Credit Card Reviews

Chase Sapphire Reserve 100k Offer: “She Gone” but it’s Still a Great Card

chase sapphire reserve 100k

Editorial Disclaimer: This post may include references to offers from our partners. We may receive compensation when you click on links to specific products. The opinions expressed here are ours alone and at no time has the editorial content been provided, reviewed, or approved by any issuer.

Did you hear about the Chase Sapphire Reserve 100k signup bonus that they offered when the card was announced? Yep, it really was that high! For the first few months after inception, the Chase Sapphire Reserve had a 100k Ultimate Rewards point signup bonus. That was back in the second half of 2016.

Supposedly, Chase ran this limited time offer at a loss to the tune of a whopping $300 million. They’ll likely make up that loss in their cardmembers’ life cycle though. In fact, the promotion was so “successful” that Chase reached their 12-month acquisition goal in just two weeks. At Travel Freedom, we see it as the best premium credit card in the travel industry.

 

Chase Sapphire Reserve: 100k  50k Signup Bonus

As mentioned, even with a signup bonus half as big as it was originally, we still think that the Chase Sapphire Reserve is the best premium credit card in all of the travel credit card market. How is that possible? It’s possible because the Chase Sapphire Reserve has the best travel benefits ever seen in a credit card offer.

Let’s first talk about the signup bonus. The official value of the signup bonus given by Chase is $750, but that is not using the optimal redemption value. The points from the 50k Ultimate Rewards signup bonus can simply be worth at least $1000 simply by redeeming with Chase travel partners.

50,000 Points after spending $4000 in the first 3 months

Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card
  • Introductory Offer: Earn an introductory 50,000 points after spending $4,000 within the first three months.
  • Statement Credits: Receive a $300 in statement credits each year (based on your account anniversary) to cover travel expenses like airfare and hotels.
  • Receive a $100 Statement credit as reimbursement for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck enrollment.
  • Earning Categories: You’ll earn 3 points per $1 spent on dining and on travel that doesn’t qualify for the $300 travel reimbursement each year and one point per $1 on everything else.
  • Travel Point Transfer Partners: 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs.
  • Extra Point Value: Receive 50 percent more value for your points when you redeem for travel via Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • Airport Lounge Access: Visit more than 1000 airport lounge locations while traveling with a Priority Pass Select membership.
  • Annual Fee: $450

Our thoughts about the Chase Sapphire Reserve 100k 50k Offer:

The 50k signup bonus is one of the best of any credit cards in the market and it’s just the icing on top of this cards benefits. The benefits of this card are nothing short of great. A $300 travel credit, airport lounge access, TSA PreCheck, and more. Like I said, the benefits are worth more than the annual fee and the signup bonus is the icing on top. The signup bonus alone for this card got us 2 round-trip flights to Hawaii. 3X points on travel and dining can be useful as well. The Chase Sapphire Reserve is a must have credit card for people who travel often and can take advantage of its perks. It also makes for a perfect credit card combination with a few of the other Ultimate Rewards cards, as you can combine your point balances between card accounts.

Learn more about the Chase Sapphire Reserve 100k 50k offer and find out how to apply HERE.

 

Redeeming Ultimate Rewards through Chase Transfer Partners

Although Ultimate Rewards are given a value of 1.25 cents each by Chase, you can make your points from the Chase Sapphire Reserve 100k 50k bonus worth more than that. There are 13 Ultimate Rewards travel partners consisting of airlines and hotels. You can transfer your points to any of these programs at a 1:1 ratio. We often transfer our Ultimate Rewards to Southwest Airlines, British Airways, and Hyatt hotels to earn redemptions well above 2 cents per point. That’s nearly double what Chase advertises as the value.

Ultimate Rewards Airline Transfer Partners

  • Aer Lingus AerClub
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Air France/KLM Flying Blue
  • Iberia Plus
  • JetBlue TrueBlue
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
  • United Airlines MileagePlus
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

Ultimate Rewards Hotel Transfer Partners

  • Hyatt Gold Passport
  • IHG Rewards Club
  • Marriott Rewards
  • The Ritz-Carlton Rewards

 

Earn Spending Bonuses on Travel and Dining

This card will give you more than just the Chase Sapphire Reserve 100k 50k signup bonus. It has a couple of valuable spending bonus categories. You’ll earn 3X points on all travel and dining purchases. I’m sure you spend money on these two quite a bit.

  • Travel: The travel bonus counts for flights, trains, taxi’s, other transportation, hotels, and much more.
  • Dining: Dining is considered anything purchased from restaurants, bars, cafes, fast food restaurants, restaurant delivery services like (Caviar, Eat24, GrubHub, Postmates, Seamless), and even from vending machines.

I’m going to guess that you spend some money on both travel and dining occasionally. Spending bonuses are a great way to earn some extra Ultimate Rewards without really doing anything. By earning 3X points on these purchases and then redeeming Ultimate Rewards at a value of 2 cents each, you’re essentially earning 6% back on those purchases. 6% value back on a credit card is unheard of!

sapphire reserve 100k

 

Chase Sapphire Reserve $300 Travel Credit

If you spend at least $300 on travel yearly, the Chase Sapphire Reserve $300 travel credit essentially erases 2/3 of the annual fee. By taking advantage of the Sapphire Reserve 300 travel credit, the annual fee gets knocked down to $150 (only $55 more than the Sapphire Preferred). That means that you’re paying just $55 for all the other benefits of the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

The Sapphire Reserve travel credit is very simple to use. Every time you spend money on a travel-related expense, you will automatically receive a statement credit for it. Things that count towards the travel credit are:

  • Airlines
  • Hotels
  • Motels
  • Timeshares
  • Campgrounds
  • Car Rental Agencies
  • Cruise Lines
  • Travel Agencies
  • Discount Travel Sites
  • Passenger Trains
  • Buses
  • Taxis
  • Limousines
  • Ferries
  • Toll Bridges and Highways
  • Parking Lots and Garages (parking tickets also – ugh)

 

Lounge Access is the Best Benefit of the Sapphire Reserve

The Chase Sapphire Reserve card offers complimentary Priority Pass Select airport lounge access. After being approved for your credit card, you’ll have to activate your Priority Pass Select account. Then you’ll automatically receive a new membership card each year you keep your Sapphire Reserve credit card. Priority Pass airport lounges range in quality, but they’re all a nice relaxing place to get away while you wait at the airport. We like to grab a snack and a drink, charge our phones, and hang out in the comfort of lounge chairs.

Below, are the amenities you can expect in a Priority Pass lounge.

  • Digital Membership Card Option
  • Free Wifi
  • Drinks & Snacks
  • Alcoholic Drinks
  • TV’s
  • Internet Data Ports
  • Newspapers & Magazines
  • Disabled Access

Some lounges also have a few extra perks.

  • Showers
  • Conference Rooms (subject to a fee)

 

chase sapphire reserve 100k points

 

Priority Pass now features a few restaurants as well as lounges. At Priority Pass restaurants, members can use their membership card to earn a $28 credit for both themselves and one guest. So, if you and your guest go to a Priority Pass restaurant, you’ll have $56 to spend that will be covered by Priority Pass.

 

Don’t Forget About the Chase 5/24 Rule

Chase has an unwritten rule, known as the “Chase 5/24 Rule”, that only allows you to be approved for a Chase-branded credit card if you have less than five new credit cards opened within the last 24 months. The five credit cards opened don’t just include Chase credit cards, it includes nearly all credit cards. Small business credit cards don’t count toward the five card limit, but the Chase 5/24 rule does come into effect when applying for a business card.

Chase 5/24 Rule FAQ’s

Can I apply for 2 Chase credit cards on the same day when I’m 4/24 and get approved for both?

  • Data suggests you can, however, we recommend not pushing the line and only apply for one Chase card at a time. People have reported having their account shut down for applying for too much credit.

Can I apply the day my 5/24 limit drops off?

  • Preferably wait until the first day of the next month to apply.

I’m over the 5/24 rule limit, can I be approved for a card from another bank?

  • Yes. Approvals for credit cards from other banks besides Chase are not impacted by your 5/24 score. Each bank has their own set of rules for approval.

Do Chase business cards count toward my 5/24 score?

  • No. Being approved for a Chase business card will not add to your 5/24 limit. However, to get approved for a Chase business card you must be below the 5/24 limit.

 

The Chase Sapphire Reserve 100k 50k Signup Bonus is Still a Great Offer

While the Chase Reserve 100k signup bonus only lasted a few months, 50k points is still a great offer. At a value of at least $750, it’s still one of the premier bonuses of all cards. What makes it such a great offer is the amazing travel benefits the card comes with. Yes, the annual fee is $450, but it’s worth every penny and more. The signup bonus can be worth over $1000 if you redeem your points efficiently and the other travel benefits are worth even more than that if you use them regularly.

Back in 2016, I was lucky enough to get in on the Chase Sapphire Reserve 100k point offer. With such a high annual fee I planned to downgrade the card before the second year to lose the annual fee. I was wrong. I continue paying the annual fee to keep the card active because the benefits are just so good.

If you’re someone who travels often, this will be a great credit card for you. It sure has been valuable to me. The Chase Sapphire Reserve 100k 50k offer is still well worth the application. It’s the best premium travel credit card in the industry.

Chase Ink Preferred 100k Offer is Gone but it’s Still the Best

chase ink preferred 100k

Editorial Disclaimer: This post may include references to offers from our partners. We may receive compensation when you click on links to specific products. The opinions expressed here are ours alone and at no time has the editorial content been provided, reviewed, or approved by any issuer.

You may have heard about the Chase Ink Preferred 100k offer that took place in 2018. It was a short-lived offer to receive extra Ultimate Rewards points as a signup bonus for the Chase Ink Preferred credit card. When this offer was live, it wasn’t even a public offer. You had to go into a Chase branch and hopefully have a branch manager allow you to get the offer. According to Chases information you also had to have a business with revenue over a million dollars. The bad news is there is no offer for a Chase Ink Preferred 100k signup bonus anymore.

The good news is the Chase Ink Preferred is still offering the best signup bonus in the credit card industry. The Chase Ink Preferred offers a signup bonus of 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points! That’s enough points to get more than $1,600 of travel value if they’re redeemed efficiently. At Travel Freedom, we see it as the best credit card offer available right now.

 

Chase Ink Preferred: 100k  80k Signup Bonus

As mentioned, we believe that the signup bonus for the Chase Ink Preferred card is the best in the business. The official value given by Chase is $1000, but that is the minimum redemption value. The points from the 80k Ultimate Rewards signup bonus can simply be worth at least double that ($1,600) by redeeming with Chase Ultimate Rewards travel partners.

80,000 Points after spending $5000 in the first 3 months

Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
  • Introductory Offer: You’ll earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from your account opening.
  • Category Spend Bonuses: You’ll earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories (including social media advertising!) each account anniversary year.  You’ll earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases, with no limit to the amount you can earn.
  • Other Benefits: Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.  You can redeem points for travel, cash back, and gift cards, or transfer your points to an airline or hotel partner.  You’ll get a cell phone protection plan of up to $600 when you pay your cell phone bill with the card.  You’ll receive rental car loss and damage coverage if your reservation is paid with the card.
  • Annual Fee: $95 Annual Fee

Our thoughts about the Chase Ink Preferred 100k 80k Offer:

The 80k signup bonus is the best of any credit card in the market. Chase is giving away a ton of value for a credit card with only a $95 annual fee. The benefits of this card are great. The signup bonus alone for this card got us 3 round-trip flights to Hawaii. The spending category bonuses earn extra Ultimate Rewards for our online businesses. The Chase Ink Preferred is a must have credit card if you’re looking to earn Ultimate Rewards. It makes for a perfect credit card combination with a few of the other Ultimate Rewards cards, as you can combine your point balances between card accounts.

