Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card review: Best Airline Miles Card

by on Mon November 18, 2013 • 114 Comments
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Why we think this is the best airline miles credit card…

  1. 1:1 instant mile transfer to United miles — in our view the best mile program for most global economy class awards, as well as Southwest Airlines, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Hyatt, Marriott, Priority Club, Amtrak and Korean Airlines (click here to see how it works)
  2. 2 points per dollar spent on travel and dining at restaurants, with no limits and no foreign transaction fees
  3. 40,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months – that’s $500 toward travel rewards!

Card features

  • Earn 40,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $500 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate RewardsSM.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees, plus Chip and Signature enabled for international travel.
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading frequent travel programs at full value – that means 1,000 Ultimate Rewards points equal 1,000 partner miles/points.
    24/7 direct access to dedicated customer service specialists
  • Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95

1:1 mile transfer, our favorite feature

sapphiretransferWe rate the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card the best credit card for earning airline miles because it allows instant 1:1 transfer of points into United Airlines miles. Click here to see exactly how it works.

In addition, you can transfer points 1:1 to Southwest Airlines, Amtrak, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Korean Airlines, Hyatt, Marriott, and Priority Club mile and point accounts. Read why we think multi-airline mile transfer is a feature you should insist on having in your mile credit card.

We feel United MileagePlus® offers some of the best options for mile redemption. With its Star Alliance partners you have more flights and destinations available than any other mileage alliance, particularly in economy class.

Airlines available to book flights with United miles include United, US Airways, Air Canada, Lufthansa, Singapore, Swiss, ANA, and many more.  Moreover, in a recent survey, United miles offered good availability versus large domestic peers for rewards at the ‘low’ mileage levels — over 70% of the time.

The British Airways transfer option lets you redeem for flights on American Airlines, its US partner, along with Cathay Pacific, Qantas, LAN, Iberia, Finnair, and JAL. Korean miles let you redeem on its SkyTeam partners including Delta, Air France, Alitalia, and KLM.

Only select Chase cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offer 1:1 transfer into United miles. American Express stopped this benefit in September 2011 following the merger of Continental and United. Chase is now the exclusive credit card partner of  United.

2x points on all dining and travel spending

Double miles earned on all of your dining and travel spending — regardless of where you do it — with no caps. Travel includes things like parking, tolls, taxi, and transit fare, not just airline tickets and hotels. We also like that there are no foreign transaction fees. To calculate how much the card can be worth to you with the dining and travel bonuses, try entering your spending habits in our MileCards.com card finder. We don’t retain or share any of the information you input, it’s completely anonymous.

Flexibility beyond airline miles: most hotel point options

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card lets you transfer points 1:1 into the Marriott, Hyatt, and Priority Club (Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, Intercontinental) hotel points programs. No other credit card offers you more hotel transfer options without dilution.

Just be aware that if your primary goal is hotel nights, you may find better values with the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express as its free nights start at just 3,000 points versus 5,000 for Hyatt, 7,500 for Marriott and 10,000 for Priority Club. However the flexibility of Hyatt, Marriott and Priority Club is unmatched in any other card, and we find Hyatt rewards give you particularly good value.

Don’t like air miles programs? Book a flight any time with no restriction

While we think the greatest value for points is when you transfer them into a native airline mile or hotel program, many people don’t want to deal with the hassle of figuring out airline mile rules. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card gives you the best of both worlds by letting you use your points as cash towards any flight, hotel room, or car rental.

Every 100 points equals $1.25 in travel credit with the Sapphire Preferred® Card.

Chase is a touch more generous than typical points as cash programs — your points end up being worth 25% more than typical 100 points = $1 programs. It’s also more flexible – you can use your points to cover all or part of a travel purchase made via UltimateRewards.com, the Chase travel booking site. Other cash back programs often require you to have enough points to cover the entire purchase.

Booking at UltimateRewards.com gives you access to the same fares you see at sites like Expedia.com. However if your only desire is points to use as cash for travel, and not earning miles in airline or hotel programs, we recommend the Barclaycard Arrival Card which always earns double points, making your card spending worth twice as much as typical cash for travel programs.

You can also use your points for dozens of gift card merchants — at about $1 per 100 points.

Great travel protection

The Sapphire Preferred® Card now offers primary car rental collision damage coverage, so you won’t have to file a claim with your own policy if you have collision damage on an eligible car rental you book and pay for with the card.

It also offers up to $10,000 in trip cancellation coverage, in case you can’t make a trip due to serious illness or other qualified reasons, and your tickets or accommodations booked with the card are nonrefundable.

And you get up to $500 in trip delay coverage, in case your flight leaves you stranded for more than 12 hours or overnight, letting you use it for hotel rooms and other reasonable expenses.

40,000 point intro offer is worth over $500

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card’s introductory bonus is 40,000 points after you spend $3,000 on the card within 3 months. 40,000 points is worth $500 toward any flight, hotel room, or car rental using the online Ultimate Rewards booking tool. Or you can transfer all or part of the bonus to your mileage account with United, Southwest, Hyatt, Marriott, Priority Club (Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza), Ritz Carlton, Amtrak, or British Airways. 40,000 miles gets you almost two domestic ‘Saver’ roundtrip tickets on United or any of its partners. It’s also worth $665+ in ‘Wanna Get Away’ fares on Southwest Airlines.

How to earn 5 points per dollar in your Sapphire account

Chase lets you combine your Ultimate Rewards points (the ones earned by the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and its Freedom cards) in one account for no fee. That means if you also have a no annual fee Chase Freedom card, which earns 5x points in select categories each quarter, you can maximize your point earning.

Simply use the Chase Freedom card for your purchases in the 5x point categories and transfer the points you earn from the Freedom into your Sapphire Preferred® Card account, as shown here. Note that you must have an eligible card like the  Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card in order to use 1:1 mile transfer to airlines and hotels. You might want to consider both cards if you have neither at this point to maximize earning. Also note you can transfer points from a spouse’s Freedom or Sapphire account into your own account.

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114 thoughts on Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card review: Best Airline Miles Card

  1. John Smith

    I’m looking for the best card for airline rewards and I’m considering this card or the Citi aadvantage card…I’m new to all this…. I have a few questions that I hope someone can answer for me…
    1. Can I link a Chase Sapphire to my bank account somehow so that I can get points for purchases from my bank account??
    2. Does the recent increase in required miles on United make the Citi Card a much better choice?
    3. Do you get miles for miles flown as well?
    Thanks

    Reply
    1. MileCards

      @John – You can’t get points for purchases from your bank account like mortgage or car payments.

      For UA, if you’re flying in economy class they’re still among the most flexible and easy to redeem for international travel.

      And you get miles flown as usual from your airline, but there aren’t any extra points for holding an account.

      Reply
  2. Karyn

    I like the fact that point transfer is instant. One question though. It’s not clear to me whether car rental coverage on this is primary or secondary? Any ideas?

    Reply
  3. Jude Boudreaux

    Thanks for the concise review, I’ve been looking for a new card to add to the lineup to get a bonus offer. I only wish I could find more info about balance transfer offers, but I know I can find a card that offers those!

    Reply
  4. Angela

    great article. quick question: i’m a delta flyer, but like the flexibility of this card for hotels. Can i use this card to book my delta flights through Ultimate Rewards? It’s not clear anywhere which airlines/hotels are included in ultimate rewards. Thanks!

    Reply
    1. MileCards

      @Angela – You can book flights on any airline using the Ultimate Rewards site – when you do that each point is worth 1.25 cents. You’ll even earn Delta miles from the flight itself, it’s like buying a ticket with cash.

      Reply
  5. Bill

    Hi,

    I cancelled my chase sapphire (non preferred) last year. Can I sign up for preferred card and get the bonus points?

    Thanks,
    Bill

    Reply
  6. K

    Great website. Helped me narrow down to a few cards. SPG AMEX and this Chase Sapphire Preferred.

    I had a question. For the Chase Sapphire, you can transfer points to an one world alliance and skyteam member (I usually fly AA or delta), but are you able to transfer points from British Airways directly to AA, or from Korean Air directly to Delta? I read that when you redeem points from one alliance member (eg British Airways) to book a flight with another member (AA), you have less availability than if you were using AAvantage miles to book an AA flight. Is this true?

    I’m leaning towards SPG for this reason, but then it’s worse for United and no Southwest. Thanks!

    Reply
    1. MileCards

      @K – Unfortunately no, once you transfer to Korean or British Airways you can’t transfer into your Delta or AA account. As for award availability, unless you’re an elite member, the availability for the lowest price awards is the same as if you used a native Delta or AA account. What’s restricted are the awards that charge you more miles for peak / popular flights. But beware that Delta is very stingy with that lowest price availability for anyone, including its own members.

      Reply
  7. Jared

    Do you get the 1:1 instant mile transfer with the regular Chase Sapphire?

    I guess what I am asking, is there a huge difference between regular sapphire and preferred? Do you get most of the same highlights and features? Besides the 40,000 bonus miles, 20% off travel reservations, and the 7 % annual points dividend?

    Thank you!

    Reply
  8. Stephen

    You note that this card offers no foreign transaction fees but in comparisons I made myself with two different cards from Chase on the same trip last year it really doesn’t make a difference. The “exchange rate” was adjusted by Chase so that the charge ends being up the same in total dollars whether it’s two line items on your bill or one. The “no foreign transaction fee” is just a marketing gimmick to hide the fee.

    Reply
      1. Doug

        I’m really interested to hear the results of your tests here. This would be a primary reason for me to get the card. And I’m wondering if the other “no foreign transaction fees” cards use a similar tactic. Thanks for the great work.

        Reply
  9. Ananth

    Assuming i sign on and then decide to cancel the card. I’ll lose the 40k miles right?
    What happens if I cancel the card after using the miles?
    Also do I need to have signed on with the card for a minimum time period in order to truly avail this offer. Let’s say I keep the card for 5 years and then decide to cancel the card. Will they still take away the 40k mikes? What’s the minimum time period that I absolutely have to keep the card?
    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. MileCards

      @Ananth – If you don’t use the miles (either by spending them or transferring them to a partner like United or Hyatt) you will lose them if you no longer have a Chase account that earns Ultimate Rewards.

      If you don’t want to spend the miles before cancelling, you can do a couple of things; 1) open another card that earns Ultimate Rewards points like the no annual fee Chase Freedom or base Chase Sapphire, or 2) transfer your points to another program like United or Hyatt. Your points will then be preserved.

      Reply
      1. Ananth

        Thanks for the reply. I appreciate it.

        However a few more questions.

        1) You talk about transferring the miles to United. So this isn’t inherently points with United right?
        So I can open the card -> transfer the miles to United -> Close the card. By doing this I won’t lost the 40k miles with united right? Just making sure.

        2) Also, let’s say I use the miles and then close the card. What happens next? is there any way they can deduct miles?

        3) You spoke about closing a card, transferring miles to United/Hyatt and then opening another card. So technically I can keep racking up that 40k miles right???? Am i missing something here??

        Thanks again! Big help

        Reply
        1. MileCards

          @Ananth- No fee to cancel the card within the first year.

          On your other questions…

          1) Yes, you can do that without losing the miles
          2) No, once they are used they won’t be clawing them back
          3) You can earn bonuses for opening different credit card products (ie a Chase Sapphire Preferred and a United Explorer) but not for opening multiple accounts of the same card product.

          Just note though that opening a card then cancelling it quickly isn’t viewed favorably by the banks, particularly Chase. So if they see you doing that a lot, they may make it tougher for you to get approved for their cards going forward. But once or twice probably won’t be viewed unusual.

          Reply
          1. MileCards

            @Ananth – There is a $95 fee to carry the card after the first year, though no explicit cancellation charge. It just posts on the one year anniversary of holding the card.

      2. ajr

        You mention one of the options is to open a chase freedom card once one decides to cancel the chase saffire preferred; can i assume that means one could transfer the 40,000 points to the chase freedom card without losing those points?

        Reply
        1. MileCards

          Yes that’s right, the points you have will remain active as long as you have an Ultimate Rewards earning card (including the no annual fee Chase Freedom or Chase Sapphire). The only catch is you won’t be able to transfer them into other airline or hotel programs like United or Southwest. For that you need to have the Sapphire Preferred, Ink Bold, or Ink Plus open. You can choose to transfer them before you cancel (for example send 20,000 to United and 20,000 to Southwest) and they will be safe there as well.

          Reply
  10. Hope

    Hi,

    United exploar gives 10,000 mileage every year, on top of 50K mileage in the first year. Does Sapphire Preferred also give similar mileage each year I keep the card?

    Reply
    1. MileCards

      @Hope – No the Sapphire Preferred doesn’t give the 10,000 point bonus each year. However you do get a 7% bonus each year. For example if you earned 100,000 points during the year, they will give you 7,000 points at year end.

      Reply
  11. stephen

    I have a question… can you transfer your sky miles to your chase sapphire? and if i can.. is it also at 1:1??

    Reply
    1. MileCards

      @Stephen – Unfortunately Delta SkyMiles is not a 1:1 transfer partner of the Sapphire Preferred. They have an exclusive arrangement with American Express.

      Reply
  12. Nupe2

    What constitutes as “dinning” for the Sapphire card…Fast Food or Fine Dining? And is it restricted to certain “partner” establishments?

