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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.

Which credit card is best to use for dining in the second quarter? Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

In April, May and June of 2015, the Chase Freedom also offers 5X points on purchases at Bed, Bath & Beyond, 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

Chase Freedom®

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.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases — it's automatic
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 15.49-24.24%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • Enjoy new 5% categories every 3 months
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • No annual fee
Intro APR on Purchases
0% for 15 months
Regular APR
15.49% - 24.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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.