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.
This was already our favorite card, but Chase just (as of 9/15/2020) increased the bonus offer:
- Earn 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points after reaching the minimum spending requirement of $4,000 in the first 3 months the account is open
- Earn 2x points on travel and 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 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 80,000 points = $800 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 80,000 points = $1,000 of travel.
- Transfer your points so they become frequent flyer miles and hotel rewards points. The list of current partners includes:
- Aer Lingus AerClub
- British Airways Avios
- Emirates Skywards
- Flying Blue AIR FRANCE KLM
- Iberia Plus
- JetBlue TrueBlue
- Singapore Airlines Krisflyer
- Southwest Rapid Rewards
- United MileagePlus
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
- IHG Rewards Club
- Marriott Rewards
- World of Hyatt
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 $1,000 you get when booking through the Chase Travel Portal. We think you can fairly often get upwards of 2 cents per point, so $1,600 or more in value this way. For example:
- 80,000 United Airlines miles is enough for a round-trip Saver Economy award flight from the US to Japan (or many parts of Asia)
- 80,000 Hyatt points will get you 16 free nights in a Category 1 hotel (usually a Hyatt House or Hyatt Place)
- 80,000 British Airways would be enough for 10 one-way flights on American Airlines (for direct flights under 1,150 miles one-way in distance).
- 80,000 Southwest miles are ultra-flexible and should get you at least $1,200 in value
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