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Credit Card rewards come in many forms. Some of the most popular companies that give out sign up bonuses include Chase, American Express, Citi, and Capital One. These sign up bonuses can be very lucrative for those willing to take advantage of them. Often times, these bonuses allow you to travel for free! Below you’ll find an Intro to Travel Rewards with Chase.
SUBs and MSRs
A sign up bonus (SUB) is a sum of points or money paid to a new approved customer.
The minimum spending requirement (MSR) is the spending requirement required to be completed in the defined timeframe.
For example, Chase has a card called the Chase Sapphire Preferred. This card comes with a 60,000 point bonus and requires $4,000 minimum spend in 3 months. The total equates to about 65,000 points after you meet the spending.
What are 65,000 Chase points worth?
Your first and worst option for redemption of these points is $650 in Cash. By worst, I mean the least valued redemption. If you have no intentions of travel, maybe this is the best option for you!
Secondly, the points are worth $812.50 in the Chase travel portal. This is due to the Sapphire Preferred having a 1.25 cent per point (cpp) redemption rate. Most recently, the Chase travel portal is now linked with Expedia. Almost everything you can book on Expedia is available on the portal. This includes Flights, Hotels, Car Rental, Activities, Vacation Homes, and Cruises.
As a third option, the points can be transferred to a travel partner. Chase has the following transfer partners available: Aer Lingus, British Airways, Emirates, Flying Blue Air France, Iberia Plus, JetBlue, Singapore Airlines, Southwest, United, Virgin Atlantic, IHG, Marriott Bonvoy, and World of Hyatt.
My favorite example of these partners is Hyatt. You can book a single night at an all-inclusive Hyatt resort for as little as 25,000 points.
The redemption value of this resort can be worth up to 4.3 cents per point. Your original total of 65,000 Chase points could be worth $2,800!
Finally, your total return on spending is the percentage of cashback earned for each dollar spent on your credit card. Below I explain this in a per-dollar format.
Option 1 – If you chose to cash out your points, your total return on your spending for this card was $650/$4,000 = 16.25%.
For every $1 spent you earned $0.16.
Option 2 – Booking through the Chase portal at 1.25cpp sets your total return at $812.50/$4,000 = 20.31%.
For every $1 spent, you earned $0.20.
Option 3 – Transferring to a travel partner like Hyatt and using list pricing can set your total return as high as $2,800/$4,000 = 70%.
For every $1 spent, you earned $0.70!
These calculations apply only to meeting the MSR. Once that period is over you can still earn 1-4% using this card for every day spend. However, I recommend moving on to the next card at that point.
The key to this is to continue signing up for new cards and using your every day spend to meet the MSR of a new card.
In conclusion, this may be difficult because it goes against everything you’ve been told or taught about credit cards. I’d like to assure you that you’ll never look at credit cards the same once you take the leap to sign up for your first reward card.
Now, this is just an Intro to Travel Rewards with Chase, you can build upon this with other banks too. Learn more about how we do on our Travel page!
- Learn more about:
- Annual Fees – Are they worth it?
- Managing your open credit cards.
- How will opening multiple credit cards effect my credit?