Best credit card for free flights & hotels
How to Travel More for Less

Best Credit Card to Get Free Flights and Hotels

NOTE: The offer for 100,000 points has expired, but you will still learn about travel hacking in this post. I encourage you to read it and click the link to find out the current offer on the Chase Sapphire card.

As of May 2022, the current Chase Sapphire offer is 80,000. This is the highest it’s been since the 100,000 offer last year!

Hello friends! I’m frequently asked how it is our family affords to travel like we do.

I’m more than happy to continue talking one-on-one with anyone who asks (please do!) but I also want to write this post to have a place to point to when needed.

The main way we afford to travel is by using credit card points to book our flights and hotels for free.

While I’ve known about points and miles for years, I only learned about credit card sign up bonuses a couple of years ago.

I’m here to tell you, that was a GAME CHANGER in our travel life!

There are many credit cards that offer sign up bonuses and I can tell you about my favorites another time, but for now, you need to know about the offer that currently comes with the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.

It’s at an all time high and will probably only last a few more weeks. (Sorry! I should have posted this a couple of months ago, but you’ve still got time to get it. Just don’t dilly-dally.)

In a nutshell, here’s the deal:

• When you apply and are approved for the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card, you’ll have three months to meet the minimum spending requirement of $4,000. That may seem like a lot, but that’s only $1,334 a month and most people easily spend that.

As soon as you meet that amount, you’ll get the bonus 100,000 to use as you please. (Update: this offer is no longer available. Find out the current bonus being offered.)

• The card has a $95 annual fee. It also comes with a $50 credit towards a hotel booking, so that essentially makes it $45.

At a minimum, the 100,000 points is worth $1250 in travel, but depending on how you redeem it, that could be stretched even further.

Advice

You’re only able to get the sign up bonus for this card once every four years. However, spouses are each eligible to apply for their own card. (Just make sure you can make the minimum spend on both within the three month time frame.)

Other Travel Perks Included

In addition to the sign up bonus, you’ll also get a few extra perks. For starters, there are no foreign fees when you use this card. This is the one you want to take whenever you travel to another country.

Primary car rental insurance is also covered when you pay for your rental car with this card. Waive the fee and save $10-15 per day.

Other benefits include trip delay, trip cancellation, and baggage delay insurance. These benefits alone could be super helpful right when you need them.

Part of the current sign up bonus also includes a one time $50 hotel credit when you book using your card.

We used points to book our room at the Hyatt Regency in San Antonio
Sophia and Bella in our room at the Hyatt Regency overlooking the San Antonio Riverwalk

Who am I writing this for?

I’m writing this specifically for my friends and family who want to know how to travel using credit card points and miles to book free travel. We’ve taken some fantastic vacations since learning about SUB’s and I want you all to know how you can do it, too!

You need to have a credit score of at least 650 or above.

It’s also for those who understand the do’s and don’ts of using credit cards. (I already wrote this, so I’ll link to it instead of writing anymore here.)

Who is this not for?

Do not apply for this card if you are currently in a cash crunch. (Why tempt yourself with credit if you’re struggling to pay your bills? Take care of your finances first and work toward getting yourself in a good position to take advantage of these kinds of deals when you’re ready.) If your credit score is below 725, take the time to learn how to improve it.

Why get the Chase Sapphire Preferred?

Simply put, this is the most versatile credit card for travel that you can get. You’ll earn “points” that Chase calls Ultimate Rewards. You can redeem those points several ways.

Chase Ultimate Rewards Portal

One way is to log into your account and book travel directly through the Chase website. This is how I’ve booked several of our vacations. I’ll warn you now, though, it can be quite addicting to get online and “shop” for all the places you could go with your stash of points!

Transfer to Travel Partners

Another way to use Chase Ultimate Rewards is to transfer points to any of their travel partners. I won’t go into all the details about how to do that (there are plenty of experts who cover this in detail), but it’s another great option.

We’ve used this option to transfer points to our Hyatt account when we stayed at the Hyatt Regency in San Antonio overlooking the Riverwalk.

We also stayed at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki looking right down on the beach. (Loved it!)

This is the view from our balcony at the Hyatt Regency in Waikiki – paid for with points.

Use Your Points for Flights

Chase Ultimate Rewards can also be used to book flights. 100,000 points can book some pretty nice flights! If you use the option to transfer to a travel partner, you’ve got a wide range of airlines to choose from.

We have booked many flights using our Southwest Airlines points, especially since Rodney and I both have the Companion Pass. Occasionally, we need to top off our Southwest Points and being able to transfer our Chase points over to our Southwest account is so easy.

We’ve used points to pay for all of our flights to Mexico, to Hawaii, to Las Vegas, Texas and more. I should add it up someday. We’ve literally saved $1000’s by using credit card points to book flights.

Other Ways to Redeem Points

You can also redeem your points for other things like car rentals, vacation excursions and even paying for things on Amazon. You don’t get as much bang for your buck that way though, so I’m not even going to cover them. Just know that Chase Ultimate Rewards are really quite versatile.

What would you do with 100,000 points?

Many people are in the position of being able to afford a vacation once they actually get there, but the hotel and flights put it out of their budget.

Or maybe they could afford it, but don’t want to spend that kind of money on vacation when they could spend it on other things.

I totally understand! That’s what blows my mind about earning credit card sign up bonuses.

When you’re approved for a credit card, simply meet the minimum spending requirement by putting all the things you were already going to purchase on that card.

That’s like getting rewarded for adulting.

I love that.

I had no idea credit card bonuses were a thing until a couple of years ago and from what I’ve found, most of my friends and family don’t either.

Rodney and I spent four nights at an all-inclusive resort in Puerto Vallarta booked entirely with points, including our flights.

Are credit cards bad?

I used to think so. In fact, we only had one credit card for almost 20 years. We eventually got a second one when our CPA told us to use a separate one for business expenses.

(I totally missed out on that sign up bonus because I didn’t know about it. Ugh!)

I want to stress very clearly that you don’t put anything on the credit card that you wouldn’t have used your debit card or paid cash for.

Never charge anything that you can’t pay off in full on the next statement. Ever.

I’ve also kept a close eye on mine and Rodney’s credit scores. Again, always pay in full and always pay on time. Our credit scores have not gone down at all and we both now have several cards each.

(Note: I’m not advocating opening tons of cards. This is only to let you know about the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.)

You may also want to read 5 Tips on How to Improve Your Credit Score.

How to get the Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

Credit card sign up bonuses have opened up so many travel opportunities for my family.

We’ve already taken trips we wouldn’t have otherwise spent the money on and for anyone who loves to travel like I do, that’s a priceless gift.

Being able to combine my love for travel with an entrepreneurial spirit is what led me to start this blog, so I’m especially grateful I learned about it and can share these findings with you!

Here’s the link you need to sign up for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. I’m super excited for you and if you take any fabulous trips with your bonus points, I want to hear all about it!

Hearts & Hugs,
Karee

I’m Karee—traveling and travel planning make my heart sing! Thanks for coming along for the ride with me here at OWJ. I’ll be sharing valuable info on how to travel like a Queen without a Royal Budget, how to take amazing trips using points and miles, and plenty more!

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