Your First Travel Credit Card

You’re finally ready to take the plunge into travel hacking and apply for your very first travel credit card. The card you choose will depend on which cards you currently have open and the goals you have for traveling with points and miles. In general, the first card I recommend for the majority of people who don’t already have this card is the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.

The Sapphire Preferred Current Offer Details

The current sign up bonus is 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points after you meet the minimum spend of $4,000 in the first 3 months from the date of approval . These 60,000 points are worth at a minimum, $750 if used to purchase travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Portal. That equates to a value of 1.25 cents per point.

Using Chase Ultimate Rewards Points

If you use some or all of these points and transfer them to an airline or hotel partner, the value can be much higher. Transferring points to Southwest Airlines can get you values of 1.7 cents per point as I did when booking my upcoming round trip airfare to Phoenix.

I was able to get a value of 10.48 cents per point when I transferred my Chase Ultimate Rewards Points to United Airlines to fly Business Class on partner airline Lufthansa on my trip to Oslo last summer. This is an example of how far your points can go in terms of value when you do a more complex transfer of points.

Of course, it’s perfectly fine to derive the basic value of 1.25 cents per point when you consider that Chase is literally handing over these points once you’ve completed your minimum spending requirement. This is what I love so much about this hobby. Points and miles are such a gift!

You can also earn an additional 10,000 Chase Ultimate Reward Points per approved signup (up to 5 per year) for referring others to the card. The points really can add up.

Note that this card used to be offered with no annual fee in the first year but now requires payment of the $95 annual fee on your first billing cycle. This fee does not count toward your $4,000 minimum spending requirement. I still believe that given the 60,000 point sign up bonus is worth $750, the $95 annual fee is well worth paying.

The Perks of the Chase Sapphire Preferred

Earn 2 points per dollar spent on all travel and dining

Earn 1 point per dollar spent on everything else.

No foreign transaction fees which saves you money when using the card while traveling abroad.

Chase offers comprehensive travel insurance with this card.

You’ll also have access to extended warranty protection

One fun thing about the card is that it’s made of metal

Current List of Chase Transfer Partners

Airline Transfer Partners:

Aer Lingus,
Air France-KLM
British Airways
Iberia, Jet Blue
Singapore Airlines
Southwest Airlines
United Airlines
Virgin Atlantic

Hotel Transfer Partners:

Hyatt
Intercontinental Group (IHG)
Marriott
Ritz Carlton

Points transfer on a 1:1 basis for all of the above listed Airlines and Hotels. The transfer of points is so easy to do either in the Chase Online Portal or the Chase App for mobile. The transfers usually take less than a minute too!

When you look at all of the above, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is a great card to apply for first. It’s also a great card to keep in your wallet long term as Chase Ultimate Rewards Points are so versatile. I’ll be writing more about this great card in a future post.

Please contact me if you currently have this card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve as there are plenty of other options for you which I’ll be happy to discuss.

Please comment below if you’re planning to apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card. I want to hear from you. Please contact me with your questions.

Editor’s Note: You may see a credit card referral link. I earn points if you are approved for a credit card. This helps me to run this site. Thank you

Published by Lisa Joy Phillips

I have a passion for Travel Hacking using Points and Miles to Travel for Pennies on the Dollar.

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