The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is out with its best-ever bonus, offering 80,000 points after spending $4,000 within three months. That’s up from the standard 60,000-point bonus – plus you get a $50 grocery credit that cuts the card’s $95 annual fee by more than half.
What can those 80,000 points get you, though? Between the ability to book flights and hotels directly through Chase, transfer them to more than a dozen airline or hotel partners, these points can book a lot of trips. And thanks to Chase’s new Pay Yourself Back feature, you can even use them to cover up to $1,000 in everyday expenses or a big house project.
But let’s make it real. The entire Thrifty Traveler team turned on wanderlust mode and dreamed up how we’d each put these points to use.
Click Here to get more information about the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.
An All-Inclusive Trip for Two to Mexico
You can transfer Chase points to airline and hotel partners. Or you can use them to book the cheap flights you find through Google Flights or your Thrifty Traveler Premium membership.
But why not do both? That’s exactly what Erica and Jared would do to fly for free down to Mexico and stay (and eat and drink) at an all-inclusive resort for free, too. Here’s how they’d pull it off:
Jared and I love using Chase Ulitmate Rewards for Hyatt’s Ziva and Zilara all-inclusive resorts. These properties are some of the best all-inclusive resorts, and easily the best that you can book with points – they start at just 20,000 points a night. So with that 80,000 point bonus, we could take a trip down to Mexico and spend less money than we would at home.
We’d both get the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and earn 160,000 Chase points between us. Flying down to Mexico wouldn’t take much. With a recent Thrifty Traveler Premium deal, flights from Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) to Puerto Vallarta (PVR) dropped to just $244 round-trip.
Because each point from the Preferred Card is worth 1.25 cents toward airfare, we could book those flights for just over 19,500 points each. Chase makes it easy to combine points between members of the same household, so booking should be a cinch.
Then, the Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta costs just 20,000 points per night. After booking our flights, we’ve got enough points between us to cover six nights of free lodging, food, and drinks on the beach. Transferring Chase points to Hyatt is simple, and booking is even easier.
Between the flights and the resort, we’d use these points to book a $2,000 trip for absolutely free.
A New Space Outdoors
Our Thrifty Traveler Premium flight deal guru Jon didn’t have to think hard about how he’d use these points. He already did it to spruce up his backyard.
With travel on hold during the pandemic, Chase launched a new way to use Chase points called Pay Yourself Back. Through September 2021, you can use Chase points to cover restaurant bills and delivery services, grocery expenses, home improvement stores, and even purchases at Target and Walmart. Best of all, redeeming your points through Pay Yourself Back has the same value as travel: Every point is worth 1.25 cents apiece.
Here’s how Jon put that new feature to use.
After realizing I would be grounded for the foreseeable future with no big trips on the horizon, I decided to put my Chase points to use for a home improvement project last summer. I’ve always wanted to upgrade my backyard with a good pad to hang out on.
My wife ended up using the same amount of points to cover the remaining supplies and rental gear we needed. In the end, it turned out to be a wash – a big project that would have cost us about $2,000 was free, and one of the best uses of points and miles beyond travel. This Pay Yourself Back pivot with the inclusion of many of our favorite stores made signing up for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card a no brainer!
Fly Emirates First Class to Italy
Now it’s my turn, and I know exactly where I’m headed.
My best friend is planning a wedding in Tuscany this fall. And there’s perhaps no better way to fly to Italy than hopping on Emirates’ fifth-freedom flight from New York City (JFK) to Milan (MXP). This 80,000-point bonus is just about enough to do it in Emirates first class, which has long been on my bucket list.
Read our review of Emirates First Class!
Emirates is one of Chase’s newest transfer partners – the points transfer on a 1:1 basis – and it’s become one of the best ways to book Emirates first class. The flight to Milan costs 85,000 each way, plus a reasonable $40 in taxes and fees. Since I have to spend at least $4,000 in three months to get the big bonus, that bumps me up to at least 84,000 points. So I should have just enough miles to transfer over to Emirates and book this flight.
Paying cash, this flight would cost a whopping $8,200! I can’t think of a better way to maximize this bonus while scratching a big item off my bucket list, and that’s what points and miles are all about.
A Private Island in Thailand
Thrifty Traveler co-founder Nick is plotting how to pull off a big anniversary trip with his wife. And these Chase points could make it unforgettable.
My wife and I are tentatively planning a trip to Thailand in November of 2021 for our seventh wedding anniversary. Thailand has long been on our list – it’s one of the trips we had to put on the backburner in 2020.
With 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points, I would book four nights at the incredible Cape Fahn Hotel. And here’s why: It’s an amazing property on its own private island just off the coast of Koh Samui. The property joined Hyatt’s portfolio with the addition of the SLH brand last October.
Unbelievably, you can stay at Cape Fahn for just 20,000 World of Hyatt points per night. That’s right, 20,000 points a night for your own private pool villa on a private island in Thailand.
Since Chase points transfer to Hyatt on a 1:1 basis – 20,000 Chase points = 20,000 Hyatt points – 80,000 is enough for a four night stay. Get this: Each night at Cape Fahn typically costs $600 to $1,000 a night.
Using Chase points for Hyatt stays is one of the best ways to use them, and this redemption makes that clearer than ever. And I’m even more excited, as I just earned Hyatt’s top-tier Globalist status for this stay.
Saving Bigtime on Groceries
Like Jon, Thrifty Traveler member experience specialist Mikhala has already put her Chase points from this bonus to good use. And like Jon, she’s loving the flexibility of using Chase points to cover everyday expenses while stuck at home.
When we went into lockdown, I stared at my stash of Chase points and thought: What on earth am I going to do with you? So you can probably imagine that when Chase announced Pay Yourself Back, I was excited.
Redeeming my points at 1.25 cents on groceries, dining, and takeout during a time when I wasn’t traveling or planning travel and funds were tight was a true lifesaver. I wasn’t spending money on anything besides food! I had a few months there where I got to $0 on my Chase Sapphire Preferred card statement, all thanks to Pay Yourself Back.
When I do start traveling again, I’m still going to put Pay Yourself Back to use. Besides airfare and lodging, food is often my other major expense when traveling. Whether it’s buying some groceries to make breakfasts cheaper or splurging on a bucket-list restaurant, this tool is definitely going to come in handy.
Clearly, we wouldn’t have a hard time put 80,000 points to use. From a first class flight to a private Thai island to covering everyday expenses, there are a ton of options to get a lot of value out of this biggest-ever bonus on the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. Our ideas are just the tip of the iceberg, so read more great ways to redeem this huge bonus!
How would you use it?
Click Here to get more information about the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.