Learn more about the Chase Ink Business Preferred 100k 80k offer and find out how to apply HERE.

 

Redeeming Your Ultimate Rewards for More Value

As mentioned above, you can redeem the Ultimate Rewards that you’ll earn with the Chase Ink Preferred 100k 80k for more value than Chase advertises. There are 13 Ultimate Rewards travel partners consisting of airlines and hotels. You can transfer your points to any of these programs at a 1:1 ratio. We often transfer our points to Southwest Airlines, British Airways, and Hyatt hotels to earn redemptions well above 2 cents per point.

Ultimate Rewards Airline Transfer Partners

  • Aer Lingus AerClub
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Air France/KLM Flying Blue
  • Iberia Plus
  • JetBlue TrueBlue
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
  • United Airlines MileagePlus
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

 

Ultimate Rewards Hotel Transfer Partners

  • Hyatt Gold Passport
  • IHG Rewards Club
  • Marriott Rewards
  • The Ritz-Carlton Rewards

chase ink preferred 100k offer

 

Earn Bonus Points on your Business Spending

This card offers more than just the Chase Ink Preferred 100k 80k signup bonus. It has some great spending bonuses for certain business categories. You’ll earn 3X points on all spending in the following categories. I’m sure you spend money on at least a few of these categories regularly.

  • Travel: The travel bonus counts for flights, trains, taxi’s, other transportation, hotels, and much more.
  • Shipping: Do you ship packages for your business? This is one of the only credit cards that earn a bonus on shipping expenses.
  • Internet, Phone, & Cable: Does your business use a phone and the internet. I’m pretty sure every business does.
  • Online Advertising (search engines & social media): Think Google, Bing, Facebook, Pinterest

I’d bet you spend money on some of these categories. They’re a great way to earn some extra Ultimate Rewards without really doing anything. By earning 3X points on these purchases and then redeeming Ultimate Rewards at a value of 2 cents each, you’re essentially earning 6% back on those purchases. 6% value back on a credit card is unheard of!

 

Don’t Forget About the Chase 5/24 Rule

Chase has an unwritten rule, known as the “Chase 5/24 Rule”, that only allows you to be approved for a Chase-branded credit card if you have less than five new credit cards opened within the last 24 months. The five credit cards opened don’t just include Chase credit cards, it includes nearly all credit cards. Small business credit cards don’t count toward the five card limit, but the Chase 5/24 rule does come into effect when applying for a business card.

 

Chase 5/24 Rule FAQ’s

Can I apply for 2 Chase credit cards on the same day when I’m 4/24 and get approved for both?

  • Data suggests you can, however, we recommend not pushing the line and only apply for one Chase card at a time. People have reported having their account shut down for applying for too much credit.

Can I apply the day my 5/24 limit drops off?

  • Preferably wait until the first day of the next month to apply.

I’m over the 5/24 rule limit, can I be approved for a card from another bank?

  • Yes. Approvals for credit cards from other banks besides Chase are not impacted by your 5/24 score. Each bank has their own set of rules for approval.

Do Chase business cards count toward my 5/24 score?

  • No. Being approved for a Chase business card will not add to your 5/24 limit. However, to get approved for a Chase business card you must be below the 5/24 limit.

Chase Ink Preferred 100k signup bonus

 

The Chase Ink Preferred 100k 80k Bonus is Still the Best Offer

While the Chase Ink Preferred 100k signup bonus was short lived and never even a public offer, 80k points is still an amazing signup bonus. It’s the best regular introductory offer we’ve seen for a credit card since we started earning points back in 2012. It’s such a great offer because of the number of points you receive and the high value of those points. Ultimate Rewards are the most valuable points of any rewards program.

If you’re able to, get on this offer while it lasts. The Chase ink Preferred 100k 80k offer is the best in the business and the best we’ve ever seen for a regular signup bonus.

Business Travel Credit Cards that Earn More than Just Cash Back

the best business travel credit cards

Editorial Disclaimer: This post may include references to offers from our partners. We may receive compensation when you click on links to specific products. The opinions expressed here are ours alone and at no time has the editorial content been provided, reviewed, or approved by any issuer.

As a small business owner, you’re always looking to both save and earn more money wherever possible.  1% growth on your bottom line is more money in your pocket and therefore good for your business. If, for instance, you could sell your product for 1% more or manufacture it for 1% less, you’d probably be very happy.  One way that your business can earn more, is by getting a better return on all expenses.  The way to do that is through the best business travel credit cards and their introductory bonuses.  They will make you wonder why you were ever happy with that 1% cash back credit card.

More information on each card can be found below:

 

Are You Missing Out on Free Travel Rewards?

If you’re using cash, a debit card, or even the wrong credit card for business expenses, you are missing out on either cash back or free travel.  While cash-back can be great, most cash-back credit cards will only earn you 1-2% back on all purchases. If you were to get the right combination of business travel credit cards, you could instead be regularly earning 5-10% value or more back in travel points.  Even better, if you’re willing to apply for business travel credit cards continually earning introductory bonuses, you can often earn at least a 10-20% travel value return on your spending.

best travel credit cards for business

 

34% Value Back Using a Business Travel Credit Card

Is it really possible to get as much as 34% back on your business expenses?  It sure is.  I’ll give you an example with one of the current business travel credit cards offering a great opportunity.  If, for instance, you sign up for the Chase Ink Preferred credit card and used it for your next $5000 of spend, you’d earn at least 85,000 points (introductory bonus plus at least 1x points on your spend).

How much is 85,000 points worth? On average, Chase Ultimate Rewards are worth about 2.0 cents (according to The Points Guy – Sept. 2018) each when used for travel. That means that your business spending of $5000 just earned you a potential travel value of $1,700.  A whopping 34% value back on your spending!!! No joke! That’s a lot more value than your average 1-2% cash back of $50-100… Think of the possible vacations you could be taking with all those points.

 

Travel More, While Spending Less

If you already travel a lot, you’re now going to be saving a lot of money using points, instead of your hard earned money.  If you don’t travel much yet, by now using business travel credit cards, you”ll have enough travel points to do it without spending much money at all.  Over the past few years, I have been able to travel as often as I can get time off, thanks to the abundance of points I’ve earned.  With all the hard work you’re doing on your business, I’m sure you could use a nice vacation!  Can you feel the warm sand between your toes yet?

best business travel credit cards airport

Best Business Travel Credit Cards Available Today

While the Chase Ink Preferred introductory offer is currently the best in the market at 80,000 points, there are plenty of other great business travel credit cards that can earn around $1000 of real world travel value.  There are also some extremely valuable benefits that come along with these business travel credit cards.  Some of them will save you money. Others will help you earn even more points through category spending bonuses.  I’ve compiled a list of the five best business travel credit cards that you should look into, according to their introductory bonuses and features.

 

Ink Business Preferred Credit Card

80,000 Point Introductory Offer

Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card

Features That Make This Credit Card Great:

  • Introductory Offer: You’ll earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from your account opening.
  • Category Spend Bonuses: You’ll earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories (including social media advertising!) each account anniversary year.  You’ll earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases, with no limit to the amount you can earn.
  • Other Benefits: Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.  You can redeem points for travel, cash back, and gift cards, or transfer your points to an airline or hotel partner.  You’ll get a cell phone protection plan of up to $600 when you pay your cell phone bill with the card.  You’ll receive rental car loss and damage coverage if your reservation is paid with the card.
  • Annual Fee: $95 Annual Fee

Our thoughts about this business travel credit card:

The Introductory Offer is one of the best we’ve seen for any credit card.  It’s a surprise how much value they give for a credit card with only a $95 annual fee.  We have this card and love the benefits.  We used the introductory offer bonus to purchase two round-trip flights to Hawaii, and still have 30,000 points left over.  That’s pretty impressive in itself.  On top of that, the spending category bonuses are worthwhile for most online businesses.

 


Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card

50,000 Point Introductory Offer

Chase Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card

Features That Make This Credit Card Great:

  • Introductory Offer: You’ll earn $500 bonus cash back (via 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Category Spend Bonuses: You’ll earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase made for your business.
  • Special Introductory APR: 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers.
  • Annual Fee: There is no annual fee.

Our thoughts about this business travel credit card:

Receiving this large of an introductory offer bonus on a no annual fee credit card used to be unheard of.  Now Chase has two of them.  I see this card as an excellent supplemental credit card to go along with the other Ink credit cards.  Because it earns 1.5 points per dollar on ALL purchases, it’s great for those purchases that don’t fall into a category bonus of the other cards.

 


Ink Business Cash Credit Card

50,000 Point Introductory Offer

Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card

Features That Make This Credit Card Great:

  • Introductory Offer: You’ll earn $500 bonus cash back (via 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Category Spend Bonuses: You’ll earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent on purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year.  You’ll earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year.  You’ll earn 1% cash back on all other purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn.
  • Special Introductory APR: 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers.
  • Annual Fee: There is no annual fee.

Our thoughts about this business travel credit card:

I love this travel business credit card!  Why? Because it earns 5 points per dollar on multiple categories that I actually spend in regularly.  Phone bill, internet bill, and all office supplies earn 5X points!  On top of that, office supply stores sell gift cards that can be used for many of our other expenses.  Did I mention it currently has a huge introductory offer bonus and no annual fee?  I loved this card even without the bonus!

 


Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card

60,000 Point Introductory Offer

Chase Southwest RR Premier Business Credit Card

Features That Make This Credit Card Great:

  • Introductory Offer: You’ll earn 60,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months that your account is open.
  • Category Spend Bonuses: You’ll earn 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest purchases and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partner purchases. You’ll earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Points Redemption: There are no blackout dates when you redeem points, no seat restrictions, bags fly free, and there are no change fees.
  • Annual Fee: $99 (Earn 6,000 bonus points after your Card member anniversary.)

Our thoughts about this business travel credit card:

Southwest’s reward booking process is by far the easiest to maneuver of all airlines.  Their points coincide with the dollar price of flights so you can get a great deal when they have sales.  I’ve flown round-trip for fewer than 7,000 points before.  The introductory offer bonus can go a long way.  Also, the introductory offer currently counts towards earning the Southwest Companion Pass, which is the absolute best deal in the traveling with points world.

