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There’s no question that Chase Sapphire Preferred Card has historically been one of my all-around favorite credit cards. Before the Chase Sapphire Reserve launched, I used the Chase Sapphire Preferred for most of my purchases, thanks to the 2x points on all travel and dining, including expenses like Uber rides, tolls, Seamless and Postmates, in addition to the obvious restaurants and hotels. I consider Ultimate Rewards points to be incredibly valuable, so I’ve earned lots of points that I very often put to good use. This card also has a strong sign-up bonus of 50,000 points when you spend $4,000 within the first three months.
But as always, there are tricks to keep in mind in order to be a Chase Sapphire Preferred power user. Be sure to follow these steps to make the most of your card after it arrives in the mail:
1. Add an Authorized User
It takes less than a minute to add an authorized user online, and there are a ton of ways to maximize Chase points.
2. Update Your Rental Car Profile
Adding your CSP info to your various rental car profiles lets you take advantage of Chase Sapphire Preferred’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 under the 2x point travel bonus, so you’ll get double points and enhanced protection.
3. Set the CSP as Your Default for Travel Purchases
When you pay for travel with the Sapphire Preferred, you’ll earn 2 points for every dollar spent, even on expenses like E-ZPass and monthly parking. Based on TPG’s valuations, this equals a 4% return on spending. Of course, this is if you don’t have the Chase Sapphire Reserve, which earns you 3 points per dollar on all the same purchases. Also add Sapphire to your Uber account so you get 2x points and no foreign transaction fees when using Uber abroad. Chase defines travel very broadly, counting “airlines, hotels, motels, timeshares, campgrounds, car rental agencies, cruise lines, travel agencies, discount travel sites, operators of passengers trains, buses, taxis, limos, ferries, tolls, bridges, highways, and parking lots and garages” as travel for 2x points on the CSP.
4. Add Your Card to Online Dining Sites
By adding the Chase Sapphire Preferred to delivery services like Seamless, you’ll maximize your point earning ability since you get 2x points on all dining purchases. Again, this is only if you don’t have the Reserve, which will earn 3x points on dining. And if you have the American Express® Gold Card, you’ll probably want to use that card to earn 4x points at US restaurants, but you can switch to the CSP to earn 2x at eateries abroad. Unfortunately, there are reports of GrubHub and some other delivery outfits not always earning 2x points, but as of this writing, Seamless does get you bonus points on restaurant deliveries, and you can test other services to see whether they also code as dining. Also, be sure to add your card to dining rewards programs to earn bonus miles for eating at restaurants.
5. Complete the “Chase Trifecta”
By adding the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card and Chase Freedom Unlimited cards, you’ll be able to build your Ultimate Rewards balance even more quickly. With Ink, for example, you can earn 3 points per dollar on the first $150,000 spent annually 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 every purchase, 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.
Note that Chase may not approve your application for Ultimate Rewards-earning cards if you’ve opened more than four credit cards (from any bank) in the last two years, so make sure you sign up for these three cards before adding others to your portfolio.
Featured photo by Eric Helgas for The Points Guy
With some great bonus categories, the American Express Gold Card has a lot going for it. The card offers 4x points at US restaurants, at US supermarkets (up to $25,000; then 1x), and 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or through amextravel.com. It is currently offering a welcome bonus of 35,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 in the first three months.
- Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months.
- Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. restaurants. Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X).
- Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
- Earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with The Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Shake Shack, and Ruth's Chris Steak House. This is an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
- $100 Airline Fee Credit: up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees at one selected qualifying airline.
- Choose to carry a balance with interest on eligible charges of $100 or more.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- Annual Fee is $250.
- Terms apply.
- See Rates & Fees