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I am constantly asked the question “Which credit card should I get?” And of course the answer is always “It Depends!” It depends on your everyday purchases, the amount you spend per month on your credit card, how you like to earn and redeem your points, etc. Typically there is much more of a conversation that needs to happen to recommend the right credit card. However, many people really just don’t know. They just know they want to earn points and miles to hopefully use towards free travel! For those getting into the hobby, there are too many cards to consider, so figuring out one of the first cards to apply for can be challenging.
Overall, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is one of my most preferred credit cards. Also, due to Chase cracking down on approving folks for their Ultimate Reward cards (which includes the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Ink Plus, Chase Ink Cash, Chase Slate, and Chase Freedom), it is a great card to start with prior to applying for other points and miles credit cards. This new rule states that if you’ve applied for 5 or more cards in the past 2 years you, Chase will not approve for one of these cards I listed. That is why applying for these cards first, prior to really immersing yourself in the credit card sign up hobby is a great strategy. You can read more about this new rule here.
For those of you who might think the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is the best card for you, here are my top 5 reasons why I like the card:
- Chase Ultimate Rewards points are extremely flexible. When using your Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card you are earning Ultimate Reward points. This currency is extremely valuable as you can either redeem your points through the Chase travel portal or transfer your points to partner airlines. When redeeming through the travel portal you get a 20% discount. For example, a $500 flight booked through the portal will only cost you 40,000 points. If you prefer to transfer your points to partner loyalty programs, you have 11 options which include: United, British Airways, Korean Airlines, Southwest, Virgin Atlantic, Singapore Airlines, Hyatt, InterContinental Hotels Group, Marriott, Ritz Carlton, and Amtrak. Typically, transferring to United, British Airways, and Hyatt will be your best bet.
- A decent sign up bonus. New applicants will receive 50,000 points after spending $4,000 on the card within the first 3 months plus an additional 5,000 points when you add an authorized user and the user makes a purchase within the first 3 months. If you use the “pay with points” option through the travel portal, the 50,000 points is worth $625 towards travel and if you transfer to partner loyalty programs I typically see new card members getting about a $1,000 value.
- Double points on travel and dining out. These are two popular categories that can add up and earn you more points for free travel.
- Annual fee waived for the first year. This allows you to try out the card and see if it works for you based on your spending habits and travel desires. There is no obligation to keep the card past the first year, but if you find that the card works for you, it costs $95/year thereafter.
- Best travel protection. When you book a flight with select Chase credit card (which includes the Chase Sapphire Preferred), you get some great travel protection in case of a flight cancelation, delay, lost baggage, etc. For example, a trip cancelation (sickness, severe weather, etc.) you are able to be reimbursed up to $10,000 per trip for pre-paid, non-refundable travel expenses. For lost luggage, you are covered up to $3,000 per passenger (which includes you or immediate family members). Or if your luggage is just delayed for 6+ hours, you can be reimbursed for toiletries and clothing at $100 a day for up to 5 days. And my ultimate favorite (and the most common protection) is if your flight is delayed more than 12 hours or required an overnight stay, you are covered for unreimbursed expenses (i.e., meals and hotels) for up to $500 per ticket.
If you are new to the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card or the Chase Ultimate Rewards program, these posts can get you up to speed fast:
- Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card Bonus
- Introduction to Chase Ultimate Rewards Program
- Best Redemption for Chase Ultimate Reward Points – Hotel Stays
- Best Redemption for Chase Ultimate Reward Points – Air Travel
- Chase Ultimate Rewards: Sapphire Preferred vs. Ink Bold vs. Ink Plus
- Top 10 Chase Ultimate Reward Questions
- Chase Sapphire Preferred – 50,000 bonus points with $4,000 spend in 3 months + 5,000 points after adding an authorized user; $95 annual fee waived the first year
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As always, thank you for supporting the blog and enjoy traveling on a deal!