 


CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select World Mastercard

70,000 Point Introductory Offer *LIMITED TIME OFFER

CitiBusiness Aadvantage Platinum Select Credit Card

Features That Make This Credit Card Great:

  • Introductory Offer: (Limited time) You’ll earn 70,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles after making $4,000 in purchases within the first 4 months of account opening
  • American Airlines Benefits: Your first checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines flights.  You’ll save 25% on American Airlines in flight Wi-Fi when you use your card. You’ll also receive preferred boarding on American Airlines flights.
  • Category Spend Bonuses: You’ll earn 2 miles per $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases.  You’ll earn 2 miles for every $1 spent on purchases at telecommunications merchants, cable and satellite providers, car rental merchants and at gas stations.  You’ll earn 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Annual Fee: $99 (waived for the first 12 months)

Our thoughts about this business travel credit card:

Wow! This introductory offer bonus is pretty special.  Plus, they’re still waiving the annual fee for the first 12 months.  It’s not every day you see an offer like this.

 


The Business Platinum Card from American Express OPEN – LEARN MORE

Up to 75,000 Point Introductory Offer

AMEX Business Platinum Credit Card LEARN MORE >

Features That Make This Credit Card Great:

  • Welcome Offer: You’ll earn up to 75,000 Membership Rewards points. You’ll earn 50,000 points after you spend $10,000 and an extra 25,000 points after you spend an additional $10,000 all on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Category Spend Bonuses: You’ll earn 5X points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com. You’ll earn 1.5 points per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more (up to 1,000,000 additional points per year).
  • Flight Bonuses: 35% Airline Bonus: Use Membership Rewards Pay with Points for a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and you can get 35% of the points back, up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year. You can also receive 35% points back on all First and Business class flights, with all airlines available through American Express Travel.
  • Airport Lounge Access: You can enjoy access to The American Express Global Lounge CollectionSM offering access to the most lounges across the globe.
  • Other Travel Benefits: $200 Airline Credit per calendar year.  Global Entry or TSA PreCheck statement credit.  Hilton & Starwood Gold Status.
  • Terms Apply

Our thoughts about this business travel credit card:

While this card isn’t for all businesses due to the high minimum spend to earn the welcome bonus, it has it’s valuable perks.  If you’re able to earn the welcome bonus, it’s very valuable with the Membership Rewards transfer partners.  The flying benefits of this card are what it’s all about in our opinion.  Lounge access, travel credits, free Global Entry or TSA PreCheck for 5 years, and hotel status all comes with this credit card.  If it’s right for your business, it can make traveling a joy.

LEARN MORE >

 


How We Chose the Best Business Travel Cards

  • Introductory Bonus Value: Obviously, a large portion of the value in these credit card offers comes from the introductory bonus.  We like to use The Points Guy’s point valuations to calculate a more accurate dollar amount for each offer when used for travel.
  • Earning Potential: We researched which cards have true value in their category spend bonuses.  This means they have earning bonuses in categories that are often used by businesses.
  • Travel Benefits: We factored in annual travel credits, like the $200 airline credit and lounge access offered by the Business Platinum Card from American Express OPEN.
  • Annual Fees: While an annual fee can make sense, we only find it worth paying them if the benefits of the card far outweigh the yearly cost.

Are You Eligible For a Business Travel Credit Card?

If you have a business or even just do some freelancing jobs as a side hustle, a small business credit card can help you separate your expenses, give you more buying power, and let you earn points from your business purchases. As you’ve seen, business credit cards offer bonus rewards on categories such as office supplies, airfare, advertising, dining and gas.  If you’re eligible through your business or side hustle, you could benefit greatly by having one or more business credit cards.

When you apply you will be asked for an EIN if your business has one.  Use this number on your application, which you should have received when you applied for your business.  If you are working as a sole proprietor, you won’t have an EIN and can simply use your social security number in this field when applying.  I have personally applied for and been approved for multiple business credit cards using both types of identification numbers.

Earn More Points Through Category Spend Bonuses

On top of the great introductory offers, category bonuses on spend make some of these business travel credit cards even better. Most of them have bonus spending categories that could make a lot of sense for your business. A couple of the category bonuses that I frequently take advantage of, are: 3X rewards for advertising on social media platforms from the Chase Ink Business Preferred credit card, and 5X rewards on office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services from the Chase Ink Cash credit card.  Oh, and by the way, office supply stores happen to have a plentiful gift card selection… Wink, wink. This means that there is the potential of earning 5x points on almost all expenses that your business has.

vacation from business using points

Take More Vacations: It’s Now Possible

The conclusion of this story is that if you’re interested in traveling, and you’re currently making the mistake of using cash, debit card, or even cash back cards for your business expenses, YOU’RE PROBABLY DOING IT WRONG!!!  Find the right business travel credit card for your small business.  Then start earning something more valuable than 1-2% cash back. You can be getting much more value back from your business expenses.

If you’re not sure about the five cards we mentioned above, you can compare a larger selection of business travel credit cards here: Travel Credit Cards.  Take some time to review and compare what’s best for your business.  Imagine the vacations you and your family could be taking together…

Chase Sapphire Reserve vs Preferred: A Story of Two Travelers

chase sapphire reserve vs preferred

Editorial Disclaimer: This post may include references to offers from our partners. We may receive compensation when you click on links to specific products. The opinions expressed here are ours alone and at no time has the editorial content been provided, reviewed, or approved by any issuer.

There are two versions of Chase Sapphire credit card. They’re both excellent travel credit cards but are made for slightly different types of travelers. We’re going to examine the competition between the Chase Sapphire Reserve vs Preferred. Is one of the cards better than the other? Like comparing most cards, it depends on who you’re talking to. One Chase Sapphire card may be better for you, while the other card may be better for someone else.

We’ve found that typically, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is the best first travel credit card to get. It has a modest annual fee (which is waived in year 1) with good travel benefits and a nice signup bonus. Meanwhile, the Chase Sapphire Reserve is the best credit card for regular travelers. It has a higher annual fee but comes with a tremendous amount of valuable travel benefits.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve vs Preferred competition is more complex than just comparing the features and selecting an overall winner. Which travel credit card is best, highly depends on the customers’ preferences. Let’s begin by taking a look at the features and benefits of each credit card to find out which card is right for you.

 

Chase Sapphire Reserve Review

The Chase Sapphire Reserve has done the impossible. It has made a $450 annual fee for a credit card seem like a steal by having amazing travel benefits. While it may be hard to get past the thought of paying $450 up front for the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the benefits are well worth the annual fee. For people who travel regularly, the lounge access, travel credit, and expedited airport security alone give enough value to cover the annual fee. That doesn’t even include the signup bonus, which adds even more value.


Chase Sapphire Reserve

50,000 Points after spending $4000 in the first 3 months

Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card
  • Introductory Offer: Earn an introductory 50,000 points after spending $4,000 within the first three months.
  • Statement Credits: Receive a $300 in statement credits each year (based on your account anniversary) to cover travel expenses like airfare and hotels.
  • Receive a $100 Statement credit as reimbursement for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck enrollment.
  • Earning Categories: You’ll earn 3 points per $1 spent on dining and on travel that doesn’t qualify for the $300 travel reimbursement each year and one point per $1 on everything else.
  • Travel Point Transfer Partners: 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs.
  • Extra Point Value: Receive 50 percent more value for your points when you redeem for travel via Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • Airport Lounge Access: Visit more than 1000 airport lounge locations while traveling with a Priority Pass Select membership.
  • Annual Fee: $450

Learn more about this card and find out how to apply HERE.


Sapphire Reserve Signup Bonus

The Chase Sapphire Reserve 50,000 point signup bonus is worth at least $750 if used toward travel. Because you’ll redeem at a higher rate of 1.5 cents per point you get more value out of your Ultimate Rewards points. By transferring Ultimate Rewards to one of Chase’s travel partners you can redeem points for well over 2 cents per point. This option can make the Sapphire Reserve signup bonus worth more than $1000.

Chase Sapphire Reserve 300 Travel Credit

If you spend at least $300 on travel yearly, the Chase Sapphire Reserve $300 travel credit essentially erases 2/3 of the annual fee. By taking advantage of the Sapphire Reserve 300 travel credit, the annual fee gets knocked down to $150 (only $55 more than the Sapphire Preferred). That means that you’re paying just $55 for all the other benefits of the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

The Sapphire Reserve travel credit is very simple to use. Every time you spend money on a travel-related expense, you will automatically receive a statement credit for it. Things that count towards the travel credit are:

  • Airlines
  • Hotels
  • Motels
  • Timeshares
  • Campgrounds
  • Car Rental Agencies
  • Cruise Lines
  • Travel Agencies
  • Discount Travel Sites
  • Passenger Trains
  • Buses
  • Taxis
  • Limousines
  • Ferries
  • Toll Bridges and Highways
  • Parking Lots and Garages (parking tickets also – ugh)

Chase Sapphire Reserve Lounge Access

Along with this premium credit card comes complimentary Chase Sapphire Reserve Lounge access. After being approved you’ll have to activate your Priority Pass Select account to get Sapphire Reserve airport lounge access. Once activated, you’ll automatically receive your card each year you keep your Sapphire Reserve credit card. Priority Pass airport lounges range in quality, but they’re all a nice place to get away from the chaos of airport terminals.

When you enter a Priority Pass lounge you can expect to receive the following amenities:

  • Digital Membership Card Option
  • Free Wifi
  • Drinks & Snacks
  • Alcoholic Drinks
  • TV’s
  • Internet Data Ports
  • Newspapers & Magazines
  • Disabled Access

Some Priority Pass lounges also have:

  • Showers
  • Conference Rooms (subject to a fee)

chase sapphire reserve lounge

 

Priority Pass also now features some restaurants. Priority Pass members are able to show the restaurant their membership card to earn a $28 credit for themselves and a guest. That means if you and your guest go to a Priority Pass restaurant, you have $56 to spend that will be waived.

Overall, the Chase Sapphire Reserve packs a powerful punch of travel benefits. With its amazing travel benefits, the Chase Sapphire Reserve has been crowned the best premium travel credit card. It’s clear that the benefits will far outweigh the annual fee for people who travel often. In the Chase Sapphire Reserve vs Preferred comparison, it’s going to be hard for the Sapphire Preferred to match what the Reserve brings to the table. Let’s see how the Chase Sapphire Preferred does.

 

Chase Sapphire Preferred Review

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is often referred to as the best first travel credit card. This is because it has a lot of travel value while having a modest annual fee that is waived in the first year. It is very similar to the Sapphire Reserve but without many of the premium travel benefits. The main features of the Sapphire Preferred are the signup bonus, elevated Ultimate Reward redemption rates, and the ability to transfer points to travel partners.


Chase Sapphire Preferred

50,000 Points after spending $4000 in the first 3 months

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card
  • Introductory Offer: You’ll earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards and potentially even more if transferred to travel partners.
  • Earning Categories: You’ll earn 2 points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Travel Point Transfer Partners: 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs.
  • Extra Point Value: Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • Annual Fee: $95 (waived in year 1)

Learn more about this card and find out how to apply HERE.


Sapphire Preferred Signup Bonus

The Chase Sapphire Preferred 50,000 point signup bonus is worth at least $625 if used toward travel. Ultimate Rewards can be redeemed at a higher rate of 1.25 cents per point through the travel portal which is more than the average card, but 25% less than the Sapphire Reserve. The Chase Sapphire Preferred also has access to the Ultimate Rewards travel transfer partners. By transferring Ultimate Rewards to one of the travel partners you can redeem points for well over 2 cents per point. Like the Sapphire Reserve, this redemption option can make the Sapphire Preferred signup bonus worth more than $1000.

