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Introducing “Catch The Points Guy” With Chase Sapphire Preferred

by on September 24, 2012 · 81 comments

in Catch The Points Guy, Chase

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Those of you who log into Ultimaterewards.com or follow the Chase Sapphire Facebook page might have noticed the start of a special campaign today called “Catch The Points Guy.”

This summer I got the opportunity to partner up with Chase Sapphire on a fun campaign designed to help people maximize their Chase Sapphire Preferred cards and Ultimate Rewards points. It was a deal too good to pass up- Chase and Visa Signature would allow me to choose wherever I wanted to go around the world and all I had to do was bring a video camera and provide my expert tips and tricks on how to maximize Ultimate Rewards points. While they did provide the points and did compensate me for my time, the commentary and opinions are entirely my own.

Over seven weeks, “Catch The Points Guy” will follow me as I visit eight amazing destinations and explore the ins and outs of the Sapphire Preferred card and Ultimate Rewards doing everything from booking hotels and flights to attending unique events and meeting fascinating people over the course of my travels.

In addition to the posts and videos from my travels that will be posted on the Chase Sapphire Facebook page, I’ll be posting on thepointsguy.com every week as well, which will allow me to get into the nitty gritty details of Ultimate Rewards points and how to maximize both earning and redeeming them.

Not only that, but there will be weekly prizes like five $100 Chase Visa gift cards every week, and a Grand Prize of a trip for two to Paris, France, including roundtrip airfare from the nearest major international airport, hotel accommodations for five nights and six days, transportation to and from the airport to the hotel, and a $1,000 Chase Visa gift card for spending money on your trip.

For all the details and to enter the sweepstakes, visit the Chase Sapphire Facebook page at any time during the promotional period and click on the “Catch The Points Guy” app to “Like” Chase Sapphire, register and answer The Points Guy question of the day, then click the submit button to enter. There’s a limit of one entry per person per email per day. Be sure to go back daily/weekly to take the poll questions to gain additional entries.

As you have seen over the past year and a half, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is one of my all-time favorite travel credit cards for many reasons. I would not be participating in a campaign like this unless I truly believed in the product. And if you are worried about my objectivity, even though I partnered with Chase, this is not an exclusive endorsement so you can still expect to continue covering all the ins and outs of other credit card programs.

Thanks in advance for your support and I hope TPG readers win a lot of great prizes!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARRY TO ENTER OR WIN. Open to residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia 18 years of age or older and who have “Liked” the Chase Sapphire Facebook Page.  Void in Puerto Rico and where prohibited or restricted by law.  Sweepstakes ends 11/9/12. For complete Official Rules and how to enter,  www.facebook.com/chasesapphire and click on the “Catch the Points Guy” application. Sponsor: Chase Bank USA, N.A., 201 North Walnut Street Wilmington, DE 19801

Note: I was compensated by Chase for my participation in this campaign, but all opinions expressed are completely my own.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • Cory

    A little curious as to the purpose behind the poll question, unless it’s just a fun add-on. I successfully entered the sweepstakes, then I answered the poll. And then the poll took me back to the sweepstakes entry page, which denied me because I’d already entered. So, properly guessing where TPG is immaterial on whether you enter sweepstakes? Probably for the best.

  • Lucy

    I have previously been moderately jealous of your ability to jet away virtually at will.
    Now I think I hate you. ;-)
    Keep up the great reports. I have built up a great stash of points thanks to your advice.
    But sadly, there is no way I will catch up to you.

  • Daniel Robinson

    Got to say, Brian, your credibility has finally been shot with me. I know you receive rebates on CC sign-ups like most of the bloggers in this space…but serving as a shameless, out and out shill for Chase is craven and over the top for me. With sadness, I’m deleting The Points Guy from my daily RSS feeds.

  • Tyj303

    You pretty much have completely sold out at this point, but can’t say I blame you. Sounds like a fun trip.

