July 26, 2021

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It’s Time to Fly

How to Maximize Your Chase Sapphire Preferred Points

5 min read

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If you are planning to earn the exceptional bonus of 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points from the best-ever offer on the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you’re in good company.

If you spend $4,000 within three months of opening the account, you stand to earn those 100,000 points, a large amount by any standard. It’s enough for a round-trip flight across the U.S. in a seat that turns into a bed.    

If you opened your account before Chase introduced the elevated offer, you might have earned, or are on your way to earning, the previous bonus: a still-valuable chunk of 60,000 or 80,000 points.

In any case, you might be wondering how, exactly, to get the most value out of your points, even if you haven’t decided where you want to go just yet. And with safe domestic travel now largely back — although caution, and masks on board, are still mandatory — now is a good time to take a look at the best ways to maximize the Chase Ultimate Rewards points that you’ll earn with your Chase Sapphire Preferred card.

  • Intro bonus:
  • Annual fee:

    $95

  • Regular APR:

    15.99% – 22.99% Variable

  • Recommended credit:

    670-850 (Good to Excellent)

  • Learn more externa link icon at our partner’s secure site.
  • Intro bonus:
  • Annual fee:

    $95

  • Regular APR:

    17.24% – 24.49% (Variable)

  • Recommended credit:

    670-850 (Good to Excellent)

  • Learn more externa link icon at our partner’s secure site.

Maximizing Chase Sapphire Preferred Ultimate Rewards Points

You can redeem your Chase Ultimate Rewards points via the Chase Travel portal or transfer directly to travel partners. You’ll typically get the most value out of them by transferring.

Chase’s notable partners include:

You can also redeem your points via the Chase Travel portal. To do so, log into your account and click “Travel” from the sidebar menu. By doing this, you can redeem points earned from the Chase Sapphire Preferred at a fixed 1.25 cents per point on both hotel stays and airline tickets.

Pro Tip

Transferring your points to partners such as Southwest Airlines or Hyatt Hotels will typically help you get more value out of them.

By transferring, though, you may be able to get even more value out of your points beyond the fixed-rate available on the portal. That’s because, in many cases, you can use fewer points to book the same flight or hotel by transferring them to and then booking directly with the airline or hotel, versus redeeming in the portal.

Pay Yourself Back

Last year, Chase introduced a feature called “Pay Yourself Back,” where cardholders can redeem their Ultimate Rewards points on categories other than travel.

With this feature, you can redeem dining, grocery stores, home improvement stores, and even select charity purchases at a fixed rate of 1.25 cents per point. To do so, sign into your Ultimate Rewards account, and select “Pay Yourself Back” from the sidebar menu. From there, you’ll be able to select which eligible purchases you’d like to cover using your points. Note that points can be redeemed as far back as 90 days, and you can use points to cover part or all of your eligible purchases.

Since travel is still not back to pre-pandemic levels, this is an attractive option if you’re looking to use your points for purchases other than travel — all while helping you save money on your statement.

Everyday Purchases

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card earns 1 point per dollar on all purchases except dining and travel; it earns 2 points per dollar on those categories. If that aligns with your lifestyle and budget, you will see those points add up over time, thanks to that 2x reward rate.

Additionally, if you’re working on achieving the minimum spending requirement of $4,000 in three months to earn the 100,000-point sign-up bonus, you may want to use the Chase Sapphire Preferred card for all of your everyday purchases to help you get there. We encourage you not to overspend to meet a bonus target since carrying a credit card balance means high-interest payments that would negate the value of the card’s rewards.  

Takeout and Delivery Apps

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card comes with a 12-month, complimentary DoorDash Dash Pass membership if you activate it by December 31, 2021. With the pass, you’ll pay $0 delivery fees on eligible orders over $12 on both DoorDash and Caviar. The membership otherwise costs $9.99 a month —a value of almost $120 a year —that you’ll get free with the card. If you’re a frequent or even semi-frequent DoorDash user, this can be a great way to save money on your food delivery costs.

Combining With Another Chase Card

It might seem like a savvy strategy to hold the Chase Sapphire Reserve® in addition to the Preferred card. The Reserve offers 3 points per dollar on dining and travel, perks like the $120 Peloton membership credit, and a $300 travel credit. But, you can only have one of the two Chase Sapphire cards at a time.

That said, you can maximize your purchases by combining the Preferred with another no-annual-fee Chase card that earns cash back, such as the Chase Freedom Unlimited.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited earns:

  • 5% cash back on travel purchased through the Chase Travel portal
  • 3% cash back on dining and drugstores
  • 1.5% cash back on everything else

However, if you hold a Chase card that earns Ultimate Rewards points as opposed to cash back, including the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you can redeem your cash back as Ultimate Rewards points. 

We recommend using the Chase Freedom Unlimited card for:

  • Dining
  • Drugstore purchases
  • Travel purchases booked through the travel portal

Use the Chase Sapphire Preferred card for all other travel purchases such as:

  • Travel purchases not booked through the Chase Travel portal
  • Rideshares
  • Train tickets

This strategy can help you earn even more Chase Ultimate Rewards points and gives you more options when you later redeem them for free travel (excluding taxes and fees).

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