Chase Sapphire Preferred is my very favorite credit card, because it’s extremely flexible in allowing you to transfer its points to airlines and hotel chains for free travel with no annual fee the first year (it then increases to $95) and a consistently solid 50,000-point bonus offer upon approval.
7 Ways Chase Sapphire Preferred Can Get You FREE Travel
Let me count the ways… 😉
1. Transfer Points to Airlines
You can transfer points at a 1:1 ratio to a variety of airlines, including our favorite, Southwest Airlines. Most transfers happen INSTANTLY. I love this feature, because I can leave a bank of points in my Chase Ultimate Rewards account until we need them and transfer over instantly when I need.
You can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to:
- Aer Lingus
- British Airways
- Air France/Flying Blue
- Korean Air Skypass
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer (see my FREE email course on how to fly up to 4 people to Hawaii using Singapore KrisFlyer miles)
- Southwest Airlines
- Virgin Atlantic
We have used our Ultimate Rewards Points to book flights in Europe on Aer Lingus and for COUNTLESS Southwest flights!
Read my post below for more tips on using this card for Southwest points:
2. Transfer Points to Hotels
You can use Chase Ultimate Rewards points earned on Chase Sapphire Preferred to transfer to hotel programs including:
- IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group, including Hotel Indigo, Holiday Inn, EVEN Hotels, Kimpton and more)
- Ritz Carlton
- SPG (soon, since it will merge with Marriot in August 2018)
3. 64,000 Intro Points
The Chase Sapphire Preferred card has a 60,000-point bonus after meeting a $4,000 minimum spend within three months. When you meet the minimum spend, where you will net AT LEAST 1 point per dollar spent, you’ll have a minimum of 64,000 points.
This is a SOLID bonus and enabled my family of four, along with a Southwest personal card and a Southwest business card, to travel to SIX destinations within one year on ~160,000 points.
Just exactly how far can 60,000 points take you on Southwest? As one example, my family of four flew to New York City from Indianapolis for ~22,000 points. One of us flew on the Companion Pass, eliminating the points price for that person. But it is VERY common to find flights on Southwest for less than 5,000 points per way.
You just have to be willing to fly on Tuesdays/Wednesdays, sometimes at off times and to cities that have cheap prices from your home airport (or an airport nearby you might be willing to drive to).
4. 2X Points on Dining and Travel
The Chase Sapphire Preferred card also allows you to earn MORE points when you use it to pay for dining and travel expenses than say the Southwest credit cards, which only earn 1 point per $1.
Though keep in mind, by using the Southwest credit cards, you earn points TOWARD the 110,000 you need to earn the Southwest Companion Pass that lets one person fly free with you.
Points transferred from Chase Ultimate Rewards TO Southwest Rapid Rewards DO NOT qualify for the Southwest Companion Pass.
I use this card, along with my husband’s Chase Sapphire Reserve (a more advanced and expensive version of Preferred, though each person can only hold ONE or the other; read my full review of this card), as my everyday spending card, ESPECIALLY for restaurants and trael expenses to make sure I’m earning as many points a possible toward future Southwest and Europe flights!
5. Up to 50,000 Referral Points Per Year
There is even MORE potential to earn additional points besides through spending and the initial bonus. For every person you refer to Chase Sapphire Preferred, up to 5 people each calendar year, you can earn 10,000 referral points, up to a maximum of 50,000!
Sure, you can ask friends and family, but don’t forget the value of social media and email and simply sharing with others how you travel free. I have no doubt they’ll want to know how :).
To get your referral link, check out the Chase Refer a Friend feature.
6. Double Value Paired With the Southwest Companion Pass
When you pair Chase Ultimate Rewards points with a Southwest Companion Pass, you get DOUBLE the value out of them.
For every Ultimate Reward point you transfer to Southwest, that’s a point that can be used for TWO people to travel free, because you can bring someone with you whenever you book a flight on points (or paid for that matter!).
Download my free Cheat Sheet below that shares 10 things you MUST know before earning the Southwest Companion Pass, so one person can travel FREE with you:
7. No Foreign Transaction Fees
There are also NO foreign transaction fees when you use Chase Sapphire Preferred outside of the U.S., so it makes a great card for international travel. Don’t forget to use it for ALL dining and travel expenses, so you can earn DOUBLE points.
One note on this post: Chase also offers the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card, which comes with a $450 annual fee, though that can be largely offset with various travel credits it gives you. Plus it earns a heftier 3X points on travel and dining and grants you access to Priority Pass lounges (which we find super helpful).
However, Chase will only allow you to hold EITHER Preferred or Reserve, NOT BOTH. So you’ll want to decide between them before applying for either. Once you earn the bonus on one card, you can’t earn it again on either card (even if you closed the first one) for 24 months.
Here’s a post to help you decide:
If you decide to apply for Chase Sapphire Preferred, thanks again for using my links within this post or my TRAVEL CREDIT CARDS link in the main menu above!
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