The best card for beginners has a sign-up bonus worth $1,000 – and easily MUCH more (And I just got it again!)

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If you haven’t had the Chase Sapphire Preferred yet – or if you’re eligible to get it again – the new sign-up bonus of 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points is worth – at a minimum$1,000. And really $1,050 because it also comes with $50 of grocery store credits in your first year of account opening.

And how are we getting to that $1,000 figure? Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth 1.25 cents each when you redeem them toward travel through Chase, so 80,000 x 1.25 = $1,000. You can book flights, hotel stays, even cruises through the Chase Ultimate Rewards site. Set your payment to points and 80,000 of them are worth $1,000. 💥

chase sapphire preferred 80k

The Chase Sapphire Preferred was my first points card – and I just got it again after all these years

That’s an amazing sign-up bonus on its own. And can be worth soooo much more when you transfer your points to Chase’s travel partners, which include Southwest, United, and Air France.

But the best transfer partner? Wait, lemme start a new section for all that. 😛

Chase Sapphire Preferred 80K bonus

Chase Sapphire Preferred80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points + $50 grocery credit in the first 12 months
• 2X Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1 spent on travel & dining

• 1X Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1 spent on all other purchases

• The biggest bonus ever worth over $1,000 (toward travel and groceries)
• $95 annual fee• $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
• The best card for beginners• Compare it here

Since my Chase status was 2/24 (two new cards opened in the last 24 months), I was wayyyy under the 5/24 threshold. Chase won’t give you their cards if you’ve opened more than 5 cards in the last 24 months (the 5/24 rule). That’s not an issue for most people, but for those heavily into points, it usually means Chase cards are a non-starter.

My low application recently was because, well… I’ve pretty much had all the cards worth having – including this one – so I often find myself at an impasse.

But not this time!

I was 2/24 and hadn’t earned a sign-up bonus on a Sapphire card since 2016 (?), so I was well within the bounds. I’ve never hopped on a card application so hard in my life.

Just went to get my $50 in free groceries last nite 🙂

I already met the minimum spending and know exactly how I’m going to use my points bonus!

Chase travel transfer partners

So while you can get $1,000 in travel with this bonus, you can get much more travel by transferring to Chase travel transfer partners.

In the past, I’ve gotten excellent value with United, Flying Blue, Singapore Airlines, and British Airways.

Nowadays, there’s a lot of overlap between Chase Ultimate Rewards and other bank programs, including Amex Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou, and Capital One.

Pair Chase cards to earn even more points

I wrote about 8 high-value ways to redeem Chase points. Of course, things are always shifting within the points space, but most of them still hold up.

But there’s one partner I zero in on with the focus of a laser and that partner is…

My favorite way to redeem Chase points

Hyatt. All day and night. Send them to Hyatt!

Why?

Chase and Hyatt have an exclusive relationship, so there’s no other way to transfer points to Hyatt except through Chase. Historically and now, Hyatt has a generous award chart and it’s relatively easy for even casual travelers to get a big return for their points.

Plus, transfers are instant. You can literally send Chase points to Hyatt, refresh the booking screen, and they’re in your account. (I’ve done that many times before.)

My last Hyatt stay was for Halloween 2020

Hyatt Category 1 hotels (think Hyatt Place and Hyatt house), start at 5,000 points per night.

With 85,000 points (the sign-up bonus plus the minimum spending), you could get:

  • 17 award nights at a Hyatt Category 1 hotel
  • 10 award nights at a Hyatt Category 2 hotel
  • 5 award nights at a Hyatt Category 3 hotel
  • And so on, up to Category 8

You could even get a free night at some of the most exclusive and luxurious Hyatt hotels in the world, like the Ventana Big Sur (on my list), Park Hyatt Tokyo, or a few nights at an all-inclusive resort, like the Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos or Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta (been to both).

Because I’m now living on the road, I’m definitely going to lean into those Hyatt Category 1 hotels, which can cost over $100 per night. Even assuming a base of $100 per night, 85,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth $1,700 (17 nights @ $100 each).

That’s an astounding bonus from one card.

Another reason I’d recommend Hyatt right now is because flights are generally cheap. Travel is coming back slowly and flight prices reflect that.

Also – for flights, the best award redemptions are usually long-haul international flights in a premium cabin and well… that’s not a possibility right now.

Or you can do what many others are doing and build up your point reserves for when travel does return. Nothing like a luxurious free trip to declare revenge travel. 😉

Chase Sapphire Preferred 80K bottom line

If you’re able to open this card now, I’d highly recommend doing so. You can:

  • Stay at Hyatt hotels for free
  • Wait until international flights open back up
  • Book expensive flights as awards now
  • Or just save your points toward a fabulous post-pandemic vaycay

Any way you slice it, you can’t go wrong because there’s never been a better bonus on the Chase Sapphire Preferred. I just opened the card myself and already have a use for my newly earned points in the works.

At a bare minimum, this bonus is worth $1,000 toward travel + $50 toward groceries which is a phenomenal value from one card. There’s a $95 annual fee, but that pales in comparison to the value you can potentially get.

Plus, if you have other Chase cards, like the Chase Freedom Flex or Chase Freedom Unlimited, you can pair and pool your points – and then send them to travel partners or book travel with them where they’re worth 1.25 cents each.

To be honest, I can’t think of a single reason why you wouldn’t get this card if you qualify. If you’ve been antsy to travel like I’ve been, those points are going to come in handy when you’re ready to travel again.

It’s no longer a great card for spending (you earn 2X Chase Ultimate Rewards points on travel and dining), but for that kind of bonus on a personal card, you really can’t go wrong.

Have you already gotten this card? Will you? How will you use your 80,000-point bonus? 

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About Harlan

Digital nomad living on the road and working toward financial independence.

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Comments

  1. I’m just wondering how you could get a sapphire bonus again as you did with this application – assuming you applied for the CSR in 2016 and got the signup bonus then, did you product switch or cancel your original CSR in order to be eligible to apply for it again? Thanks !

    • Hi Harley! Yes, I downgraded it to a Freedom Unlimited card a couple of years ago. And will likely downgrade the new CSP in the future, too.

  2. Whoop whoop, Hyatt is where we stayed all over the US while traveling. Tough to beat the value from cat 1-2 Hyatt place/house properties. There’s a cat1 Place in SW Utah by all the national parks that was so great, and the newish one in Vegas is only a cat2. Great to fill weekend nights while you do super cheap weekdays at Caesars resorts with Diamond status.

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