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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Chase Sapphire Preferred
TPG reader Suzanne tweeted me to ask:
@thepointsguy – “For next quarter, is it better to use the Chase Sapphire Preferred card and earn 2X on dining plus the 7% dividend, or use the Chase Freedom for 5X?”
To be a real points pro, you need to learn how to maximize the earning of points, not just redeeming. While it’s important to learn the ins and outs of different frequent flyer programs, earning points at a high rate and having a good strategy is crucial.
Suzanne is wondering which card to use on dining next quarter: her Chase Freedom card (which will earn 5X points per dollar spent) or her Chase Sapphire Preferred card (which will give her 2.14X points, dividend included). While the answer seems obvious — five points is more than two — there are other factors to consider.
In April, May and June of 2015, the Chase Freedom also offers 5X points on purchases at Bed, Bath & Beyond, Overstock.com and H&M. The bonus has a collective cap at $1,500 of spending for the quarter. For example, if you plan to spend $750 at Bed, Bath & Beyond and $750 at H&M, your cap will be met, and you can put all your dining expenses on the Sapphire Preferred. However, if you don’t plan to spend that much in the other categories (or at all), then you should get the 5X on the Freedom while the offer lasts (up to $1,500). You can find the full calendar of quarterly Freedom categories here.
Keep in mind that the Chase Sapphire Preferred offers 3X points on dining the first Friday of every month, and with the Dividend that’s 3.21 points, so you could use the Sapphire Preferred on those days.
All in all, you should maximize that $1,500 worth of 5X bonus spending one way or another, whether it be on dining or shopping at the other stores previously mentioned. Once you hit the cap, spend on dining using the Chase Sapphire Preferred.
If you have any other questions, please tweet me @thepointsguy, message me on Facebook, or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. It's a stellar Cash Back card on its own, but when paired with the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Sapphire Preferred, the Freedom's 5x Category Bonuses let you rack up Chase Ultimate Rewards Points, transferrable to partners or redeemable via the portal.
It's a stellar Cash Back card on its own, but when paired with the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Sapphire Preferred, the Freedom's 5x Category Bonuses let you rack up Chase Ultimate Rewards Points, transferrable to partners or redeemable via the portal.