    Reply
    1. MileCards

      @Nupe – It’s both and applies to any establishment that codes itself to Visa or MasterCard as a food service establishment.

      Reply
  13. Nupe2

    I would like to know the same thing as Pete mentioned in his comments? I don’t have any miles with any airline as of now, but for the next 3 years my wife an I will take an average of 2 trips per year. I almost pulled the trigger on the United Card, but I wanted something with more flexibility and rewards earning power. So can you someone answer Pete’s questions below, thanks in advance!

    Pete says:
    February 17, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    I have a quick question regarding 1:1 transfer. Let’s say I book a United flight and pay with Chase Sapphire. Can I still put points on my United frequent flyer program? If so if I transfer the miles from my Sapphire to United frequent flyer account I would be getting twice as many miles for the same flight. Am I correct?

    Reply
    1. MileCards

      @Nupe2- To answer Pete’s question — sort of — if you purchase a United flight with the cars you’ll receive 2 points per dollar the ticket costs. You can transfer those miles to United if you wish or any of the other partners.

      Separately, when you take the flight you will get United miles for each mile of the trip’s distance.

      So a $500 ticket for a trip that’s 1000 miles in length can get you 2,000 United miles earned.

      Would advise you to go to United.com and search for reward flights to places you’re interested in and seeing how availability looks. Also remember Southwest miles are also an easy option.

      Reply
  14. Drew

    I noticed that the offer recently changed from 50,000 bonus points to 40,000 points. What are the chances that they up the offer again to 50,000 in the next 6 months to a year. I have 55000+ rapid rewards points from another Chase account and would like to take advantage of this offer as well. However, I’m in no rush, so if you think that they will potentially be offering 50,000 again in the next year, I’ll probably wait. Thanks.

    Reply
    1. MileCards

      @Drew – Hard to say. Guess is at some point they will raise it up, and little chance it gets lowered meaningfully so if you are in no rush maybe wait, but no guarantees.

      Reply
  15. Craig

    I’ve got 355,000 Delta Miles from my AMEX Sm. Business Platinum Card. Delta recently stopped service to my nearby airport, and now it is a 2 hour drive to get to Delta served airport. American has taken over service, so after reading your website, and still wanting AMEX for my small business. I took your advice and switched my AMEX to the Starwood Amex, and now I can fill in any miles needed on Delta, but also use points for miles on American. That is just about perfect.

    Now I want to switch our personal/home card from the US Banks Flexperks (91,000 miles) -(that we inherited when Delta bought Northwest) I’m looking at the Chase Sapphire, but I can’t determine if they have a program with American? Can you help me sort this out? If not, do you have a secondary recommendation? My spuse likes Visa, not AMEX.

    Reply
    1. MileCards

      @Craig – Glad the Starwood Amex worked out for you. As for your wife…the only cards right now that earn miles directly into American Airlines accounts are the Starwood and American’s own cards. So would recommend getting the American Airlines Platinum Visa — the earning is normal, 1 mile per dollar spent, but you guys will get free checked bags on American flights. Also, Citi might be adding mile transfer to American to its Citi ThankYou Premier in the near future. No guarantees there but something to keep an eye open for. But no charge to get the regular American card now — no annual fee the first year. You can always apply for the Citi ThankYou Premier later if it ends up offering American mile transfer.

      http://milecards.com/3977/0-american-airlines-baggage-fees-with-the-right-credit-card/

      Reply
    1. Sam Kumar

      Hi,

      Can I set up the Sapphire card to automatically link to my United Mileage account and transfer the miles automatically? or do I need to do it manually?

      Thanks

      Sam

      Reply
  16. Erin

    Hi, I currently use the Chase One Plus Continental Mastercard and was just approved for Sapphire. Should i stop using the One Plus once I get the sapphire and make that my primary card? not sure what the differences are between the two…also, i have miles on my one plus card so if i switch to sapphire can i transfer them over? thanks!

    Reply
    1. MileCards

      @Erin- You can move all of the miles you earn from the Sapphire card into your Continental / United account. But you can’t move miles from your Continental / United account into a Sapphire account. If you decide to cancel your Continental card you won’t lose any of your miles.

      As for which to use…if you check bags on two trips a year ($50 per roundtrip) you’ve saved $100, which makes up for the annual fee on your Continental card. As for which is better for your normal spending…if you spend $25,000 per year or more, there is a benefit to putting spending on your Continental card as they give you a 10,000 mile bonus when you hit that amount of spending each year.

      If not, then the Sapphire Preferred is better for spending as it earns 2x points on all dining and travel spend. You can also opt to transfer the points you earn to airlines besides United / Continental, like Southwest and British Airways.

