Earlier this week, Chase announced an increased sign up offer for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card. With this new offer, the bonus has been increased by 10k points, but the annual fee for the first year is no longer waived ($95 per year). Since I value my Chase Ultimate Reward points to be worth about 2 cents per dollar, I’d happily pay $95 the first year to earn the extra points (with my valuation 10k points = $200) — so ultimately the new offer means I’d be ahead by $105. With that being said, many folks prefer cards where the annual fee is waived the first year, even if it means a slightly lower offer. And since this is my No. 1 recommended card for newbies, I know that being able to “test” out a card for the first year without having to lay out any money is quite ideal.
Fortunately, depending on where you stand there are two different offers that will appeal to those in both categories.
This is the newest offer that was just announced and will be the standing publicly available offer going forward.
- Key Link: Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card — Earn 60,000 Chase Ultimate Reward points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. $95 annual fee.
For the past few years, the steady ongoing offer was 10k points less, although the annual fee was waived just the first year. However, as I mentioned above, I value my Chase Ultimate Reward points at 2 cents per point, so getting $200 more value out of the sign up offer by only having to pay $95 is my preference. Although, even if you are not going to transfer your points to partner programs and prefer the “pay with points” option, you are still coming out ahead. The 10k extra points can be redeemed for $125 towards travel through the Chase portal — again putting you ahead of the $95 annual fee.
This is the standing offer that has been around for a few years now, although it is now only available via a “refer-a-friend” link. This means if you have a friend or family member that already has this card, you can use their referral link — you will receive 50k points after meeting the minimum spend and they will receive 10k points for referring you (maxed at earning 50k points a year).
- Key Link: Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card — Earn 50,000 Chase Ultimate Reward points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. $0 introductory fee for the first year, then $95 a year thereafter. NOTE: This is my “refer-a-friend” link, which anyone can use.
At the surface, this is definitely not the better offer for the one signing up for the card. Although the annual fee is waived for the first year, you’ll receive 10k less points. With the first offer, if you want to think of getting your first year free, you can always redeem 9,500 Chase Ultimate Reward points for a $95 statement credit to essentially offset your annual fee — and you’ll still be coming ahead by $5.
However, if you will benefit as well from the 10k points that the referrer will also receive, then you’ll ultimately come ahead. Both card members will ultimately earn a total of 60k points and you still will not have to pay the annual fee for the first year. One thing to know though is that the person referring you might be 1099’d on the 10k points received. This year, they sent out 1099’s to those who received points from credit card referrals at a value of 1 cent per point — which means 10k points earned is worth $100. If they continue to send out 1099’s at the same valuation, the referrer will be on the hook to pay taxes on that $100. Let’s assume that equals $35, you are still coming out ahead in your combined net total, but it can definitely be a hassle and another thing to have to deal with during tax time.
Aside from the sign up offer, everything else surrounding the card stays the same — the minimum spend requirement, the ongoing annual fee, the benefits, etc. Really, the only difference is the number of points you’ll earn after applying. If you are not a cardmember, this is definitely a card I recommend looking into as it is a great introduction to earning Chase Ultimate Reward points, which is by far my favorite currency to earn for free travel.
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