Waived Annual Fee in Year 1

Other than the Chase Sapphire Preferred signup bonus being very good, the card also waives the annual fee in the first year. For no fee in year one, you’ll get up to more than $1000 in travel through the signup bonus. That’s a pretty great deal.

 

Chase Sapphire Reserve vs Preferred: And the Winner is…

From the above reviews, you can see that both Chase Sapphire cards are very good travel credit cards. So which card comes out on top of the Chase Sapphire Reserve vs Preferred comparison? The Sapphire Reserve is a high annual fee card that comes with a huge amount of value. The Sapphire Preferred is a card with a lower annual fee (none in the first year) that still gives a large number of Ultimate Rewards as a signup bonus.

Even though overall, the Chase Sapphire Reserve seems like the best card, it really depends on who the card is for. If you don’t travel very often, many of the benefits of the Sapphire Reserve will go wasted. If you do travel often, you’d benefit greatly from the travel benefits of the Sapphire Reserve. Below you can compare the important features of both cards side by side.

 

Chase Sapphire Reserve vs Preferred Side by Side

 Chase Sapphire Reserve
Chase Sapphire Preferred
Signup Bonus50,000 Points after $4000 in first 3 months50,000 Points after $4000 in first 3 months
Earning Rates3X Travel & Dining2X Travel & Dining
UR Travel Portal - Redemption Value1.5 Cents per Point1.25 Cents per Point
Travel Credit$300N/A
Lounge AccessPriority Pass SelectN/A
TSA PreCheck or Global EntryFull Statement Credit for Either ($85/$100)N/A
Authorized User Fee$75$0
Annual Fee$450$95 (waived in year 1)

 

Personally, if I had to choose between the two cards: Chase Sapphire Reserve vs Preferred, I would currently choose the Sapphire Reserve. I currently have it and get a ton of value from the signup bonus, lounge access, travel credit, and TSA PreCheck. This is because my wife and I are traveling often. Let’s take a look at two other travelers to see which card suits them best.

 

A Story of Two Travelers

chase sapphire reserve vs chase sapphire preferredEmilia’s Story: 

Emilia’s an elementary school teacher who loves teaching her 4th-grade class during the year. She also loves taking a nice big vacation each summer during her time off. The life of a teacher is tough during the school year and is very deserving of some relaxing time away.

Because Emilia doesn’t travel a lot throughout the year and just wants at least one vacation each year, the Chase Sapphire Preferred was a great choice for her. Just half of the signup bonus alone gave her enough miles to book a round-trip flight to Hawaii last summer (by transferring 25k of her points to British Airways). Also, she didn’t even have to pay an annual fee for the first year so the points came completely free.

With her summer flight only taking up less than her Ultimate Rewards balance, Emilia decided she’s also going to take a spring break vacation with some of her college friends this year. Two vacations with one signup bonus were more than perfect for her.

Chase Sapphire Reserve vs Preferred: Emilia chose the Chase Sapphire Preferred for its lower annual fee and valuable signup bonus

 

chase sapphire reserve vs sapphire preferredDani’s Story:

Dani’s a nurse who works four days on and then has four days off from work. She also gets a substantial amount of paid time off that she wants to use for traveling. Dani figures between her regular four days off in a row and her vacation days she’ll be able to take at least 10 trips this year.

She decided to get the Chase Sapphire Reserve because she wants the comfort of having both TSA PreCheck and Priority Pass Select lounge access when she’s stuck in airports. The Ultimate Rewards points from the signup bonus will cover a few of the flights, plus she will easily use the $300 travel credit. With all these perks she’ll be able to travel in luxury with all her available time off from work.

As a bonus, Dani decided to double down on earning Chase Ultimate Rewards. Using her side business, she also applied for the Ink Business Preferred card which comes with a signup bonus of 80,000 points and only an annual fee of $95. Her business is a sole proprietorship, selling some of her used things on eBay and Amazon. She also occasionally buys things at garage sales to also sell. The cool thing about her sole proprietorship is she can simply use her name and social security number instead of having to file for a business.

With both cards, she earned 130,000 Ultimate Rewards points that can likely be used for at least $2,500 of plane tickets (she plans to take advantage of airline partners)! Not too shabby for just two credit cards.

Chase Sapphire Reserve vs Preferred: Dani chose the Chase Sapphire Reserve for its luxury travel benefits and valuable signup bonus

 

Which Type of Traveler are You?

Depending on which type of traveler you are, either the Sapphire Reserve or the Sapphire Preferred would be a great addition to your wallet. In the Chase Sapphire Reserve vs Preferred competition, they are both worthy travel credit cards. The Sapphire Reserve is great if you travel often and want the travel luxuries it comes with. The Sapphire Preferred is great if you travel less often and wouldn’t get much use out of the travel benefits.

Both Chase Sapphire credit cards come with the excellent 50,000 Ultimate Rewards point signup bonus. If it’s an option you might even want to think about adding a business card like Dani to earn more points. All Chase Ultimate Rewards cards have the ability to transfer points between accounts to pool them together. Your significant other and you even have the ability to pool points together. Which card comes out victorious in the Chase Sapphire Reserve vs Preferred argument depends on you. Both credit cards are good choices. Depending on what you’re looking for in a travel credit card, one may suit you better.

Chase Freedom Unlimited Makes Your Spending Simple (+ Secret Bonus)

chase freedom unlimited

Editorial Disclaimer: This post may include references to offers from our partners. We may receive compensation when you click on links to specific products. The opinions expressed here are ours alone and at no time has the editorial content been provided, reviewed, or approved by any issuer.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card has been around since 2016. It was announced as Chase’s first Ultimate Rewards credit card that earns a fixed amount on all purchases. The Chase Freedom Unlimited earns 1.5 points on every purchase with no limit. Other than its earning format, it’s the exact same credit card as the original Chase Freedom card.

I mentioned that the Chase Freedom Unlimited is technically an Ultimate Rewards credit card, but is actually marketed as a cash back card. Every dollar spent will earn 1.5% “cash back” in the form of Ultimate Rewards. This feature makes the Freedom Unlimited much more valuable because of the ability to transfer Ultimate Rewards between Chase card accounts.

 

Chase Freedom Unlimited Review: Mind-Numbing Simplicity

The Chase Freedom Unlimited is made for the people who want simplicity when it comes to spending. They do not enjoy strategically getting the most points out of every dollar spent. That’s too much of a hassle for this type of person. But, they do still want to earn extra points on the things they buy. By earning 1.5 points on every dollar spent, it makes earning extra points very easy. With the Chase Freedom Unlimited, you don’t have to worry about using a certain card for groceries, a different card for gas, and yet another card for your cell phone bill. This card is perfect for people who just want their points to be simple to earn. If this is the type of person you are, the Chase Freedom Unlimited should be in your wallet.

 

Chase Freedom Unlimited Offer

15,000 Points after spending $500 in the first 3 months

Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card
  • Introductory Offer: You’ll earn a $150 Bonus (via 15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Introductory APR: 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.74-25.49%.
  • Earning Points: You’ll earn 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases.  No worrying about category bonuses.
  • Free Credit Score: View your credit score, updated every week on Credit Journey.
  • Annual Fee: No annual fee

Learn more about this card and find out how to apply HERE.

 

The Chase Freedom Unlimited Signup Bonus

The Chase Freedom Unlimited signup bonus is not one of the highest in the market, but it’s good for a no-fee card. 15,000 Ultimate Rewards is worth $150 when redeemed for cash back or to purchase gift cards or products on Amazon. A Chase Freedom Unlimited $150 bonus is how they advertise it, but it can be worth more than that. The signup bonus gets really good is when you double the value of your points and are able to redeem for 2 cents per point instead of 1. Who wouldn’t rather redeem points for double what they’re marketed as? Let’s see how it’s possible.

chase freedom unlimited 150 bonus

 

Transfer Chase Freedom Unlimited Rewards to Multiply Point Value

Here’s the secret that will potentially turn 1.5% back into 3% or more on all your purchases. The Chase Freedom Unlimited is advertised as a card that earns 1.5% cash back on every purchase, but it’s more than just that. Because Chase Ultimate Rewards can be transferred between card accounts, it makes sense to pair one of the three premium Ultimate Rewards cards with the Chase Freedom Unlimited.

Why?

When you redeem Ultimate Rewards directly with the Freedom Unlimited you redeem at a value of one cent per point. But, when you redeem them from one of the premium card accounts they are redeemed for at least 1.25-1.5 cents per point using the Chase travel portal. This gives you 25-50% more value for your Ultimate Reward points. Even better, with any of the premium Ultimate Rewards cards, you can transfer points to airline and hotel travel partners which makes your points redeemable at well over 2 cents per point! Which Ultimate Rewards cards are “premium cards”? Let’s take a look.

 

The 3 Premium Ultimate Rewards Credit Cards

Chase Sapphire Preferred: Ultimate Rewards redeem at 1.25 cents per point. (at least 25% more value)

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card
  • 50,000 Points after spending $4000 in the first 3 months.
  • Earns 2 points per dollar on travel and dining.
  • Transfer to travel partners at 1:1 ratio (often redeem points for more than 2 cents per point)
  • Annual fee of $95 (waived in year 1)

Learn more about this card and find out how to apply HERE.

 

Chase Sapphire Reserve: Ultimate Rewards redeem at 1.5 cents per point. (at least 50% more value)

Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card
  • 50,000 Points after spending $4000 in the first 3 months.
  • Earns 3 points per dollar on travel and dining.
  • Transfer to travel partners at 1:1 ratio (often redeem points for more than 2 cents per point).
  • Airport lounge access with Priority Pass Select.
  • $300 Travel statement credit.
  • TSA PreCheck or Global Entry
  • Annual fee of $450

Learn more about this card and find out how to apply HERE.

 

Ink Business Preferred (business card): Ultimate Rewards redeem at 1.25 cents per point. (at least 25% more value)

Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
  • 80,000 Points after spending $5000 in the first 3 months.
  • Earns 3 points per dollar on travel and select business categories.
  • Transfer to travel partners at 1:1 ratio (often redeem points for more than 2 cents per point)
  • Annual fee of $95

Learn more about this card and find out how to apply HERE.

 

Since all three of these credit cards come with the ability to use Chase’s travel transfer partners, you can essentially double your points if you have one of them. If you’re able to combine one of these premium Chase credit cards to partner with your Freedom Unlimited, it always makes sense to transfer points before redeeming.

 

Chase Freedom Unlimited vs Freedom (There’s Only 1 Difference)

Every feature of the Chase Freedom Unlimited is identical to the original Chase Freedom card, besides one thing. How points are earned through purchases. We thought about making a comparison chart of the two cards side by side, but this is the one and only difference. The Chase Freedom Unlimited earns 1.5 points per dollar on every purchase. The Chase Freedom earns 5 points per dollar on quarterly rotating categories (things like groceries, gas, movies, and Chase Pay), and 1 point per dollar on everything else. Which card is better for you depends on if you want the potential to earn extra points or want simplicity. Below are the features that both Freedom cards offer.

