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Chase Sapphire Preferred Raises Sign-up Bonus Spend Requirement

Credit Cards, Rewards Credit Cards, Travel Credit Cards
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chase sapphire preferred raises signup bonus spending requirement

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 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®. 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

Even though you now have to spend more to get the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card’s sign-up bonus, it’s still one of the Nerds’ top picks. With it, you’ll earn 2 points for every dollar spent on travel and dining out, and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. Generally, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card points are worth one cent apiece. However, if you redeem them for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, the value of each jumps by 25%.

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 $0 for the first year, then $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? Here are a few alternatives

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 are a few alternatives:

Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® is another Nerd favorite in travel credit cards, and you’ll quickly see why. With it, you’ll earn 2 miles on every dollar you spend. You also get 5% of your miles back every time you redeem.

Speaking of redeeming, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® provides a lot of flexibility. You’ll be able to book your travel as you normally would, then pay yourself back with your miles in the form of a statement credit. This means you can arrange your trip with any airline, hotel chain, cruise line or discount travel site your heart desires and still use your rewards.

If you’re planning a trip abroad, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® has your back. It comes chip-and-PIN enabled, and charges no foreign transaction fee. This will make using your card overseas cheap and convenient.

This card also comes with a killer sign-up bonus: Enjoy 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days — that's enough to redeem for a $400 travel statement credit toward an eligible travel purchase. Its annual fee is $0 for the first year, then $89. All in all, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® is a stellar card, and we highly recommend considering it.

Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card

The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card is another 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.

Like the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®, 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: 20,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days - that can be a $200 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

Updated Aug. 2, 2017.