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While cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred offer a bonus for travel purchases, some charges might not be eligible due how they’re “coded.” Below, TPG Contributor Vikram Birring shares his experience getting a missing bonus after contacting customer service. 

After returning from a recent trip to Belize, I reviewed my Chase Sapphire Preferred charges and noticed that I was missing double points for my rental car. As I started looking into this further, I noticed there were other recent charges where I didn’t receive double points: fees for Turkey and India e-visas and some hotel certificates.

I used the Chase secure messaging system to notify the customer service team of this anomaly, but I was told that since the merchants weren’t classified with a travel code, unfortunately I wouldn’t receive double points. However, I decided to try one more thing before giving up. I called the number on the back of my Sapphire Preferred Card and asked out of curiosity why I wouldn’t receive double points if these were obviously travel purchases. That was a wise decision, as the kind customer service agent notified me that they can write appeals on their end for the points, though there’s no guarantee of any positive results.

If you don't receive bonus points on a travel purchase, try calling the number on the back of your Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.
If you don’t receive bonus points on a travel purchase, try calling the number on the back of your Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.

Within 72 hours, I noticed that my Ultimate Rewards balance went up by a few hundred points. This was a pleasant and unexpected surprise, as this entire process seems to be entirely unadvertised by Chase. Just as how TPG Contributor Akash Gupta was able to retroactively enjoy Amex Offers by contacting customer service, reaching out to the Sapphire Preferred team allowed me to get the points I was expecting regardless of how the charges were coded.

Bottom Line

If you feel you’re missing out on points and get shot down by the secure messaging system, just pick up the phone and call. The agents are helpful, the wait time is minimal and you could be rewarded with the Ultimate Rewards points you were hoping to receive. It’s yet another example of why it never hurts to ask!

For more information on what counts as a travel purchase, see these posts:

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
16.49% - 23.49% Variable
Annual Fee
Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95
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.