotel for a weekend (2 nights) in New York City December 8-10, 2017, just in time to see Christmas lights in all the stores and the big Rockefeller tree, for just 57,476 points total (as of 5/4/17).
That's less than the 59,000 points you should have, plus it includes all taxes and fees, for a total savings of $720 should you have paid with cash. That is already worth the $95 annual fee for the card!
Thanks Chase Sapphire Preferred®! Now let's get to flights... Continue reading!
2. Book (almost) four round-trip flights!
The way I unlocked the most value from my Chase Sapphire Preferred® is through transferring points 1:1 to other Chase airline partners. You can get insane value through partner flights.
One of my favorite transfer partners is British Airways which offers distance-based awards that can be surprisingly cheap.
For instance, one-way flights (of less than 1,150 miles) on BA or any of their partners such as American Airlines and Alaska Airlines is just 7,500 points.
For 7,500 points you can usually find one-way flights between cities like as New York and Miami or between Chicago and Denver.
Or you could transfer 60,000 points to British Airways and receive a round trip ticket for you, your significant other, and treat another couple.
And you can also transfer points to hotels! See next slide.
3. Stay in a swanky hotel for a weekend
As a Chase Sapphire Preferred® cardholder you also can access Chase's 1:1 hotel transfer partners who each have their own outstanding point redemption opportunities.
Transfer partners include RItz-Carlton, Marriott, IHG, and Hyatt.
For example, transfer your points to the Hyatt Gold Passport program, and you can redeem them for some amazing properties.
For just 25,000 points per night, you can stay two nights in a ridiculously swanky hotel. For example, I've redeemed my Hyatt points to stay at the Andaz 5th Avenue in New York, and the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort in Hawaii.
Or if you want to island hop, stay at the Andaz Maui like FinanceBuzz.io reader Mona did!
Speaking of Hawaii... let's get you there! See next slide.
4. Two tickets to Hawaii
There are two ways you can redeem 25,000 Ultimate Rewards points for a ticket to Hawaii, and still have points leftover from your Chase Sapphire Preferred® signup bonus.
First way: If you live on the west coast, one way is to transfer them to British Airways, and then redeem them for flights of under 3,000 miles.
This includes flights to Hawaii on their partners American and Alaska Airlines from anywhere on the west coast including L.A., San Francisco, Seattle, Phoenix, and even Anchorage Alaska.
Second way: The other way is to transfer your points to Korean Airlines and fly their partner Delta from anywhere in North America.
This can be a great deal, but there are a couple hitches.
First, you will have to make sure that Delta is offering the flights you want at the lowest mileage rates, which doesn't happen too often.
Also, the Korean Airlines program only allows you to redeem miles for award tickets for yourself and your immediate family, so forget bringing your boyfriend, girlfriend, or even your cousin!
But even though they can be difficult to work with, it's totally worth it when you save $2,000 on flights to Hawaii.
And now, the ULTIMATE flying experience using Chase points... Click NEXT!
5. Singapore Airlines First Class Suite
Perhaps the greatest experience you can have on a commercial airliner is in the Singapore Airlines First Class Suite.
Not only is Singapore Airlines known for having the best service in the world (even their economy class is light years ahead of anything offered by a US airline), but they have a special version of first-class that has its own private suite (with a door!).
Book two adjoining suites, and they will combine it into a double bed!
Singapore Airlines is a transfer partner of Chase Ultimate Rewards, and for 57,375 miles (and about $230 in taxes and fees), you can reserve a suite on their Airbus A380 superjumbo flight between New York-JFK and Frankfurt Germany, but just one way.
This is also the same price for a one-way ticket on their longer flights between Moscow and Houston, although it only features their regular first class seat, (which is about the size of your typical palace throne), and also turns into a bed.
It's simply amazing to me that credit card issuers will offer you tens of thousands of points, easily worth hundreds if not thousands of dollars in free travel, just for giving their products a try and meeting the minimum spending requirements of the offer. Plus additional points for dining and travel? You can always count me in.
Enjoy planning your travels using your Ultimate Rewards!
Don't have the Chase Sapphire Preferred® yet?
Disclaimer: This content and the opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and have not been provided, commissioned, or endorsed by the credit card issuer. All information was accurate at the time of this post but card terms and conditions may change at any time.
Do you have the CSP? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!