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-30 Awesome Things You Can You Do With Ultimate Rewards Points
–Building Credit And Credit Card FAQs: Your Questions Answered
For a limited time only Chase is offering 50K Ultimate Rewards points for spending $4K on the Sapphire Preferred card within 3 months plus 5K points for adding an additional user and making a purchase within 3 months.
The $95 annual fee is waived for the first year. After a year the card can be downgraded to a no-fee Freedom card.
Those points can go far. Here are some awesome things you can do with Ultimate Rewards points.
It’s the richest public offer ever for this card. It’s been 3.5 years since there’s even been an offer for more than 45K bonus points for this card at this annual fee level.
Officially the offer is only for people who haven’t gotten a signup bonus for this card in the past 24 months. If you have applied for more than 5 cards in the past 24 months it can be more difficult to get approved for Ultimate Rewards cards, though people that have been rejected after calling reconsideration have had success by going into a Chase branch and having a banker fill out a special reconsideration form. Generally though you’ll need to have $10K in a Chase checking account for them to send in that form.
The Sapphire Preferred is one of the best all-around cards out there with a great signup bonus, great year-round spending bonuses, and great benefits.
The card is made from metal and a real live human being answers the phone when you call customer service without having to navigate a phone-tree maze.
In every country in the world you get primary rental car CDW insurance. Most other cards only have secondary coverage when you rent a car in your home country. This means that if you damage your rental vehicle you must file the claim with your own personal insurance policy first, and only if they won’t cover the damage will the credit card cover the damage. Even additional cardholders get primary coverage when they rent.
Most credit cards also exclude countries like Israel from coverage, however all Chase cards cover you worldwide, including in Israel. And they will give you a letter of coverage stating that you are covered in Israel so that you don’t have to argue at the rental car counter that your Chase Visa does give CDW coverage.
Plus you get double points on car rentals, meaning there is no better card out there for car rentals.
Besides for the Sapphire Preferred’s excellent signup bonus the card also offers:
-No foreign exchange or transaction fees so you’ll always get the best possible rate.
-2 points per dollar on all airfare, including tickets bought from travel agents and online agencies.
-2 points per dollar on timeshares (just in case you’re a real sucker)
-2 points per dollar on car rentals.
-2 points per dollar on hotels.
-2 points per dollar at restaurants, fast food, coffee shops, bars, lounges, and cafes (3 points on 12/04/15)
-2 points per dollar on catering (3 points on 12/04/15)
-2 points per dollar on transportation including trains, buses, taxis, limos, ferries, bridges, tolls, and parking.
-1 points per dollar elsewhere.
-Trip cancellation insurance is free.
Trip cancellation reimburses up to $10,000 per person, up to $20,000 per trip, and up to $40,000 per year if you need to cancel for injury, death, or sickness experienced by you, a traveling companion, or an immediate family member of you or your traveling companion. Other covered reasons include severe weather, military orders, terrorism, jury duty, home dwelling becoming inhabitable, quarantine, or financial insolvency of the travel agency or operator of your trip.
Other card benefits include:
-Price protection. Find a lower price in a store or online on a non-auction site within 90 days and get back up to $500 per item and $2,500 per year.
-Return protection. Return an item to a store that won’t take back an item for up to 90 days ($500/item, $1,000 per year)
-Purchase protection: 120 days of protection in case of damage of theft on items you buy ($500/item, $50K/account)
-Warranty protection: An extra year of warranty coverage on purchases ($10K/item, $50K/account)
-Lost Luggage Protection: If your checked or carry-on bags are lost you can be reimbursed by up to $3,000 per person.
-Trip Delay Protection: If you are delayed that either requires an overnight stay or is more than 12 hours you can be reimbursed for up to $500 in expenses per person.
-Baggage Delay Protection: If your bags are delayed by more than 6 hours you can reimbursed for up to $100 in expenses per person per day, for up to $500 per person.
-Travel Accident Insurance: Coverage if you are injured or killed on a trip.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred card earns Ultimate Rewards points and has the ability to transfer points into miles. It also gives you the ability to transfer points from fantastic cards no annual fee cards like Chase Freedom and Ink Cash into miles as well, as those cards can’t transfer points directly into miles without having the Sapphire Preferred or Ink Plus card.
You can transfer points at an equal ratio to your own or to one authorized user’s airline and hotel programs:
-United (Star Alliance)
-Singapore (Star Alliance)
-British Airways (OneWorld)
-Amtrak (Ends 12/07)
Chase Ultimate Rewards offer instant and fee-free transfers to top-notch mileage and points programs at a 1:1 ratio.
You can transfer points to one household member’s Chase card or to one authorized user’s airline/hotel programs.
Transfer partners include:
–United (Star Alliance) is still an excellent currency, even after their devaluation last year. They never charge fuel surcharges, have very flexible routing rules, they allow one-way awards for half the mileage, they have short-haul awards for 10,000 miles, they allow for a stopover and an open-jaw so that you can really maximize a single award ticket into several free trips, and they have dozens of partners to fly on, most of which can be booked on their website.