  • $150 Introductory Offer (15,000 Ultimate Rewards)
  • $25 for adding Authorized User (2500 Ultimate Rewards)
  • 0% Introductory APR for 15 months
  • No Annual Fee

 

Chase Freedom Unlimited: Credit Score Needed for Approval

Now that you understand the value that the Chase Freedom Unlimited comes with, let’s find out what credit score is needed for approval. Although it is a no annual fee credit card, you still must have good to excellent credit to be approved. This means your score needs to be 670 or above to have a very good shot at being approved. If your score is under this level, it doesn’t mean that you won’t be approved, but your odds go down. I’ve seen online reviews that mention people being approved with credit scores in the mid 600’s.

If you don’t know what your credit score is, you can find out for free. It’s simple. Just go to Credit Sesame and make a 100% free account and it will give you a monthly estimate of your TransUnion credit score. Their estimations are very accurate. A free Credit Sesame account is also a good tool for keeping an eye on your credit to make sure nothing bad ever happens to it.

Credit Sesame Price: Free Get your free credit score each month, and monitor your credit report at no cost. We'll also send you monitoring alerts about changes to your credit report. Credit Sesame Last Updated: 10/02/2018

 

Is the Chase Freedom Unlimited for You?

With all the details in order, I’m sure you know whether the Chase Freedom Unlimited is for you or not. If you’re all about simplicity, then the straightforward 1.5 points per dollar spending is probably a great fit for you. Also, if you want to get a premium Ultimate Rewards card to partner with the Chase Freedom Unlimited, it’s also a good option. Instead of earning 1 point per dollar on “everything else”, you can earn 1.5 points.

If you’re purely looking for a cash back credit card you may be better off with a different card. There are a few options that earn 1.5-2% cash back and some even have bonus categories. The Chase Freedom Unlimited is more about earning Ultimate Rewards than it is cash back.

The JetBlue Credit Card is Not the Best for Earning TrueBlue Points

jetblue credit card

Editorial Disclaimer: This post may include references to offers from our partners. We may receive compensation when you click on links to specific products. The opinions expressed here are ours alone and at no time has the editorial content been provided, reviewed, or approved by any issuer. Thank you for supporting us.  We appreciate you.

Barclays has three different offerings when it comes to the  JetBlue credit card. The three options are the basic JetBlue Mastercard, the JetBlue Plus credit card, and the JetBlue Business credit card. While they’re all very similar, they have their own distinct features.

Many people are interested in the JetBlue credit card because they like the service JetBlue offers. JetBlue isn’t for everyone, as a low-cost regional airline, but it seems to have an avid fanbase. They also offer a great premium experience on transcontinental and some international flights. They call their premium class Mint.

 

JetBlue Points Value: How Much are TrueBlue Points Worth?

JetBlue has no official award chart because their point prices for flights fluctuate, but TrueBlue points on average are worth about 1.3 cents each. This means to book a flight that costs $400 you’ll typically need around 30,000 TrueBlue points. Compared to other major US airlines they TrueBlue points are below average value.

Alaska points are worth 1.8 cents, Southwest 1.5 cents, American and United 1.4 cents and Delta points are worth 1.2 cents each. Just because TrueBlue points are worth less than some other airline points doesn’t mean you can’t get valuable rewards out of them.

 

JetBlue Flight Experience

JetBlue is based out of New York City and flies to 70 destinations including a few in Central America and the Caribbean. It seems that they do the small things to go the extra mile and make customers happy.

JetBlue offers complimentary DirecTV and SiriusXM radio, unlimited snacks with multiple options, and they distribute water bottles continuously to keep you hydrated. They hand out warm towelettes toward the ends of flights. If you’re on a redeye flight they even have a sleeping kit waiting on your seat. It includes earplugs and a face mask. Oh, and they have the most legroom in coach of any US airline. Sounds a lot like first class, doesn’t it?

jetblue route map

 

JetBlue Mint Might be the Best Domestic Premium Class

On their transcontinental flights as well as some international flights, JetBlue offers Mint. Mint is what they call their premium class. If you’re flying in Mint class, you’ll receive access to a priority security line, priority boarding, lie-flat seats, an amenity kit, an in-flight entertainment system, and the best domestic meals where you choose 3 out of 5 tapas. Obviously, free alcoholic beverages are served as well. JetBlue Mint is the best domestic premium cabin experience.

What Does JetBlue Mosaic Status Get You?

Mosaic is JetBlue’s elite status. They don’t have different tiers like most other airlines. Just one tier called Mosaic that is slightly different than other elite statuses. It offers no fees for flight changes, free checked bags, bonus points, expedited security lines, early boarding, a dedicated customer service line, and free alcoholic drinks onboard. The one thing that Mosaic lacks is free upgrades to Mint.

 

JetBlue Mastercard

10,000 Points after spending $1000 in the first 90 days

jetblue mastercard

  • Receive 50% savings on eligible in-flight purchases (including alcoholic drinks).
  • Earn 3X points on JetBlue purchases, 2X points on restaurants and grocery stores.
  • No Annual Fee

 

JetBlue Plus Credit Card

40,000 Points after spending $1000 in the first 90 days

jetblue plus credit card

  • Receive 50% savings on eligible in-flight purchases (including alcoholic drinks).
  • Free checked bag for you and up to 3 companions on your reservation.
  • $100 Statement credit on a JetBlue Vacations Package.
  • Earn Mosaic Status after spending $50,000 in a calendar year.
  • Earn 6X points on JetBlue purchases, 2X points on restaurants and grocery stores.
  • $99 Annual Fee

 

JetBlue Business Credit Card

50,000 Points after spending $1000 in the first 90 days

JetBlue Business Card

  • Receive 50% savings on eligible in-flight purchases (including alcoholic drinks).
  • Free checked bag for you and up to 3 companions on your reservation.
  • $100 Statement credit on a JetBlue Vacations Package.
  • Earn Mosaic Status after spending $50,000 in a calendar year.
  • Earn 6X points on JetBlue purchases, 2X points on restaurants and grocery stores.
  • Receive 5,000 bonus points each annual account anniversary.
  • $99 Annual Fee

 

JetBlue Credit Cards Review: Should You Get One?

If you’re a fan and regular customer of JetBlue, their credit cards might sound like a good option. The points they earn do offer no blackout dates on reward flights, no point expiration, ability to book any available seat, and sharing points with family pooling. Family pooling is a unique perk that allows up to two adults and five children to combine points. This can come in handy for booking flights when two separate people both have points.

JetBlue points value

 

So the question remains. Should you get a JetBlue credit card? While they may be good options for earning TrueBlue points, they aren’t the best option. A handful of other credit card points can be transferred to your TrueBlue account. Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, and Citi ThankYou points can all be transferred to JetBlue.

So, instead of getting a JetBlue credit card, you may want to consider these alternatives. Additionally, these points can also be transferred to other airlines which will give you more flexibility and more options for redeeming points.

JetBlue Transfer Ratios:

  • Chase Ultimate Rewards: 1:1 transfer ratio
  • Amex Membership Rewards: 5:4 transfer ratio
  • Citi ThankYou Points: 5:4 transfer ratio

The best option for transferring to JetBlue is Chase Ultimate Rewards. They transfer at a one to one ratio. Fortunately, there is an abundance of Chase credit cards that earn Ultimate Rewards. They also happen to have some of the best introductory offers on the market.

Comparing the JetBlue Credit Cards to Chase Ultimate Rewards Cards

COMBINE 2 JETBLUE CARDSCOMBINE 2 CHASE CARDS
90,000 POINTS TOTAL
(only on JetBlue)
130,000 POINTS TOTAL
(9 airline partners including JetBlue)
JetBlue Plus Card
40,000 points
Chase Sapphire Preferred
50,000 points
JetBlue Business Card
50,000 points
Ink Preferred Business Card
80,000 points

 

The Best Credit Cards for Earning TrueBlue Miles

Not only do you get more points as an introductory offer, but you’ll also have better opportunities to use the Chase cards to earn points through spending. There are better spending bonuses on more broad categories. The biggest benefit of getting a Chase card instead of a JetBlue card is the fact that you can transfer your points to 8 other airlines other than JetBlue. When flying it’s best to have options.

Chase Ultimate Rewards Transfer to JetBlue

 

COMPARE ALL CHASE CREDIT CARDS: COMPARE >>

 

American Express Membership Rewards Transfer to JetBlue

  • American Express Gold Card: 25,000 points after spending $2000 in the first 3 months. Terms Apply. LEARN MORE >>
  • The Platinum Card from American Express: 60,000 points after spending $5000 in the first 3 months. Terms Apply. LEARN MORE >>
  • The Business Platinum Card from American Express: Up to 75,000 points after tiered spending. Terms Apply. LEARN MORE >>

 

COMPARE ALL AMERICAN EXPRESS CREDIT CARDS: COMPARE >>

 

Citi ThankYou Points Transfer to JetBlue

  • Citi ThankYou Premier: 50,000 points after spending $4000 in the first 3 months.
  • ThankYou Prestige Card: Not currently taking applications.
  • ThankYou Preferred Card: No current introductory offer.

In conclusion, if you’re looking to earn TrueBlue points to fly on JetBlue you’ll want to take a look at more than just the JetBlue credit cards. It very well could make sense for you to instead get a Chase, American Express, or Citi card. Then you can transfer your points to JetBlue when needed, or transfer to other airlines.

Citi Prestige is Dead: Compare the Best Premium Cards

Editorial Disclaimer: This post may include references to offers from our partners. We may receive compensation when you click on links to specific products. The opinions expressed here are ours alone and at no time has the editorial content been provided, reviewed, or approved by any issuer. Thank you for supporting us.  We appreciate you.

We have good news and bad news about the Citi Prestige credit card. We’ll give you the bad news first to get it out of the way. The Citi Prestige is no longer available for applications. Citi has pulled the plug on the Citi Prestige credit card but could reintroduce it at some point. While this is unfortunate, the good news is that there are some other good premium credit card options. If you were hoping to get a Citi Prestige card, you will instead want to look at the features of these comparable credit cards. From the sounds of it, Citi plans to reintroduce applications to the Citi Prestige card in January of 2019.

“Our go-to-market strategy continuously evolves to feature different products and offers. We remain committed to the Prestige product and servicing our valued existing cardmembers. We look forward to reintroducing the card for new cardmembers in the near future.”

-Citi Spokesperson

Yes, the Citi Prestige is one of the best premium credit cards available. But, you won’t be able to apply for it until it’s reintroduction in January 2019. In the meantime, there are a few other great premium credit cards. Fortunately, they do meet the same level of quality benefits when compared to the Citi Prestige.

citi prestige card

 

Features that the Citi Prestige will Offer (Application Reintroduction in Jan. 2019)

The Citi Prestige card was packed with features and benefits to make it such a great premium credit card. It featured an assortment of nice travel and entertainment benefits. The main benefit that none of the other available premium credit cards offer is the 4th night free. It allowed you to receive one free night during a hotel stay of four nights that was booked through Citi. Basically, equaling 25% off during that stay. It was an excellent benefit and will be missed dearly. Below are the features of the Citi Prestige that stood out.

