We think the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is the absolute best travel rewards card for beginners – especially in these times. You’ll earn a bonus of 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points for spending $4,000 in the first three months.
But what does 60,000 points really get you?
Few currencies in the world of points and miles are more valuable than Chase Ultimate Rewards. You can do a lot with 60,000 points, whether you book flights or hotels directly through Chase, transfer them to 13 different airline and hotel partners, or even use them to reimburse yourself for everyday purchases with the ‘Pay Yourself Back’ feature.
Here are some of the best ways to spend that big, 60,000-point bonus when you’re ready to travel again.
Book $750 Worth of Flights with Points
One of our favorite uses of any frequent flyer points is booking the domestic or international flight deals you see here or with your Thrifty Traveler Premium subscription. And the absolute best way to book them is with Chase Ultimate Rewards points.
That’s because your Chase points go farther when you’ve got the Chase Sapphire Preferred (or the Chase Sapphire Reserve). Every point you’ve got is worth 1.25 cents toward travel. That means the 60,000 bonus is worth $750 in airfare. And there’s a silver lining: You’ll still earn miles when you fly booking this way, unlike a traditional airline award.
As an example, here’s a recent deal on flights to the U.S. Virgin Islands we sent out to Premium subscribers. You can get from Miami (MIA) to St. Thomas (STT) all through the winter 2021 for just $224.
Booking this flight with points from your Chase Sapphire Preferred, it’d be under 18,000 points for a round-trip fare. Booking flights directly through the Ultimate Rewards portal is generally simple and straightforward.
As a bonus, you still earn miles and build status when booking flights through the Ultimate Rewards portal. That’s not the case when you transfer your points to an airline partner to book an award flight.
Read up on how Thrifty Traveler Premium works to see if you want to level up with huge savings on both domestic and international airfare.
Fly Delta One Suites to Europe or Asia
The Delta One Suite is one of the best business class seats in the skies. Every suite has its own door, lie-flat beds, chef-catered meals, and more. And though it normally costs $5,000 or more to fly in this much style, you can do it with this big Chase Sapphire Preferred bonus alone.
Read our review of a Delta One Suites flight from Tokyo-Haneda (HND) to Minneapolis-St. Paul.
Delta itself often charges 250,000 SkyMiles or more to book one of these seats. Don’t do that.
Instead, you’ll transfer your Chase points to Virgin Atlantic, a close partner airline of Delta’s. And when you do that, it’s just 50,000 to 60,000 miles each way to get in a Delta One suite, depending on whether you want to go to Europe or Asia. It’s one of our favorite workarounds to book Delta One and a go-to way to book any Delta flight for cheaper.
Delta has steadily put these suites on more and more planes, so it’s getting easier to book these flights for future travel once coronavirus subsides. If Europe is calling, you’ll need to transfer just 50,000 Chase points to Virgin Atlantic to enjoy the suite life on flights like Detroit (DTW) or Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) to Amsterdam (AMS).
There are far more options to get to Asia in Delta One suites. For example, you can now book nonstop flights from the U.S. to Seoul-Incheon (ICN) online with Virgin miles.
You’ll need the entire 60,000-point bonus to book it. Still, for a 12-plus hour flight, you’ll treasure that lie-flat bed in your own cozy cocoon of privacy.
It’s not always easy to zero in on the days when you can actually book these Delta One suites through Virgin Atlantic. But read our guide to using Virgin Atlantic miles to book Delta, and you’ll know exactly what to do.
Thrifty Tip: Virgin Atlantic charges an insanely reasonable $50 to cancel any award ticket and get your miles back – and in many cases, you can even get that redeposit fee waived. That means you could book a flight now and cancel down the line if need be.
One note: not every flight each day has these suites. So if it’s the suite life you’re looking for, double-check to make sure it’s a suite-equipped plane you’re booking.
Use Points for Everyday Purchases
If you have a stash of Chase Ultimate Rewards points – or even if you decide to open a Chase Sapphire card as a new member – you can now use your hard-earned points at the grocery store, grocery delivery services like Instacart and even restaurants and home improvement stores work through Sept. 30, 2020.
If you are familiar with how the Capital One Purchase Eraser feature works, this new Pay Yourself Back feature from Chase will work very similarly. And when you redeem them this way, they will be worth 1.25 cents each if you hold the Preferred Card and 1.5 cents each if you hold the Reserve card. This is the same value they have when redeemed through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal.
