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The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a stellar travel rewards card when it comes to turning your points into trips. It offers cardholders several ways to rack up additional Chase Ultimate Rewards Points — and drive up their value for travel.
For starters, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers 2 points on every dollar you spend on travel and dining out, and 1 point on all other purchases. Plus, there’s an impressive signup bonus: 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®. You’ll also get a bonus of 5,000 points if you add an authorized user and make a purchase in the first three months.
It gets better. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card’s points take on a higher value when you redeem them for travel. If you use your points to book travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal, they’re worth 1.25 cents each, as opposed to the industry standard of 1 cent. This means if you meet the requirements of the signup and authorized-user bonuses, you’ll enjoy $687.50 in free travel. And that’s without considering the ongoing rewards points you’ll earn on the spending.
Another potentially high-value way to use points: transferring them to one of Chase’s partner programs. Check out our full review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card for transfer partner information.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card’s rewards program and bonuses are a great start, but there are additional ways to score points. Here are three more points-earning ways to expedite your next free trip.
1. Book travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal
Now through Dec. 31, 2015, you can earn 3 points for every dollar spent on travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. So if you buy a $500 plane ticket, you’ll get 1,500 points. Assuming you use these points to book through the Ultimate Rewards site at a rate of 1.25 cents each, you’re looking at $18.75 to put toward your next booking.
Nerd note: This perk is going away for 2016, but you’ll still earn the card’s normal 2 points per dollar spent on travel when you book through the Ultimate Rewards site.
2. Shop through the Ultimate Rewards portal
Chase’s Ultimate Rewards site also serves as an online bonus mall. You can earn 1-25 additional points per dollar spent at more than 250 retailers, including Apple, Nordstrom, Home Depot and Office Max. That’s on top of the 1 point you’ll earn for each dollar spent on the card, and there’s no additional cost for using this service.
Say you decide to buy a new laptop from Apple for $1,299. You can earn 2 points for each $1 spent at the Apple Store by going through the Ultimate Rewards portal, and another point for using your card, for a total of 3 points per dollar spent. That’s 3,897 points on the laptop purchase, or $48.71 in free travel, just for making a purchase you were going to make anyway.
3. Dine out on the first Friday of the month
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card normally gives consumers 2 points per dollar spent on dining out. However, on the first Friday of the month, you’ll get an additional point, for a total of 3 points per $1 spent. So if you spend $100 on dinner each month on the first Friday, you’ll rack up $45 in free travel over the course of a year, $15 of which comes from the first Friday benefit. Although $15 isn’t exactly an impressive sum, it’s not a bad perk for using your card on date night.
Bottom line: Along with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card’s ongoing rewards and initial bonuses, you can earn Ultimate Rewards points by making online purchases and booking travel through the portal, as well as dining out with the card on the first Friday of the month. Use your earned points to book travel through the Ultimate Rewards site for a point value of 1.25 cents.
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