I don’t need more credit cards. My Capital One card has something like a $35,000 credit limit. I pay it off every month.
However, while the easiest thing to do is to just get a good credit card that earns cash back, I like earning points that I use on travel. Up until now, I haven’t really hacked travel rewards points like this guy does, but after reading through some of his stuff, I feel like I should.
Money is fungible (that means money is the same no matter how you use it), but people aren’t robots. I don’t care that the spreadsheet that is my net worth says that earning $2,000 cash back is the same as getting a $2,000 hotel stay for free. The thing is, I have money, what I want is that hotel stay, and I don’t want to feel like I’m paying for it. And, voila, travel rewards are better than cash back, for me.
Credit Card Miles Hacking
Why should I get a Chase Sapphire Preferred card?
I’ll re-up my article about how getting cash back, or cash equivalents is often as good, or better than getting credit card miles or credit card travel points. With my Capital One Venture Card, for example, I can use the “purchase eraser” to wipe out credit card purchases at a rate of $1 per thousand miles. — That would be 1% cash back, but, if you’ve seen the commercials, you know that I earn double miles on all my Capital One Venture miles purchases. That works out to 2% cash back for my miles card.
What is the difference between miles and cash?
Nothing! When you use them the normal way. But, what if you combine the miles you have, with a special on redemption, with a special on purchasing miles, to get a really cheap, or really great, opportunity?
That is what I call credit card miles hacking, and I’m going to be doing that.
Is Chase Sapphire Preferred Worth It?
So, why apply for Chase Sapphire Preferred?
The sign up offer.
As a promotion, Chase is currently offering 80,000 FREE MILES if you sign up for a Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card. All you have to do to qualify is spend $4,000 in three months. That sounds like a lot, but if I put pretty much everything on this card, including all of those final payments for summer camps and classes for kids, it shouldn’t be too hard to hit the $4,000 mark. When that happens, I get 80,000 miles.
80,000 miles works out to $1,000 worth of free travel rewards IF YOU PLAY IT STRAIGHT.
If you find a hack that works for you, you can turn those 80,000 miles into a lot more dollars worth of travel, and so, I have been approved for the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card. They hooked me up with an $18,000 credit limit, which ironically will improve my credit score because I will have a lower percentage of utilized credit, since I have no intention of spending more money on any of my credit cards than I typically would.
Chase Sapphire Preferred Benefits
One way too many people leave money on the table when it comes to their credit cards is that they aren’t aware of many of the fringe benefits that credit cards offer their customers.
For example, the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve offer travel benefits. One of the travel benefits is Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver. Basically, that expensive coverage that the rental card companies try to sell you, that you probably don’t need anyway, you most definitely do not need when you use your Chase Sapphire card to rent your car.
Even better is Trip Cancellation Insurance. This does not cover changing your mind about a trip, but it does cover if you or a member of your family get sick or are in an accident. It also covers “named storms,” so you can get a refund on all those beach trip expenses that you booked months ago that are suddenly in jeopardy due to a hurricane. — For those of us with pre-existing conditions, like cancer, be careful. Pre-existing conditions are not covered.
There is also 120-day purchase protection in case your kid drops that new iPad, or you lose that digital camera over the side of the boat.
Extended warranty coverage comes in very handy for those devices that seem to die one week after the manufacturer’s warranty expires.
Check out my Acorns review to see if Acorns is a scam.
There is this random sign up bonus reward where you get $50 in grocery credits on your card. That’s incredibly easy to earn when you shop for a family of 4, and it covers a little bit more than half of the card’s annual fee. Plus, you get a DoorDash subscription free that reduces (but does not eliminate) the fees you pay to have DoorDash deliver your food. That’s worth $10 per month, for 12 months. In other words, you can easily come out ahead making the Chase Sapphire Preferred annual fee worth it by saving more than they charge.
- Roadside Dispatch – won’t save you money, but it’s nice to have someone to call when you don’t know where to turn for a two truck.
- Lost Luggage Replacement – isn’t as common as you think, and replacement won’t make you feel any better about what you lost.
- Travel Accident Insurance – is basically life insurance should you die on a trip. — This was a weird moment in my financial planning career when a client had a parent who died on a vacation. Just when you think you have everything, someone recommended, “See if they used a credit card with travel life insurance.” Sure enough, there was a $500,000 benefit to claim. Helping people with their finances after someone dies is uncomfortable, but it’s nice to be able to help a little bit.
Chase Preferred Miles Transfer Partners
Of course, the main benefit of a Chase Preferred Visa is the miles. One way that those miles can be made to go even farther is to take advantage of the numerous transfer partners that Chase miles has. That way if there is a hotel special that you can grab for less miles that usual, you can transfer your Chase miles to that rewards program and then snap up the special offer making your Chase travel miles worth more than 2% cash back.
Look at the Zelle reviews to see what is Zelle.
If you’re thinking of getting a Chase Sapphire Rewards card, you can use this link, and we’ll both get an extra 15,000 miles to use on our travel hacks. Use that link, and you’ll get 95,000 miles if you spend $4,000 in three months. That’s a nice travel reward even without using a travel miles hack.