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Update: As of July 20, 2014, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card no longer offers the 7% annual points dividend. View the current sign up offer here.
It’s almost lunchtime on the east coast, which means you’re probably thinking about where to eat and hopefully which credit card to use to maximize the points on your dining purchase, so I wanted to post a reminder that today is the first Friday of March and you can earn 3X points per $1 at restaurants using your Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire cards today.
Chase originally launched First Friday for 2013, but announced that First Friday would be extended throughout 2014 as well, so there are a lot more delicious dining bonus points in our future. The bonus works at any restaurant you’d normally earn 2X points at – so internationally as well as within the US, and at many coffee places like Starbucks as well as at a lot of bars and lounges that are coded as restaurants as many of my favorite places in Miami and New York are. You just have to purchase by 11:59pm in the time zone you’re in, so make sure you get the bill before midnight! Plus, if you have the Sapphire Preferred, you’re actually earning 3.21X points per $1 factoring in the annual 7% points dividend.
The promotion is part of Chase Sapphire’s partnership with OpenTable, but you don’t have to book through OpenTable in order to earn the 3X points. However, if you do, you can triple dip with OpenTable Rewards and earn an additional 1% back in the form of future dining credit. 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.
If you’re not going to eat out tomorrow, you can still earn 3X points on dining purchase by buying gift cards or certificates directly from restaurants you know you’ll be eating at in the future. A lot of restaurants sell gift cards or certificates directly, like Outback Steakhouse, so this is a good way to make sure you’re earning those bonus points on future meals.
And some like Applebee’s give you bonus value on gift cards, like $10 extra on a $50 gift card, which is a nice 20% bonus in itself. Just remember that in the case of Ultimate Rewards points, you might be getting better bonuses using other cards at other kinds of merchants, for instance using the Ink Bold or Ink Plus to purchase restaurant gift cards at Staples and earning 5X Ultimate Rewards points per $1 with the card’s everyday office supply store category bonus.
For reference, here are the rest of the first Fridays in 2014: