The Chase Sapphire Preferred, a flagship travel rewards credit card issued by JPMorgan Chase in the US, has just launched a new welcome bonus of 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points.
This is an exciting development for anyone who’s looking to rack up the points via US credit cards, especially if you’re currently in the “mid-game” of your US credit card strategy.
New Offer of 80,000 Ultimate Rewards Points
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is often considered the ideal introductory card in Chase’s overall credit card portfolio, and it’s a very popular starting point for Americans who play the game.
With the latest welcome bonus, you’ll earn 80,000 UR points upon spending $4,000 in the first three months (all figures in USD). The card has an annual fee of $95, which is not waived for the first year.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred has no foreign exchange fees, which means that you can meet the minimum spending through your Canadian purchases, and you’d only incur an FX impact if you need to convert Canadian dollars into US dollars to pay off your bill.
(Note that the Chase Sapphire Preferred had historically offered up to 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points as a welcome bonus, but there’s no guarantee that we’ll see that offer returning again in the future.)
Redeeming Chase Ultimate Rewards Points
Chase’s Ultimate Rewards points program has a variety of frequent flyer partners, which generally represent the most valuable way to spend your points. A few redemption possibilities might include:
- World of Hyatt: Redeem points at a great value for Hyatt hotel stays
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club: 72,500–85,000 miles would be enough for a one-way flight in ANA First Class
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer: The only program that can book a vast majority of Singapore Airlines’s luxurious premium cabins
- Avianca LifeMiles and United MileagePlus: Alternative programs to book Star Alliance premium flights compared to the easily accessible Aeroplan points we have in Canada
Out of the above, the Hyatt partnership arguably offers the greatest “comparative advantage” when redeeming Chase points.
That’s because Chase Ultimate Rewards is the only major transfer partner of the World of Hyatt program, whereas the other transfer possibilities can be accessed through alternative means.
Virgin Atlantic and Singapore Airlines miles can all be accessed through easier-to-earn Canadian and US points currencies, while Avianca and United miles would be redeemed towards the same flights that you’d book through the easier-to-earn Aeroplan program.
In addition, Chase Ultimate Rewards points can also be converted to Aeroplan at a 1:1 ratio.
Again, let’s think back to the concept of comparative advantage. Converting Chase UR points to Aeroplan might not be the most value-adding opportunity, since we have plenty of methods for earning Aeroplan points here in Canada already.
However, if you’d like to concentrate your earning efforts in the Aeroplan program, then the current signup bonus on the Chase Sapphire Preferred can also be viewed as a way to earn 80,000 Aeroplan points too.
Applying for Chase Cards for Canadians
Most Americans with a credit history can apply for a Chase Sapphire Preferred as the starting point in their credit card journey.
However, for Canadians who dabble with US credit cards, you’d typically need to build at last one year’s worth of credit history (and often more) before Chase will approve you for a card.
Canadians are generally advised to begin with American Express US cards via Global Transfer or Nova Credit, beef up their credit history with another one or two Amex US products during the first year, and then apply for their first Chase credit card around the 12-to-18-month mark of their US credit card journey.
Unless you already have an SSN from living or working in the US, it’ll also be important to apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) in the meantime, since Chase requires either a SSN or an ITIN to process your credit card application.
Even then, the application may get declined initially due to your relatively new credit file. In these cases, a reconsideration request can often push the application through, especially if you’ve demonstrated consistent payment history and reasonable utilization across multiple credit lines.
At the same time, in the first 12 to 18 months of your credit history, you should also be careful not to open too many personal credit accounts if you’re interested in getting Chase cards down the line.
That’s because Chase enforces the infamous “5/24 rule”, in which your application for a Chase card will be automatically declined if you’ve opened five or more credit cards in the past 24 months.
(Remember, business credit cards issued by Amex US do not report to your personal credit file, and so will not count towards your overall credit health. On the other hand, this means that Amex US business cards can be obtained without impacting your Chase 5/24 status, so it’s a bit of a double-edged sword.)
Altogether, this means that the welcome bonus of 80,000 UR points can be very exciting for those of you who had already started on your US credit card journey about one year ago; however, if you’re just starting out now, then it’ll still be a while until you’re eligible for your first Chase card.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred, long considered the best starting point within Chase’s credit card portfolio in the US, is now offering 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points upon spending $4,000 in the first three months.
While this isn’t an all-time-high welcome bonus on this card, it’s one of the best public offers we’ve seen in a few years, so now’s the time to take action and apply if you’ve built up a year of US credit history but haven’t applied for this card yet.
There’s no published end date on this offer, although it’s likely that we’ll see it sticking around throughout the new few months.
In the past, we’ve often heard rumours swirling around the community when a big Chase signup bonus was set to end soon, so keep your ears close to the ground if you need to wait just a few more months to beef up your US credit file before applying.