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Sapphire Reserve vs Preferred

Have a Chase Sapphire Card? Here’s What To Do Next

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Year after year, we've written about the *chase sapphire preferred* being the best travel rewards credit card for beginners. Its premium sibling, the *chase sapphire reserve*, is a great fit for seasoned travelers – and maybe one of the best travel rewards credit cards, period. Here we are in late 2023 … and guess what? Nothing's changed.

Thanks to the cards' occasional eye-popping welcome bonus offers, easy-to-use points, and perks like built-in travel insurance, both of these Chase Sapphire Cards have cemented their place in millions of travelers' wallets. If you don't have one yet, the Chase Sapphire card is one of the best ways to get started with points and miles. And thanks to something called the Chase 5/24 rule, it's best to start with Chase cards before it's too late.

But let's assume you've already got a Chase Sapphire card in your wallet. So … what's next? How do you use those cards and points well? And how do you keep earning even more valuable Chase points to fuel your travels?

Here's what you need to know.

Read more: Chase Sapphire Preferred vs Reserve – Which is Right for You?


Make Sure You Earn the Welcome Bonus (Responsibly)

First things first: If you just picked up either card, you'll want to make sure you earn the welcome bonus.

Welcome offers like this are so important because you only get one crack at them. If you don't actually spend the $4,000 on your new Sapphire Card in the first three months of card membership, you will not earn the bonus – or any bonus, for that matter.

The clock starts from the moment you open the card, not when you receive it in the mail. If you're not sure when your deadline is, start a secure message with Chase and they can give you an answer.

But this isn't a license to spend recklessly. Credit cards and debt are serious business. Making a bunch of purchases just for the sake of meeting your welcome offer bonus spending requirement is dangerous.

Your mantra should be to charge to your Sapphire Card the money you were going to spend anyway, then pay it all off in full. If you don't think you can spend the required $4,000 in the first three months of card membership required, skip it. Digging yourself into a hole of debt and paying credit card interest negates any benefit you get from those points.

Related reading: How to Hit Minimum Spend (And Earn That Bonus) Responsibly on Credit Cards


Keep Spending On Your Sapphire Cards (But Only Sometimes…)

Nothing beats earning a big welcome bonus. But there are plenty of good reasons you might want to keep turning to one of your Sapphire cards – and not just to keep earning points.

But let's be real, the extra points don't hurt. Both of these top travel cards offer bonuses on specific spending categories that could make it your go-to credit card depending on what you're doing. And both waive foreign transaction fees, which make them a must-have for your wallet when traveling abroad.

Got the *chase sapphire preferred*? You may want to use it to earn:

  • 3x points per dollar spent on all dining, including some delivery services
  • 3x points per dollar spent on online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart, and wholesale clubs)
  • 2x points per dollar spent on travel purchases, like booking a hotel or flight direct with the airline
  • 5x points on travel booked through Chase Travel℠
  • 5x points per dollar spent on all Lyft rides through March 2025.


The *chase sapphire reserve* with some even bigger bonuses, including:

  • 3x points per dollar spent on all travel purchases, like booking a hotel or flight direct with the airline
  • 3x points per dollar spent on all dining, including some delivery services
  • 5x points on flights booked through Chase Travel℠
  • 10x points per dollar on hotels and car rentals booked through the Chase Travel℠
  • 10x points per dollar spent on all Lyft rides through March 2025.


chase sapphire cards


But there's one even more compelling reason to use your Sapphire cards when booking travel: Built-in travel insurance. These two cards come with some of the best travel insurance you'll find on any travel card, allowing you to skip those add-on policies. That's critical at a time when many Americans are worried about delays and cancellations. Even delays or trip cancellations caused by severe weather – like a snow storm – are eligible.

So long as you book your travel with your Chase Sapphire card (or use your Chase points), you could get reimbursed for:

  • Up to $100 a day (for five days) if your checked bag is delayed by six-plus hours, covering the costs of buying extra clothes and necessities
  • Flight delayed or canceled, leaving you stuck away from home. The Reserve card's coverage will cover extra costs like meals, hotels, toiletries, and more if your flight is delayed by more than six hours (while the Preferred Card requires a delay of 12-plus hours or overnight to kick in)

It goes beyond flights: Both cards offer some of the best primary rental car coverage you'll find so long as you pay for your rental with your Sapphire Card and decline the company's policy.

