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Chase Sapphire Preferred upgrades longstanding intro offer

By , CardRatings contributor
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    travel rewards for holiday shopping

    If you’re not already a travel rewards credit cardholder, now might be the perfect time to become one.

    Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card just made big news in the credit card rewards world by bumping its long-standing sign-on bonus: Cardholders can now earn 50,000 bonus points within the first three months of account opening, up from 40,000 (this is the card's highest bonus offer since at least 2012!). Translating this new perk to actual travel: That's $625 flight in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

    Note:  Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card just won honors as a Editor's Pick for Rewards Cards in the 2016 CardRating's Editor's Choice.  

    To get the bonus you need to spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. To some, this is spending that you'd make anyway and with spring cleaning and seasonal yard clean-up hitting this goal may prove easy (the National Retail Federation found Americans spent an average of $802 on gifts, decorations, food in 2014, up from $767 in 2013).

    If you have a loved one chipping off the same spring cleaning shopping list, note this: adding the first authorized user will earn an additional 5,000 bonus points if you do it within the first three months of account opening.

    Notably High Rewards on Travel and Dining

    Dining at restaurants and travel spending will earn cardholders 2 times the points. So whether you’re surviving the dust bunny invasion with a Starbucks latte or a bite to eat, or getting away from it all by jetting to a tropical location, you’re earning double points to help further accelerate your rewards earnings.

    Through Chase's Ultimate Rewards site, there are also many additional shopping discounts that can allow users to get much higher rewards rates than through some of our other popular rewards cards.  But even if you don't take advantage of these benefits, you'll still earn the standard statement credit redemption rates - 1 point per dollar on purchases outside the higher accumulating categories (travel and dining). 

    While sister-card Chase Freedom® might offer higher rewards rates from shopping based on rotating categories -- earn 5 percent cash back on up to $1,500 in combined bonus category purchases each quarter you activate -- Sapphire®'s rewards will stay constant throughout the year. 

    If you want to focus on getting the most rewards out of your travel spending, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is among our favorite options. The 50,000 signing bonus is also very competitive with other rival offers.

    Maximize Your Perks

    Obviously, this card will be most useful to you in the long-run if you actually travel.

    2016 CardRating's Editor's Choice Award

    Use the spring cleaning and sprucing up season as a tool to achieve your intro offer. Once your influx of spending in hardware stores and online has slowed down, you’re in prime position to start redeeming the 50,000 travel points and reward your hard work with a trip to unwind.

    There are no blackout dates or restrictions when you book to travel and you can also take advantage of 1:1 point transfer to participating frequent travel programs: Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards®, Marriott Rewards®, United MileagePlus®, among others. 

    This card also provides trip cancellation & trip interruption protection; this is one benefit I've always looked over - until my plans were affected by the recent hurricane Lando in the Philippines, and this insurance covered my cost of an unplanned hotel stay because our flight was cancelled.  A very useful benefit if you qualify.

    The ideal credit tier for Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is excellent, which typically translates to a credit score of 720 and better.

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