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Chase Sapphire Preferred – What the commericals don’t tell you

by on Wed December 28, 2011 • No Comment

Chase is aggressively promoting its flagship Sapphire Preferred® Card credit card with a new series of television commercials featuring people enjoying vacations using the card. They highlight two primary features of the card:

  • 2x points on dining and travel spending
  • No foreign transaction fees

However, the brevity of the commercials doesn’t leave time to mention several things you should know before applying, including…

  • 1:1 mile transfer to airline mile and hotel point programs. Chase doesn’t mention this in part because it’s not allowed to mention the name of these transfer partners in advertising. We think this feature is the most important reason to consider the card.You can transfer the points you earn to United Airlines, Southwest Airlines (starting 1/5/12), British Airways, Korean Airlines, Hyatt hotels, Marriott hotels, and others  1:1 instantly to your account free.
  • Transferring points into airline and hotel programs gives you access to some of the highest value rewards, like $500 hotel nights for 20,000 points, $500 domestic airline tickets for 25,000 points, or business class upgrades and travel to international destinations. United and Southwest offer some of the best redemption opportunities according to independent studies (Delta is among the worst).
  • You can use your points as statement credit. We don’t think this is a great use of your points — the highest value is via transferring the points to partner programs. But you can apply statement credit at a value of 1 point = 1 cent.
  • You can use the points for ‘no hassle’ type travel rewards. You can book any airline, hotel, or car rental you like with points — no restrictions. Every 1 point = 1.25 cents in value (or 40,000 points =$500 in travel). Again though, we often find better value than that transferring 1:1 to partners listed above. For example, every 1 point = 1.7 cents in value when you transfer the points to Southwest Airlines. And if all you are after is ‘no hassle’ type travel rebate rewards, then the Capital One Venture Rewards card is a better bet since it earns 2x points on all spending. What it lacks is the 1:1 transfer to real airline and hotel programs that we value highly. Not having that caps its value potential.
  • You can combine points from existing Chase accounts. If you have a Chase Freedom or non-Preferred Sapphire credit card, the points you have accrued there can be combined online instantly into your new Sapphire Preferred® Card account. You can also combine points with friends and family.
  • Points don’t expire. As long as you carry a credit card that earns Chase ‘Ultimate Rewards’ like the Chase Freedom, Chase Sapphire, or Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card your points won’t expire.
  • You’ll need good to excellent credit to qualify. A credit score of 700 or above is a decent rule of thumb on this one. But as always with credit cards, there are exceptions and variances to this.

In short, if you, like us, value 1:1 mile transfer to the largest airlines in the U.S. (United/Continental and Southwest Airlines) along with additional hotel point and international airline partners, this is a more powerful card than the commercials let on. And with 2x points on dining and travel spending it has more powerful earning than the credit cards of the airlines themselves, like the United Explorer and Southwest Visa.

But if you don’t want to shoot for the highest possible travel value, then the Capital One Venture Rewards card offers 2x points on all spending and a basic 1 point = 1 cent travel rebate program. This compares to 2x points on travel and dining spending for the Sapphire Preferred® Card with a 1 point = 1.25 cent rebate program for travel. However, the Capital One card lacks the ability to transfer points directly into airline and hotel point programs.

The following two tabs change content below.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Miles dont expireas long as card is open
Learn more

Partner Offer

50,000 bonus points

Intro Offer

$0 introductory annual fee, then $95

Annual Fee


Foreign Transaction Fee Waived


Points Can Transfer to Airline Miles ?

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