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TPG reader Nik tweeted me to ask:

@thepointsguy—”I’m taking my Chase Sapphire Preferred card to Japan in April. Does the whole trip count as travel for double points since it’s overseas?”

Nik, heading to Japan in April will be a great trip. I was just there recently and had a wonderful time, and so will you. While taking your Chase Sapphire Preferred card is a great idea (thanks to no foreign transaction fees), not every purchase outside of the United States counts as travel (don’t we all wish).

Chase includes quite a bit in their travel category. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.
Chase includes a wide array of expenses in the travel category. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Chase defines travel as

“airlines, hotels, motels, timeshares, campgrounds, car rental agencies, cruise lines, travel agencies, discount travel sites, operators of passengers trains, buses, taxis, limos, ferrys, tolls, bridges, highways, and parking lots and garages.”

If you use your Sapphire Preferred for spending in any of those categories, you’ll earn double Ultimate Rewards points. Chase provides very good customer service, so if you ever spend in those categories and don’t earn a bonus, you can always call and take it up with a phone representative. So long as your request is reasonable, chances are good that it will be honored.

Chase just recently refreshed the Ultimate Rewards website, where you can monitor your account and check each transaction to see whether it counted for double points.

Have a great trip to Japan, and remember to use your Chase card for dining as well as travel expenses!

If you have any other questions, please tweet me @thepointsguy, message me on Facebook, or send me an email at

The best beginner points and miles card out there.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

With great travel benefits, 2x points on travel & dining and a 50,000 point sign up bonus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game. Here are the top 5 reasons it should be in your wallet, or read our definitive review for more details.

Apply Now
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®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • 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
17.99% - 24.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$0 Intro for the First Year, then $95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the 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.