Highest Ever: 80K Chase Sapphire Preferred Welcome Bonus

Let’s be honest, travel rewards cards probably haven’t been at the front of your mind the past six months. I know I certainly haven’t been thinking about them as much lately. Credit card issuers are aware of that and have had to try to get creative to attract new customers and retain existing ones. For the consumer, that means opportunity.

Chase is one of those trying to work their way into your wallet. It’s going to be tough to ignore them with an offer this compelling. Chase is now offering an 80,000-point welcome bonus on their Sapphire Preferred Card. That’s huge.

The Details

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card (image courtesy of Chase)

Chase is currently offering 80,000 Ultimate Reward points is you sign up for their Sapphire Preferred card. The card has traditionally carried a welcome bonus of 50k-60k points, but this is by far the highest we’ve ever seen on the card.

In order to receive the 80,000-point welcome bonus, you’ll need to spend $4,000 in your first three months of card membership. If you’re not sure if you can reach that level of spend responsibly, you may be better off waiting until you can.

Possible Uses

Ultimate Rewards points are great for stays at Hyatt properties like the Park Hyatt Tokyo (courtesy of Hyatt.com)

Chase has some great transfer partners. However, for airlines, there isn’t a ton that makes them stand out from Amex, Citi, or Capitol One. However, what really makes chase unique is their partnership with Hyatt. Hyatt points are considered to be the most valuable hotel points and Chase is the only major credit card that allows transfers to their program.

Airlines

  • Aer Lingus AerClub
  • Air France/KLM Flying Blue
  • British Airway Avios
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Iberia Plus
  • JetBlue TrueBlue
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
  • United Airlines MileagePlus
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

Hotels

  • World of Hyatt
  • IHG Rewards Club
  • Marriott Bonvoy

While travel may not be in your immediate future, it never hurts to plan!

What about the Sapphire Reserve Card?

If you’re familiar with travel rewards cards, you’ve probably heard of the Chase Sapphire Reserve card – the Preferred card’s big brother premium card. It tends to be one of the go-to cards in my wallet.

However, it does have some additional considerations that the Preferred card doesn’t have. For starters, the Chase Sapphire Reserve carries a $550 annual fee. However, a big chunk of that is offset by $300 in annual travel credits. These can be used for anything from an Uber ride to a first class flight. While those may have been more valuable in a pre-COVID world, they probably don’t carry as much use to you right now. The credit is good for an entire year and doesn’t have to be used in one transaction. You can use it to purchase flights for summer 2021 and still have it register in full. If you’re able to use the full credit, you’ll effectively reduce the annual fee to $150 – only $55 more per year than the Preferred card.

Other Perks

The card also comes with a Priority Pass Select membership. This membership grants you access to over 1,000 airport lounges around the world. You can also bring two additional guests for each lounge visit at no additional cost. While lounge offerings and travel are limited in the current environment, having a place where you can relax and avoid crowds is a major plus.

In addition to these benefits, the Chase Sapphire Reserve earns 3x points on travel and dining and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. In addition to the increased earning, points can be redeemed through the same transfer partners or for 1.5 cents each through the Chase Travel Portal. That’s essentially makes your points 20% more valueable than 1.25 cents per point with the Preferred.

The Reserve card has a 50,000-point sign-up bonus, which is currently 30,000 points less than the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. However, if you think you can get more value out of the Sapphire Reserve’s perks and increased earning, it’s definitely worth considering the Chase Sapphire Reserve instead.

The Fine Print

The card carries $95 annual fee, making it a great starter-level reward card. Chase points are significantly more valuable than your standard airline miles as well, thanks to their flexibility. At a minimum, these points are worth $1,000 when used through the Chase Travel Portal and potentially even more when transferred partners.

Unfortunately, if you’ve received the sign-up bonus for either of the Chase Sapphire cards (Preferred or Reserve) in the past 48 months, you won’t be eligible for the sign-up bonus.

Also keep in mind that the Chase 5/24 rule applies to this card. That means if you’ve applied for five or more cards in the past 24 months, you will not be approved for this card.

A Reminder

You shouldn’t apply for a credit card unless you’re confident you can meet the minimum spend for the sign-up bonus and you can pay off the full balance every month. If you’re confident in both of those things, the Chase Sapphire Preferred can be a great card to add to your arsenal.

Author: Stephen Hoechst

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