If you are unfamiliar with Chase, they give you a few different options with a few different credit cards. Their popular cards are the Chase Sapphire Preferred, the Chase Freedom card and the Chase Ink cards. Each credit card comes with different incentives, determining which is best for you will depend on your situation.
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
- This card comes with 40,000 to 50,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 within the first 3 months.
- Earn 2 points per dollar spent on travel and dining.
- Earn 1 point per dollar spent on all transactions.
- No points earning cap and points never expire
- 20% off travel when redeeming airfare, hotel stays, car rentals through the Ultimate Rewards portal.
- No foreign transaction fees outside of the USA.
- Get a 7% annual point dividend on all points earned in the year
- 1:1 point transfer to participating travel partners
- No annual fee first year, then $95
With the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card, they give you a 20% discount when purchasing travel through their online portal. For instance a flight that cost $500 it would normally take 50,000 rewards points would now just take 40,000 rewards points.
*For me this is too expensive for a flight! Why not take your rewards points and transfer them to the airline of your choice, then your rewards would go much further. I do this all of the time with American Express and their travel partners. I can transfer that same 50,000 rewards points into my Delta Airlines account and get 2 free flights, each at 25,000 miles vs. one flight with Chase’s points.
Chase Freedom Card
- Receive $100 cash back after spending $500 in the first 3 months
- 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent in bonus categories each quarter. *categories are announced and last 3 months at a time.
- 1% cash back on everything you buy with no limits.
- 10% cash back at select merchants through Ultimate Rewards
- No annual fee
This card is for those who are looking for cash back on every purchase. This is a card for the every day use and for the consumer who may not travel much or care about building up airline miles or travel rewards.
Chase Ink Cards
Chase offers a few different Ink cards to choose from. These credit cards are good for business owners.
- 25,000 bonus points. 10,000 bonus points after first purchase, then 15,000 bonus points when you spend $5,000 within the first 3 months.
- 5x points on the first $25,000 spent annually at office supply stores, on cellular phone, landlines, internet and cable TV.
- 2x points on first $25,000 spend annually at gas stations and hotel accommodations.
- 1x points per dollar for all other purchases.
- No annual fee at 0% APR for first 6 months.
These cards are good for those who run businesses that use certain services such as office supplies or gas. The Chase Ink cards are also good to add onto your reward cards portfolio.
Why You Would Want To Skip The Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card
There seems to be a lot of buzz around the internet about the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card and rightfully so. As of this writing they are offering 50,000 bonus points for those who can spend $3,000 within the first 3 months of having the card.
Chase is offering one of the higher bonuses right now, but is the value they offer really that great?
As I have said before, it all depends on your situation. What works best for me, living in Alaska might not work as great for you living somewhere else.
If you fly with one of their travel partners (Southwest Airlines, United, British Airways and Korean Air), then using their rewards for travel might work for you.
I find more value with transferring rewards points to my airline of choice and then using those airline miles to purchase my ticket. Chase says you can buy a $500 airline ticket for 40,000 Ultimate Rewards points, but I can also buy that same ticket through my airline of choice for 25,000 miles. I’ll pay a small transfer fee and a $10 fee to the airline, but I will also save more points.
If you were to earn 1 point per dollar spent, you would need to spend $40,000 in order to earn a free flight with Chase. If I were to earn 1 point per dollar spent with American Express, I would need to spend a minimum of $25,000 in order to earn a free airline ticket.
With the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, as soon as you pay the $95 yearly fee, you will lose all value of owning their card. In order to come out ahead, you would need to spend over $100k in any given year to make back enough rewards points to pay for the fee. Since Chase gives you a 7% dividend, this could possibly offset the fee.
One thing that I did not mention is that if you buy an airline ticket using rewards points, when you fly that route, you will earn miles. When purchasing a ticket with miles, you earn nothing from the flight.
*I currently have the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card and will be canceling it before my one year is up. My wife and I received 90,000 bonus points when we applied for the cards and have used the points on hotel stays.
What credit cards do you have in your portfolio?