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Official application link: Chase Sapphire Preferred Card with a 60,000-point bonus.

While it’s not uncommon for credit card issuers to offer limited-time elevated welcome bonuses on specific products as a way to attract new customers, Chase has historically favored a more consistent approach with its Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.

For most of its nearly 10-year history, the Sapphire Preferred has offered a sign-up bonus of 50,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months. However, that was just increased to 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months. And this isn’t a limited-time offer; this is the new standard sign-up bonus for the CSP, for the foreseeable future.

So now you’ll earn an extra 10,000 points compared to the previous offer, but the caveat is that the card’s $95 annual fee is no longer waived the first year. While some would-be card holders are disappointed that they can no longer get 12 months with the card before paying the fee, a closer look at the math shows that they’ll still come out ahead with this new bonus.

Which Offer Is Better?

The card benefits haven’t changed in any way, so you’ll still enjoy 2x points on broadly defined travel and dining bonus categories, incredible travel, baggage and car rental insurance, and a number of other perks. The two welcome offers break down as follows:

  • New offer: Earn 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months. Annual fee of $95 is not waived
  • Old offer: Earn 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months, $95 annual fee is waived for the first year.

TPG values Ultimate Rewards points at 2 cents each, making the 60,000-point offer worth a whopping $1,200. Any time you can get more than $1,000 from a single credit card, it’s an easy win.

With the 60,000-point offer, you’re essentially getting an extra 10,000 points (worth $200) for only $95. Put another way, you’re buying them at 0.95 cents each, or less than half of what TPG values them at.

Let’s take a look at the value you can get from an extra 10,000 Ultimate Rewards points.

$125 of Travel Through the Chase Portal

While this isn’t always the best redemption option, the Chase Sapphire Preferred has a 25% bonus if you redeem your points directly through the Chase portal. This means that 10,000 points will get you $125 of free flights and hotels, an effective $30 profit after you pay your annual fee. As a bonus, flights booked through the Chase portal are revenue tickets, meaning you’ll earn miles and elite credits on them.

2 Nights at a Category 1 Hyatt

Chase points transfer 1:1 to World of Hyatt, and with Hyatt’s Category 1 hotels starting at only 5,000 points a night, you could essentially “buy” two free Hyatt nights for only $95. Depending on where you’re staying, Category 1 hotels can cost $150 or more per night. Take a look at the Hyatt Regency North Dallas, a Category 1 property. Two nights here would cost $342, giving you almost a $250 return on your Chase Sapphire Preferred annual fee.

Short-Haul Oneworld Flights With British Airways

While 10,000 points might not be enough by itself to book an entire international vacation, it can come in handy for booking shorter flights. British Airways uses a distance-based award chart for its own flights and those on Oneworld partner airlines, and you can find some great sweet spots here in markets that would otherwise be very expensive.

Hong Kong (HKG) to Tokyo Narita (NRT) covers a distance of ~1,800 flight miles, meaning you’d need exactly 10,000 Avios to book this one-way economy award. How convenient, given that Ultimate Rewards transfer to British Airways at a 1:1 ratio! If you were to book this on Cathay Pacific or Japan Airlines, you could easily end up paying $650 for the same flight.

Or you could book a shorter one-way economy award from Hong Kong to Beijing (PEK) for only 7,500 Avios. You’d save over $500 on this cash ticket, and would still have 2,500 points left over to jump-start your next adventure.

Bottom Line

While it’s good to be cautious about taking on new annual fees (especially if you already have one or more premium credit card), it’s important to carefully look at how much value you can get in return for paying that fee. In this case, even if you take the simplest option and redeem your points through the Chase portal, you’ll come out $30 ahead with the Sapphire Preferred’s new 60,000-point welcome offer compared to the older 50k one with a waived fee the first year. If you leverage the right transfer partner, those 10,000 extra points could easily net you several hundred dollars’ worth of value.

Know before you go.

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2018 TPG Award Winner: Mid-Tier Card of the Year
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

NEW INCREASED OFFER: 60,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200

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.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 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, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
18.24% - 25.24% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

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.