Chase has announced a new Sapphire Preferred offer: 3X points on all dining for the first Friday of each month for the remainder of 2013. With the 7% annual points dividend, this is really 3.21X. If you like to track things in your calendar or set alerts, that means the following dates:
- May 3
- June 7
- July 5
- August 2
- September 6
- October 4
- November 1
- December 6
Looking at the terms and conditions, there is no mention of a maximum spend amount that will be bonused, or anything that would prevent you from purchasing gift certificates. The main caveat is that the restaurant needs to be coded as such by Visa in order for you to receive the points. So, you could always do a test transaction on May 3, and if you receive the bonus points (terms say to allow 6-8 weeks), go ahead and purchase gift certificates on a future First Friday.
Now, currently the Chase Freedom offers 5X points for restaurants (as well as Lowe's and movie theaters) for April, May and June up to $1500 per card, and of course 5X beats 3.21X. As long as you also have another Chase card linked to Ultimate Rewards, such as the Sapphire Preferred or Ink Bold or Ink Plus, you can transfer your Freedom 5X points to Ultimate Rewards partners. Need some inspiration for what to do with your Ultimate Rewards points? Check out Best Ways to Use Chase Ultimate Rewards Points.
Since my husband also has the Chase Freedom card and we plan to maximize our 5X with restaurants gift certificates, that means $3000 in dining and restaurant gift certificates for 15,000 Ultimate Rewards points total. That would likely last us 7-8 months, so we may well also use the Sapphire Preferred 3.21X for a few additional restaurant gift certificates. It would be especially attractive if any of the restaurants don't expire their gift certificates after 1 year, although most do.
I also toyed briefly with the idea of calling up some of the restaurants we plan to dine at when abroad and purchasing gift certificates on a First Friday, but it will likely be more trouble than it's worth, even though the Sapphire Preferred does have the advantage of no foreign transaction fees on those purchases, unlike the Chase Freedom.
Do you plan to take advantage of 3.21X Ultimate Rewards points using your Sapphire Preferred for dining on First Fridays, or will you stick with the Chase Freedom 5X?
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