January 7, 2014

Why I Love the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

The most "abused" card I have in my wallet is the Chase Sapphire Preferred(R) card.  Beyond the awesome look (name on the front, numbers on the back) and feel (this card is heavy) the CSP has some outstanding benefits.  There are certainly more benefits but here are my top 10:
  1. The current sign-up bonus is 45,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
  2. 2x points on travel and dining
  3. 3x points on dining on the first Friday of each month through the end of 2014
  4. A 7% annual dividend on all points earned including the sign-up and category bonuses
  5. $0 annual fee for the first year, $95 thereafter
  6. The ability to transfer Ultimate Rewards points between accounts (super useful for couples/families to consolidate balances)
  7. Access to the Ultimate Rewards Mall for additional earning opportunities
  8. Awesome transfer partners including United, Marriott, Hyatt, British Airways, and Korean Air
  9. Most points transfer instantly so you can locate your award and then transfer the points
  10. No foreign transaction fees when traveling abroad (typically 3%).  You can also get the card with a chip (like mine below) so you can use it in Europe.  Many places won't accept the card without the chip.
My "abused" CSP

If you don't already have this card, you should get it right away (post on getting started) and put it in your wallet.  For most people, these are the most lucrative category bonuses.  Approximately 50% of my spend falls into the travel or dining category.  Travel is pretty broad and includes airfare, hotels, rental cars, parking, etc...I have this card linked to my Uber account as those charges count as travel.

Here's a quick example if you get the card today:
  • Spend $2,000 per month, 50% on travel and dining
  • You would earn 3,000 points per month in spend (36,000 total for the year)
  • 45,000 bonus points in month three for hitting the new cardmember bonus
  • The 7% dividend would pay out 5,670 points at the end of the year

In total, you would earn 86,670 Ultimate Rewards points.  This doesn't take into consideration the 3x "First Friday" or any additional points earned through the Ultimate Rewards Mall.  Those points could be transferred to a variety of different partners but let's use a real world example.  You could transfer the points to Hyatt and redeem for 4 nights at the Park Hyatt Istanbul where we stayed in November.  When we stayed, the hotel was selling for $380 USD per night.  The hotel is a Hyatt category 5 and requires 20,000 points per night or 80,000 total.

So you would be getting $1,520 in "value" from $12,000 in spend.  That is a 6.33% return!  Pretty solid redemption and a great way to get a luxury hotel stay for managing your everyday spend efficiently. 

4 comments:

  1. Just got approved for this card - can't wait to start using it using your helpful hints!!!

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  2. All the Right PointsJanuary 8, 2014 at 6:44 AM

    @Ashley Rifkin thanks for the feedback and good luck!

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  3. Evan - i just got approved too! I am so excited to start following all your tips - this blog is AMAZING!! you may need to come and give us a tutorial in NYC with emily!

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  4. @ Robyn Thanks! Glad you are enjoying. Will see you in May if not sooner.

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