Read More: All About the Chase Sapphire Rental Car Insurance Benefit

Unless you've got another card that'll get you even more points, these Sapphire Cards could easily become your go-to for any travel purchase. Same goes for dining and groceries: Unless you've also got a card like the *amex gold*, either of these cards is a strong option.

But for other expenses, it might make sense to add a different Chase card to your arsenal to earn even more points.


Earn More Points with the Chase Freedom Cards

You've earned the big bonus and keep turning to your Chase card to earn more points. But the best way to keep adding to your stash of Chase points might be with other Chase cards.

Take a hard look at either the *freedom unlimited* or the Chase Freedom Flex℠ cards. They form a perfect tandem with your Sapphire Card – and best of all, neither has an annual fee.

While Chase markets both of these cards as cashback credit cards, they get exponentially more valuable if you hold either (or both) of them with a Chase Sapphire card. That's because you can transfer the cash back earned from either card directly into your Chase account, turning that cashback straight into Chase points. Earn $100 of cashback, and you can turn it into 10,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points.


chase freedom and sapphire cards


Read up on how to combine cash back and points on your Chase cards!

Most importantly, these cards are more lucrative for some of your everyday expenses rather than simply continuing to swipe your Preferred or Reserve card … especially if you opt for the Freedom Unlimited and its current first-year bonus of an extra 1.5% cash back on all your spending (up to $20,000)!

With the current offer on the Freedom Unlimited, you'd effectively be earning 3% cash back on the first $20,000 you spend in year one – and it gets even better if your spending falls into one of the card's bonus categories.

Let's take a look below at the benefits offered by each of the Freedom cards.

Read more: Chase Freedom Flex vs Freedom Unlimited – Which Card is Right for You?


Chase Freedom Unlimited

  • Welcome bonus: bonus_miles_full
  • Introductory APR: intro_apr_rate,intro_apr_duration
  • After you've met the intro offer spending threshold or had the card for a year:
    • Earn 5% cashback on travel booked through Chase Travel℠
    • Earn 5% cashback on Lyft rides through March 2025
    • Earn 3% cashback on dining, including takeout and on eligible delivery services
    • Earn 3% cashback at drugstores
    • Earn unlimited 1.5% cashback on all other purchases after your first year with the card
  • Subject to the Chase 5/24 rule, so you won't get approved for the Chase Freedom Unlimited if you've opened five or more credit cards (from any bank, not just Chase) in the last 24 months.
  • No Annual Fee!


*freedom unlimited*


Learn more about the *freedom unlimited*.


Chase Freedom Flex

  • Welcome Offer Bonus: Earn a $200 bonus after spending $500 in the first three months of card membership.
  • Earn 5% cashback on rotating quarterly categories on up to $1,500 of spending which could include:
  • Earn 5% cashback on travel booked through Chase Travel℠
  • Earn 3% cashback on dining, including takeout and delivery services
  • Earn 3% cashback at drugstores


chase freedom flex card


Click Here to learn more about the Chase Freedom Flex.  (for full disclosure, this is our personal referral link).


Consider a Chase Business Card!

Swear you can't qualify for a small business credit card? You might be surprised – and it's worth diving into it now more than ever, as several Chase business credit cards are out with their best and biggest bonuses to date.

Do you have any income from freelance work – or plans to start freelance work? Have you ever sold an item on eBay, Facebook Marketplace, Etsy, or other platforms, or have plans to do so in the future? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you have what the banks would consider a small business!

At the end of the day, if you are selling any goods or services or contracting with a company to do so in an attempt to make a profit, you have a small business and thus are typically eligible to apply for a small business credit card. So while CEOs of major companies would clearly be eligible for a Chase business card, the same is true if you've got a part-time side hustle, a freelance job, a gig economy job, or even by selling goods on online marketplaces.


chase ink business cards


If you sound like a fit, there are a trio of great options in the Chase Ink Business family of credit cards. Best of all, this portfolio ranges from cards with no annual fees to a reasonable $95 per year, meaning there's something out there for every business owner – especially those looking to add to their stash of points.

