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My introduction into the ‘credit card world’ was being approved for a secure credit card. After I improved my credit, I was able to apply for my first “real” credit card.
Interestingly, I applied for my first real card NOT because of the card benefits but because it was my favorite color…purple. Stop judging me!
It worked out well. But in hindsight, I wish I would’ve had someone in my circle that could’ve provided a roadmap when applying for my first credit card.
Fortunately, you do have someone in your circle as I’ve made all the mistakes that you could possible make with credit cards and can provide that road map.
Today, I want to share my Top 8 reasons why the Chase Sapphire Preferred should be your first card.
TOP 8 REASONS
1. THE WELCOME BONUS – 80,000 ULTIMATE REWARDS POINTS
Let’s be clear, not all welcome bonuses are the same, but this bonus is solid.
Since 2015, the Chase Sapphire Preferred has been offering a standard welcome bonus of 50,000 Ultimate Rewards.
In 2019, Chase increased the welcome bonus to 60,000 points and it was all the rage.
In September 2020, Chase increased the welcome bonus yet again, to 80,000 Ultimate Rewards Points after you spend $4000 in three months. That’s incredible!
2 . BROAD DINING AND TRAVEL CATEGORY
Many credit cards offer a category bonus for dining and travel. However, you will discover (often after reviewing your statement) that dining and travel purchases on those other cards did not “qualify” as dining or travel.
However, with Chase, rest assured that you’ll receive your points because the card has a broad scope for what qualifies as dining and travel.
Here are some real examples of purchases that I’ve earned 2x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent:
- Train (MARTA in ATL, BART in San Fran, Metro in D.C., etc)
- Airport parking garage & hospital parking garage
- Uber / Lyft (Note: Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022)
- Rental Car(s)
- Highway Tolls
- Tram Tickets (in Dubai)
- Wine Tour (in the backcountry of France)
- (Vegan) Doughnut Shop
- Food Truck
I can’t promise that EVERY food truck (or restaurant) will code as dining but the potential is dramatically higher with the Chase Sapphire Preferred than with other credit cards.
3. NO FOREIGN TRANSACTION FEES
Speaking of Dubai Tram tickets and wine tours in France…no one enjoys being charged a fee for making a transaction while in a different country. Well, Chase Sapphire Preferred has always waived foreign transaction fees which means you won’t be penalized for doing something like…(gasp) eating. 😉
4. PRIMARY CAR RENTAL INSURANCE
This insurance covers the entire loss, damage or theft of the car rental which means you don’t have to report it to your own personal insurance company. Personally, I don’t find myself renting cars too much but I’m glad this is a benefit when I do rent cars (especially when I use THIS TRICK).
If your flight, train, or other common carrier is delayed more than 12 hours (or you require an overnight stay as a result of the delay), you can be reimbured – up to $500 per ticket – for unreimbursed expenses (e.g. meals and lodging).
This is one of my favorite benefits of this card. It’s never any fun when your flight is cancelled but this insurance makes the situation A LOT better!
6. TRIP CANCELLATION / TRIP INTERRUPTION INSURANCE
You can be reimbursed up to $10,000 per trip for pre-paid, nonrefundable travel expenses such as plane tickets, hotels or tours if your trip is cut short or interrupted by sickness, severe weather or other covered situations.
7. BAGGAGE DELAY INSURANCE
There’s nothing worse than arriving at your destination and being the last person at the baggage claim because your bags never arrived.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred has you covered. They will reimburse you $100 per day (up to 5 days) for essential purchases like clothing and toiletries when your checked baggage is delayed by more than 6 hours.
And, perhaps, the reason that you’re most interested in points/miles…
8. REDEMPTION OPTIONS
Let’s cut to the chase (no pun intended)…the reason that you’re reading this post is because you have travel goals.
Whether you’re redeeming points for an economy seat to visit your family domestically or redeeming points to fly Business (or even 1stClass) to a far exotic location, it can all be accomplished with Chase Sapphire Preferred.
Don’t believe me? Check out THIS POST.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card, both, for individuals that are just starting and those that are experienced award travelers. Chase Sapphire Preferred has played a big role in my family’s ability to travel extensively for years.
However, understanding the “Chase 5/24 Rule” may determine how soon you are able to obtain it. This is why I suggest obtaining the Chase Sapphire Preferred card first.
Once you are approved for this card and meet the minimum spend, you will be obtaining a minimum of $1000 in value from solely using the welcome bonus to book flights and hotels through the Chase Travel Portal. But, with a bit of strategy (and of course following this blog), it wouldn’t be difficult to extract even more value by transferring the points to the Chase Ultimate Rewards partners.
What benefit is most impressive to you?