  • Annual $250 “Travel” Credit – (Starting in January 2019)
  • Complimentary 4th Night Stay (Limited to twice yearly starting in September 2019)
  • Cell Phone Protection Plan (Starting in May 2019)
  • 5X Points on Dining and Air Travel (Starting in January 2019)
  • Airport Lounge Access
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
  • Free Golf Benefit
  • Citi Concierge Service
  • Trip & Travel Insurance
  • Delayed and Lost Baggage Protection
  • Auto Rental Coverage
  • Annual fee of $450 (will rise to $495 in  September 2019)

 

Who the Citi Prestige Card was For

The Citi Prestige was a credit card for people who travel frequently and want premium travel benefits. The card was made for high spenders as the more money you spent on travel, the easier it was to justify paying the hefty annual fee. If you traveled frequently, the annual travel credit, airport lounge access, complimentary 4th-night stay, and  TSA PreCheck would far outweigh the fees. Especially because the travel credit was given every calendar year, so it was possible to receive the benefit twice within one annual fee cycle. Just because the Citi Prestige is no longer available for application, doesn’t mean premium travel benefits are gone. There are some other credit cards that offer very similar benefits to cardmembers.

citi prestige credit card

 

Other Premium Credit Cards that Compare

While the Citi Prestige card is no longer available for application, there are some other premium credit cards that offer similar benefits. Some of these cards may even be better than what was offered by the Citi Prestige.  We’ll analyze both of the best currently offered premium credit cards and compare them to what the Citi Prestige was offering.

50,000 Points after spending $4000 in the first 3 months

Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card
  • Introductory Offer: Earn an introductory 50,000 points after spending $4,000 within the first three months.
  • Statement Credits: Receive a $300 in statement credits each year (based on your account anniversary) to cover travel expenses like airfare and hotels.
  • Receive a $100 Statement credit as reimbursement for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck enrollment.
  • Earning Categories: You’ll earn 3 points per $1 spent on dining and on travel that doesn’t qualify for the $300 travel reimbursement each year and one point per $1 on everything else.
  • Travel Point Transfer Partners: 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs.
  • Extra Point Value: Receive 50 percent more value for your points when you redeem for travel via Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • Airport Lounge Access: Visit more than 1000 airport lounge locations while traveling with a Priority Pass Select membership.
  • Annual Fee: $450

Learn more about this card and find out how to apply HERE.

60,000 Points after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months

american express platinum card

LEARN MORE >

  • Welcome Offer: You’ll earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months.
  • Uber: Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month (bonus $20 in December).
  • Category Spend Bonuses: You’ll earn 5X points on flights booked directly with airlines or through American Express Travel.  You’ll earn 5X points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Airport Lounge Access: Enjoy access to the exclusive Global Lounge Collection.
  • Statement Credits: $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 every calendar year with one qualifying airline. Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your card. Enrollment required.
  • Annual Fee: $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
LEARN MORE >

 

Premium Benefits Compared to Citi Prestige

Annual Fees

  • Citi Prestige (DEAD): $450
  • Sapphire Reserve: $450 ✔
  • Amex Platinum: $550

Introductory Offers

  • Citi Prestige (DEAD): None
  • Sapphire Reserve: 50,000 Points after spending $4000 in the first 3 months ✔
  • Amex Platinum: 60,000 Points after spending $5000 in the first 3 months ✔

Airport Lounge Access

  • Citi Prestige (DEAD): Priority Pass Select
  • Sapphire Reserve: Priority Pass Select
  • Amex Platinum: Priority Pass Select, Delta Skyclubs, Airspace Lounges, Centurion Lounges ✔

Travel Statement Credits

  • Citi Prestige (DEAD): $250 Air Travel Credit, Global Entry/TSA PreCheck Credit
  • Sapphire Reserve: $300 Travel Credit, Global Entry/TSA PreCheck Credit ✔
  • Amex Platinum: $200 Airline Credit, $200 Uber Credit, Global Entry/TSA PreCheck Credit

Bonus Reward Earning Rates

  • Citi Prestige (DEAD): 3 points on air travel & hotels, 2 points on dining & entertainment, 1 point on everything else
  • Sapphire Reserve: 3 points on travel & dining, 1 point on everything else ✔
  • Amex Platinum: 5 points on airfare booked through American Express Travel, 1 point on everything else

Extra Perks

  • Citi Prestige (DEAD): 4th night free on paid hotel bookings through Citi
  • Sapphire Reserve: Special Benefits at Chase’s Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection
  • Amex Platinum: Discounted Premium Seats on International Flights, Marriott & Hilton Gold Status, Complimentary Boingo Wi-fi

citi prestige credit card

 

Final Results: Which Premium Credit Card is the Best?

So, which card is the best premium travel credit card to get instead of the (no longer available) Citi Prestige? After comparing the benefits offered by the two best premium credit cards and analyzing the results, there is a clear first and second place.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card comes in first place with the most benefits compared to the amount paid in annual fees. It is the best premium credit card available in the market. The Platinum Card from American Express comes in second place. It packs a few more benefits, especially with extra lounge access, but also has a higher annual fee than the rest of the cards. Chase Ultimate Rewards and Membership Rewards points are both very valuable with the availability of transfer partners. Both types of points can be transferred to airlines and hotels making their introductory offers very valuable.

  1. Chase Sapphire Reserve

  2. The Platinum Card from American Express Learn More >

 

While annual fees of $450 or more may sound crazy, you can see that the benefits can far outweigh the fees. It really depends on your travel habits and what you value, as to which of these credit cards would be the best for you. They are both great credit cards and they compare well to the Citi Prestige card that is not currently available. It will be interesting to see what the Citi Prestige will have to offer when it is reintroduced. We’ll keep you updated.

Chase Freedom vs Freedom Unlimited: Is One Better For You?

Chase Freedom vs Freedom Unlimited

Editorial Disclaimer: This post may include references to offers from our partners. We may receive compensation when you click on links to specific products. The opinions expressed here are ours alone and at no time has the editorial content been provided, reviewed, or approved by any issuer. Thank you for supporting us.  We appreciate you.

The Chase Freedom vs Freedom Unlimited debate is a simple one to tackle.  Both credit cards are very similar, besides one important factor.  How they earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points.  They even have such a similar card name that people often confuse which card is which.  The Chase Freedom credit card is the original card which offers bonus categories that earn 5 points per $1 spent that rotate quarterly.  The Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card is the successor which offers a consistent 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases.  The debate of frequent travelers and credit card experts is over which card is better for earning Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

 

Both Cards are the Same, Except for Earning Points

Everything about the two credit cards is identical besides how they earn points.  We will save you from looking at a comparison chart with only one difference.  We’ll focus in on the one important difference.  First we’ll briefly run through what the cards have in common.  Both the Chase Freedom and Freedom Unlimited have the following features:

  • $150 Introductory Offer (15,000 Ultimate Rewards)
  • $25 for adding Authorized User (2500 Ultimate Rewards)
  • 0% Introductory APR for 15 months
  • No Annual Fee

You’ll Need a Good to Great Credit Score

Note that both cards have a 3% foreign transaction fee, so they aren’t the best cards to use while traveling internationally.  They both also get approvals with credit scores in the range of good to great (670+).  If your credit score is not at this level yet, learn about the credit cards available to those with fair credit.  The one difference these two credit cards have is how points are earned.

 

chase freedom vs chase freedom unlimited pinterest

 

The Chase Freedom earns 5 points per $1 spent on rotating categories, like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, department stores, phone bills, or cable bills.  They also have categories such as using Chase Pay or Apple Pay on your phone.  Each quarter there will typically be 3 different categories that earn the 5X bonus.  These category bonuses are limited to $1500 of spending each quarter.  So, the maximum amount of points earned per quarter is 7,500.  All other purchases will earn 1 point per $1 spent.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited has no rotating categories, and simply earns 1.5 points on each and every purchase.  It has no spending limit for its earning rate.  The Chase Freedom Unlimited vs Freedom debate comes down to which of these two no-fee credit cards is best for you.

Let’s compare the Chase Freedom vs Freedom Unlimited using the scenario of a person who spends $2,000 per month.

 

ScenarioQuarterly Points Earned with FreedomQuarterly Points Earned with Freedom Unlimited
1. Max Out All Quarterly Bonuses80003000
2. 50% of Spend in Quarterly Bonuses50003000
3. 25% of Spend in Quarterly Bonuses35003000

Chase Freedom Unlimited Review: Better for Simplification

The Chase Freedom Unlimited is great for people who don’t want to worry about where and when they spend their money, but still want an elevated rate of earning points.  By earning 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, you can simply use the card and earn the same amount of points on everything.  Never worry about going to a certain store or gas station, or activating any category bonuses.  This card is for no-nonsense people who just want simplicity.  If this is you, the Chase Freedom Unlimited would be a great addition to your wallet.

Chase Freedom Unlimited

15,000 Points after spending $500 in the first 3 months

Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card
  • Introductory Offer: You’ll earn a $150 Bonus (via 15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Introductory APR: 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.74-25.49%.
  • Earning Points: You’ll earn 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases.  No worrying about category bonuses.
  • Free Credit Score: View your credit score, updated every week on Credit Journey.
  • Annual Fee: No annual fee

Learn more about this card and find out how to apply HERE.

 

Chase Freedom Review: Better for Maximizing Points

The original Chase Freedom card is better for people who are looking to maximize their points earning with every purchase.  Because Chase Freedom has very good category bonuses, it’s possible to get nearly the full amount of bonus points per quarter (7500).  Many of the category bonus merchants even have gift card racks.  Gift cards can be bought to make purchases at the stores you regularly go to.  This technique can allow you to earn 5X points on nearly everything.  Personally, if we could only have one of the two cards, we would choose the Freedom because we’re willing to put in the extra effort to maximize points.

Chase Freedom

15,000 Points after spending $500 in the first 3 months

Chase Freedom Credit Card Review
  • Introductory Offer: You’ll earn a $150 Bonus (via 15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Introductory APR: 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.74-25.49%.
  • Earning Categories: You’ll earn 5 points per $1 spent on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate.  The categories are things like grocery stores, gas stations, internet, cable, phone services, Walgreens, and even using Chase Pay.  You’ll earn unlimited 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Free Credit Score: View your credit score, updated every week on Credit Journey.
  • Annual Fee: No annual fee

Learn more about this card and find out how to apply HERE.

chase freedom unlimited vs chase freedom

 

Chase Freedom vs Freedom Unlimited: How About Both?

Why treat these cards like competitors when they can play together quite nicely?  Like Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry playing together on the basketball court, these two credit cards can be champions together (NBA reference).  If you pair the two credit cards, you can earn 5X points on all Chase Freedom category bonuses and 1.5X points on everything else using the Chase Freedom Unlimited.  This will give you the best of both worlds and a killer point earning combination.  Double the freedom has to be a good thing, right?

 

Transfer Points to a Premium Chase Card For More Value

Here’s a little secret that you’ll want to know if you have any Ultimate Rewards points.  When Chase Ultimate Rewards are redeemed using either of the Freedom credit cards, points are worth 1 cent each.  But, because Chase Ultimate Rewards points are transferable between different cards, and even between different people (only household members), point values can be multiplied.  With a few of the other premium Chase credit cards, it’s possible to redeem points at a higher value.

