Make sure you do these 5 things when you get the Chase Sapphire Preferred
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There’s no question that the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is one of my all-around favorite credit cards. Before the Chase Sapphire Reserve launched, I used the Sapphire Preferred for years to cover most of my purchases — thanks to the 2x points earned on all travel and dining, two broad categories that cover far more than just the obvious restaurants and hotels.
And those points earned are incredibly valuable with all sorts of redemption options. Add in the current all-time high sign-up bonus — 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months from account opening, plus a $50 statement credit on grocery purchases in the first year of account opening — and it’s easily one of the best travel credit cards out there, especially for beginners to points and miles.
If you just got your Chase Sapphire Preferred, make sure you take these steps so that you’re maximizing your card from day one.
Consider adding an authorized user
Having an authorized user on your Sapphire Preferred account lets you earn points faster and makes it easier to hit the card’s $4,000 spending threshold to earn the current 80,000-point sign-up bonus. It can also enable you to transfer the points to a frequent flyer or hotel program account in the name of one household member who is also an authorized user on your card.
It takes less than a minute to add an authorized user online, and there are a ton of ways to maximize Chase points.
Add your card to takeout and delivery apps
By adding the Chase Sapphire Preferred to delivery services such as Seamless and Grubhub, you’ll maximize your point-earning ability, since you get 2x points on all dining purchases. If you have other cards that earn extra points for dining at restaurants, such as the American Express® Gold Card (4x per dollar spent worldwide), you may want to use those cards instead. Regardless, be sure to add your card to dining rewards programs to earn bonus points for eating at restaurants.
And you definitely don’t want to forget DoorDash! You’ll want to add your card to your account and activate your complimentary year of DashPass as soon as you can so you can start enjoying $0 delivery and reduced service fees on eligible orders.
Set the card as your default for future travel purchases
When you pay for travel with the Sapphire Preferred, you’ll earn 2x points for every dollar spent, even on expenses such as E-ZPass tolls and monthly parking. Based on TPG’s valuations, this equals a 4% return on spending.
When taking a Lyft ride charged to your Sapphire Preferred you’ll actually earn 5x points until March 2022.
Chase defines travel very broadly, counting “airlines, hotels, motels, timeshares, car rental agencies, cruise lines, travel agencies, discount travel sites, campgrounds and operators of passenger trains, buses, taxis, limousines, ferries, toll bridges and highways, and parking lots and garages” as travel for 2x points on the Chase Sapphire Preferred.
Not only that, but the card comes with some built-in travel protections that make it a really smart choice when booking your next flight, car rental, etc.
Update your rental car profile
Adding your Chase Sapphire Preferred info to your various rental car profiles lets you take advantage of the card’s primary rental car coverage, which will save you a bundle on each car rental. This gives you full coverage for many car rentals around the world. Plus, car rentals count as travel and earn the 2x point bonus, so you’ll get double points and enhanced protections.
As travel starts to return and domestic road trips are being planned, this is an increasingly important step to take.
Complete the Chase Quartet
When the time is right for you, adding the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card, Chase Freedom Flex and/or Chase Freedom Unlimited cards, you’ll be able to build your Ultimate Rewards balance more quickly.
With the Ink, for example, you can earn 3x on the first $150,000 spent each account anniversary on travel; shipping purchases; internet, cable and phone services; and advertising purchases made with social media sites.
Meanwhile, the Freedom Unlimited offers 1.5% cash back on purchases, but that cash back comes in the form of Ultimate Rewards points that can be combined with the ones from your other Chase Trifecta cards and transferred to valuable airline and hotel partners.
Finally, the rotating quarterly categories on the Chase Freedom Flex let you earn at 5x points per dollar with specific types of merchants each quarter, on up to $1,500 in spending per quarter. Both the Freedom Flex and Freedom Unlimited also offer 5% back on travel booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and 3% back on dining and drugstores.
Remember Chase’s 5/24 rule, under which Chase won’t approve your application for additional credit cards if you’ve opened five or more credit cards (from any bank) in the last two years, and make sure you sign up for these three cards before adding others to your portfolio.
Even after 10 years, I still love the Chase Sapphire Preferred as a great card with an annual fee under $100, and I think you will, too. Just be sure to follow the steps above to make sure you’re earning as many points as possible. Your hard work when you get the card can definitely pay off with some epic award trips just around the corner.
Featured photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,650
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
- Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
- Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.