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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 lunch time on the east coast so I wanted to send out a little reminder that this is the first Friday of the month – and that means it’s time to earn 3x points on dining purchases today if you have the Chase Sapphire or Sapphire Preferred cards. And remember, earning 3x points with your Sapphire Preferred really means earning 3.21x points per $1 thanks to its 7% annual points dividend.
The bonus works at any restaurant you’d normally earn 2X points at – so both within the US and abroad (since the Sapphire Preferred doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees). The bonus also works at many coffee houses like Starbucks as well as many bars and lounges that serve food and are coded as restaurants as many of my favorite places in New York, Miami and Los Angeles do.
For your purchase to qualify for the 3x points today, 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.
Before you just go out and buy lunch or dinner and leave it at that, though, there are a few other ways to double and triple dip. First, the promotion is part of Chase Sapphire’s partnership with OpenTable (you don’t have to book through OpenTable in order to earn the 3X points), and by booking through OpenTable, you can triple dip with OpenTable Rewards and earn an additional 1% back in the form of future dining credit. Then, if you also do some homework to book a restaurant in your airline’s dining rewards network and then pay with your Sapphire or Sapphire Preferred and book through OpenTable, this could be a really lucrative promotion and a great way to maximize earning points on dining.
Even if you don’t have dining out plans today, 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 Chili’s and Outback Steakhouse, so this can be a good way to make sure you’re earning those bonus points on future meals.
And some, like Fleming’s Steakhouse, give you either a bonus value on gift cards or a separate bonus card – so right now when you buy a $100 Fleming’s gift card, you get a $20 bonus card – which is a nice little boost in and of itself.
Just remember, you might get better bonuses using other cards at other kinds of merchants for these purchases, for instance by 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. Also remember that the Chase Freedom is offering 5x points per $1 on restaurants through June 30 – though that is capped at $1,500 in spending (so 7,500 points total) and you have another 2 months to max that out, so you might still want to opt for your Sapphire Preferred today instead.
The Ultimate Rewards portal is also offering 15x points per $1 on the purchase of gift certificates at Restaurants.com – and though these purchase won’t count as dining purchases, that’s still a lot more points per $1 than 3x and you get $25 in value for a $10, so take that into consideration when plotting out your strategy. That earning bonus is good through December 31, 2014.
Maybe I’ll see some of you out and about at lunch!
For reference, here are the rest of the first Fridays in 2014: