Personal Finance Insider writes about products, strategies, and tips to help you make smart decisions with your money. We may receive a small commission from our partners, like American Express, but our reporting and recommendations are always independent and objective. Terms apply to offers listed on this page. Read our editorial standards.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is the single best beginner credit card for points and miles collectors. Its rewards are easy to use, and they can be redeemed in a variety of ways to match any travel style. If you don’t yet have a firm plan for your points, you can still earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points and know that they’ll serve your goals.
This card is currently offering an elevated bonus of 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s worth an average of $1,440, per Insider’s valuations — but you can squeeze much more from it if you know the best ways to use Chase points.
There are many other reasons to apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card card, beyond the bonus:
- The card offers excellent trip delay insurance, baggage delay insurance, and primary car rental insurance
- It earns bonus points on everyday spending categories
- It comes with an annual $50 statement credit when booking hotels through the Chase Travel Portal.
Not bad for a $95 annual fee. If you’ve been thinking to apply, it’s a good time to give the card a test drive. Here are five powerful ways to use its bonus to save $1,000+ on travel.
1. $1,000 in travel booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal
16.24% – 23.24% Variable
Recommended Credit Score
Good to Excellent
16.24% – 23.24% Variable
Recommended Credit Score
Good to Excellent
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
- Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back(SM), your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
This is one of the easiest ways to redeem Ultimate Rewards points — though, admittedly, not the most valuable.
With the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you can use Chase points to “buy” travel through the Chase Travel Portal at a rate of 1.25 cents each. For example, if you want to book a $300 flight, you can do so for 24,000 Chase points.
Using all 80,000 points this way will yield a value of $1,000 in free travel. You can use your points for flights, hotels, car rentals, cruises, and even “experiences,” like a camel ride through Morocco.
2. Two round-trip flights to Europe on Air France
Flying Blue is the loyalty program of both Air France and KLM. Each month, it publishes “Promo Rewards,” which are award discounts on certain routes.
Even without discounts, Flying Blue offers extremely reasonable award prices to cross the Atlantic. You’ll pay 25,000 miles each way when traveling to Europe (and even all the way to Israel). That’s 5,000 miles less than the average cost of other airlines like United Airlines and American Airlines.
The catch is that its taxes and fees can be a little high — so the value you save with low award prices is partially negated by your out-of-pocket cost. But if you can use a Flying Blue Promo Rewards, the deal becomes even more enticing.
For example, at the time of writing, Flying Blue is offering flights from Boston to Paris for as little as 17,250 miles each way (plus ~$118 in taxes). That means the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card bonus is enough for two round-trip flights to Paris. You’d even have 15,000 points left over.
Just note the taxes and fees, however — for two travelers, you’ll pay a total of $471. In other words, this airfare is far from “free” — but it’s a steep discount.
These same fares cost $1,657 for two travelers. That means you’re getting a value of 1.72 cents per point — a much better deal than had you simply booked these flights through the Chase Travel Portal.
3. 4 nights at an expensive Hyatt hotel
World of Hyatt is, in my opinion, the single greatest transfer partner of Chase Ultimate Rewards points. Hyatt charges comparatively few points per night compared to other hotel programs, and Insider estimates Hyatt points value to be 1.5 cents each.
After you reach minimum spending, you’ll have at least 84,000 Chase points. That’s enough for four nights at a fancy hotel like the Andaz Napa during off-peak dates: Here’s what it’ll cost in points: 84,000 Hyatt points and $0.
And here’s the exact same stay when using cash: $2,124.14. By transferring 84,000 Chase points to Hyatt for this stay, you’ll get a value of 2.52 cents per point. That’s significantly higher than Insider’s average-value estimate of both Hyatt points and Chase points.
4. Round-trip tickets from the US mainland to Hawaii
There are a variety of Chase transfer partners you can use to reach Hawaii for cheap. With this current bonus, you could transfer points to:
- British Airways Executive Club: Non-stop one-way flights from the US West Coast to Hawaii cost 13,000 Avios points. You’ll fly on either American or Alaska airlines. This bonus is enough for three round trips to Hawaii from cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle, etc.
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer: If you live on the East Coast, you can reach Hawaii for 35,000 Singapore Airlines miles round-trip. You’ll fly on Alaska Airlines or United Airlines. With the current bonus, you can book two round trips to Hawaii this way.
- Southwest Rapid Rewards: The value of Rapid Rewards points is tied directly to the cost in dollars, so the amount of points varies based on the flight. But you can expect to receive a value of 1.4 cents when you transfer your points to Southwest. If prices aren’t obscene, the current Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card bonus should be enough for two round trips.
You can read our article on how to get to Hawaii with miles and points for more ideas.
5. Round-trip business class flight to Europe on Iberia
Iberia is the flag carrier of Spain, and a surprisingly valuable Chase transfer partner for commuting to Europe.
For as little as 34,000 Iberia Avios points, you can fly one way in a lie-flat business class seat to Madrid from Boston, New York (JFK), or Chicago. You can also fly to Barcelona from Boston and New York (JFK).
Here’s a look at a sample round-trip itinerary from Chicago to Madrid in business class. You can transfer 68,000 Chase points to Iberia for a round-trip business class seat — though you’ll also have to pay an annoying $283 in taxes and fees.
The same itinerary costs $3,843 in cash. That means you’re getting an incredible value of 5.24 cents per Chase point. And you’ll still have 16,000 points left over.
Chase Ultimate Rewards points are one of the most powerful points currencies in the free travel world. When an opportunity to easily scoop up 80,000 points presents itself, you should seize it if you’re able. Before you apply, here are a few rules you should know:
If you’re just starting out in the points and miles world, however, this card is a no-brainer. I’ve had it for eight years and I have no intention of canceling it — it’s saved me thousands during my travels.