      Reply
  17. Melissa

    My husband travels for work several times a year and always flies United. On a recent trip to India he racked up 25,000 miles so is now a premier flier (I have absolutely no idea what that gets him….?)

    We are currently Southwest Rapid Rewards members but would like more flexibility with the airline we can fly (although we do love Southwest). We are considering the Chase Sapphire vs United MileagePlus Explorer and would like your input! Does it make sense to just go with the United card as that is what my husband flies? (his company pays for the flights, obviously, so we can’t use the card for that..bummer). I am leaning towards the Chase as we could still fly Southwest domestically when available.

    Thanks so much for your help – what a GREAT site you have!

    Reply
    1. MileCards

      @Melissa – Go with the Chase Sapphire Preferred. You can transfer the points to both United and Southwest. As a Premier he already gets a free bag and priority boarding on United.

      Reply
  18. Mohit

    Hello guru’s at Milecards. I am a first time poster and stumbled on this gem of a site today from a search. I currently have Plat. Delta skymiles card and pay 150 annual fee for it. I HATE this card. Been a member for about 10 years and counting. Actually my whole family has delta skymiles; from my parents to my siblings. But recently I found out that I am not taking advantage of the card and I dislike skyteam. My goal is to have a Credit card to rack up miles so every few years I may make a trip from the US to India to visit family there. I have a hard time taking advantage of the delta companion ticket every year. Plus you have to buy the initial ticket from delta whom charge a premium on it. Anywayz I am getting off subjuct, My real question is that I am considering two cards. The Starwood Preferred Guest card ( SPG AMEX) and the Chase Sappire preferred card. I want to fly with airlines in star alliance, Such as singapore airlines.I saw the benefits of both cards, the 50k bonus you get with Sapphire and the 25k you get with SPG, plus when you transfer 20k to a respectative airline program you get an additional 5k. However, I wasn’t sure what wisdom you can give me on making my choice. I love being an Amex member and love their customer support. However, if the chase sapp makes more sense, I am willing to part with my Amex family. Please Help me make the right decision. I will use my card for everyday use. Basically in my research there are mile programs where you have a flat amount of miles for coach/business class. But when I was talking with chase and Spg, if you book the ticket through them it will cost the amount of the ticket at the time, which usually is higher than the flat mileage programs. If I get chase and transfer to united(mileage plus) whose in Star alliance, would they let me just use a flat amount of miles for singapore airlines or something else.

    Reply
    1. MileCards

      @Mohit –

      How essential is it that you fly Singapore Airlines to get to India, versus other Star Alliance carriers like United, Austrian, Lufthansa, or Thai? And do you prefer business / first class awards.

      If you do only want Singapore and biz /first awards, then the SPG card is your better bet because it transfers directly into Singapore’s program. They tend to release more seats for their own members than those of partners for premium classes.

      However if Singapore are isn’t imperative, you’ll probably find more flexibility with United miles because 1) they are instant transfer from Chase, which means you don’t have to transfer until you see available space, and 2) their award booking tool does a better job of showing partner availability.

      The sign on bonus is also about 2x that of the Starwood card.

      Reply
      1. Mohit

        Which airline is good? I havn’t flown any of them being a skyteam member for so long. I heard great things about singapore airlines which is why I wanted to try out the product.

        Reply
        1. MileCards

          @ Mohit – Yes Singapore gets high ratings for its business class though it is tough to find availability. Swiss and Austrian also get high marks for service. Lufthansa is generally reliable and even United is fine for the long trip — the planes they fly there are usually well equipped with good video and lie flat seats. Crews can be a mixed bag.

          Reply
  19. parker

    If i transfer points from the saphire preffered to Korean mile program can i link my current delta points to go with those to use toward a delta flight?

    Reply
    1. MileCards

      @parker – If you actually are able to take advantage of the companion ticket each year no harm in keeping the card just for that value and not even use it for much spending. For your primary spending, the Sapphire Preferred may not be your best bet if you fly Delta lot and want to be able to combine your miles there. While transferring to Korean gives you access to book Delta flights, the mile pools remain separate. For a combination of hotel and Delta flexibility, the Starwood Preferred Guest credit card is your best bet. If you’re able to do your mile transfers to Delta in 20,000 point increments, you get a 5,000 point bonus each time. But guessing you’ll find very good value in the Starwood points themselves for hotel nights.

