Is the New Sapphire Preferred Better Than Just a 50,000 Point Offer?

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Key Link: Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

Reader George H. asks,

You’ve been writing about the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card’s new 50,000 point signup bonus. That’s great and I’m going to get the card (using your link as a way to say thank you for everything you do – I got an Etihad first class award with my American miles last night!).

I wanted to quibble with you on one thing though. Isn’t it really a 55,000 point offer? The 5000 extra points are part of the signup bonus, not a feature of the card. You have to take advantage of it right when you sign up or in the first few months.

Indeed, my single favorite card for earning valuable rewards points – the Chase Sapphire Preferred — has just gotten better with an offer of 50,000 points as a signup bonus (after $4000 in spending within 3 months).

While the card used to offer 50,000 points up through March 2012, and for the past 4 1/2 years has mostly been at 40,000 points or 40,000 points + 5000 points for adding an authorized cardholder, this offer is even better than 2011 – 2012 and turns out to be the best publicly-available offer that Chase has ever made for the card.

But George is right — this ought to be considered a 55,000 point bonus because it comes with an additional 5000 bonus points after you add a no-fee authorized user to your account and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening on top of the 50,000 point signup bonus. For all intents and purposes the offer is to earn a total of 55,000 points.

I’ve been a fan of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card as an important tool for frequent flyers for a long time because:

  • It earns one of the most valuable points currencies, which transfer to a variety of airlines (including in all 3 major airline alliances) and hotels.
  • It earns points quickly, with double points on both travel and dining (what travelers tend to spend on most).

These points transfer to United, Korean, Singapore Airlines, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Southwest. Here are the 9 Best Uses of Chase Points.

United gets you Star Alliance availability to Europe and Asia and no fuel surcharges. British Airways gets you cheap short-distance non-stop awards. You get access to Skyteam award space through Korean Air which has some very favorable awards — like some of the cheapest awards to Hawaii and 80,000 mile business class roundtrips to Europe (plus fuel surcharges).

You also get the ability to redeem for international first class through Korean and not just business class, something Delta doesn’t allow.

And transfers to Singapore are exceptionally useful because using Singapore Airlines miles you get much better availability redeeming for Singapore business and first class flights than what’s offered to their partner airline members.

From what I understand Chase only wants to approve this card for new customers that haven’t applied for 5 new cards in the past two years. As a result it’s important to get a Chase Sapphire Preferred Card before you apply for other cards.

The card’s first year fee is $0 and then $95 thereafter. If you’ve had the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card before and don’t any longer, you’re eligible to apply again and still receive a bonus provided it’s been 24 months since you last received the bonus.

Key Link: Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Editorial note: any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of any advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either. Terms and limitations apply to all offers.

Comments

  1. Chase’s 5 cards limit is horrible. Still tried to apply for this today, and was told it was a “hard” no by the reconsideration line, and then they named about 13 other non-chase cards i have applied for in the past 2 years…. So i just went ahead with a Citi and Barclays application and was instantly approved on both.

  2. If we’re going to get really technical about it, shouldn’t we say it’s at least a 59,000 point offer? I mean, you have to complete the minimum spend to get the signup bonus, so after that’s completed (and assuming you take advantage of the no-fee authorized user), you should have a minimum of 59,000 UR points in your account.

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