Upgrade your Ultimate Rewards

When redeemed through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal, points are worth 1.25 cents with the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Ink Preferred and 1.5 cents with the Chase Sapphire Reserve.  All three of these credit cards also come with the ability to use Chase’s travel transfer partners.  By transferring to some of their travel partners at a 1:1 ratio, it’s possible to redeem points for well over 2 cents each.  If you’re able to have one of these premium Chase credit cards to go along with your Freedom or Freedom Unlimited, it always makes sense to transfer points before redeeming.

transfer chase ultimate rewards

 

Chase Freedom Activate Quarterly Bonuses

In order to be eligible for the Chase Freedom 5X quarterly bonus categories, you’ll need to activate your card each quarter.  You’ll visit this Chase web-page and fill out your last name, last 4 digits of your card, your zip code, and press enter.  That’s all.  It’s very simple, and Chase will even send you reminders via email.  For your category bonuses to work, you’ll need to activate your Chase Freedom by the middle of the last month in that quarter.  For instance, you must activate your card by December 14th, 2018 to be eligible for the quarter 4 bonuses in 2018.  With Chase’s reminders and the fact that you’ll want to know what the bonus categories are, it’s easy to remember to activate your card.

 

Chase Freedom Calendar: Rotating Categories

To see the current and upcoming Chase Freedom 5X bonus categories visit the Chase Freedom Calendar.  You’ll also be able to activate your card on the same page.

Chase Freedom Calendar wide

 

If you’re looking to add a great credit card for earning points by spending, either the Chase Freedom Unlimited or Freedom are great additions to any wallet.  They are very similar cards with that one large difference.  How points are earned through spending.  Pick which card fits your style best, or even better, go with both.  Definitely look into the other Chase Ultimate Rewards credit cards to partner with these so that you can both maximize your earning and your point redemptions.  Just think, if you can earn 5X points on every $1 spent, and then redeem those points for a value of 2 cents or more, you’re essentially getting 10% or better back in value on your spending.  That’s pretty impressive, compared to the typical 1% cash back earned with other cards.

The Best Travel Credit Card: Why You Should Get it First

Chase Travel Credit Cards

Editorial Disclaimer: This post may include references to offers from our partners. We may receive compensation when you click on links to specific products. The opinions expressed here are ours alone and at no time has the editorial content been provided, reviewed, or approved by any issuer. Thank you for supporting us.  We appreciate you.

If you want to earn the most possible points for travel, you’ll need to start with the best travel credit card available.  There are a few factors that you should pay close attention to while shopping for a new credit card.  Obviously, you’re getting a travel credit card because you want to travel more.  With the best travel credit cards you will earn tons of travel points and receive travel benefits that you may have thought were only for the rich.  Credit cards are a great way to earn free travel for you and your family.

Since I started traveling with points and miles, I’ve earned nearly 2 million points and traveled as often as I want.  I’ve been to Hawaii (my favorite place) at least once every year for the past 7 years.  I don’t think I’ve paid more than the taxes and fees ($11.20 round trip) for any of those flights.  I figure if you have good credit, you might as well put it to work for yourself.

 

Important Factors in Finding the Best Travel Credit Card

  • Introductory Offers
  • Minimum Spending Requirement
  • Point Earning Potential
  • Travel Benefits
  • Annual Fees
  • Annual bonuses

best travel credit card for earning

Introductory Offers

The best travel credit cards all offer an introductory bonus offer.  These offers are structured so that you earn a select amount of bonus points after spending so much money on your new credit card within a certain time frame.  For example, with the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card you earn 50,000 points after spending $4,000 within the first three months of having the card.  Obviously, this is a very important feature because it gives you extreme value right away.

Minimum Spending Requirement

Introductory offers aren’t usually automatically given to you after being approved for a credit card.  You’ll typically have to complete a minimum spending requirement within a specified time frame.   Then your points bonus will be released into your account.  Minimum spending requirement amounts vary, but typically are between $500-5000 within the first 3-4 months.

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Point Earning Potential

Some of the best travel credit cards have spending categories that will earn bonus points.  These bonus categories range from groceries, to gas stations, all the way to office supply stores and online advertising for businesses.  Typically bonus spend categories will earn 2-5x points for every dollar you spend.  Each credit card has a different set of bonus categories, which allows a lot of potential to earn points.

Travel Benefits

Another feature of travel credit cards is that many of them come with special travel benefits.  Airline cards may come with priority boarding, free checked bags, or airport lounge access.  Hotel cards often come with elite status at the hotel chain, which might allow for upgrades when you stay.  Many of the transferable point system credit cards come with free Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.  A few credit cards also come with airport lounge access through Priority Pass, and even offer statement credits for travel purchases.

Annual Fees

All of these features sometimes come with an annual fee.  It’s important to review how much an annual fee is, and whether it is worth paying it for all the benefits you will receive.  Usually, the higher the annual fee is for a credit card, the more travel benefits you will receive.  Even though some annual fees can be very high, they’re often worth paying, especially if you’ll be traveling a lot.  Some travel credit cards will waive the annual fee in the first card member year.

Annual Bonuses

Some of the best travel credit cards offer a bonus on the card member anniversary.  These bonuses are automatically applied, and some are only earned if you spend a certain amount throughout the year.  Hotel credit cards often offer a free night at their hotels each year.  A few airlines give you a free companion fare each calendar year.  These annual bonuses can help offset the annual fee a credit card may have.

 

My First Travel Credit Card Ever

I was fortunate enough to start out with the best travel credit card ever: the Chase Sapphire Preferred.  My points journey all started when I had to get a root canal on my tooth.  After seeing how much the procedure was going to cost me out of pocket, I quickly started looking for a way to get some of that money back.  I had seen advertisements for credit cards that had introductory bonuses after being approved so I started my research online.  My plan wasn’t specifically to get a travel credit card until I accidentally came across a few travel blogs, while researching.

chase sapphire preferred credit card

 

I read a few posts, and quickly learned how lucrative using credit card points for travel could be.  Instead of redeeming at a value of one cent per point with cash back or purchases on the likes of Amazon, I learned that you can redeem points for travel at a value of greater than two cents per point.  Essentially getting double the value out of your points by using them for travel.  I had always wanted to travel more, but couldn’t afford it, so I jumped on the opportunity.  I applied for the Chase Sapphire Preferred, because almost every travel blogger I came across said it was the best travel credit card of them all.

Introductory Offer Worth Two Round Trip Flights to Hawaii

With my good credit score, I was approved instantly for the best travel credit card.  Quickly, I started meeting the minimum spend to earn my bonus of 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards.  I had my root canal procedure (ugh), paid for it, and met the rest of the minimum spend with my regular purchases.  When I received my 50,000 point introductory bonus, I didn’t waste much time.  After reading about the Ultimate Rewards transfer partners, I did my research and transferred my points to British Airways to book two round trip flights to Maui for 25,000 points each.

I was on my way.  Little did I know, I would read almost every travel blog post in the industry over the next few years and become an expert myself.  It’s pretty amazing that the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still the best credit card for new points travelers after all this time.  It has withstood the test of time, and I still recommend it more often than not when someone asks me which is the best travel credit card to get first.

best travel credit card free hawaii

 

Chase Sapphire Preferred: The Best Travel Credit Card to Start With

50,000 Points after spending $4000 in the first 3 months

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card
  • Introductory Offer: You’ll earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards and potentially even more if transferred to travel partners.
  • Earning Categories: You’ll earn 2 points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Travel Point Transfer Partners: 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs.
  • Extra Point Value: Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • Annual Fee: $95 (waived in year 1)

This is the best travel credit card.  Learn more about this card and find out how to apply HERE.

 

What Makes This The Best Travel Credit Card

Versatility.  The number one reason the Chase Sapphire Preferred is the best travel credit card is that it’s so easy to redeem points.  It’s especially good for people who are new to traveling with points because of this ease of use.  The points can be redeemed either through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal for a fixed rate of 1.25 cents per point, or by converting points to one of the transfer partners, which can net an average of over 2 cents per point.  Both options give an elevated redemption value.  If you’re willing to put in some effort in researching airline award charts, you’ll get the most out of your points by taking advantage of the transfer partners.

chase ultimate rewards transfer partner airlines

Chase Airline Transfer Partners

chase ultimate reward transfer partner hotels

Chase Hotel Transfer Partners

Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal – 1.25c/pt

At 1.25 cents per point, redeeming through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal is a good option.  Especially if you want to keep things as simple as possible.

Travel Transfer Partners – ~2c/pt

By transferring your points to one of the Ultimate Rewards Transfer Partners, you’ll have the opportunity to earn over 2 cents per point on your rewards.  There are 13 travel transfer partners.  They include 9 airlines and 4 hotel chains, all of which transfer at a 1:1 ratio.  I regularly transfer my points to Ultimate Rewards travel partners.  I transfer to both British Airways to use their travel partners for flights, and Hyatt to most often stay at Hyatt Place properties.  I’ve found that by using these two transfer partners, we often get over 2 cents of value per point.

Other Redemption Options – 1c/pt

There are also a few other redemption offers that don’t involve travel, but they won’t get you as much value.  You have the option of using your points as cash back, to spend on Amazon, to spend on exclusive experiences, or to purchase gift cards.  All of these options give a fixed value of 1 cent per point.  I wouldn’t recommend using your points in this fashion, unless you really want something and don’t have the money for it.  It just doesn’t get you as much value as travel does.

 

Combine Other Chase Cards with the Sapphire Preferred

Another reason that the Chase Sapphire Preferred is the best travel credit card, is because there are a handful of other Chase cards that pair very well alongside the Sapphire Preferred.  In total there are six other cards that can be used to earn Ultimate Rewards points.  Three personal cards and three business cards.  They are all very valuable in their own ways and can be used together for the perfect storm of point earning.  If you have both personal and business expenses, you should look into which of these cards can help you earn even more free travel.  Between my wife and I, we have five of these cards and can earn category bonuses on almost every purchase we make.  This largely helps to earn enough points to travel as much as we want.

Chase credit cards to pair with chase sapphire preferred

7 Credit Cards That Earn Chase Ultimate Rewards

***Only these cards have travel portal bonus redemption rates and transfer partners.

Ultimate Rewards Can Be Transferred Between Card Accounts

The best part of pairing up multiple Chase credit cards, is that the ultimate rewards from one card account can be transferred and combined with the points in another card account.  This means that, for instance, if you earn Ultimate Rewards with the Chase Freedom (which normally doesn’t have transfer partners available), you can transfer them over to your Chase Sapphire Preferred account to redeem them (either with the 25% portal bonus or with transfer partners).

Note in the chart above, that you will need one of the three starred (***) Chase credit cards in order to get a bonus and to have the option of redeeming through transfer partners.  While four of these credit cards are technically listed as cash back cards, you will still earn Ultimate Rewards.  These “cash back” Ultimate Rewards can be transferred to your other card accounts that have the full Ultimate Rewards travel benefits, so that you can get more value out of them.

transfer chase ultimate rewards

Chase Freedom Has Tons of Earning Potential with No Annual Fee

15,000 Points after spending $500 in the first 3 months

Chase Freedom Credit Card Review
  • Introductory Offer: You’ll earn a $150 Bonus (via 15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Introductory APR: 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.74-25.49%.
  • Earning Categories: You’ll earn 5 points per $1 spent on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate.  The categories are things like grocery stores, gas stations, internet, cable, phone services, Walgreens, and even using Chase Pay.  You’ll earn unlimited 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Chase Freedom Categories 2018Free Credit Score: View your credit score, updated every week on Credit Journey.
  • Annual Fee: No annual fee

This rewards card pairs well with the best travel credit card.  Learn more about this card and find out how to apply HERE.