      Reply
      1. parker

        Which of the cards would be better hotel options and value. How does the Hyatt, marriot have more value and more flexability.Would you say the starwood card is valueable enought for the annual fee. How far apart would be advised to apply for both cards? Do you suggest any other cards for hotel and airmiles with no annual fee? Does the starwood card waive baggage fee I could not find any info on it . Thanks

        Reply
        1. MileCards

          @Parker – Hyatt and Starwood have the best value if you’re earning points primarily via a credit card. Starwood has more total hotels so it’s somewhat more valuable than Hyatt in regard to flexibility, but both are great programs.

          The Starwood card does not waive baggage fees — only the United Airlines and Delta Airlines credit cards do with their base cards.

          As far as applying apart — you can apply for a Starwood card and the Chase Sapphire Preferred at the same time as they are from different credit card companies. However would recommend spacing them out so that you hit the minimum spending requirement to get the intro bonus on each. So would advise getting the Chase Sapphire Preferred first, then spending the $3,000 on the card to get the 50,000 point bonus, then once you’ve done that pick up the Starwood card to get its bonus.

          Reply
          1. parker

            so if i book a ticket with my points do i do i go through the airline? What is best way to get free baggage with point tickets through this card. do some airlines offer it with award tickets through this card if i do not have their airline credit card?

          2. MileCards

            @Parker – If you book a ticket with points you have two options. You can transfer the points to a participating airline mile program like United and book via their website or phone number. Or you can use the points to book at Chase ultimaterewards.com. In that case it acts like Chase buying a ticket in cash for you from the airline. In both cases the baggage fees are not waived — you need to have the airline’s own credit card for that. United, Delta, and American offer cards that waive the first bag fee.

  20. parker

    I currently use the delta platinum skymiles card with a free companion tkt each year and a 150 yr annual fee. Im trying to figure what would be better value, to keep it and add the saphire preffered or american express preffered guest card. or get rid of the delta card and get the other 2. Which card would be better for miles transfer with delta and overall? Which of the cards would be better hotel options and value. How does the Hyatt, marriot have more value and more flexability.

    Reply
  21. Hilda

    I have a large number of American Airlines miles. If I tranfer points from Chase Sapphire to British Airways, can I combine those miles with my American Airlines miles to redeem tickets?

    Reply
    1. MileCards

      @Hilda – Unfortunately no. The only non-American Airlines card that offers 1:1 mile transfer to American Airlines accounts is the Starwood Preferred Guest American Express. You might want to consider that card.

      Reply
  22. Pete

    I have a quick question regarding 1:1 transfer. Let’s say I book a United flight and pay with Chase Sapphire. Can I still put points on my United frequent flyer program? If so if I transfer the miles from my Sapphire to United frequent flyer account I would be getting twice as many miles for the same flight. Am I correct?

    Reply
    1. Sus

      @Pete

      Say you buy a $500 ticket with your CSP card racking up 1000 miles total in flight. Since you are a United Frequent Flier, that 1000 would go into your United Miles. At the same time, by spending $500 on travel expenses with CSP, you get double the Chase points. Thus you get 1000 Chase points total. If you want, you can transfer these points to United with 1:1, getting 1000 United miles. Thus in total, you would get 2000 miles.

      Reply
  23. RM

    I currently have a British Airways Visa card from Chase… I want to transfer the points out from BA to United because the BA redemption is absolutely ridiculous. The fuel surcharge they add to a redemption for a trip is more than the cost of the ticket if we were to purchase via expedia (for example).

    Is this possible?

    Reply
    1. MileCards

      @RM – Unfortunately BA does charge large fuel surcharges on award tickets, and unfortunately with a BA card your miles are ‘stuck’ in that program. One way around is to redeem for flights on American Airlines, which carry relatively few fuel surcharges. Another is to use your miles toward upgrades from World Traveler class or World Traveler Plus to Club World class, which carries somewhat lower fees than booking a ticket with miles outright.

      Reply
  24. Bill

    Hi,

    I already have a chase sapphire card (but not preferred). Can I still get the 50k bonus? Should I apply to upgrade my card or should I apply for a new card (so I have both the preferred and non-preferred)?

    Thanks
    -Bill

    Reply
    1. Bill

      I called chase, and they told me I cannot get the bonus because I already have a chase sapphire card. But I can still open chase freedom, chase united card, etc and get the bonus points. Maybe I should open a chase freedom card, close the sapphire account and reopen it later?
      What do you think it’s best travel card if there is no bonus point involved.

      Thanks
      -Bill

      Reply
      1. MileCards

        @Bill — That sounds like a fair strategy to try, though no guarantees. Transfer your Sapphire credit line to a basic ‘Freedom’ or ‘Slate’ account then reapply for the Preferred a month or so later.

