by Elizabeth Aldrich | Updated Sept. 2, 2021 - First published on Oct. 26, 2020
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Surprise! It's actually a fan-favorite travel credit card.
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If your spending on groceries, takeout, and food delivery has spiked since the coronavirus pandemic started, you're not alone.
Luckily, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is offering a limited-time sign-up bonus that's worth at least $1,000. The best part is that this best-in-class travel credit card is temporarily allowing cardholders to redeem their points to cover dining, takeout, and home improvement purchases in addition to flights and hotel stays.
Here's everything you need to know about the offer and how to get the most value from it, even if you're stuck at home.
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While the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card typically offers a 50,000-point sign-up bonus, the card is currently offering 80,000 points if you can spend $4,000 in the first three months. This is the highest welcome bonus ever offered for this card. It's worth $1,000 when you redeem your points for travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal or to cover dining, takeout, and home improvement purchases through the Pay Yourself Back feature.
There's no published expiration date for this elevated bonus, but speculation suggests that it could expire in early November. If that's the case, you'll want to apply for the card as soon as possible.
To qualify for the welcome bonus, you'll want to make sure you can spend $4,000 in the first three months after opening the card -- ideally without making purchases you wouldn't normally make just to earn rewards. If you need a spending boost, you can try putting your bills on the card in addition to your everyday purchases. Picking up the tab for a group purchase and having people pay you back individually can also help you get there.
You won't be eligible for the bonus if you currently hold any of the Sapphire cards or if you received a new cardmember bonus on any of the Sapphire cards within the last 48 months.
Historically, the best way to redeem Ultimate Rewards points was to use them for travel. Cardholders could do this through making travel purchases through the Ultimate Rewards portal or transfer them to one of Chase's airline and hotel partners. But the coronavirus pandemic threw a wrench into everyone's travel plans. At that point, Chase introduced a new, quarantine-friendly way to redeem your points without sacrificing value.
The new Pay Yourself Back feature allows cardholders to use their points to essentially "erase" any grocery store, dining, takeout (including select delivery), and home improvement purchases made within the last 90 days.
If you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, this redemption method gets you $0.0125 per point, meaning the sign-up bonus alone is enough to save you up to $1,000 on food. Chase extended the Pay Yourself Back option through April 2021, so you've still got time to take advantage of it after earning the card's sign-up bonus.
If you're a fan of delivery apps, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card can help you save in more than one way.
Because the card has partnered with food delivery app DoorDash, you can use the Pay Yourself Back redemption option to cover DoorDash delivery purchases in addition to groceries, dining, and home improvement. On top of that, the card's partner benefits include a complimentary DashPass subscription from DoorDash for at least one year, as long as you activate by Dec. 31, 2021.
This complimentary DashPass subscription will get you unlimited $0 delivery fees with any restaurant that has the DashPass logo as well as reduced service fees. This can save you an average of $4.00 to $5.00 on every order.
Ultimately, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is still a travel credit card. For the time being, these added benefits and redemption options have made it valuable even if you're stuck at home, but they won't be around forever. You should have some plans to travel in the future if you want to make the most out of this card in the long run.
This is especially true given the card's $95 annual fee. The best way to make the annual fee worth it is to spend at least around $4,000 per year on dining and travel combined, categories that offer 2x bonus points. This will net you at least $100 in Ultimate Rewards points.
If you do plan to travel in the future, you stand to gain a lot from this credit card apart from the rewards. You'll have the option to transfer your points to a long list of transfer partners for even more value, and you'll get access to generous travel insurance benefits that include primary rental car insurance, trip cancellation and interruption protection, and baggage delay insurance.
In the meantime, you can use Chase's highly flexible points to save some money on all those takeout orders.
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