The *chase ink preferred* overhauled its welcome bonus back in June, halving the spending requirement to $8,000 in the first three months while keeping the same great 100,000-point bonus. Meanwhile, the pair of no-annual-fee *Ink Cash* and *Ink Unlimited* come with valuable bonuses as well.

With the current offers, you can earn up $750 cash back (or 75,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) with both cards. But exactly how the bonus works will depend on which version of the card you choose.

  • With the *chase ink cash*, it's broken up into two tiers. You can earn $350 (or 35,000 points) after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first three months and an additional $400 (or 40,000 points) after spending $6,000 on purchases in the first six months after account opening.
  • With the *chase ink unlimited* you can earn $750 (or 75,000 points) after you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.

Being able to earn 75,000 valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards with a single sign-up bonus is practically unheard of, making any of these cards a worthy addition to most business owners' wallets.


Chase Ink Preferred

  • bonus_miles_full 
  • Earn 3x Chase Ultimate Rewards for every dollar spent on travel, shipping, phone, internet, cable, and online advertising with social media sites and search engines, up to $150,000 in combined purchases per year.
  • Earn 1x Chase Ultimate Rewards for every dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Travel Protections: With the card's trip cancellation and interruption insurance, you can be reimbursed up to $5,000 per person ($10,000 per trip) for pre-paid non refundable travel expenses if your trip is cancelled or cut short due to a covered event.
  • Rental Car Insurance: Get primary rental car coverage when you're renting for business purposes and pay for your rental with the Chase Ink Preferred.
  • Purchase Protection: Cover your new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account.
  • Cell Phone Insurance: Get up to $1,000 per claim in cell phone protection against covered theft or damage for you and your employees listed on your monthly cell phone bill when you pay for it with your Chase Ink Business Preferred credit card.
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
  • Annual Fee: $95


*chase ink preferred*


Learn More about the *chase ink preferred*

Read our review of the Chase Ink Preferred Card


Chase Ink Cash

  • Welcome Offer: *ink cash bonus*
  • 10% Relationship Bonus: Chase Ink Cash cards opened between March 17 and Nov. 17, 2024, can get a 10% bonus on all rewards earned in the first year (sign-up and referral bonus points are ineligible). In order to be eligible for the one-time bonus you also need to have a Chase Business Checking account open on your cardmember anniversary date.
  • 5x points (5% cash back) on office supply purchases; internet, phone and cable service charges (up to $25,000 in combined spending each account anniversary year).
  • 2x points (2% cash back) at restaurants and gas stations (up to $25,000 in combined spending each account anniversary year).
  • 1x points (1% cash back) on all other eligible spending
  • Primary rental car collision and damage waiver coverage
  • Lost luggage insurance of up to $3,000 per person per trip
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 3% of the amount of each transaction in U.S. dollars
  • Annual Fee: None


*ink cash*


Learn more about the *Ink Cash*.

Read next: Get a Big Bonus and Even More Rewards with the Chase Ink Cash


Chase Ink Unlimited

  • *ink unlimited bonus*
  • The Ink Business Unlimited card has no annual fee
  • 1.5x points (1.5% cash back) on all purchases made for your business
  • Primary rental car collision and damage waiver coverage
  • Lost luggage insurance of up to $3,000 per person per trip
  • Add employee cards at no additional cost


*ink unlimited*


Learn more about the *chase ink unlimited*.


Refer Friends & Family to Earn More Points

If you have a Chase Sapphire card, a Freedom card, or even an Ink Business card, you can keep adding to your stash of points by referring your friends and family and having them apply for a card through your personal referral link.

Generally, these referral welcome bonus offers match what you'll find publicly available, so your pals won't be leaving points on the table. To sweeten the deal, you'll also earn 10,000 to 15,000 points for each person you refer who gets approved.

If you hold the Sapphire Preferred, you'll be capped at earning up to 75,000 points each year for referrals. With the Sapphire Reserve, you'll be able to earn up to 50,000 points each year for referrals.


chase personal referral offers


And if you've got one of the Chase Ink Cards, the referral bonuses are even bigger. You can currently earn 40,000 points per referral, up to 200,000 bonus points each year. This means that you can refer up to five fellow business owners to any of the Chase Ink Cards and their monster bonuses – even the no-annual-fee *Ink Cash* and the *Ink Unlimited*.