  • Christel

    Logged into my Ultimate Rewards account this morning and saw the banner for Catch the Points Guy on the left side of my screen. I thought, “does Chase know there’s already someone out there named TPG?” and then I slowly realized it might have been you in this promo. Coming to the blog confirms it now. Though I do not like using FB, I guess I’ll try to enter for this one. Look forward to new tips and content from you.

  • Michael

    Chase Sapphire is an overrated card

  • Luke

    I’ve no idea what people are complaining about, you need to make a living, and not once have I felt that the information you’ve provided has been compromised for the sake of sponsors or an affilliate link, etc…everyone’s just jealous that THIS is what you do for a living. Keep it up! You’ve taught me more about free travel that I could have imagined, and I’m not going to complain about using URs for my Lufthansa 1st class any time soon. So feel free to bring on new creative ways to earn URs!

  • Chris D.

    Don’t listen to the haters. Congrats on the opportunity. Look forward to the posts. :)

  • thepointsguy

    Thank you! Appreciate the support

  • thepointsguy

    Thanks Luke- this is my full time career and I need to be innovative and I understand some people don’t like change. In the end, I think everyone will see this is a good opportunity to have fun and win prizes.

  • thepointsguy

    You are correct in that I don’t do this as charity and it is my full time career. The trip was awesome- I hope you stay tuned and hopefully win some prizes!

  • thepointsguy

    It’s a bit awkward today since its day 1, but basically every day there will be video content and posts about where I was that week and if you answer the (easy) questions it submits another prize entry.

  • http://twitter.com/Edelish2011 Emily Lai

    haters are just jealous. I signed up for the Sapphire Card a year ago based on your informative posts. That card has served me well and I will continue to follow you in maximizing this card and other strategies to getting me closer to my next trip. Thanks!

  • Thomas S.

    Same problem as Cory. I was prompted to fill out the sweepstakes (and did) before I was able to guess the location. Then I attempted to answer the question and got the “already submitted” error. Not that I expected to win, but curious if that entry would be voided.

    To those that hate this – he’s making a living. If every post from here on out is some Visa UR push, you can certainly justify dropping from the site. To count, there are 10 Visa articles and 18 UR based on the categories to the right.

  • Lisa

    Wow – what fun! I can’t wait to hear about creative ways to use the points!

  • Grant Thomas

    We are all extremely jealous, but it couldn’t have gone to a better guy :)

  • Sunny

    Good Luck Brian – I agree with the non-haters on this list. I think the problem with these people is that they think you don’t deserve it, which I agree is their opinion. At the end of the day, you put the hard work in making travel accessible for a ton of people and this is a bonus for you – No different than a bonus we expect in our full time jobs or on wall street.

    Once you’re done with this, get one with Amex as well!

    Good luck on your journey!

  • TPG Mom

    Not that I’m impartial, but I think the contest is great and there is valuable information on maximizing points. Hate to admit that I don’t always understand how to get the most out of my credit cards and I’m sure I’m not alone in that. Keep up the good work and don’t stop educating your points- challenged mom. Wish I was eligible to enter!

  • Ari Rosenberg

    TPG,

    I am extremely excited for this new “series” and am looking
    forward to see what you have to write.

    This is a great idea and I am sure you enjoyed your trips.

    If it was up to me you wouldn’t need to put any disclosures,
    business is business at the end of the day and

    I hope AMEX and other major companies
    give you something like this as well, it would
    be an interesting read.

    Keep up the good work.

    Ari

  • AP

    TPG, This is so sweeeeet!

    Not for the competition, but I’d love to quit my job and do what you do! Keep it up.

    People be sippin’ on that hater-ade.

  • Rodeo1

    Brian, I understand your need to create revenue and using the CC links to do so. However l, continual rehashing of these links with no other value in your posts has caused me to stop reading your blog. Gary and Ben also post these deals, but they add real value in their posts. Something you used to do also. I am not sure when the value of your posts dropped off exactly but if you want to keep readers and continue to post CC offers, add some value with your other posts.

  • hmaia

    Brian, don’t listen to these people. Your blog has great content and it has help me and many others to maximize our points/miles. There is nothing wrong about doing business with transparency as you are.
    CONGRATULATIONS! I hope this just one of many projects you get involved with the big companies.

