Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This content was accurate at the time of this post, but card terms and conditions may change at any time. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.

How To Squeeze $687 Out Of This Card's Intro Bonus

A step-by-step guide to banking the full amount.

Most high end credit cards offer a sign-up bonus in order to attract new customers, but it's been a very long while since we've seen a promotion as aggressive as what's currently being offered by the Chase Sapphire Preferred. We'll show you how you can use the card to get a jaw-dropping $687 in free travel by following a few simple steps. Additionally, for those who belong to certain frequent traveler programs, we'll show you how you can convert the bonus into something closer to $900 in free travel. Let's get into it.

How To Activate The $687 Bonus

Do you think you'll use the card to make at least $1,300 in purchases per month for the next 3 months? If the answer is no, then you might consider another high paying miles reward card like the Discover it Miles. To earn the large intro bonus on the Sapphire Preferred, you have to make $4,000 in purchases using the card in the first 3 months you have it. The Discover Miles does not have such a requirement (but of course the bonus is not as large). However, once you do hit the minimum spend, you'll immediately earn the 50,000 point bonus. That's the simple part, and worth $500 in free travel or statement credit on it's own. Here's how to convert that into $687 in free travel.

First, add a second user to the account. This can be a spouse, a child or another close loved one. They don't have to actually be a regular spender on the account, they just need to be added to it. Once you do that you'll earn a 5,000 point bonus to make your total equal to 55,000 points, worth $550. You convert the $550 to the full $687 when you actually redeem the points, if you do it correctly. Here's how.

Chase operates a travel shopping portal called Chase Ultimate Rewards. We checked the cost of travel listed there, and it matched the same costs found on Priceline and Kayak for the same flights and hotel room searches. So the portal does access the best pricing available on the internet. But when you redeem your Sapphire Preferred points through the portal, you'll get a 20% discount. So total travel purchases worth $687 become $550 after the discount. Effectively, this means your points are worth $1.25 when you redeem them correctly through the portal. Even if you weren't able to find someone to add to your account, the $500 in base value would still be converted into $625 in free travel this way.

Converting The Bonus To $900 In Free Travel

If you belong to one of the following frequent traveler clubs, you can convert your intro bonus into even more free travel: United Miles Plus, Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards, Virgin Atlantic, Hyatt Gold Passport, IHG Rewards Club, Marriott Rewards, and Ritz-Carlton Rewards. The Sapphire Preferred enables you to convert your points directly into miles or points on these traveler programs on a 1-1 basis. In order to show how valuable this can be, we looked at how much travel you could get if you converted the points into 55,000 United Miles Plus miles. Through their Saver Award program, you can redeem 25,000 miles for a coast-to-coast round trip ticket. Normally that's worth between $400 and $500, depending on when you buy the tickets etc. So by redeeming your points through the traveler program, you could convert into 2 free $450 coast-coast round trip tickets and still have 5,000 miles to spare. That's easily worth $900.

Things To Consider

Beyond the large intro bonus, the Sapphire Preferred offers some features we really like, but also some features we're not overly wild about. First, it does have a very strong ongoing miles reward program for those who continue to use the card. You'll earn 2 miles for every dollar you spend on travel, 2 miles for every dollar you spend in restaurants, and 1 miles for every dollar you spend anywhere else. There are no limits or restrictions on how many miles you can earn. If you use the card abroad, there will be no foreign transaction fee. However, the card does carry a $95 annual fee. They waive the fee during the first year you have it, so think about it like a trial run. You get the card, earn the massive bonus, use it for a while and decide if its worth paying the fee to continue into year two.

Should You Apply For A Chase Sapphire Preferred?

If you believe you'll be able to spend $4,000 using the card in the first 3 months, the intro bonus you'll earn will definitely be worth getting the it. Especially if you follow our proposed steps to increase your rewards value beyond the initial $500 all the way up to the $687 or even $900 in value. In particular, the Sapphire Preferred becomes a no-brainer for those who belong to one of the associated frequent traveler programs. For more details, click here.

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This content was accurate at the time of this post, but card terms and conditions may change at any time. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program. 

*https://www.united.com/web/en-US/apps/mileageplus/awards/travel/awardTravel.aspx