When it comes to travel rewards credit cards, there’s one card that consistently makes the cut as one of the best cards out there: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.
This card is jam-packed with perks and comes in an alluring sapphire color with a sleek metallic design, making it a unique addition to your wallet. The annual fee is waived for the first year, but after that it will set you back $95 annually.
Luckily, there are ways to make back your investment by maximizing your rewards.
1. Redeem points the right way
Flexibility is one of the main selling points of Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. You can redeem points for cash back, gift cards and travel. But not all point redemption values are created equal.
You can get far more value if you redeem points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal. Cardholders get an automatic 25 percent bonus when booking travel through the portal, making points worth 1.25 cents each.
But before you do that, you’ll want to research reward redemptions with Chase’s travel partners. In some cases, your points can go much further that way.
Cardholders can transfer points on a 1-to-1 basis (so 1,000 points would equal 1,000 miles) with the following airlines:
● British Airways Executive Club
● Flying Blue AIR FRANCE KLM
● Korean Air SKYPASS
● Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
● Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards®
● United MileagePlus®
● Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
Being strategic with your point redemption can give you the most bang for your buck and help you maximize your Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card benefits.
2. Take advantage of purchase protection
One of the lesser-known Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card benefits is purchase protection for eligible items of personal property. If you use your card and your item gets stolen or is damaged within 120 days of the purchase date, you can get up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account.
This perk may also work for lost items as well. “When my wife accidentally lost a necklace that I had given her as a gift, I called up Chase and started the process to get reimbursed via the purchase protection,” says Roger Ma, Certified Financial Planner® and founder at LifeLaidOut.com.
Ma said the whole process took less than a month and describes the experience as “painless.”
So, if you’re a cardholder, consider taking advantage of this perk next time something you purchase with the card is stolen, damaged or lost. Keep in mind, though, that you should think of Chase purchase protection as secondary coverage—meaning it can provide coverage in excess of any other valid insurance you might be able to collect.
3. Ditch the collision damage waiver when renting a car.
When you rent a car, you’re typically asked if you want to add the collision damage waiver, which protects you if the car is damaged while you’re renting it.
Using Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you can say “no” to the waiver—and still be covered. The card offers an auto rental collision damage waiver, which reimburses cardholders in the case of theft or damage to the car.
To take advantage of this perk, you need to charge the entire rental cost of the car to your card.
“I love using the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card to pay for my car rentals and then declining the rental company’s collision insurance,” Ma says.
While Ma enjoys the cost savings from his card, he suggests still opting for liability insurance if you don’t have car insurance.More details on how you can get car rental insurance from your credit card
4. Add an authorized user
Want to earn an easy 5,000 points? Add an authorized user to your Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. Doing so can get you 5,000 points when you make a purchase and add an authorized user within the first three months of opening an account.
You can add a partner or family member and use the card for shared expenses. That way you can track expenses easily and earn the bonus, getting you that much closer to an award.
Just be aware that as the primary cardholder, you’re responsible for all payments, not the authorized user. The authorized user can spend money, but they’re not required to pay it back—so be sure to add someone you trust.
5. Access travel perks when things go awry
If you’re a travel lover, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card can be your best friend. When traveling, there are so many variables out of your control and things can go wrong, leaving you in a pinch. Your flight gets cancelled, your baggage goes missing, or you get sick during a trip.
Luckily, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has got you covered with a variety of protections should things go awry.
The card offers:
● Trip cancellation/trip interruption insurance. If your trip ends abruptly because of severe weather, illness or other covered situations, you may be reimbursed up to a total of $10,000.
● Travel and emergency assistance services. If something happens while you’re on vacation, you can call your benefit administrator for referrals to medical or legal providers in the case of emergency.
● Baggage delay insurance. One of the most frustrating things to happen during travel is to have your baggage lost or delayed. What are you to do without all your clothes and toiletries? Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has baggage delay insurance, which covers you for up to $100 per day, for up to five days. Here’s the best part: It’s not just the cardholder who’s covered—your spouse or partner and immediate family members are also covered.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a great option for travel lovers looking for flexible reward options. Though there’s an annual fee of $95 after the first year, it’s possible to maximize the rewards and get far more value than the initial cost.
As a cardholder, you have access to a customer service specialist around the clock and may have access to exclusive events.
As you can see, this isn’t just any card—if you look closer there are ways you can maximize your rewards with these lesser-known benefits.
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