First things first: All you need to do is make a purchase at a grocery store, restaurants, home improvement store, or even Target using your Chase Sapphire Preferred or Reserve card.
After making that purchase, you can simply log into Ultimate Rewards on desktop or through the Chase mobile app and select “Pay Yourself Back” from the drop-down menu. Once here, you will be able to select from recent eligible transactions up to 90 days prior and choose to redeem points for all or a portion of the purchase.
It is a fantastic way to use Chase points to shore up your budget at a time when travel is largely off the table. Check out our YouTube video below for more information on how exactly this new benefit works.
2 (or More!) Roundtrip Tickets to Hawaii
You can book two round-trip tickets to Hawaii with this Chase bonus. So much for Hawaii being an expensive place to get to, right?
This is an example where Chase’s transfer partners really shine, as you have several options to book round-trip flights to the Hawaiian islands for 25,000 points each – or far less.
If you time it right, you can get to Hawaii for under 12,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards points, as with this round-trip flight from Oakland (OAK) to Maui (OGG). And because Chase points transfer to Southwest on a 1:1 basis, this 60,000-point sign-up bonus is enough for a family of five to go to Hawaii!
There are some other great ways to get to Hawaii using points. In another option, you’ll send your points to Singapore Air’s KrisFlyer program. Of course, Singapore doesn’t fly between the U.S. and Hawaii. But you can use KrisFlyer miles to book Alaska Airlines flights, for just 24,000 miles round-trip in economy.
Alaska flies to all four major Hawaiian islands from the West Coast. The catch here is that it has to be a nonstop flight, so you may need to book a separate connecting flight to an airport like Los Angeles (LAX), San Francisco (SFO), Seattle (SEA) and Portland (PDX). Chase points transfer to Singapore on a 1:1 basis, and generally take a few days.
Another option is transferring your points to British Airways, which you can use to book flights to Hawaii on American Airlines. And while American charges 45,000 AAdvantage miles for a round-trip from the West Coast, you can book the exact same flights for just 26,000 British Airways Avios. That means you’ll have enough for two round-trip tickets, with miles to spare.
The trick here is that you have to fly from the West Coast, specifically Los Angeles (LAX) and Phoenix (PHX). You can fly from both cities to all four major Hawaiian airports at this low price.
Chase points transfer to British Airways on a 1:1 basis, so you’ll be set.
Read more about how to book both of these awards in our post outlining the four best ways to book cheap flights to Hawaii. It’s a great way to put that 60,000-point Chase bonus to use.
A Round-Trip for Two to Europe – Or One in Business Class
“European vacation” and “cheap” generally don’t go well together. But you could use this big Chase bonus and make it a reality for two – or fly solo in style.
Again, you’ll want to transfer your Chase points. This time, you’re going to send them to Iberia – the Spanish airline offering some of the lowest rates to get to Europe and back. Chase points transfer to Iberia on a 1:1 basis, so your 60,000 bonus = 60,000 Iberia Avios.
Using Iberia, you can fly from Boston (BOS), New York City-JFK (JFK), or Chicago-O’Hare to Madrid (Madrid) for as low as 34,000 miles round-trip. After factoring in the money you’ll spend to get the 60,000-point bonus, you should have nearly enough miles to book that for two.
Traveling solo – or feeling selfish? Why not use those points to fly business class to Spain instead? You can do it for just 68,000 miles round-trip! That’s less than most airlines charge for a one-way business class ticket. And with this bonus alone, you’ll almost have enough points to make it happen. Study up on how to book Iberia business class seats for cheap.
With Iberia business class, you’re in for a treat. The seats are plenty spacious and recline all the way into a comfortable bed. The food is tasty, and the service is attentive.
And at a $7,000 or more a ticket when paying cash, it’s a phenomenal way to use those 60,000-plus points you’re going to earn.
Book Some Domestic Flights
Not looking to travel far, or accepting our new normal of less international travel? One of the best ways to book a short domestic flight in the United States is by using airline miles from Europe. We’re not joking.
British Airways is a Chase transfer partner and a Oneworld alliance member, which means you can book flights on partner American Airlines using your Avios. And British Airways is one of the few airlines to use a distance-based award chart, meaning flights of 1,150 miles or less will cost just 9,000 Avios.
