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When deciding on a credit card to commit to, things can become pretty overwhelming. Not only does it feel like every credit card company on the planet is vying for your business, but it can be very difficult to weed the good details out from all of the bad ones out there.
My first travel credit card was the Chase Sapphire Preferred. (It’s currently offering 50,000 signup points and just a $95 annual fee.)
I want to tell you the reasons I chose to make it my first card and why I think it’ll be perfect for you as well.
1. The 50,000 Point Sign up Bonus Worth $1,000
This is the highest sign up bonus available for personal cards. Currently the Amex Platinum Card offers 75,000 points (but it comes with a $450 annual fee).
The annual fee on this card is $95, and these 50,000 points easily offset that annual fee. We value these points at 2 cents each, meaning these points are worth as much as $1,000.
If you want to dig deeper, we did compare the Amex Platinum vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve (which also has a $450 annual fee) to see how Chase stacks up against Amex.
2. 2x Points on Dining and Travel
You earn 2X points on any of these experiences you are already spending money on or have plans to in the future (we hope!):
- Any restaurant or seamless order you make
- Garage parking in New York or New Brunswick
- Uber or Lyft, so you’ll never worry about taking a taxi again
- Train tickets in Europe
- Your own chartered helicopter using BLADE
So that means when you’re out dining with friends, you win by paying with your card and having them all venmo you back 🙂
3. Chase Ultimate Rewards Points Make It a Breeze to Fly to New Zealand Using Points
Did you know that you can book a one-way flight to New Zealand for just 40,000 points with United Airlines?
Although they currently have a Star Alliance partnership with Air New Zealand, which offers nonstop flights to San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Houston, United Airlines started offering the service itself back in 2015 between San Francisco and Auckland.
We have a full breakdown of the transfer partners for Chase Ultimate Rewards and other ways to maximize your points.
4. Chase Ultimate Rewards Points Make It a Breeze to Stay at a Ritz Carlton Using Points
You can stay at a Tier 3 Ritz Carlton property for just 50,000 points.
The particularly interesting thing about Ritz Carlton properties is that, while their points can be used at other properties, they actually have their own unique award system.
By using their loyalty awards points chart, your sign up bonus with the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card can actually get you a free night in a Tier 3 property with Ritz Carlton.
If you have 70,000 points to use, you qualify for a free night at a Tier 5 property, like the Ritz Carlton, Hong Kong.
5. When Traveling Abroad, You Will Save 2-3% On All Transactions
This is because the card has no foreign transaction fees. For those of you who have never traveled abroad, transaction fees are a real pain.
They basically increase the price of everything by 2-3% and they justify it as the cost to exchange currency.
While many different credit card companies are beginning to get rid of them, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card has always waived them for their customers, which proves that this card is ahead of the curve in many aspects.
If you are unsure what foreign transaction fees even mean, it typically means that you will save between 2 and 3% on all transactions that you make while abroad.
Chase Sapphire Preferred Is The Best Travel Credit Card for Beginning Flight Hackers
When I was first getting into the hobby of flying first class using points, the Chase Sapphire Preferred was the first card I got.
I was mainly after the 50,000 points to redeem for a flight on SingaporeAir’s Suite Class (which I did end up taking with my wife). I had her sign up for the card too so we could have 100,000 points to put towards the flights.