  • Daniel Robinson

    Not persuaded, Brian. In this case “innovative” and “change” simply means that you’ve hired yourself out as a marketing man for Chase. The inevitable result is that you are now beholden to Chase whether you like it or not, and your writing will be understood by us to be precisely that. I don’t begrudge you the need to make a living or an interest in “having fun trips” on Chase’s dime. But protest as much as you want….you are now “in the tank”, as they say, and may no longer represent yourself as an impartial reviewer. I find that sad and unfortunate.

  • thepointsguy

    I’ve been 100% open that this blog is my full-time job and it’s how I make a living. Most other bloggers in this space also make money from advertising and affiliate money, which makes sense because blogging takes time and skill.

    This promotion is just an extension of my affiliate relationship with Chase- nothing fundamentally is changing. I can still write whatever I want about Chase or any other issuer. I’d never go into an agreement if I would lose my editorial control or voice.

  • thepointsguy

    I agree it’s not the end-all be-all card (there’s a reason why my wallet is stuffed to the brim with plastic). But its a solid card good for certain redemptions and earning categories, which I’ll cover during this campaign.

  • thepointsguy

    :-) You never know! Two years ago I *never* thought I would be a full-time blogger. But follow your passion and you never know what might happen!

  • thepointsguy

    Appreciate the support! Safe travels :-)

  • thepointsguy

    I appreciate the feedback and hope that you continue reading and commenting on my blog :-)

  • thepointsguy

    Thanks Ari- I am working on unique projects with other issuers and travel companies, so stay tuned!

  • thepointsguy

    I still think it’s kinda funny that you called me the other day having a mild panic attack about not “signing up” for the Sapphire Preferred 2x dining program (mixing up the automatic Chase 2x automatic bonus with Rewards Network Dining programs). Not to throw you under the bus- you’ve come a long way. Can’t wait to go on our Macchu Pichu trip!

  • thepointsguy

    Thanks for the support! The positive encouragement I get from my readers is what keeps me going. Glad you are here with me on this journey (and hope you win the grand prize!)

  • thepointsguy

    It’s a little weird today, but once we get started, all you’ll need to do is guess the easy survey questions and you’ll be entered. Sorry for the bugginess!

  • thepointsguy

    Glad you are getting value from your CSP..where’s the next trip?

  • Suzannehendrix

    Just curious, Brian if they gave you “x” number of points and you had to spend them judiciously or you were able to just book whatever you wanted no mater what the points cost?
    I will definitely enter and follow, sounds like fun!

  • thepointsguy

    LOL I had a couple people email me about potential trademark infringement as well.. but it’s all good! :-)

  • thepointsguy

    Sorry you feel that way, but wish you the best and safe travels!

  • thepointsguy

    If you want to quit your job and travel, do it! I’m not saying its easy, but there are a lot of people out there who have done it. Where theres a will, theres a way!

  • Plextor555

    Shill

    Just signed up for AMEX card.

  • Dhammer53

    Keep writing. I’ll keep reading. When are you MP bound? Sure would be fun running into you. TPG Mom is probably our age. ;)

  • http://twitter.com/MichaelSpain Michael Spain

    I think it’s great, Brian. Your blog is all about mileage and point maximization. OF COURSE you should benefit from your efforts. Welcome to America. I appreciate the effort you exert to retain your objectivity and balance. Those who are complaining now, never complained while personally benefiting from your blog. We’re all grown-ups. If someone believes you’re biased or questions your ethic, they’re welcome to ‘shop’ elsewhere. Keep doing what you’re doing! I’m following closely and learning daily. Thanks!

  • Chris

    Really, it seems like it is the free trips and bribes from Chase that is keeping you going.

  • Daniel Robinson

    Caveat lector.

  • Janeschwalm

    So where are you today for post #!? Hints for your faithful readers?

  • CU

    Yeah, I don’t get the haters either. Bloggers need to make a living. Journalists are paid by their newspaper/journal; you guys are out on your own. The audience is not entitled to free travel advice; it only makes sense you would have to find a means of compensation. I have always found your posts balanced and informative; keep up the good work.

