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Chase Sapphire Preferred Now Offering a 60k Bonus; Annual Fee No Longer Waived First Year

The Points Guy logo The Points Guy 3/19/2019 The Points Guy
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Official application link: Chase Sapphire Preferred Card with a 60,000-point bonus.

In many award travelers’ eyes, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is the OG rewards card — the perfect first pick to get you started earning valuable transferable points. It offers a 2x earning rate on travel and dining, has some strong travel protections, and a sub-$100 annual fee that’s easy to justify.

For years, the card’s offered the same standard public sign-up bonus: 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months, with the $95 annual fee waived for the first year. However, that’s just changed for the better: Now, new card holders will earn 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months — without the annual fee waived the first year. This is the new standard offer, so it will be available for the foreseeable future without any specific end date.

Based on TPG’s valuations, 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points are worth $1,200 — and the 10,000 extra points, compared to the old 50,000-point offer get you an additional $200 in value. So even though the $95 annual fee is no longer waived for the first 12 months, you’re getting more than $95 worth of points to use with transfer partners such as Hyatt, Marriott, Southwest and Singapore Airlines.

Even if you just redeemed the 10,000 additional points at a fixed value for travel booked via the Chase Travel site, you are still looking at $125 in value at a fixed rate of 1.25 cents per point. In other words, it doesn’t take an experienced master of all things points and miles to come out ahead with the new offer.

If you’re relatively new to points and miles, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great first credit card. Any well-balanced rewards-earning strategy will include a credit card that earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points, and if you’re just getting started (or simply don’t want to pay the higher $450 fee) the Chase Sapphire Reserve may not be the best option for you. And, it shouldn’t necessarily be the deciding factor, but the CSR still has a sign-up bonus of 50,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months, so the Preferred now offers new card holders 10,000 more points with a significantly lower annual fee.

It could make sense to start with the Chase Sapphire Preferred and down the line move to the Chase Sapphire Reserve, but just keep in mind that you can’t have both the CSP and the CSR open at the same time. You’ll need to wait at least 48 months between receiving the sign-up bonus on the Sapphire Preferred and receiving the bonus on the Reserve, so it is a pretty big commitment (though you may be able to product change from one to the other down the line).

Another important restriction to keep in mind when debating the Chase Sapphire Preferred: the Chase’s 5/24 rule. This prevents you from being approved for Chase cards, including the Sapphire Preferred, if you’ve opened five or more credit cards across all banks in the last 24 months. This won’t be as much of an issue for those who are newer to the award travel hobby, but if you’ve applied for several credit cards lately, you’ll want to make sure you’re eligible for this card and its sign-up bonus. The 5/24 rule also may make it worth prioritizing this application over other cards.

Bottom Line

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is our go-to credit card recommendation for those looking to get started earning points and miles. It has strong earning rates on travel and dining purchases and a diverse selection of travel partners that makes it easy to get great value out of your points. The CSP has long offered one of the most competitive sign-up bonuses out there, and now it’s even better.

If you don’t already have a Sapphire credit card in your wallet, getting the Sapphire Preferred with a 60,000-point sign-up bonus is an easy decision.

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.

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