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Chase Sapphire Preferred’s ‘First Fridays’ Will End With 2015

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chase sapphire preferred first fridays

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card will soon be eliminating its “First Fridays” perk, which gives cardholders an additional reward point for each dollar spent on dining on the first Friday of every month. But after the First Fridays program ends, you’ll still have some alternatives for racking up dining points.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card’s First Fridays ending

First Fridays gives cardholders 3X points on dining on the first Friday of each month; on other days, dining earns 2X points. Originally introduced in 2013 as a limited-time perk, First Fridays will continue through the end of 2015. That means you can earn the extra point per dollar for dining spending on Oct. 2, Nov. 6 and Dec. 4. After that, you’ll receive the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card’s typical dining rewards rate of 2X points per dollar.

How to earn rewards on dining purchases

Even without the extra point of First Fridays, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is an excellent card for dining out. It offers 2X points on travel and dining, and 1 point per dollar spent on everything else. Points are worth 1.25 cents each when you use them to book travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal — and potentially more if you transfer them to one of Chase’s partner programs.

In addition to the high rewards and redemption rates, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card boasts one of the highest sign-up bonuses in the industry: 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®. Plus, if you add an authorized user and make a purchase in the first three months, you’ll get an additional 5,000 points.

If you’d rather earn non-travel rewards, there are other great card options for earning extra rewards when you eat out. Two of our favorite dining picks are the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card and the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express.

Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card

The Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card offers 2X points on dining and entertainment spending, and 1 point per dollar spent on everything else. Entertainment spending includes live performances, amusement parks, movie theaters and cultural events, so it’s a great card to have whether you’re having fun in your hometown or exploring a new city.

Rewards come in the form of ThankYou points, which can be used for a wide array of redemption options, including travel, gift cards, cash back, debt payments, merchandise and more. The Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card has an annual fee of $0.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Beloved for its high rewards on grocery purchases, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express may seem like an odd choice for a dining card. It offers 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 in spending each year), 3% at gas stations and department stores, and 1% on everything else. The card also has a good sign-up bonus: Limited Time Offer: Apply by 5/3/17 – Earn 10% cash back on purchases at U.S. Restaurants in the first 6 months, up to $200 back. Earn $150 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Terms Apply. The annual fee is $95.

If your grocery store sells gift cards for other merchants, you can cash in on the 6% back by stocking up on restaurant gift cards. Keep in mind, the spending cap for 6% cash back is $6,000 a year, so if you’re already spending that much on groceries, you’ll only get 1% back on any gift cards you buy.

The bottom line

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is retiring First Fridays at the end of the year, but you still have plenty of opportunities to rack up rewards when you eat out. Check out the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card or Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, or stick with the high value Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card to earn points or cash back every time you enjoy a meal out. And take advantage of First Fridays while you still can.

Erin El Issa is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: erin@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @Erin_Lindsay17.


Image via iStock.