With a range of 1,150 miles, you could fly from Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) to Chicago-O’Hare (ORD), New York City-JFK (JFK), or Washington, D.C. (DCA). Other options include ORD-Denver (DEN), JFK-Miami (MIA) and more.
Thrifty Tip: Put in your flight plans at GCmap.com to see if your travel plan makes the cut under 1,150 miles.
British Airways’ site can be spotty, so your best bet to find award availability is to look at American Airlines’ website. Then input your flight details at BritishAirways.com or call up the airline to make the booking. Chase points transfer to British Airways instantaneously at a 1:1 ratio.
But if you’re flying round-trip, there can be even more savings by using those miles through Iberia. It’s another one of our favorite ways to save on flights within the U.S.
With Iberia, short flights can go as low as 11,000 miles for a round-trip flight in economy. Flights under 600 miles total price at that amount, while journeys between 601 and 1,000 miles come in at just 12,000 Iberia Avios. Flights up to 2,000 miles cost just 17,000 Iberia Avios, which still gives you some solid savings.
No matter which route you take, there are some serious savings here.
United is another Chase transfer partner. And the U.S. airline has started selling domestic flights for as low as 5,000 miles each way. Once again, Chase points transfer to United on a 1:1 basis, and they transfer instantly. That means a 60,000 bonus could be enough for six domestic trips – if you play it right.
Stay with Hyatt
It’s not just airfare. In fact, using your Chase points to book free nights at Hyatt hotels around the world may be the absolute best use of these points.
Hyatt is one of our favorite Chase transfer partners, thanks to the insanely low rates at which you can book even some four- and five-star Hyatt properties. Here are a few quick examples of how you can squeeze a ton of value out of your Chase points by transferring them to Hyatt.
We’ll start with the best: Hyatt is one of the few hotel chains that operate all-inclusive resorts that can be booked with points. These Hyatt Ziva and Zilara properties scattered throughout Mexico and the Caribbean are amazing. But the best part is that you can book them for just 20,000 to 25,000 points per night!
At that rate, you could spend up to three nights eating, drinking, and sleeping for free on a beach by transferring your Chase points to Hyatt. It’s cheaper than staying at home!
Hyatt has started adding smaller hotel chains to its portfolio, and it’s a great way to get a ton of bang for your buck. Check out the Thompson Chicago or Gild Hall in New York City – both properties typically sell for nearly $400 per night, but you can book them with just 15,000 Hyatt points!
Want to stay at a Park Hyatt, the hotel chain’s absolute top-of-the-line brand? Look for insane value when you’re traveling abroad: The Park Hyatt Saigon and Park Hyatt Siem Reap each can be booked for just 15,000 Hyatt points a night. Or spring for the Park Hyatt Mallorca at just 20,000 points per night.
Fancy a trip to Bali? Get your own villa with a private pool at the Alila Villas Uluwatu – one of the nicest properties on the island – for 30,000 points per night.
And through October 8, you can get up to 25% of your Hyatt points back on award stays with this current promotion. If you hold the World of Hyatt Credit Card, you’ll get a total of 25% of your points back on every award stay, while all other Hyatt members will get 15% of their points back. Most award stays will also get free parking.
How to Get Chase Points
Chase Ultimate Rewards points are viewed as some of the most valuable in the miles and points world in part because they’re so easy to collect.
And you should start off with the Chase Sapphire Preferred, which we’ve named the best card during these times. With this 60,000-point bonus after spending $4,000 in three months and an annual fee of $95 (which isn’t waived in the first year), it’s tough to beat. There are a handful of other perks, too. That includes 2x points on travel and restaurant purchases and no foreign transaction fees.
Between the extra value you get when booking through the Ultimate Rewards portal and flexibility of transfer partners, it’s easy to see why we generally consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred a better option than the Capital One Venture card.
Be warned that you can’t stack welcome offers by opening both the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve. Chase requires you to wait a whopping 48 months after receiving one Sapphire card bonus to be eligible for the other.
And this card is subject to Chase’s 5/24 rule. So you’ll have to consider your recent credit card applications to figure out if you’re able to apply for the card.
Click Here to get more information about the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.
This is just the start of what could be an endless list of ways to use up your 60,000 point bonus from the Chase Sapphire Preferred. We could go on for pages and pages.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred card has long been one of the best cards out there. But with 60,000 points, your options for future travel are nearly endless.