I consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card to be one of the most well rounded cards out there, and also one of the best cards for beginners, given that it has a generous welcome bonus, waived annual fee the first year, good return on spend, and excellent perks.
Current Offer: Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
Annual Fee: $0 Intro for First Year, then $95
Foreign Transaction Fees: $0
Card Bonuses: 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide
Chase Sapphire Preferred Rewards Program
The Chase Sapphire Preferred earns Ultimate Rewards Points, which I find to be one of the most valuable flexible points currencies.
Ultimate Rewards points transfer at a 1:1 ratio to the following programs:
|Aer Lingus Aer Club||IHG Rewards Club|
|Air France/KLM Flying Blue||Marriott Rewards|
|British Airways Executive Club||Ritz-Carlton Rewards|
|Iberia Plus||World Of Hyatt|
|Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards|
|Virgin Atlantic Flying Club|
In general here’s how long you can expect it to take for points to transfer:
|Ultimate Rewards Transfer Partner||Transfer Ratio||Transfer Time|
|Aer Lingus Aer Club||1000 : 1000||Instant|
|Air France KLM FlyingBlue||1000 : 1000||Instant|
|British Airways Executive Club||1000 : 1000||Instant|
|Iberia Plus||1000 : 1000||Instant|
|JetBlue TrueBlue||1000 : 1000||Instant|
|Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer||1000 : 1000||~ 12 to 24 hours|
|Southwest Rapid Rewards||1000 : 1000||Instant|
|United MileagePlus||1000 : 1000||Instant|
|Virgin Atlantic Flying Club||1000 : 1000||Instant|
|IHG Rewards Club||1000 : 1000||~ 1 to 2 days|
|Marriott Rewards||1000 : 1000||~ 1 to 2 days|
|Ritz-Carlton Rewards||1000 : 1000||~ 1 to 2 days|
|World Of Hyatt||1000 : 1000||Instant|
Points are also worth 20% more when redeeming for travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal. So you can apply points towards any “revenue” ticket at a rate of 1.25 cents per point.
That means that a $625 flight will cost you 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points, though you’re almost always going to get a better value by transferring points directly to the airline or hotel partner.
For example, you could transfer 25,000 points to Hyatt Gold Passport for a free night redemption at the Park Hyatt Maldives.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred has been around for almost a decade, and continues to be one of the all around most lucrative travel credit cards.
The card has a great welcome bonus, excellent return on dining and travel spend, great customer service, and some useful perks, like primary collision coverage, no foreign transaction fees, etc.
Furthermore, given Chase’s rules for approving new cardmembers, this is a card you’ll want to apply for early on, if possible. Even if you’re someone who otherwise avoids cards with annual fees, it can make sense to have at least one premium card for things like no foreign transaction fees, car rental coverage, etc.