All you have to do is go to the Chase refer a friend homepage, log in to your account, and generate a referral link to share with friends and family for any cards currently in your wallet. As long as they apply for the card through your link, you'll earn bonus points – which typically come within six weeks of their card approval.

It's an easy way to keep adding to your stash of Chase Ultimate Rewards points. There's just one hitch to keep in mind: Chase will actually tax you for these bonuses, sending you a 1099 tax form to report those points as additional income. That's generally a small price to pay to keep adding to your stash of Chase points.


Combine Points with Household Members (or Other Chase Cards)

Chase allows you to transfer Ultimate Rewards points to other members of your household. But there's a hitch: You must share the same billing address on Chase accounts. 

This means spouses, partners, family members, and even roommates can earn the same sign-up bonus on the same card – then pool those bonus points together under one account.

To make it all happen, you'll need to call Chase to make your first transfer. Simply call the number on the back of your Chase card and let the agent know that you would like to transfer all or some of your points to another member of your household. You'll need to provide the full credit card number of the person you are transferring points to, as well as the last name that is printed on their Chase credit card.

The entire process should take just a few minutes by phone. After that, you should have no problem transferring points between household members online.


chase ultimate rewards menu


Read more: How to Combine Chase Points with Another Cardmember

You shouldn't have to wait for the points to arrive, as they should be processed immediately. And there is no limit to the number of points that can be transferred each year.

If you hold a Chase Freedom or Chase Ink card, you can transfer the cash back from those cards into Ultimate Rewards points using the same “Combine Points” menu option.

It will show your available cards and give you the option to move them back and forth between accounts. Since I hold both the Sapphire Preferred and Chase Ink Business Unlimited card, I can transfer cash back from the Ink Unlimited card directly into my Chase Ultimate Rewards balance associated with my Sapphire Preferred card which ultimately makes them worth more.

Read more: How to Transfer Points Between Your Chase Cards

combine chase points menu


Use Those Chase Ultimate Rewards Points!

Here's a public service announcement: Your points and miles are not getting more valuable by sitting in your account.

Sure, it's nice to see those balances grow … but that's a bad decision. Use them: That's ultimately what they're there for. Points and miles are best used for travel experiences that you otherwise wouldn't be able to afford or wouldn't be willing to pay cash for.

So if you've got Chase points. You might be wondering how exactly you can use them – or, better yet, use them wisely.

Thankfully, there is no shortage of ways to use Chase Ultimate Rewards points. In fact, one of the biggest reasons our team values them so highly is that there are so many ways to use them for great trips.

Read up on our 10 favorite ways to use Chase points!


Chase Travel℠

Let's start with the easiest route: Booking travel through Chase Travel℠. With either Chase Sapphire card, there's a bonus for doing so.

Simply book a flight, hotel, car rental, or cruise through your online Chase account. When you do, your points will be worth 1.25 cents each or 1.5 cents apiece with the Sapphire Reserve.

That means you can book a $750 flight using 60,000 points from your Preferred Card or just 50,000 points with the Reserve. And there’s a silver lining: You’ll still earn miles when you fly booking this way, unlike a traditional airline award ticket. Plus, there are no extra fees or taxes – your points cover the full amount.

Almost any flight you find through Google Flights can be booked straight through the Chase portal. Better yet, get the cheapest flight deals sent to you with Thrifty Traveler Premium. Just about every flight deal we send our members can be booked with Chase Ultimate Rewards points through the travel portal.

And if you've got the Preferred Card, don't forget to use up your $50 credit for booking a hotel through Chase Travel℠.


Use Chase Transfer Partners for More Value

If you're looking to get the most bang for your buck from your Chase points, look no further.

In addition to Chase Travel℠, you can also transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points directly to more than 10 airlines and three hotel brands. 

All those options give your points immense flexibility that shouldn’t be overlooked. In many cases, sending your points to Chase transfer partners can get you far more value – especially if you’re looking to fly first and business class.

ProgramTypeTransfer RatioTransfer Time
Aer LingusAirline1:1Instant
Air Canada AeroplanAirline1:1Instant
Air France/KLMAirline1:1Instant
British AirwaysAirline1:1Instant
Iberia PlusAirline1:1Instant
Singapore AirAirline1:112-24 hours
Southwest AirlinesAirline1:1Instant
United AirlinesAirline1:1Instant
Virgin AtlanticAirline1:1Instant
World of HyattHotel1:1Instant
IHGHotel1:11 day
Marriott RewardsHotel1:12 days

Read our full guide to Chase transfer partners and how it works!

