The Sapphire Preferred and the Sapphire Reserve are two of the most valuable travel rewards credit cards.
The Sapphire Preferred is a favorite right now because you can get an all-time high 80,000 point welcome bonus after spending $4,000 in the first three months. The Sapphire Reserve also has an elevated bonus of 60,000 points and is the more premium option that comes with benefits like lounge access.
One perk that these cards also have in common is the ability to redeem points through the Chase Travel Portal. Normally, you can redeem your Ultimate Rewards for a statement credit at a rate of one cent per point. However, when you redeem your Ultimate Rewards for travel through the Chase Travel Portal, you can get a better redemption rate.
With the Sapphire Preferred, you can redeem your points for travel at a rate of 1.25 cents per point and with the Sapphire Reserve, you can redeem your points for travel at a rate of 1.5 cents per point. These are some of the best redemption rates for a travel portal and really adds a lot of value to these cards.
Chase recently decided to allow these enhanced redemption rates to apply to other charges like groceries, home improvement, and dining. Initially, this enhancement was sent to expire April 30, 2021 but Chase just decided to extend this to September 30, 2021.
This is a pretty huge expansion of the benefit because it turns these cards into extremely lucrative cashback cards for a few months.
If you are earning 2X on travel and dining and then using those points on grocery or dining purchases, then you are getting an equivalent of 3.75% back on your purchases.
If you are earning 3X on travel and dining and then using those points on grocery or dining purchases, then you are getting an equivalent of 4.5% back on your purchases.
These are extremely competitive rates!
The Sapphire Reserve also has another special benefit that has been extended. The Sapphire Reserve comes with a $300 travel credit that can now be used on groceries and gas. Initially, this expansion of the travel credit was set to expire June 30, 2021 but it has been extended all the way through the end of 2021.
This $300 travel credit was already extremely easy to use because so many different purchases code is travel but now that you can use it on groceries and gas, it’s basically the easiest credit on the market to use.
And finally, the deadline for redeeming Ultimate Rewards for Chase Dining at a higher redemption rate was extended from April 30, 2021 through Sept. 30, 2021.
Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.