Chase Sapphire Preferred is hands-down my favorite travel credit card. There are lots of reasons, but a big one is that the points it earns, Chase Ultimate Rewards points, transfer instantly to Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards.
I believe Southwest has the best frequent flyer program for people like you and me, who want to travel free as much as possible and bring friends and loved ones along with us!
The Southwest Companion Pass, which lets one person fly free with you, is unbeatable in value (how else can you eliminate the cost of ONE person’s flight ENTIRELY and for up to TWO YEARS?), the airline charges much lower points prices for flights (which go even lower during sales) AND it’s easy to collect points through Southwest credit cards, Rapid Rewards Shopping, SouthwestHotels.com and more!
SO… I am always looking for how I can collect MORE Southwest points. Enter Chase Sapphire Preferred.
About Chase Sapphire Preferred
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I recommend this card to EVERYONE, because there’s flat out no reason NOT to have it … if you enjoy traveling :). Unless you want to go for its big brother, Chase Sapphire Reserve (you can only hold one “Sapphire” card), but that one is better for more advanced travel hackers and it comes with a hefty $450 annual fee.
Here are key things to know about Chase Sapphire Preferred:
- 50,000 bonus points upon card approval and spending at least $4,000 on the card within 3 months
- NO annual fee the first year; $95 annual fee the second year (feel free to cancel at this point if you don’t feel the annual fee is worth it)
- Earn DOUBLE points on all dining and travel expenses
- Points transfer INSTANTLY at a 1:1 ratio to Southwest Rapid Rewards points
- Points also transfer at a 1:1 ratio to other airlines and hotel brands like British Airways, IHG and Hyatt
Read my full review of Chase Sapphire Preferred:
5 Ways Chase Sapphire Preferred Earns Southwest Points
Now, let’s delve into how this card can earn you even MORE Southwest points! Remember, it has NO annual fee the first year, so you’re earning points FREE!
1. 50,000-Point Bonus Offer
Spend $4,000 in 3 months upon approval and BAM! you’ve got at least 54,000 points (at least 1 point per $1 to meet that minimum spend) that you can use for free travel on Southwest.
Meet that minimum spend by paying ordinary expenses you’d be paying anyway (don’t go into debt for any reason, because then this is no longer a good deal!!). Check out my post below with ideas for how to responsibly meet the $4,000 minimum spend.
The first year we delved into miles and points, we earned 110,000 Southwest points to get our first Southwest Companion Pass by signing up for one personal and one business Southwest card and then got the additional 54,000 from Chase Sapphire Preferred.
That 160,000+ points funded all four of us to travel to six destinations within one year for less than $100 per flight (for all of us)! The cost comes from annual fees we paid on the Southwest cards, airline security fees and some points we purchased from Southwest early on to get us going.
Just to give you an idea of the cost of points on Southwest to fly to a destination, we flew all four of us to New York City for ~21,000 points and to Grand Cayman from Ft. Lauderdale for ~13,000 points. One of us always flies on the Companion Pass, so we don’t have to use any points for them. But you can see, if you choose destinations with cheaper fares, fly on cheaper days and buy during sales, you can stretch Southwest points quite far!
Download my free ebook on how to easily earn the Southwest Companion Pass below:
2. DOUBLE Points on Dining and Travel
My family either uses this card or my husband’s Chase Sapphire Reserve for most dining and travel expenses.
This adds up rather fast and tends to fund our future travels quite well! Our Chase Ultimate Rewards account always has points in it, which are ready to transfer as soon as we need them to book a flight on Southwest :).
The travel expenses category includes everything from flights and hotels to cabs and parking fees. For example, we used our Sapphire card to pay for all the taxis we hailed in New York City, as well as to pay for subway tickets!
There are also no foreign transaction fees, so it’s a great card to use on travel and dining expenses when out of the country.
3. Everyday Expenses
You can also pay your everyday expenses using this card, which will earn you 1 point per dollar. Alternately, if you hold the Southwest cards, which I advise getting prior to this one if earning the Southwest Companion Pass is a priority for you, you can use those for everyday expenses to earn 1 point per dollar.
The difference is that points earned through spending on the Southwest cards qualify for the 110,000 points you need to earn the Southwest Companion Pass, while the points earned on Chase Sapphire Preferred DO NOT qualify for the Southwest Companion Pass, but CAN be used to book FREE travel on Southwest.
4. Referral Points
Chase Sapphire Preferred ALSO allows you to earn 10,000 points per person you refer who signs up for the card up to a maximum of 50,000 points each year. That’s a lot of free travel on Southwest!!
Be sure to tell friends, family and colleagues about the amazing travel benefts you’ve been able to enjoy thanks to this card, because they may be interested in getting their own card using your referral link.
Don’t forget to share on your links on social media, as well!
To find your referral link, you’ll need to use the Chase Refer a Friend feature. Here is my post on how to use it below:
It can sometimes take a month or two for the referral points to roll in and unfortunately, there’s no way to know if someone successfully signed up.
5. Add an Authorized User
If you add an authorized user, like your spouse, to your card, you can earn an additional 5,000 points when they make a purchase within the first three months of opening the account!
You can hold another Sapphire card, like Reserve, and be an “authorized user” on the other Sapphire card, like Preferred.
To Sum It Up
Chase Sapphire Preferred is a definite no-brainer way to easily add to your Southwest points balance for MORE FREE FLIGHTS!
Take advantage of:
- Sign-up bonus
- Double points on dining and travel
- Everyday expenses
- Referral points
- Adding an authorized user
These points can really boost your ability to travel free! If you get the sign-on bonus, all referral points and authorized user bonus, that’s 109,000 points. Amazing.
Got questions about Chase Sapphire Preferred? Email me at lyn AT gototravelgal.com or post in the comments below.
Thanks again for using the TRAVEL CREDIT CARDS links in the main menu above or the Compare Cards link below for your credit card sign-ups!
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