How to use the new $50 hotel credit on the Chase Sapphire Preferred
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A few months ago, Chase refreshed its ever-popular Sapphire cards, adding several new bonus categories and perks. In particular, these changes raised the value proposition of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, an (already) excellent travel credit card that charges just a $95 annual fee.
One of the new Sapphire Preferred benefits is a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards hotel statement credit. While $50 may not seem like much in the grand scheme of things, this credit certainly shouldn’t be overlooked, since maximizing this benefit alone covers more than half of the card’s annual fee.
Here’s how the Chase Sapphire Preferred’s hotel credit works — for both new and existing cardholders.
You may or may not have access to the credit just yet
However, the same doesn’t hold true for this new hotel credit. Depending on when you opened your Sapphire Preferred, you may not have access to your $50 hotel credit just yet.
Any new cardholders that have opened their card since Aug. 16 will have access to this $50 hotel credit right off the bat. However, if you opened the Sapphire Preferred before this date, the $50 hotel credit won’t hit your account until after your next account anniversary (and you’ve paid the annual fee).
Fortunately, it’s been exactly a year since I opened my Chase Sapphire Preferred, so I was excited to test out this credit as soon as possible. Since I needed to find a hotel anyway for a one-night stay in Madrid, this was the perfect time to use the credit.
You must book with the Ultimate Rewards portal
With this benefit, it’s not a $50 statement credit for any hotel that you book and pay for with your card. You must specifically make your reservation through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. According to the perk’s terms:
$50 Annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit: A statement credit will automatically be applied to your account when your card is used for hotel accommodation purchases made through the Ultimate Rewards program, up to an annual maximum accumulation of $50. Annual means the year beginning with your account open date through the first statement date after your account anniversary, and the 12 monthly billing cycles after that each year. Annually, the first $50 in Ultimate Rewards hotel purchases will not earn rewards points. Statement credit(s) will post to your account within two days after your purchase posts to your account and will appear on your monthly credit card billing statement within 1-2 billing cycles.
Be warned that when you book your hotel stay through the Ultimate Rewards portal, you likely won’t earn any hotel points or elite night credits, nor enjoy any elite perks you might be entitled to when booking directly with a hotel group.
That said, there’s still value to be found with booking through the Ultimate Rewards portal, as you can use it to book boutique or independent hotels that don’t have a loyalty program anyway.
How to use the $50 hotel credit on the Chase Sapphire Preferred
It’s relatively easy to make hotel bookings through Ultimate Rewards to unlock the $50 statement credit.
First, log onto the Ultimate Rewards portal. If you have multiple Chase cards, make sure that your Sapphire Preferred is selected in the upper left corner. Then, you’ll want to select “Travel” on the menu to the left to launch the portal.
The Chase portal is powered by Expedia, so you’ll find many of the same tools (and a very similar interface) here. You can search any hotel based on city or airport code.
After perusing the options, I found a hotel that was about $240 per night. Next, I selected my room and pressed checkout. In the payment options, be sure to select “Save my points for later” and pay with your Sapphire Preferred instead of redeeming your Ultimate Rewards points to book this stay.
It was easy as that — I then had a confirmed booking, and the pending charge immediately posted to my statement.
Now for the burning question: How long does it take for the $50 statement credit to post to your account? Although the charge for the hotel posted on Sep. 27, I didn’t receive my $50 statement credit until two days after my stay was over — on Oct. 5.
Overall, the $50 hotel statement credit is incredibly easy to use and is one of many ways to find value with the Sapphire Preferred. Though, it’s important to note that you might not receive the $50 hotel credit until after you complete the stay. So if you’re planning a trip far in advance, don’t expect to see the credit immediately.
Even then, I had no issues with my credit posting automatically to my account in a timely manner. However, if you do run into any issues with your credit, you can always call the Chase customer service number on the back of your Sapphire Preferred.
Is the $50 hotel credit worth it?
This new benefit reminds me of the $100 annual hotel credit per calendar year on the Citi Premier® Card (a competing card also with a $95 annual fee). However, that hotel credit is much more difficult to use, as you have to spend at least $500 (on a single hotel stay; excluding taxes and fees) and book through the Citi ThankYou portal for it to apply.
Meanwhile, the $50 hotel credit on the Chase Sapphire Preferred has virtually no restrictions — save for the fact that you need to book on the Ultimate Rewards portal. On the “Rewards Activity” part of the Ultimate Rewards portal, you can also track if you’ve successfully received your $50 hotel credit for that account year.
Chase continues to make the Sapphire Preferred a valuable and trusted option for cardholders, and this annual $50 hotel statement credit alone ensures that I’ll keep this card for the foreseeable future. Although not a high dollar amount, a $50 discount can still be considerable, especially when the card’s annual fee is only $95 per year. Once you consider all the other benefits of the card, it’s hard not to justify adding the Sapphire Preferred to your wallet.
Official application link: Chase Sapphire Preferred with 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first three months of account opening.
Featured photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy.
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