There’s a reason we consider Chase points so valuable. There are a lot of sweet spots here to highlight – this is just a small sample.

  • Want to fly to Europe? Transferring your Chase points to Iberia opens up one of the cheapest ways to get to Europe – in either economy or business class. For just 34,000 miles, you can get to Madrid (MAD) and back almost any time of the year. Iberia’s business class starts at only 68,000 miles round trip from the East Coast or Chicago-O’Hare (ORD), less than what most airlines charge to fly economy!
  • British Airways offers one of the best ways to get to Hawaii using points. For just 26,000 miles, you can fly from Los Angeles (LAX) or Phoenix (PHX) direct to the islands on American Airlines – when American itself charges 45,000 miles or more for the exact same flights.
  • Virgin Atlantic is one of our favorite ways to save SkyMiles and book flights on Delta. Their partnership allows you to book Delta One business class (including Delta One Suites) to Europe for just 50,000 miles each way – when Delta often wants $5,000 or 200,000 SkyMiles or more for a trip to Europe in business class. Read our guide on how to book Delta One Suites for cheap by transferring Chase points!


delta one suite


  • With cheap domestic flights starting at 5,000 miles each way, round-trip to Europe for 60,000 miles, and 35,000 round trip to the Caribbean, United can be a competitive optionJust keep in mind that United has switched to an unpredictable dynamic award system, so prices can vary wildly.
  • Aeroplan is Chase’s newest addition, and it’s a strong one. You can use Aeroplan miles to book cheap United flights across the country, get from the West Coast to Hawaii and back for as low as 25,000 miles, or fly from the U.S. to Asia in EVA Air business class for just 75,000 miles. You can even use Aeroplan to book Singapore Airlines business class.
  • Hyatt is far and away one of the strongest Chase transfer partners. That’s largely because the hotel chain’s low award rates make it easy to get an outsized value on amazing hotels worldwide. Check out one of our favorite ways to use Hyatt points for all-inclusive resorts!


Bottom Line

Once you get a Chase Sapphire Preferred or Reserve card, there are lots of ways to keep earning points. And earning Chase Ultimate Rewards points should be a top priority as you delve into the world of points and miles.


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.

5 Responses

  • Good luck with that travel insurance on the Chase Sapphire Preferred paying out. If that is the reason you get the card, don’t bother. I caught Covid-19 on day 4 of a 14 day bicycle tour in Europe last summer. I did not see a doctor but instead used a rapid test when I came down with symptoms. I kept testing myself and my husband to see if I was still positive. I was too sick to ride the bike and I couldn’t travel with the group in the van (per the tour company’s covid protocols. The riders were traveling around 40 miles per day. Impossible for me to do with Covid-19! Chase’s insurer denied my claim because of the lack of a medical professional’s signature attesting that I had Covid-19. Additionally, it took them about 6 months to get to the point of denying it. There is really no one to talk to about the claim, only someone who sees the same info that you see online. I had over a $6K loss on the tour’s costs alone. I had to buy additional hotel rooms and train tickets on my dime as I couldn’t keep up with the tour. I provided details and letters from the tour company as to the loss due to Covid but that is not enough. I immediately cancelled the card even though I have had it for many years.

  • The article refers to Chase Saphire as having some of the best rental car insurance in the market. I tried to file a claim on a minor parking lot ding I had almost a year ago. They asked for info that was not available such as a police report. In todays world police departments don’t respond to such incidents. I’m still waiting for phone calls promised to be made. Filing with my personal insurance carrier took five minutes. What a joke!

  • Thanks for the article Nick! We have points to use. MSP is our home airport and we primarily fly Delta. SunCountry occasionally. If we book with Chase points, how do we obtain the benefits of the SkyMiles or SC Rewards programs for bags, boarding priority and in the case of SC 1/2 price seat selection? Thanks.

    • Hi Jerry. With Delta, there is no requirement that you book with the card to receive the bag, priority boarding, and seat selection benefits. Just for holding the Delta card you get those benefits. That means you can book with your Chase card and still take advantage of those.

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