Choosing the right card is the hardest part when your new to the game of Big Travel for Free. Now more than ever advertisers and mentioning huge signup bonuses enticing various customers to sign up because it seems like a great deal. Little do you know that lots of the cards have restrictions and limited benefits beyond just the signup. The Chase Sapphire Preferred goes against all those stereotypes and is not only the best beginner card but also a key card to have in everyone’s collection.
50,000 Bonus Signup
The signup bonus like all cards is the biggest draw. After $4,000 in purchases in the first three months your eligible for the bonus. If you add addition users to the card you can earn an additional 5,000 points. If you take care of each of those categories after 3 months (without even spending on any of the bonus categories) your already at almost 60,000 points! That is worth over $750 of travel on Chase (typical standard is each point is worth 1.25 cents) and can be redeemed for even more value by transferring to additional partners. You also get the $95 annual fee waived for the first year, and even with the fee the card pays for itself. I have been a customer since it was first introduced in 2010.
Dining and Travel 2x Bonus
2x the bonus may seem very comparable or lower than most card offers but the flexibility for the categories gives you many options to redeem additional points. Bars, small diners, some gas stations, coffee shops and more all fit under the dining category (in most situations). Travel can be leveraged from uber, taxis, car rentals, flights to hotel stays and more.
This all helps build your wealth of points and many times the first things I hear people say to me is “I don’t travel” or “I don’t eat out much”. Those are all valid concerns and there are some other options that can be used along with Chase Sapphire Preferred, but to start your wealth and for an every day use card you won’t find a better value of your spend even when it is outside of the bonus categories.
Ultimate Rewards Travel
There are various different ways to redeem your points, but my guidance is use the points for travel. Not gift cards or cash back. You do not maximize the value of your hard earned points. Typical point value for spend on the Ultimate Rewards Portal is 1.25 cents per point. For instance you may be able to find a $700 flight and spend 56,000 points for 1 ticket. But when you start to understand the power of Transfer Partners you’ll see the true value
The true Travel Big for Free geek will dive into understanding the true value of transferring to additional partners. In the example above it was 56,000 for a $700 ticket, for that same ticket you could transfer 50,000 points to United or if you flight was on a super saver reward you could transfer just 25,000 points! That getting Big Value for your points for a beginner! Now you can have a friend join you!
Travel Insurance and Benefits
The Chase Sapphire Preferred offers car insurance on rental cars so you no longer have to be forced into purchasing the additional insurance on your rental. The card also offers Travel Insurance, Lost Luggage, Delay Reimbursement. All for free with the card.. for the first year before you have to pay the $95 annual fee which is still well worth it!
Additional Protection and Benefits
A couple of services they also offer that I have had to use for a host of different reasons are, Purchase Protections, Extended Warranty, Price Protection and Return Protection.
A personal story that gave me the confidence of Chase and will make me a life long customer is on about a marina that I was working with for my boat. In the summer of 2013 my boat had an issue with its motor
and it was unusable. I left it at the Marina and the owner stated he could fix it for $2500. So I paid with my chase sapphire preferred and waited for him to get it fixed, I had an understanding that it may take awhile because he had to get it shipped from out of state and the fishing season was rapidly coming to an end. The following year I went to the marina and it still wasn’t fixed or addressed. I followed up for weeks and then it turned to days where he was officially no longer responding to me and becoming extremely rude and I asked for my money back because it has been for over 6 months with no work being done. He kept giving me a hard time not responding not able to pay me. I wrote him a letter saying I want the money by x date or I will have to bring him to court. I then tried the hailmary option I contacted Chase with all my phone records, emails, texts with the dates of the transactions and time periods of the whole event. Within a DAY! They credited my account with the money and I finally received a really angry phone call back from the owner complaining that I took my money back illegally and he was going to sue me. I contacted Chase making them aware of the situation and they handled everything!
This experience is something i felt went above and beyond it was outside of the 120 days and it was over the amount they covered.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a MUST for anyone that is looking to Travel Big for Free. Whether your seasoned or just starting to understand points and miles this card plays a huge role in any strategy and is the card I rely on the most to make our trips and adventures come true!
Is this card in your wallet? Whats your strategy or thoughts on the Chase Sapphire Preferred ?