–British Airways (OneWorld) is awesome for short-haul awards. Just 9,000 miles for a round-trip zone 1 (this goes up to 15K for US flights effective 02/02/16) or 15,000 miles for round-trip zone 2 short-haul award. The zone 3 award for 25,000 miles round-trip can also be a bargain, for example a flight between the west coast and any of the Hawaiian islands or between Boston and Ireland is just 25K miles round-trip with no fuel surcharges. Flights to Israel on Air Berlin are just 60,000 miles round-trip with no fuel surcharges. They allow one-way awards for half the mileage. There are no close-in or expedite fees. You can cancel an award for as little as $5.60. Infants are only charged 10% of the miles on international trips instead of 10% of the full fare like US carriers charge. Plus they don’t collect fuel surcharges on American within the western hemisphere, on Qantas from or within Australia, on Air Berlin, Aer Lingus, Alaska, or LAN and you can transfer points to Iberia to limit fuel surcharges there as well.
You can read more in this post on everything you need to know about BA Avios. And you can see 103 places you can go to nonstop from NYC with Avios.
–Korean (Skyteam) offers unbeatable first class availability (A380 First Class Trip Report here) and they also have true bargains on partner travel, just 30,000 miles to fly round-trip on Hawaiian or Alaska to Hawaii in coach or 60,000 miles in first. And it’s just 20,000 miles to fly to Alaska in coach or 40,000 miles in first. You can even get a free stopover on the way to or in Alaska! If you can find Delta saver availability you can fly to Hawaii round-trip for just 25,000 miles in coach or 45,000 miles in business.
–Singapore (Star Alliance) offers private walled-in first class suites that can only be booked with their miles. A suite one-way from JFK to Europe is 57,375 miles. Travel to the US48, Hawaii, Alaska, Europe, and Israel can all be had on the cheap. There are no close-in booking fees and changes and cancellations are very cheap. Fuel surcharges apply when flying on most airlines besides United. More info here.
–Southwest offers a value of about 1.7 cents per point towards award travel, though that rate can now vary. Plus you get 2 free checked bags, free flight changes or flight cancellations. and you can even get a point refund if the price of your flight goes down.
–Virgin Atlantic has some niche uses with awards on Delta.
–Hyatt is a very powerful hotel currency. They have a cash and points option that offers some excellent values and more importantly those stays earn points, elite stay credits, promo credits, and you can use suite upgrades on cash and point stays as well. It remains far less expensive for high-end hotel stays than any other hotel program.
You can also funnel points through Hyatt to Southwest to qualify for a free Southwest Companion Pass which gives you a free companion every time you pay for or redeem for a free ticket.
-You can also transfer points to Marriott, Ritz Carlton, Priority Club, and Amtrak. I’ve never been on an Amtrak in my life, but you can get some really nice bargains on Amtrak travel via their program. Amtrak transfers end on 12/07.
The beauty of miles over points or cash-back:
The great thing about being able to transfer points into airlines or hotels are the incredible values you can attain.
-A coach ticket to Hawaii can cost $1,000 and a first class ticket to Hawaii can cost $3,000 but you can use 25K or 45K miles for that same ticket. If you were using Capital One points you would need 100,000-300,000 points per ticket.
-A last minute ticket or a ticket where you don’t stay for 3 nights from New York to Detroit costs $1,500 in coach but just 9,000 miles. That’s a value of 16.7 cents per mile. If you were using Capital One points you would need 150,000 points per ticket.
-A first class ticket to Asia can cost $27,000 but you can use 135,000 miles for that same ticket, a value of 20 cents per mile. If you were using Capital One points you would need 2,700,000 points per ticket.
-A night at a Park Hyatt in Paris, Sydney, or the Maldives can run $1,500 with tax but you can use 25K-30K points for those rooms, a value of 5 or 6 cents per point. Or you can use less points and get even better values with cash and points. If you were using Capital One points you would need 150,000 points per night.
Other Chase cards you can apply for at the same time include the Chase Freedom (15K for spending $500+2.5K for adding an additional user for a limited time only plus 5-10 points per dollar spent in rotating categories), Chase British Airways (Up to 100K signup bonus for a limited time only), the Chase United Explorer (30K signup plus another 5K points for adding a free additional user on the consumer card/50K signup points on the business card, plus get free luggage, free primary car rental insurance including in the US and Israel, expanded saver and standard award ticket availability, priority boarding, and more), the Chase IHG (with 60K signup points and a free night every subsequent year upon renewal), the Chase Marriott (with 50K signup points and a free night every subsequent year upon renewal), the Chase Slate (with zero balance transfer fees, 0% APR on purchase and balance transfers for 18 months, and free FICO scores), the Chase Ink Plus (60K signup points plus up to 5 points per dollar spent), and the Chase Ink Cash (20K signup points plus up to 5 points per dollar spent).