One of the reasons the Chase Sapphire Preferred is one of my all-round favorite points-earning travel credit cards is the fact that it earns 2X Ultimate Rewards points per $1 on dining (as does the Chase Sapphire). But for all your foodies out there, dining out just became even more lucrative because Chase Sapphire has partnered with OpenTable to offer 3X points per $1 on dining on the first Friday of each month now through the end of 2013 when you pay for a meal with your Sapphire Preferred or Sapphire cards.
Although the Sapphire card earns Ultimate Rewards points that can just be used towards cash back or redeemed for travel at 1 cent apiece, if you have the Sapphire Preferred or either the Ink Bold or Ink Plus cards, you can transfer your Ultimate Rewards points to one of the program’s travel transfer partners including: British Airways, Korean Air, Southwest, United, Virgin Atlantic (this is new!), Hyatt, Marriott, Priority Club, Ritz-Carlton and Amtrak.
So by dining out on a first Friday, you’re potentially earning 3 United miles or Hyatt points for example, which I conservatively value at about 2 cents each. Not only that, but if your card is linked to your airline or hotel program’s dining rewards network and you dine out at a participating restaurant, you’re earning a potential 3-5 miles per dollar on top of that bringing your miles-earning up to a potential 8 miles per dollar.
Although the promotion is part of Chase Sapphire’s partnership with OpenTable, you don’t actually have to book through OpenTable in order to earn the 3X points. However, by booking through OpenTable, you have a chance to triple dip with OpenTable Rewards and earn an additional 1% back in the form of future dining credit.
Even if you don’t have big plans for the first Friday, another potentially lucrative strategy could be to stop by restaurants you know you’ll be frequenting in the future and buying gift cards or certificates for future use. That way you can earn the 3X points on future dines, not just on the single day. For the 3X bonus, though, you’ve got to do this in the restaurant itself. However, if you have the Ink Bold or Ink Plus, you can buy restaurant gift cards at office supply stores for 5X points per $1 every day, so keep that in mind.
If you do a little research and use OpenTable to book a restaurant in your airline’s dining rewards network and then pay with your Sapphire or Sapphire Preferred, this could be a really lucrative promotion and a great way to maximize earning points on dining.
So if you want to plan ahead, here are the dates of the next few first Friday’s so you can get a jump on your reservations and be sure to maximize the bonus points on your dining:
Just note, that the transaction has to occur by midnight in the time zone in which you are dining – so if you go out for a late meal be sure you’ve gotten the check and paid before then!
Hat tip: Online Travel Review.
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