If you polled the team at Travel Miles 101 for our favorite travel rewards credit card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card would definitely top the list. If you want to get started traveling the world with rewards points & miles, this is a card you need in your wallet:
- Earn 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points after reaching the minimum spending requirement of $4,000 in the first 3 months the account is open
- Earn 3x points on dining at restaurants
- $95 annual fee
- $0 foreign transaction fees
Important note: You can apply for this card if you don’t currently have either Sapphire card (Preferred or Reserve) and haven’t received a new card member bonus for either Sapphire card in the past 48 months.
How to Redeem Ultimate Rewards Points for Maximum Value
Here are the three main Chase Ultimate Rewards redemption options, and we’ll focus on #3 since that’s where you can really get significant value with some fun redemptions!
- Cash Back: Ultimate Rewards can be redeemed for 1 cent per point, so your 60,000 points = $600 cash back.
- Use the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal: Chase allows you to book travel directly through their booking portal (which will be run by Expedia for tons of options!). Each point is worth 1.25 cents, so your 60,000 points = $750 of travel.
- Transfer your points so they become frequent flyer miles and hotel rewards points. Our favorites include: Hyatt, Southwest, United and British Airways (for use especially on American Airlines in the US).
The point value when transferred to these partners can far exceed the $750 you get when booking through the Chase Travel Portal. We think you can fairly often get upwards of 2 cents per point, so $1,200 or more in value this way. For example:
- 60,000 United Airlines miles is enough for a round-trip Saver Economy award flight from the US to Europe
- 60,000 Hyatt points will get you 12 free nights in a Category 1 hotel (usually a Hyatt House or Hyatt Place)
- 60,000 British Airways would be enough for 8 one-way flights on American Airlines (for direct flights under 1,150 miles one-way in distance).
- 60,000 Southwest miles are ultra-flexible and should get you at least $900 in value
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