  • thepointsguy

    If you click on the blog post it actually gives it away in the upper right corner. It’s where I call home these days

  • Sunny

    Chris – you’re entitled to an opinion and so does everyone else, but hitting under the belt is another thing altogether.

  • tomSAN

    As someone who is reluctant to risk his privacy with Facebook, are there ways to enter that don’t require doing a Facebook “like”?

  • http://twitter.com/liaozhongchao Zhongchao Liao

    Just want to let you know that the Facebook page doesn’t work with my Safari browser but works fine with the Chrome.

  • http://twitter.com/sahais1 Sandeep Sahai

    Good Luck Brian. Glad the decision to make your hobby your career is working out well. Safe Travels!!

  • Charlotte (TYR)

    OK, so to paraphrase Robert Heinlein TANSTAALF (There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch”). The Points Guy has to pay his bills and spend his time and effort running the blog. There is no charge for content for us, the readers. So, one has to make a living and this kind of contest is one of the ways it is done. He is open about the affiliations and that is all that I ask as a reader.

  • JeffR

    I think a lot of commentators are looking at this the wrong way. The real highlight here is that Chase takes the points-blogging community seriously enough to partner with someone like Brian. I would find that encouraging with respect to future sign-up bonuses, travel-related card features, etc. I don’t think anyone would (or should) consider these blogs journalism. As long as Brian mentions that he has a financial relationship with someone he writes about (even if that means just getting some free goods/services), then readers know to consider that when reading his posts. I like this blog, and I read it fairly regularly, but I know that when there is a Top 10 list that manages to link to apps for 5 different Chase cards, I might want to read that differently than a trip report. Frankly, I’m much more bothered by someone like David Pogue, The New York Times technology reporter, who will praise every Apple product to come down the pike, never telling readers that he has a separate source of income writing books about Apple products. Give us a disclaimer when necessary, put up enough posts that don’t point to Chase apps, and I’m satisfied. Especially for free!

  • Simonfkj

    this looks like a Royal shill….hopefully your blogging remains impartial and unbalanced. pay for play is the death knell of indpendent thought and perspective

  • Andrew

    You are such a loser… I have an idea… Go to a website that is free and complain about the owner of the site… If you don’t like it go elsewhere.. God all you people who complain absultley having nothing better to do. get a fuc**** life

  • Ike

    You mean hitting below the belt like calling everyone who disagrees with you a “hater” and someone who “think[s] you don’t deserve it?” Talk about ridiculous generalizations. If people didn’t enjoy reading the blog and hope for the best for TPG, why would they read it? So *you* are TPG’s only REAL friend, right? Nice happy little dream world you live in.

    The issue is not that people think TPG does not deserve good things to happen to him it is that they are lamenting the loss of another decent blogger to corporate America. The simple fact is that when companies comp your travel you write about them not necessarily about the best products and services or how to seriously ‘hack’ deals.

    What is worse is that he is now doing that which you cannot. You can’t just pick 7-8 places around the world and have a company pick up the tab and feature you on their website. Therefore, his posts become less relevant because instead of showing by example he explains the theory. The longer it goes on the more out-of-touch.

    Travel-related companies are all too aware of the reach of bloggers so they buy off the ones they can. Not only do they reduce the dissemination of really good value posts but they can buy a receptive audience for almost nothing.

    TPG has been the second blog I go to every day for the last 18 months but now it goes the way of . . . whatever it was called . . .Frugal Travel Guy, another corporate shill who has lost his relevance.

    Best of luck and happy travels!

    Ike

  • LRZ

    Like others who read your blog, I refuse to participate in FB. How about some other way to enter contests? Please!!

  • cid

    BEST WESTERN PREMIER Marina Las Condes. Why not!

  • Sunny

    wow – you must be having a bad day Ike – my comment was for Chris because he called it a bribe.

    I merely appreciate Brian’s effort and I definitely don’t enjoy every single post he’s written in the past 18 months and I’m pretty sure you haven’t either.