        Reply
  25. Donny

    How long after you spend the intial $3k before the 50k points are deposited into your account? Do you have to wait 3 months if you spend $3k immediately. Also, are the fare prices on the Ultimate Rewards website similar to booking directly with the airline or a website like kayak?

    Reply
    1. MileCards

      @Donny- The bonus points will post on the statement closing date for the period when you hit the minimum spend requirement, so no need to wait 3 months. As for the fares on the Ultimate Rewards website, it uses the Expedia booking engine, so you’ll see the same prices you do on standard travel websites.

      Reply
  26. Bill

    I’m considering this card but normally fly Alaska Air and Southwest. If I get the card and earn points, than I can transfer points to my Southwest mileage program and purchase a ticket there, using SW points…yes? Is that how it works?

    Reply
    1. MileCards

      @Bill – That’s right, you can transfer the points directly to your Southwest miles account. And if you want to fly Alaska you can transfer to a Korean Air account and redeem there (20k roundtrip for US flights with Alaska).

      Reply
  27. Ali

    I know this might be impossible. But is there any way to transfer my united points to the chase sapphire care as points?

    Reply
    1. MileCards

      @Ali- Your suspicion is correct. There is no way to move your existing United points to your Chase Sapphire points. But you can move your United points to your Continental account as part of the merger.

      And, you can combine your Sapphire points with those of other Sapphire accounts, or transfer your Sapphire points to anyone’s United / Continental account.

      Reply
  28. Jeff

    When using points to “buy” a ticket at the 1.25 conversion rate, does Chase actually purchase the ticket for you so that your ticket earns miles with that airline? Thanks.

    Reply
    1. MileCards

      @Jeff – Yes, exactly. They purchase it as if you bought it on Travelocity or Expedia, so you earn miles for whatever fare class you purchase according to the rules of the airline’s frequent flyer program.

      Reply
  29. Ali

    Hi,
    Would it be easy to be approved for this card since I already have the Chase freedom? I’m tempted to wait but worried that they will take their 50000 points offer from the market.. what do you think?

    Reply
  30. Ali

    Hi, I have the chase freedom card and I’m thinking of getting the Chase Sapphire Preferred with the 50,000 signup bonus. Do you think it will be easy to be approved since I have a chase card (6 months ago) and do you think they might up their signup bonus in the near future to 100,000 maybe? like few months ago

    Reply
    1. MileCards

      @Ali – 6 months between applications should be fine — some have had luck with as little as one month. As for the bonus, hard to say though the 100k wasn’t widely publicized. The good news is that Chase honors new better bonuses to those who applied up to 90 days prior.

      Reply
      1. Ali

        Hi,
        Would it be easy to be approved for this card since I already have the Chase freedom? I’m tempted to wait but worried that they will take their 50000 points offer from the market.. what do you think?

        Reply
  31. Peter

    I have a Delta Reserve card from AmEx, and am considering changing my other card (Citibank Aadvantage Visa) to another card with greater benefits. I fly American and Delta almost exclusively, living in the southeast U.S. I like the Delta Reserve feature of no initial baggage fees, that feature alone almost pays for the card during the year. What is the best option for a secondary card that would allow American lounge access as well as free bags on American?
    Thanks

    Reply
    1. MileCards

      @Peter- There are two credit card options that give you American lounge access. 1) The Executive AAdvantage Card from Citibank, or 2) The Platinum Card from American Express. Both carry a $450 annual fee. The Executive AAdvantage offers a checked bag fee waiver on American and earns American miles. The Platinum Card does not, but offers a $200 annual credit you can use to offset the cost of baggage and other fees on one airline of your choice. It also offers Delta lounge access.

      My sense is you should consider getting the Platinum Card from American Express. That will give you the lounge access to both airlines. Then, switch your Delta card down to the Delta Gold SkyMiles card with a $95 annual fee and free checked bag for each flight. So for $95 more than you are paying today ($450 for Platinum Card + $95 for Delta Gold), you will get lounge access to both American and Delta, a free checked bag per flight on Delta, and a $200 annual credit you can use toward bag fees on American.

      http://milecards.com/129/best-airport-lounge-access-card-platinum-card-from-american-express/

      Reply
  32. Ronald Beck

    Hi,
    If I’m reading you correctly, I should use the Chase Sapphire instead of my Starwood Preferred Amex. Or are there specific times that i should use one over the other for regular spending?

