9 ways to use the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card’s sign-up bonus to book free flights

  • The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is one of the best credit cards for earning travel points on your everyday spending.
  • It’s currently offering 60,000 points to new cardholders who spend $US4,000 in the first three months.
  • 60,000 Chase points are equivalent to $US750 toward travel when you book flights, hotels, and more directly through Chase.
  • You can also redeem points with Chase transfer partners such as British Airways and Singapore Airlines. You can fly to numerous destinations for under 60,000 points year-round.

For years, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card offered new users 50,000 points, provided they spend and pay off at least $US4,000 within the first three months of owning the card. 50,000 points was already more than many competing cards offered, but Chase recently upped its sign-up bonus to 60,000 points. You still have to pay off $US4,000 within the first few months; the main difference is that the $US95 annual fee is no longer waived for the first year.

This sign-up bonus is only available to new Chase Sapphire Preferred members and people who haven’t received a membership bonus for at least 48 months. If you’re a traveller who’s been wondering if this card makes sense for you, here are some examples of how you can put the 60,000-point bonus to use for free flights.

Keep in mind that we’re focusing on the rewards and perks that make these credit cards great options, not things like interest rates and late fees, which can far outweigh the value of any rewards.

When you’re working to earn credit card rewards, it’s important to practice financial discipline, like paying your balances off in full each month, making payments on time, and not spending more than you can afford to pay back. Basically,

treat your credit card like a debit card


How does the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card work?

Many travel rewards credit cards partner with one airline. For example, the United Explorer Card will hook you up with flights through United Airlines, and the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ card only lets you apply those points to American Airlines flights.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card, on the other hand, earns transferable points. The Chase Ultimate Rewards points it earns can be transferred to the loyalty programs of Chase’s various travel partners, including United Airlines, JetBlue, and British Airways, just to name a few. This could make it easier (and maybe even cheaper) to find a flight than you might experience with other rewards programs.

60,000 Chase points is equivalent to $US750 of travel money, which can be used to book hotel rooms, rental cars, cruises, and of course, flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal.

By spending $US1 with the card, you’ll earn 1 Chase point. If you use the card to pay for designated travel purchases or at restaurants, you earn 2 points per dollar. When you look at your account, you’ll see exactly how many miles you have, along with the corresponding amount in travel dollars.

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Booking flights for under 60,000 Chase points

Sure, you could accumulate tens of thousands of points over the years to book, say, three round-trip tickets from Los Angeles to Sydney. But where can you fly with 60,000 points from the Chase Sapphire Preferred card‘s sign-up bonus?

You could choose to book flights directly through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal, which you’ll find after signing into your Chase account. When you redeem points from the Chase Sapphire Preferred this way, you’ll get 1.25 cents per point toward travel (hence, 60,000 points equal $US750 toward travel)

However, the number of points you’ll spend can differ depending on which day you buy and what time of year you travel. As a potential member, this makes it difficult to know ahead of time if you can pay for that dream trip to Italy with 60,000 travel points.

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Chase Ultimate Rewards airline transfer partners

The alternative? From your Chase account, redeem your travel points with one of its airlines transfer partners. You can move your Chase points to airline partners at a 1:1 ratio, so one Chase points equals one mile with United, Singapore, and other partners.

Certain airline partners, like Singapore Airlines and British Airways, have consistent rules about how many points you’ll spend to fly to a certain destination, regardless of the date of purchase or time of year you fly. These strict numbers often result in your spending fewer points than if you went directly through Chase’s portal to book a flight.

Airline transfer partners can be confusing, and frankly, only some of them provide truly great deals. Let’s look at some of the best deals for travellers flying economy. In some cases, you couldn’t have booked these flights with the Sapphire Preferred card‘s original sign-up bonus of 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points.

One-way tickets for 60,000 Chase points or less

North America to the UK and Ireland with British Airways

When it comes to using travel points (or Avios, as they call it), British Airways charges you a number of points based on the distance between your original airport and the destination airport.

For example, the distance between New York (JFK) and London (LHR) is 3,440 miles. If you look at the chart, you’ll see that this flight will cost you 20,750 Avios in economy.

If you book nonstop flights, it’s definitely possible to pay for a round-trip ticket for under 60,000 points. However, many journeys to the UK and Ireland from America require at least one stop. In these cases, British Airways calculates the number of miles from point A to point B, then point B to point C, rather than directly from point A to point C. As a result, the number of miles is higher, and it can be hard to pay for a round-trip ticket with only 60,000 points.

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North America to the Middle East with Iberia Plus

British Airways and Iberia Plus are both members of the Oneworld airline alliance, meaning their charts have a lot of similarities.

There are two main differences between the two partners. First, Iberia changes the number of points it charges depending on whether it’s peak travel season or the off-season. Second, British Airways adds up the number of miles from destination to destination, which racks up points. But Iberia only considers the number of miles from point A to point C (or point D or E). This makes it much easier to book tickets to faraway places, such as the Middle East.

North America to Southeast Asia with Singapore Airlines

Have you long dreamt of backpacking around Southeast Asia? The Singapore Airlines redemption chart shows that 55,000 Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles will get you to Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, or Vietnam.

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North America to North Asia with Singapore Airlines

Spend 48,000 KrisFlyer miles to fly one-way to Hong Kong, Macau, or Taiwan. Spend 54,000 to fly to Mainland China, Guam, Japan, Micronesia, Palau, Russia Far East, or South Korea.

North America to Southwest Pacific with Singapore Airlines

For 60,000 KrisFlyer miles, you can travel to Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, New Zealand, Niue, Norfolk Island, Samoa, Tahiti, Tonga, or Vanuatu.

North America to Central-South Africa with Singapore Airlines

For 52,000 KrisFlyer miles, fly from North America to one of 21 African countries, including places like Ethiopia, Madagascar, and South Africa.

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North America to Central-South Asia with Singapore Airlines

Looking for an unconventional destination? Spend 55,000 KrisFlyer miles to fly one-way to Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, or Uzbekistan.

Round-trip tickets for 60,000 Chase points or less

North America to Europe with Singapore Airlines

By transferring points, you can fly round-trip from North America to Europe for 55,000 KrisFlyer miles. This includes 37 European countries, ranging from France to Lithuania to the Canary Islands.

North America to South America with Singapore Airlines

This round-trip journey costs 60,000 KrisFlyer miles. You can fly to 10 South American countries, including Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

This is not an exhaustive list by any means, but it should give you an idea of the wide range of possibilities available with 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points. Don’t forget that the Chase Ultimate Rewards program includes hotel transfer partners as well, so you can move points earned with your Chase Sapphire Preferred card to book stays with Hyatt, IHG, and Marriott.

Click here to learn more about the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.