Chase Freedom Quarterly Spending Category Bonuses

Each quarter, you can earn up to 7,500 bonus Chase Ultimate Rewards through the Chase Freedom’s category bonuses.  That means in a calendar year you could potentially have an extra 30,000 points to spend on travel.  For instance, that’s more than enough for a round-trip flight to Hawaii using transfer partners.  While you may not spend $1,500 in a quarter on gas, groceries or at Walgreens, they all happen to sell gift cards to an assortment of businesses that you may regularly make purchases at.  Those gift cards can be used for your future purchases.

While they try to make “Chase Pay” more utilized, Chase continually adds it as a bonus category almost every quarter.  That means that you can earn 5 points per dollar anywhere that accepts Chase Pay.  You can find a list of merchants who accept it on the Chase website.

Don’t Want to Worry About Category Bonuses? Freedom Unlimited Earns 1.5 Points on All Purchases

15,000 Points after spending $500 in the first 3 months

Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card
  • Introductory Offer: You’ll earn a $150 Bonus (via 15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Introductory APR: 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.74-25.49%.
  • Earning Points: You’ll earn 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases.  No worrying about category bonuses.
  • Free Credit Score: View your credit score, updated every week on Credit Journey.
  • Annual Fee: No annual fee

This rewards card pairs well with the best travel credit card.  Learn more about this card and find out how to apply HERE.

 

Looking for More Luxury while Traveling?

If it’s luxurious travel that you’re looking for, look no further than the Chase Sapphire Reserve.  It’s the best travel credit card for luxury.  It boasts, arguably, the best overall travel benefits of any travel credit card.  With the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card you will be living lavishly the second you step foot in the airport.

First off, you’ll go through airport security in a breeze with TSA PreCheck or Global Entry.  That means less of a line to wait in, your shoes and belt can stay on, and your laptop can stay in the bag.  You won’t want to spend much time in the security line with everyone else, because you’ll also have airport lounge access in over 1,200 locations worldwide.  Instead of sitting out in the terminal, you’ll be in a private area with comfortable seating, amenities like television and newspapers, and best of all: free food and drinks.  Once you travel in luxury like this, you’ll never want to go back… Trust me!

Best Luxury Travel Credit Cards

The Best Premier Travel Credit Card: Chase Sapphire Reserve Gives You Airport Lounge Access

50,000 Points after spending $4000 in the first 3 months

Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card
  • Introductory Offer: Earn an introductory 50,000 points after spending $4,000 within the first three months.
  • Statement Credits: Receive a $300 in statement credits each year (based on your account anniversary) to cover travel expenses like airfare and hotels.
  • Receive a $100 Statement credit as reimbursement for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck enrollment.
  • Earning Categories: You’ll earn 3 points per $1 spent on dining and on travel that doesn’t qualify for the $300 travel reimbursement each year and one point per $1 on everything else.
  • Travel Point Transfer Partners: 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs.
  • Extra Point Value: Receive 50 percent more value for your points when you redeem for travel via Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • Airport Lounge Access: Visit more than 1000 airport lounge locations while traveling with a Priority Pass Select membership.
  • Annual Fee: $450

This rewards card pairs well with the best travel credit card.  Learn more about this card and find out how to apply HERE.

 

Have a Business or Side Hustle? Get Business Credit Cards to Earn More Rewards

If you have a business or even just a side hustle, you should be keeping your expenses separate with a business credit card.  There are some amazing introductory offers and point earning potential with business travel credit cards.  In my opinion, the Ink Business Preferred has the top introductory offer of ALL the best travel credit cards (personal or business).  Along with great introductory offers, these cards can earn a ton of points with their extremely useful category bonuses for spending.  They offer bonuses of 3-5X points on things like phone bills, internet bills, and office supply stores.  Even if you don’t have an incorporated business, it still counts.

best business travel credit cards

 

You can apply for business credit cards for your sole proprietorship, using your social security number instead of an EIN.  You may technically have a sole proprietorship and not even know it.  Do you make any money outside of your employed job?  Sell stuff on eBay? Have garage sales?  Do handy work on the side?  Sell crafts?  You have a sole proprietorship, and a reason to get a business credit card to earn more points.  Here is the best travel credit card for businesses.

Chase Ink Business Preferred Has an Introductory Bonus of 80,000 Points

80,000 Points after spending $5000 in the first 3 months

Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
  • Introductory Offer: You’ll earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from your account opening.
  • Earning Categories: You’ll earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories (including social media advertising!) each account anniversary year.  You’ll earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases, with no limit to the amount you can earn.
  • Other Benefits: Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.  You can redeem points for travel, cash back, and gift cards, or transfer your points to an airline or hotel partner.  You’ll get a cell phone protection plan of up to $600 when you pay your cell phone bill with the card.  You’ll receive rental car loss and damage coverage if your reservation is paid with the card.
  • Annual Fee: $95

This business rewards card pairs well with the best travel credit card.  Learn more about this card and find out how to apply HERE.

 

Chase Ink Business Cash is the Best Kept Secret for Points Earning

50,000 Points after spending $3000 in the first 3 months

Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card
  • Introductory Offer: You’ll earn $500 bonus cash back (via 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Category Spend Bonuses: You’ll earn 5 points per $1 spent on the first $25,000 spent on purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year.  You’ll earn 2 points per $1 on the first $25,000 spent at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year.  You’ll earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn.
  • Special Introductory APR: 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers.
  • Annual Fee: There is no annual fee.

This business rewards card pairs well with the best travel credit card.  Learn more about this card and find out how to apply HERE.

 

Ink Business Unlimited is Similar to the Freedom Unlimited – 1.5 Points Everywhere

50,000 Points after spending $3000 in the first 3 months

Chase Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card
  • Introductory Offer: You’ll earn $500 bonus cash back (via 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Category Spend Bonuses: You’ll earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on every purchase made for your business.
  • Special Introductory APR: 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers.
  • Annual Fee: There is no annual fee.

This business rewards card pairs well with the best travel credit card.  Learn more about this card and find out how to apply HERE.

best travel credit card rewards

Keep It Simple With One Point System: Chase Ultimate Rewards

As you can see, there are many reasons why the Chase Sapphire Preferred is the best travel credit card.  It has a great introductory offer with a reasonable minimum spending requirement.  The annual fee is waived in the first year of having the card.  Most importantly, the reward points earned are very valuable when used for travel.  It’s very possible to use the introductory offer points to book flights for multiple people or for multiple vacations.

It’s also a great jumping off point to start traveling with points.  Because there are so many other Chase credit cards that also have the potential to earn Ultimate Rewards when paired together, you’ll be able to earn free travel for a long time to come.  With the travel credit cards mentioned above, there are 310,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points up for grabs!  And, that only includes the introductory offers.  You can earn even more points with their variety of category bonuses.  The bottom line is, if you want to travel more, start traveling using points instead of dollars.

Chase Sapphire Preferred: The Value of One Introductory Offer

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The value of one credit card introductory bonus can be enormous. The Chase Sapphire Preferred offers a very nice introductory offer and good benefits. Credit card introductory bonuses are the points or miles that a bank is willing to give you when you sign up for their credit card and meet an initial spending level that they designate. A typical credit card introductory bonus could be 50,000 points or miles for signing up for a particular credit card and spending $3000 on that card within the first 3 months of applying.

 

The Best Credit Card for Travelers New to Points and Miles

The card that I refer to people who are interested in earning travel points through credit cards is most often the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. It typically offers 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 within the first three months of having the card. The offer changes occasionally in how many points are offered or how much the initial minimum spend is.

Whenever someone asks me what credit card is best to get first, I always ask them what they want to achieve with the points. Usually, the person asking has no idea, they just know that they want to travel more. In this situation, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is one of the best offers around due to its versatility. It allows the customer to either spend their Chase Ultimate Rewards points directly with Chase or transfer to an array of airlines and hotels.

The transferring of the points will typically give a more valuable redemption of points. For these reasons, I will show you what the points from signing up for this one card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred, can achieve for you through a real-life experience. My sister in law, Amber, and her fiance, recently took advantage of this offer to book part of their honeymoon!

Chase Sapphire Preferred Introductory Offer – 50,000 Points

 

 

Terms of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Bonus

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

50,000 Points after spending $4000 in the first 3 months

  • Introductory Offer: You’ll earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards and potentially even more if transferred to travel partners.
  • Earning Categories: You’ll earn 2 points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Travel Point Transfer Partners: 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs.
  • Extra Point Value: Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • Annual Fee: $95 (waived in year 1)

This is the best travel credit card.  Learn more about this card and find out how to apply HERE.

As shown above, the current terms of the Chase Sapphire Preferred deal is to receive 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months of having the card. Chase also mentions that this bonus is worth $625 worth of travel. I’m going to show you that it can be worth quite a bit more. How much more? You’ll see… it’s pretty crazy!

 

Meeting the Minimum Spend for the Chase Sapphire Preferred

After applying for the card you’ll need to meet the initial minimum spend so that your bonus points will be released into your account. Amber had her regular spending plus some wedding expenses that needed to be paid so she was easily able to meet the initial minimum spend. If you already spend $4,000 per three months, great! You’ll meet your spend just with that.

If you don’t typically spend that much, you can get extra spending in a variety of creative ways. A few of these ways to get extra spending are by saving up large purchases that you have been planning on, or Christmas gift shopping ahead of time. There are many ways to meet minimum spends to earn your bonus. A good reference is on the Frequent Miler blog.

 

How Many Points were Earned with the Chase Sapphire Preferred

They spent about $9,000 in the initial three months of having the card which earned them the following:

50,000 pts – introductory bonus
9,000 pts – regular spend points
5,000 pts – authorized user bonus points (another bonus for adding a second card for her fiance)

=64,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points

 

Where to travel using your Chase Ultimate Rewards

They decided that they wanted to travel to the beautiful islands of Hawaii for their honeymoon! They’ve been to Oahu so wanted to experience something new… Or some things! They ended up finding flights that were available through Alaska and Hawaiian Airlines to travel from the San Francisco Bay area to Kauai, then to Maui, and back home to the bay area.


OAK to LIH = 25,000 miles + $11.20 taxes/fees (booked using British Airways miles)
LIH to OGG = 14,000 miles + $11.20 taxes/fees (booked using United Airways miles)
OGG to SFO = 25,000 miles + $11.20 taxes/fees (booked using British Airways miles)

Total amount saved on these flights combined: $1,345.40 (I’d call that a win)


Overall this was a great travel rewards redemption, which got excellent value out of their points. Their flights to/from Hawaii ended up with a value of 2.3 cents per point, and their inter-island flight earned a value of 1.4 cents per point, coming out to a total of 2.1 cents per point. 64,000 points spent and $1,345.40 saved.

 

The value of one credit card introductory bonus

This is just one example of how one credit card introductory bonus can make an enormous impact on your travel and give extraordinary value. Amber ended up saving over $1,300 dollars on their honeymoon, which is pretty incredible. I’d say that’s quite a bit better than the $625 value that Chase puts on the introductory bonus!