Everyone asks me what the best card to get right now is and while there are many great offers right now, the best in my opinion is the Chase Sapphire Preferred. The card itself has great benefits that I will cover in a second, but the real value is in the 50,000 Ultimate Reward Points they give you after spending $3,000 within 3 months of opening your card.
But what are Ultimate Reward Points? They are super flexible points that can be redeemed at a 1% rate for cash, gift cards or merchandise. However, if you want to use them for travel related expenses (hotel, car rental, airfare), you can book through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards Mall for a 1.25% rate. This makes the 50,000 sign up bonus worth $625 in free travel. However, the best use of Ultimate Rewards points in my opinion is transferring them to airline or hotel partners such as British Airways, United Airlines, or Hyatt where you should be able to easily get 2 cents per point in redemption value (on my around the world ticket, I ended up north of 6 cents per mile so it is definitely possible). This makes the 50,000 point sign up bonus worth a minimum of $1,000 as long as you are smart about how you use it.
The benefits of this card don’t stop with the sign on bonus though. You will earn 1 Ultimate Reward point for every dollar that you spend on the card, so the $3000 you will spend for the sign up bonus will get you another $3000 points. You also earn 2X points on Dining and Travel which includes restaurants and a wide variety of travel such as train tickets, cab fares and the obvious such as hotels and airfare.
This card also has no foreign transaction fees (FOREX) which means you will not pay extra fees on currencies other than USD. This makes it an ideal card to use while travelling internationally and is something most cards don’t include.
Like most great miles earning cards, it does have an annual fee of $95 a year, but that is lower than many comparable cards, and the fee is waived for the first year.
This card also has a very sharp look to it, and instead of plastic is made out of a piece of aluminum similar the the Amex Centurion Card. The front just has your name and Chase Sapphire Preferred on it and the rear has your account number, expiration and signature slip on it. I get questions and compliments on this card every day I use it.
They have announced that the 50,000 point offer is only a limited time offer so applying sooner rather than later is the best course of option.