While I love the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card for its travel rewards its also great for cash back, which is a heck of a lot more useful right now.
That's what is so great about the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. You can have it both ways–awesome value for cash back, and even more awesome for travel for when the world starts traveling again.
The way the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card works is that you earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points (URs), which are still the most flexible and valuable travel rewards currency out there. Each point is worth 1 cent per UR for cash back, and 1.25 cents for travel.
Right now, when you spend at least $4,000 in the first three months of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card being approved you earn 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points.
60,000 Ultimate Rewards points can be redeemed for $600 in cash back, which might be helpful if you are looking to set aside some cash for an emergency fund with CIT Bank or even to put into a retirement fund with M1 Finance.
Don’t need the money right away? Then stockpile your URs (worth at least $750 in travel) for when the world starts traveling again.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card Review
Here’s a quick snapshot of what the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card has to offer:
- Earn 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points after reaching the minimum spending requirement of $4,000 in the first three months the account is open
- Earn 2x points on travel and dining at restaurants
- Earn 1 point for every dollar spent on everything else
- $95 annual fee
- $0 foreign transaction fees
- Additional benefits such as Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance and an Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver
Sounds pretty good, right?
The most important part is making sure you earn those 60,000 bonus points. Here are some ideas to help you hit the minimum spend requirements of $4,000 in the first three months of having the card.
Hitting The Minimum Spend For The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
Buy Amazon Gift Cards
If you are like me, Amazon gift cards are as good as cash. You just can't beat the convenience of ordering from Amazon, which I why when I need to buy something I usually pick up my phone, not my car keys. Not to mention Amazon gift cards make great gifts!
Purchase the Amazon gift cards using your Chase Sapphire Preferred and then load them right back into your Amazon account. You meet your minimum spend, and now have an Amazon gift card balance already in your account, waiting to be used.
Buy Discounted Gift Cards At Raise
Buying discounted gift cards at Raise means you get a discount at your favorite stores and get closer to meeting your $4,000 minimum spend. You can save you up to 30% at stores you already shop at! Need your oil changed? Grab a Jiffy Lube gift card and get 20% off! Or purchase a Hulu gift card at face value and earn an immediate 9% back in Raise Cash.
Better yet, stack your gift cards with coupons from Raise for an even bigger discount.
Plastiq is a service that allows you to use your credit card on things that normally don't take credit cards, such as rent. Plastiq normally charges a 2.5% transaction fee, but when you sign up for Plastic using our link, your first $500 through Plastiq will be free-free.
Note: using the Chase Sapphire Preferred will not work on payments through Plastiq on mortgages, HELOCs, auto loans, student loans, and payroll.
Pay Your Bills In Advance
Assuming you aren't living paycheck-to-paycheck and have no cash flow concerns, prepaying on your regular bills is an excellent strategy to help you meet a minimum spend. You earn both the cash back and ensure you meet the minimum spending requirements. Stick to the essentials like home utilities, cell phone, home internet, and groceries to help you hit the $4,000 spend in three months.
Let’s take a closer look at Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.
Redeeming your Ultimate Rewards
Earning 60,000 points sounds well and good, but you want to get the most out of your points. We’ll take a look at the four options Chase gives you, and focus on the last one–which is by far the best!
Redemption option #1–Trade in your points for cash back
You can always redeem your Ultimate Rewards points at a cash value of 1 cent per point, so your 60,000 points equals $600 in cash back.
Redemption option #2–Travel booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal
You can book travel directly through Chase’s booking portal–making your life a whole lot easier. The value is 1.25 cents per point if you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, so your 60,000 points equals $750 of travel. That’s the equivalent of a couple of plane tickets (depending on where you’re traveling to, of course).
Redemption option #3–Trade in your points for experiences
The Ultimate Rewards program lets you trade in your points to attend exclusive events curated specifically towards you, based on the card you have. These include sporting events, concerts and culinary experiences.
Redemption option #4–Transfer your points to one of Chase’s airline & hotel partners
These transfer partners include:
- British Airways Avios
- Aer Lingus AerClub
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
- JetBlue TrueBlue
- United MileagePlus
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
- World Of Hyatt
- IHG Rewards Club
- Marriott Rewards
- The Ritz-Carlton Rewards
- Flying Blue
- Iberia Plus
The potential value of these points when transferred is significant. In some cases, it even exceeds $1,500-$2,000 depending on your exact redemption–which is why this last option is our favorite!
You Can Also Earn Ultimate Rewards With Other Chase Cards
The Chase Ultimate Rewards program carries over to many of their other credit cards. Here are current Chase credit cards that earn Ultimate Rewards® points:
- Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (transferable)
- Chase Sapphire Reserve (transferable)
- Ink Business Preferred Credit Card (transferable)
- Chase Freedom
- Chase Freedom Unlimited
The first three are often considered “premium” cards because the Ultimate Rewards points you earn from them come with the ability to transfer to airline/hotel partners. The other cards do not have that ability by themselves, but you can combine your Ultimate Rewards points into one of your premium card accounts to make all the more valuable transferable points.
Other Benefits Of The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
I’ve outlined the major benefits of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, but there are a few more things to cover. Here are some more benefits that the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card offers:
- Rewards never expire as long as your card account is active–but remember, once you transfer the points to one of the 13 transfer partners, you can’t get them back to your Chase account, so make sure to keep them in your account until you’re really sure you know what you want to spend them on and you're ready to book an award flight/night.
- You can combine your Ultimate Rewards points with your spouse into one account.
- You can also transfer points between authorized users.
If you really want to maximize your travel rewards check out ChooseFI's free travel rewards course.