Chase reveals best-ever 80,000-point offer for Sapphire Preferred and increased bonus for Sapphire Reserve
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Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new card details and information.
Whether you’re already planning a trip for later this year or are in a rewards-earning mode for travel in 2022, now is an excellent time to apply for a credit card.
There are a lot of card options right now for just about every type of traveler, and many of them come with over $1,000 in value in the first year thanks to increased bonuses. Two cards on that list of those with recently increased offers are the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve. Both of these top travel cards just got sign-up bonuses that make them even more enticing to add to your wallet.
In fact, this is the best public sign-up bonus we have ever seen for the Chase Sapphire Preferred in its 12-year history.
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Chase Sapphire Preferred 80,000 point offer
Sign-up bonus: Earn 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points when you spend $4,000 in the first three months from account opening. Additionally, get up to $50 in statement credits for grocery purchases in the first year of account opening. TPG values this offer at $1,650.
Annual fee: $95
Earning rate: Earn 5x on Lyft (through March 2022), 2x on travel and dining, 1x on everything else
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is Chase’s mid-tier travel credit card option.
It has a very reasonable $95 annual fee and little in the way of luxury perks, but you do get solid travel protections and a few benefits through Chase’s partnerships. This includes a minimum of one year of complimentary DashPass (must activate by Dec. 31, 2021), bonus points on Lyft rides and up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access membership through Dec. 31, 2021.
Of course, you can also get a lot of value from this card because of the fact that it earns Ultimate Rewards points.
You can transfer points earned to hotel and airline partners, but you can also redeem your points at a 25% bonus through the Chase travel portal. In a time when cash prices for hotels and airfare are potentially still lower than the award rates, having the option to book through the portal for 1.25 cents apiece can be a game-changer. The card also has the Pay Yourself Back program, which lets you redeem for select non-travel purchases as well, at least through April 30, 2021.
Related: Chase Sapphire Preferred card review
APPLY NOW: Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
Chase Sapphire Reserve 60,000 point offer
Sign-up bonus: Earn 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points when you spend $4,000 in the first three months from account opening. TPG values this offer at $1,200.
Annual fee: $550
Earning rate: Earn 10x on Lyft (through March 2022), 3x on travel and dining, 1x on everything else
The Chase Sapphire Reserve is Chase’s ultra-premium card option. It charges a $550 annual fee, but it also comes with a lot of benefits that can make the cost worth it for regular travelers.
You get a $300 annual travel credit (which can also be used towards gas or groceries through Dec. 31, 2021), Priority Pass Select lounge access, up to $100 every four years for your Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fees, one year of complimentary Lyft Pink (must activate by March 31, 2022), at least one year of complimentary DashPass (must activate by Dec. 31, 2021), up to $60 in DoorDash credits (through Dec. 31, 2021), up to $120 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access membership (through Dec. 31, 2021) and unmatched travel protections.
Additionally, you’ll have access to Chase’s travel partners as well as a 50% redemption bonus when you book travel through the Chase portal. And just like the Preferred, you have access to the Pay Yourself Back program as well, at least through Sept. 30, 2021.
Related: Chase Sapphire Reserve card review
APPLY NOW: Chase Sapphire Reserve
Things to consider
Which card is best for you?
The Chase Sapphire Preferred has the more valuable sign-up bonus, but there are a lot of benefits that come with the Chase Sapphire Reserve that may make it the more attractive card for travelers long-term.
If you’re a points and miles beginner or someone who doesn’t travel more than a couple of times per year, the Preferred is a great option.
It has a low $95 annual fee that’s easy to offset through spending and the benefits that do come with the card. But for those who travel a lot and can make use of benefits like the Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credits, lounge access, annual travel credit and other perks, the Reserve is a great option.
Of course, you can always apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred now to earn the 80,000-point sign-up bonus, and then request an upgrade to the Chase Sapphire Reserve after a year. That way you’re getting the best sign-up bonus now while gaining access to the Reserve’s long list of benefits after the first year if you are approved for the upgrade.
Credit score requirements
While the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for beginner travelers, true beginners to credit cards may have a hard time getting approved for it. You’ll need to have established a credit history for the best chances at getting approved. According to Credit Karma, the average required score is in the low-to-mid 700s. While that doesn’t mean you can’t get approved with a 640, it does lower your chances.
For the Chase Sapphire Reserve, you’ll want a very good to excellent credit score. It’s a premium card, which are among the hardest to be approved for. While there’s no hard and fast rules for what score you have to have, the longer your credit history and the higher your score, the better.
Chase Sapphire application restrictions
Keep in mind that you can’t have both the Reserve and Preferred open at the same time.
You’ll need to wait at least 48 months between receiving the sign-up bonus on the Sapphire Preferred and receiving the bonus on the Reserve, so it’s a pretty big commitment (although you may be able to product change from one to the other after your first year with the card).
Another important restriction to keep in mind when debating the Chase Sapphire Preferred is Chase’s 5/24 rule. This prevents you from being approved for Chase cards, including the Sapphire Preferred, if you’ve opened five or more personal credit cards across all banks in the last 24 months. This won’t be as much of an issue for those who are new to the award travel hobby, but if you’ve applied for several credit cards lately, you’ll want to make sure you’re eligible for this card and its sign-up bonus. The 5/24 rule also may make it worth prioritizing this application over other cards.
It’s been a long time since we’ve seen an elevated sign-up bonus available on the Chase Sapphire Reserve as the welcome bonus is usually 50,000 points. And with the Chase Sapphire Preferred, this is actually the highest public bonus we have ever seen at 80,000 points after hitting the spending requirements and a $50 statement credit towards grocery charges. The most common welcome bonus for the Preferred in recent times is just 60,000 points, making this a huge increase.
You can’t really go wrong with either card, but you’ll want to make sure you pick the card that will fit your travel needs long-term. This could mean applying for the Chase Sapphire Preferred’s 80,000 point offer and sacrificing some of the luxury perks for the lower annual fee while your travel patterns are still down.
Or you could potentially apply for the Preferred, get the higher bonus and request an upgrade to the Reserve down the line. However, if you want to make the most of lounge access and the annual travel credit for travel in 2021, the Chase Sapphire Reserve‘s 60,000 point offer is the better choice.
Featured image by John Gribben for 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.