Wanderlusting about a vacation is fun and all—until you peep the total cost of airfare and hotels. That’s where a travel-friendly credit card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card comes in. Thanks to a generous redemption system and a ginormous sign-up bonus, it’s basically designed for folks who travel a lot and want to pay for that travel in points. We checked in with the team at The Points Guy to find out more.
First things first: What are Chase Ultimate Rewards? Chase Ultimate Rewards is actually a system of rewards-based credit cards that offer a pretty respectable return (in the form of redeemable points) in most spending categories, especially when you put those rewards toward travel.
But what’s so special about the Chase Sapphire Preferred? This card is the perfect entry point to the Ultimate Rewards family—and while it’s great for most people, it’s a credit card that’s particularly lucrative if travel is your jam. (There are no foreign transaction fees, it comes with all kinds of travel insurance and you get 25 percent more value when you redeem points on airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises.) It also comes with a $95 annual fee versus the Chase Sapphire Reserve, which offers even more rewards, but comes with a $450 annual fee.
What about that sign-up bonus? After you fill out an application online and get approved, you need to spend $4,000 on your card in the first three months. That will net you a sign-up bonus of 60,000 points, which is worth around $750 on paper (when redeemed through Chase’s travel portal) or up to $1,200 when transferred to almost 13 partner airlines and hotel brands, based on The Points Guy valuations. (You can redeem points for things like cash back or Amazon purchases, but you’ll get a better bang for your buck if you use exclusively on travel.)