There’s been an important change to one of the Nerds’ favorite travel credit cards: You’ll now have to spend more to get the sign-up bonus with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. For details about this shift and other important information about the card, take a look at the details below.
You’ll now have to spend more to get the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card sign-up bonus
In November 2014, Chase announced it was raising the minimum spending requirement to receive the sign-up bonus on its popular Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. Currently, the sign-up bonus is: Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Previously, customers only had to spend $3,000 in that same timeframe to receive the points.
This change means that the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card now has one of the highest sign-up bonus spending requirements on the consumer credit card market. However, keep in mind its bonus is also a big one – it amounts to $500 to spend on travel if you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
We still love the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card – here’s why
Also, you’ll have the option to transfer your points to several popular frequent traveler programs at a 1:1 ratio. If you’re good at optimizing miles on frequent flier award charts, this feature could help you wring up to $.02 (or more) out of each point.
Plus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a great choice for international travelers. The card comes chip-enabled and charges no foreign transaction fees.
Finally, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card carries an annual fee of $95. In short, it’s a high-value card that all globetrotters should keep in mind.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card too rich for your blood?
If the sign-up bonus spending requirement on the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is simply too high for you, there is a $0 annual fee version of the card that might be a good choice. With the Chase Sapphire® Card, you’ll earn 2 points per dollar spent on dining in restaurants and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. In terms of a sign-up bonus, it offers: 10,000 bonus points when you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening - that's $100 in travel rewards when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards(SM)!
Not interested in a Sapphire card at all? Here is an alternative:
Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card is great card for folks looking to minimize fees. With it, you’ll earn 1.5 points on every dollar you spend. Each point is worth $.01, but if you’re a Bank of America® banking customer with a lot of money saved, you could score a points dividend of up to 75% with the Preferred Rewards program.
The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card allows you to redeem your points for nearly any travel purchase in the form of a statement credit. Again, this provides a lot of flexibility and you won’t have to worry about pesky frequent flyer devaluations cutting into the value of your rewards.
What makes the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card really special is its rare trifecta of benefits that international, budget-conscious travelers will enjoy: It comes chip-enabled with signature, charges no foreign transaction fee, and carries an annual fee of $0.
Finally, this card also offers a modest sign-up bonus: 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases. If you’re looking to maximize rewards and minimize costs, the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card definitely fits the bill.
Spending more money image via Shutterstock