You get 50,000 points after spending $3,000 on the Chase Sapphire Preferred card! (Actually you’ll have over 53,000 points with the 3K points for spending and the 7% annual bonus on spending)
There is no annual fee for this card for the first year, but it’s $95 after the first year. Chase allows you to downgrade to the “non-preferred” version of the Sapphire card which has no annual fee. However be sure to transfer your points into miles before downgrading as the “non-preferred” version does not allow transfers into miles!
There is no foreign exchange or foreign transaction fee on when you use this card overseas!
You also get a 7% bonus on spending every year, so you actually get 1.07 miles per dollar spent on this card, which is very good if you want Continental miles. You get this 7% bonus at the end of the year, regardless of whether you have already redeemed the points.
Chase Sapphire points convert into BA miles, Continental miles, or Hyatt points at a 1:1 ratio and they transfer over instantly whenever you want. You can also transfer your Continental miles into United miles. Continental and United do not charge fuel surcharges on award redemptions like British Airways does.
You can transfer the points to anyone’s mileage or hotel account-it does not need to be in your name!
50,000 points is enough points for 2 US48/Canada airline tickets on American via BA miles (OneWorld partners) or on Air Canada, Continental, United, or USAirways via Continental miles (Star Alliance partners). It’s more than enough points for 2-5 nights at any Hyatt in the world (Hyatt nights with no blackout dates or capacity controls go from 5,000 to 22,000 points per night) including Park Hyatt properties that can go for $1,000 a night!
Or save up for a bigger trip. Here are the current Continental rates for other destinations from the US:
-Hawaii: 40,000 coach, 80,000 business/businessfirst
-Europe: 60,000 coach, 100,000 business/businessfirst
-Asia: 65,000 coach, 120,000 business/businessfirst
-Israel: 80,000 coach, 120,000 business/businessfirst
-Australia: 80,000 coach, 135,000 business/businessfirst
-Round-the-world: 180,000 coach, 260,000 business/businessfirst
You can also use the points to book paid tickets directly from the airline through the Chase airfare tool. With 50,000 points you can book a ticket worth up to $625 and you’ll even earn miles on the ticket. Personally I’d still go for the highly valued Continental miles, but if a domestic redemption is what you’re looking for it’s not a bad usage.
Or you can always just use the 50,000 points for a $500 gift card or a $500 account credit for spending on whatever you would like!
Points can also transfer to Amtrak, Priority Club, or Marriott, but those transfer options are less lucrative than the others.
If you have a Chase Freedom card, a Chase Checking account, and a Sapphire Preferred account you can earn 10 points for every transaction (even for transaction of just a penny!) made on the Freedom card and up to 5 points per dollar by spending in rotating categories on the Freedom card. You can then transfer those points to your Sapphire Preferred card and change then into valuable miles from BA, Continental, or Hyatt points at a 1 point:1 mile ratio!
The Chase Sapphire Card also offers return protection of up to $500 per item. If you buy something you don’t like you can just return it to Chase within 3 months of the purchase and get a full refund! I wanted to return a $340 item a few months after I bought it and got a refund check in the mail within 2 weeks of returning the item to Chase! There are also a number of items that you can’t return with the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express that you can return with the Chase Sapphire (and vice versa). You can read about them in this post.
Whenever you call Chase Sapphire customer service a real live US-based human being always answers the phone immediately without going through any touch-tone systems or having to push “0″ repeatedly. If only all companies offered this!