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Chase Sapphire Preferred Bonus Question
I am fairly new to the rewards CC/travel game and I had a question about the Chase Sapphire Preferred. I am a medical student who will be traveling quite a bit for research conferences, trips back home and residency interviews over the next couple of years so I decided to open up the CSP as my first card. I know that I will be receiving 50,000 bonus points upon spending $4,000 in the first 3 months, which I am on track to do by Sept or Oct. Since I am new to awards redemption and have never really flown on miles before, approximately how much is 50,000 points/miles worth? What have you all having experience with the CSP redeemed the 50,000 for in the past? Alternatively, do you recommend building up a balance beyond 50,000 to redeem for something greater? Any advice (for both flying and hotel) is greatly appreciated as I am just getting started. Thanks!
Welcome [USER=3266]@njar93[/USER] –
First off, we recommend the beginner’s guide that can be found under the Start Here tab at the top of the page.
Beyond that – what are 50K points worth? The answer is “it depends”. The CSP earns Ultimate Rewards and URs can be used in a couple of different ways.
1. The most straightforward way is to book your travel directly through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards portal. There you can use your UR points like cash and if you don’t have enough points to cover a flight you can pay cash for the rest. The advantage of this method is you can pick the flights you want and travel when you need to and you can earn frequent flyer miles because to the airline it looks like a paid ticket. The disadvantage is that your points are always worth a little over a penny a point no matter what flight/route you take – and you have to be careful not to book a basic economy fare.
2. The other method of using URs involves transferring them to an airline’s frequent flyer program and getting award seats. If you can find award seats on the days/times you want, that’s great. If not, it may involved creative routing, which is not as good. But if the flight you want is very expensive yet has award seats, you could spend fewer URs using this method than by purchasing the flight with URs as in #1 above. If you’re looking at international travel in a premium cabin then this method is almost certainly the way to go.
So, via method #1, 50K URs would cover a bit over $500 when buying a plane ticket. With method #2 on a regular domestic flight you could get 2 round-trip tickets (as long as award seats are available!) although some airlines (like AA, UA) offer award seats for fewer miles for flights under ~500 miles. And if you transfer your URs to British Airways – you can use BA points to get tickets on AA – their award chart is segment- and distance-based so they’re great for non-stop short trips but not as good for long trips with connections.
Hope that hasn’t confused you more but let us know if you’ve got more questions.