    Reply
    1. MileCards

      @Ronald – They’re both hard to go wrong with. If you are looking to redeem for air travel awards the Sapphire Preferred is your best bet because of that 1:1 instant transfer to United and Southwest. Starwood lacks them as 1:1 partners and isn’t instant.

      If you’re interested in hotel rewards the Starwood edges the Sapphire Preferred’s Hyatt option. Hard to beat the value of Starwood cash and points awards.

      Personally carry both cards — use the Starwood card when my account dips below the 50,000 or so points I like to keep on hand and the Sapphire Preferred for the rest.

      Reply
    1. MileCards

      @John- There are no limits on the amount of points you can earn, even in the 2x bonus dining and travel categories.

      Reply
    1. MileCards

      @John – The 50,000 point bonus is one time. However you always earn points based on your spending. There is also a 7% bonus on the points you earn each year. So for example if you earn100,000 points next year you will receive a 7,000 point bonus on top.

      Reply
  33. Michelle

    I see that Delta Skymiles Program is not listed as one of the 1:1 instant transfer programs. If I wanted to book flights with Delta using my Chase Sapphire points, could I do it using the Ultimate Rewards Program referenced above?

    Reply
    1. MileCards

      @Michelle – You can’t transfer your points into a Delta miles account. However you can use your points like cash toward the purchase of Delta flights — for this purpose 1 point = 1.25 cents in value. So a $625 ticket would cost 50,000 miles.

      Or you can transfer the points to a Korean Airlines mile account. Korean is a Delta partner and you can use their miles to book Delta flights. A domestic roundtrip is 25,000 miles (subject to capacity) regardless of the cost in cash to buy a ticket.

      Reply
  34. Sarah

    What kinda of credit does one need to have to be approved for this card? Would that fact that I am 23 make it harder for me to get it. Also if you spend the 3000 and get the bonus points do you also get the points you get for the dollars spent?

    Reply
    1. MileCards

      @Sarah- You generally need good to excellent credit (probably a credit score of 700 or more) with a decent current income. Your age doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t get it — it’s your credit score that matters most.

      And yes, you do get both the bonus points and the points for the $3,000 you spend.

      Reply
  35. J kenny

    If I have united mileage platinum or platinum business cards, am I able to cancel those and take advantage of the Sign on miles? Or is migrating my current card over to the explorer my only option?

    Reply
    1. MileCards

      @J kenny – If you didn’t receive a sign on bonus with those cards, you should be eligible for one with the Explorer. If you did receive a sign on bonus the terms and conditions make it appear you won’t be eligible for a new bonus.

      Reply
    1. MileCards

      @ncc – If you don’t spend the $3,000 within 3 months, you won’t receive the 50,000 bonus miles. However you will receive miles for the dollars you spent — a minimum of 3,000 miles. If you spend it on 2x bonus categories like travel and dining you can earn up to 6,000 points on that spending.

      Reply
    1. MileCards

      @Gary – Yes, the points can be used to book US Air flights — just transfer them to United / Continental, and book from there. US Air is one of their ‘Star Alliance’ partners. Just note, you can’t put the points directly in a US Air miles account to combine with existing US Air miles.

      Reply
  36. Adam

    Can I merge my chase freedom points with sapphire points if I sign up for sapphire? (I know your site says I can but I just called chase and they said otherwise)

    Reply
  37. puskin

    If I transfer bonus points to the mileage account and than cancel Sapphire Preferred (before the end of no-fee year) will there be any penalty? Do I have to give points back?

    Reply
    1. MileCards

      @puskin- While we think this is a great card to keep for ongoing earning there is no penalty if you cancel early and once those points are transferred out or used they are yours.

      Reply
  38. Sia

    What is the cancellation policy? Would it be possible to cancel within one year? Is there a cancellation fee and if so, how much?

    Reply
    1. MileCards

      @Sia – Yes you can cancel the card before the annual fee is due, and use your points before that with no penalty.

      Reply
        1. MileCards

          @pood – Yes that is a good idea — ask to switch to the regular Chase Sapphire that carries no annual fee. Though best to take advantage of the 1:1 point transfer before then as the regular Sapphire doesn’t have that.

          Reply
    1. Tiffany

      You can indirectly get the points to work for you in American Airlines by the fact that they can be transferred to your Bristish Airways (BA) mileage acccount. American Airlines is in alliance with BA and BA allows you to book flights using a combination of BA miles and AA miles.

      Reply
  39. tony

    Can I transfer the balance from another credit card to this one to reach the $3000 spending limit and earn the 50,000 miles?

    Reply

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