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Hey, travelers, or wannabe travelers: Get where you’re going cheaper, upgrade flights and save on luxury lodging by getting yourself signed up for the right credit card.
There are lots of cards out there — some are hotel loyalty programs, others give you points to redeem for flights on specific airlines. But the trick is to maximize rewards and flexibility in how you redeem them. And for that, Chase Sapphire Preferred is our top pick.
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
Why we love it: With this card, you rake in a whopping 60,000 welcome bonus points (worth $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards) after spending $4,000 within the first three months of opening the account. This is really a great deal — assuming you would spend this amount on regular expenses and, importantly, pay off the balance each month. We’re not alone in our fondness for this card, which Kiplinger Personal Finance named “Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption” in 2018.
Consider the possibilities: If you wanted to fly from New York City-Honolulu and back in September, you could do so entirely on points — ticket prices run around $500-$600 at that time of year. At some of the many hotels in the Chase Ultimate Rewards program, that 60,000 point bonus could also cover four nights in Manhattan — even more in Singapore! You can get an idea of the program’s incredible array of hotel and airline partners here.
- Earn 2 points for each dollar spent on travel and dining, and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases with this card.
- When booking through Chase Ultimate Rewards, you face no blackout dates or restrictions. If there is a seat available, you can book a ticket with points.
- Points transfer 1-to-1 to leading hotel and airline loyalty programs.
- Noncash perks include trip protection, which will cover the cost of your hotel and expenses if your flight is delayed because of bad weather.
- No foreign transaction fees.
Note: This card has an annual fee of $95.
Whatever you need in a credit card — whether it’s reward points, cash back or a low interest rate — you can find it with our credit card search tool. Click here to search for the plastic that best fits your needs.