Chase Sapphire Preferred – Get your bonus without overspending

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One of the most effective ways to earn lots of credit card points fast is through the use of a card sign up bonus, also known as a welcome offer.

It’s also one of the fastest ways to get into debt, if you’re spending on a budget.

Take the Chase Sapphire Preferred, for example; it currently has one of the best credit card signup bonuses on the market. With it, you can earn 100,000 Chase Bonus Points if you spend $ 4,000 in the first three months after opening the account. With 100,000 Chase Points, you can do a lot of fun things, including flying for almost free with just paying taxes and fees, but only if you don’t spend too much to get them.

“There’s no point spending $ 4,000 chasing those 100,000 bonus points and not paying your card every month – and that’s any card, not just Chase Sapphire Preferred,” says Benét Wilson, chief credit card editor at The Points. Guy, who like NextAdvisor is from Red Ventures. “When you start paying interest on a credit card, you lose value and that makes the bonus a lot less attractive. “

Hitting the minimum spend for a credit card signup bonus might seem like a lot of money, especially in a short period of time, but it’s doable as long as you plan ahead. These tips can hold you accountable as you try to achieve that goal.

Have a budget

First of all, put all of your finances on the table. Take stock of your income and expenses; the goal is to earn more than what you spend, and knowing where you are is the first step to getting to where you want to be. If you’re stuck, we’ve got some tips on how to budget.

“You really shouldn’t have a credit card if you don’t have a budget or you’ll be spending too much because you don’t know where or how much you’re spending,” says Beverly Harzog, credit card expert and financial analyst at the consumption. for US News and World Report.

Within your budget, make a plan to use your credit card. Start by determining what types of purchases you plan to charge on your credit card to achieve the signup bonus and how much you can afford to spend on the credit card each month.

Pro tip

If you have a big upcoming purchase that you’ve already budgeted for, consider putting it on a credit card to help meet the bonus requirements, if you can pay it off right away.

You can be strategic in using the card for specific purchases that maximize your rewards. With the Chase Sapphire Preferred, for example, you earn two points for every dollar spent on travel and dining.

Track your credit card spending

Once you have a budget, keep a close eye on your credit card spending during the signup bonus period.

“It’s very easy to overspend when looking for a signup bonus, and that can lead to debt,” says Harzog. “You could not only erase the value of the bonus points, but you could end up having a balance on a credit card that has a fairly high APR.”

The key to meeting a card’s signup bonus requirements without overspending is to charge only what you can afford and make your credit card payments on time.

If you go a little too far or notice unhealthy spending habits, take note and hold yourself accountable to avoid repeating them in the future. Many credit cards allow you to set balance and expense alerts on your phone, which can let you know exactly where your money is going.

  • Introductory bonus:
  • Annual subscription :

    $ 95

  • Regular APR:

    15.99% – 22.99% Variable

  • Recommended credit:

    670-850 (good to excellent)

  • Learn more external link icon on the secure site of our partner.
  • Introductory bonus:
  • Annual subscription :

    $ 150

  • Regular APR:

    See prices and fees

  • Recommended credit:

    670-850 (good to excellent)

  • Learn more external link icon on the secure site of our partner.
  • Introductory bonus:
  • Annual subscription :

    $ 95

  • Regular APR:

    17.24% – 24.49% (variable)

  • Recommended credit:

    670-850 (good to excellent)

  • Learn more external link icon on the secure site of our partner.

Use your credit card for things you would have bought anyway

If you’re trying to meet the spending requirements for a credit card signup bonus, a good rule of thumb is to use the card for purchases that you would have made by paying cash anyway.

This way, you can afford to pay off your balance in full each month, and you are never forced to carry high interest credit card debt.

For example, you can pay some of your bills with your credit card and pay the balance immediately, or pick up the bill when you have dinner with friends and ask them to give you money or send funds through a service. online like PayPal or Venmo.

“Take an inventory of your budget and see where you can use that card to pay for certain expenses over the next three months,” says Harzog. “At the end of the three months, once you’ve earned the bonus, go back, take another look at your budget and decide if you need to tweak those numbers a bit. Maybe you decide you’re not going to put any more races on this new map.

Spread your purchases over the bonus period

You can make big purchases that you planned with a credit card if you know they get you one step closer to getting a signup bonus. But experts recommend making smaller daily purchases and spreading them over the bonus period to make your payouts more manageable.

“With the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you can claim the signup bonus if you spend just under $ 1,500 per month,” Wilson explains. “If you think about all of your expenses, it can add up pretty quickly.”

If you decide to make a larger purchase, try charging it early in your credit card cycle. This gives you more time between your statement closing date and the due date to pay off that higher balance.

Keep in mind that even if you pay off your balances each month, a balance could be reported to the credit bureaus before you pay, which would affect your credit score. This is because the credit utilization rate – or the amount of available credit you use – is an important part of your credit score. Credit bureaus like to see it below 30%.

“Don’t think you have to spend $ 4,000 in two weeks. You can spread it out so that it doesn’t affect your credit score as much, ”says Harzog. “If you try to put too many expenses on your card at once, you can exceed that 30% usage rate and it can lower your score. I suggest patience.

Pay your credit card balance every month

A typical credit card balance costs $ 84 per month in interest, according to the Federal Reserve’s most recent survey of consumer finances. If you only pay the minimum amount of your credit card balance each month, you could end up paying much higher interest charges than the original balance. It’s money you could use for other things, like saving for a house, investing for retirement, or building an emergency fund.
The first commandment of credit cards “is ‘you pay your bill every month,’” Wilson says. “If you’re going to start with a card or want a Chase card, Sapphire Preferred’s 100,000 point bonus makes it a no-brainer, but only if you’re going to pay it off monthly.”


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