    Let’s just be honest and if you read my previous comment again, may be you’ll understand better where I was coming from.

  • Javan

    Everybody reads you because they benefit in some way. I’m one who has. But the real value to this blog for me has always been, “what does an ordinary guy do to travel for less”. And I consider elite travel only a small part of the travel experience. In fact, the only real advantage to “first class” is getting a little better rest. So there’s a disconnect here on two levels: watching The Points Guy travel the world is not why I read the blog…and being “elite” was not my goal. The award galas, and celebrities, and sponsorships don’t make me jealous. They send a clear message that my world is getting less relevant to you. We all love to travel well and at low cost. But come back to earth. That’s where the rest of us spend most of our time.

  • Lively

    I agree with Luke. Educated people understand that life is like a cafeteria: you take the good and leave the bad. If you don’t like his links, then scroll by it. I appreciate TPG and read his blog every day without exception.

  • Jtgray

    If I could make a living doing what you are doing Brian, I would, and I will say you seem to be savvy enough to pull it off. Kudos. The haters will keep complaining and keep reading.

    Anyway I am frustrated because I keep clicking the “Enter Sweepstakes” button on the chase facebook page and all it does is reload the page! I’ll try tomororw.

  • Jtgray

    Daniel – UR points are the most valuable “point” out there – Brian has not lied to us about that. Wait for him to actually give us bad information before you write him off. He’s trying to make a living. What would you do if this was your only source of income?

  • Tyj303

    No TPG, I did not mean that you should do this as charity. I mean you shouldn’t completely sell out. Did you not take any marketing classes to get your wall street gig? Alienating your audience and showing you aren’t really showing tricks of the trade but rather pitching things companies want completely ruins your brand.

  • Sam

    LoL – Ike how about you start blogging and show the greedy bloggers (TPG or FTG) with some relevant and honest blogging.

    Fairly easy to point a finger mate – much different proposition when you rely on your blog as a primary source of income.

  • Susan

    What a great opportunity! It will be so much fun to watch you travel these next few weeks! Love your blog; I read it every day.

  • Raddy_333

    Congrats on the assignment! I still am surprised these gimmicks actually work, but at least it’s comforting to see an entrepreneur like yourself benefiting.

    Love the blog, keep it up!

  • http://pointstopointb.wordpress.com/ AKold

    I’m looking forward to your posts on how I too can get Chase to pick up my travel pro-bono …

    TPG, I used to read your blog daily, and was an avid follower who recommended you to every person I knew who wanted to get into the miles/points game. But I’ve become disconnected from your blog these past few months … your blog used to be for the every-man and what we all could do to maximize points. But ever since you’ve become a paid shill for so many companies, I have to question what you write (even with the disclaimer at the bottom). A lot of your experiences are because of your blogger connections. The thing is, I don’t think you realize that these things you were able to do are because of your blogger status.

    You used to have very unique and helpful posts that I would bookmark and look back on months later, but lately it’s all trite Top 10 lists that list every CC referral you have, or rehashed posts from other bloggers with your own links, or things like this where you’re evidently shilling for a company.

    I used to recommend you to friends/family as the first site to check for miles/points, but since I have to take your posts with a grain of salt, I can’t recommend you in good faith to newbies.

  • http://twitter.com/jamucsb Jamison

    Congrats Brian- can’t wait to live vicariously through your travels and trip reports… It’s all about chasing your dream and being an entrepreneur. I don’t get why people hate on your excellent SEO skills. I learned from you that tweeting at a certain time (during busy hours) is a great way to reach out to an audience

  • BobChi

    Readers will have to weigh for themselves how Brian’s commercial relationship with Chase (or that of any blogger with any credit card company) will affect his writing. He’s always been open about it. There’s no requirement to read the blog if you think he’s lost credibility. On the other hand, I hope we may gain some new insights, and in any case, Brian doesn’t only write about credit cards. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens, though I share the privacy issues about having to go through Facebook. There seems to be a sense in some quarters that everyone wants all their friends and friends of friends and the whole world to know everything they do, read, listen to, think about and like. There are some people like that, but I’m not one of them. I’ll probably pass on that part of it.

  • Ike

    Where did I say they were greedy? Don’t put words in my mouth. I don’t begrudge them a living, more power to them. What I am saying is that if you decide to give up your day job and become a blogger full time you are going to become less relevant to your readers because you are no longer one of them.

    As someone noted earlier, there is no free lunch. I seriously doubt that you can support yourself full time as a blogger without compromising your objectivity by accepting funding from the industry about which you blog. Which means, ultimately, that he is no longer ‘full-time blogging’ but has accepted a position (knowingly or unknowingly) as a part-time contractor for the airlines, hotels, and card companies.

    Ike

  • thepointsguy

    I’ve been a partner with Chase and all of the other credit card companies since I become a full-time blogger, so I’m not sure how this promotion changes anything. Almost every other blog/website you read takes advertising or affiliate money in some way so it’s always good to think independently, whether people disclose their business relationships or not.

  • Ike

    Yes, I read that comment and the one at the top of the thread in which you called everyone who disagrees with your position a “hater” and described the reason they hate Brian as being “jealousy.” I appreciate that it is awkward being a hypocrite but it is just something you are going to have to recognize in yourself and change or live with. When you have to resort to calling the opposition names and ascribing idiotic positions to them, it is pretty clear what your arguments are worth.

    And yes, as you note, anyone who disagrees with you in any way must just be having a bad day because it is inconceivable that anyone could possibly have a different perspective from you on anything.

    Of course I appreciate his efforts, that is why I come . . . came here every day. No, I didn’t enjoy every post, nor did I expect to. However, if I want to read the latest marketing @#*^ from Chase, or US Airways, Hyatt, or whomever, then I would just go read their press releases and Facebook pages. I don’t do that because I find little value in it.

    If you and other ‘non-haters’ want to continue reading TPG everyday, go right ahead. I am just noting that I don’t intend to and why.

    Ike

  • DeeCipher

    Congrats, Brian! I love this blog and am very happy for you. TPG is in the top spot on my RSS feed.

  • Heather

    Brian, regardless of what others may say, I enjoy your posts. You’ve helped us with using points for airlines, etc. We entered your contest for using points last year and named our video, “Tour de Points”. It was a lot of fun!

    Here’s what I’ve noticed in life: when people say negative things, complain about you, etc… most of them are just jealous. That’s my opinion, but normally it’s true!

    Stay encouraged and keep on doing what you enjoy! :)

  • Shoot_Straight

    While I’ll fully admit to being jealous of your lifestyle these days, I don’t begrudge your for a minute. Everyone has to make a living, and you’ve found an incredible way to do so!

    That said, repeating throwaway lines like this one, is fairly meaningless: “Note: I was compensated by Chase for my participation in this campaign, but all opinions expressed are completely my own”. It’s someone insulting to our intelligence. The company is paying to send you around the world in premium classes and stay at great hotels, and I presume compensating you in cash on top of that. To act as though your objectivity is completely uncompromised is silly.

  • Vc

    If this is limited to only those on FB then I guess I am SOL. :(

  • JoeB

    Since you’re always asking for honest feedback: I despise daily entry sweepstakes. There’s no way I’m schlepping over to a site ever day to enter. Or keeping up with the joneses with multiple email addresses.

  • http://twitter.com/stiffem Bob

    This guy is the biggest shill of all the bloggers…he is not a journalist by any stretch of the imagination. He shills for Delta and now this. Isn’t it enough to make money with credit card links, how can he not be beholden to these companies.

  • Rjjohnsony

    I can’t believe some of these comments!! Let me share my expreience. Since I first encountered your site a little over a year ago I have taken out numerous credit cards. We have taken 1 trip for free in business for 2 a few months ago, to Europe and have enough mileage points for another 3 round trip business class trips for 2 to Europe. We stayed for 3 nights in Singapore in a $400 /night room and 4 nights in a Hilton for nothing. I certainly have the greatest admiration for you and love your site. Thanks for much, Joanne

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  • Mf71939

    how do I convert points to mails?

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