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Credit Card Applications » Questions » User Questions » Travel with Credit Cards » Which is the best credit card for travel rewards: Chase Sapphire Preferred ($95/year),...

Which is the best credit card for travel rewards: Chase Sapphire Preferred ($95/year), the Discover it Miles ($0/year)? Cost is not an issue. Since the Sapphire card is good for British Airways is it also good for American Airlines? Also, is the 1:1 exchange rate under Chase lower than what you can exchange for a ticket with Discover? I don’t know if they use different conversion rates for free tickets. Thanks

Answered on | Updated on September 13th, 2017
The content is accurate at the time of publication and is subject to change.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is good for travelers and those who also spend a lot on dining as it gives 2 points for travel and dining purchases. All other purchases earn only 1 point per dollar. The sign-up bonus is quite standard for travel cards – 50,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months. Where this card stands out is redemption options. Redemptions through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards site have the best value – if you redeem for travel, your points are worth 1.25 cents apiece. If you decide to transfer your points, you will be able to do it at 1 to 1 value. American Airlines is not the Sapphire’s balance transfer partner, but there are other 7 partners including British Airways and United MileagePlus.

If your spendings are broader, the Sapphire card won’t perform at its fullest potential. You may want to earn more than 1 point in a general spending category. The Discover it® Miles card will let you earn rewards and can be a better overall option. The Discover it® Miles allows to earn unlimited 1.5 miles on all purchases. The Discover it® Miles does not have a fixed bonus offer but offers a mile-for-mile match, which means all miles you’ve earned first year will be matched at the end of the first year (only for new cardmembers). Thus, if for example, you earn 30,000 miles, you get 60,000 miles. The card’s redemption value for all airlines is 1 mile = 1 cent. So those 60,000 miles translates into $600 when you redeem them. On top of that, if you redeem for travel, such expenses like taxes, surcharges, and fees, that are included into a travel transaction, they will be included in the overall redemption as well.  

All in all, we would recommend supplementing the Chase Sapphire Preferred card with the Discover it® Miles card as it allows cash redemptions and cash can cover travel expenses that are not covered by the Sapphire card.

Disclaimer: This editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer(s). Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer(s), and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer(s). Reasonable efforts are made to present accurate information, however all information is presented without warranty. Consult a card's issuing bank for the terms & conditions.
All rates and fees, and other terms and conditions of the products mentioned in this article/post are actual as of the last update date but are subject to change. See the current products' Terms & Conditions on the issuing banks' websites.
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INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the Miles you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. For example, if you earn 30,000 Miles, you get 60,000 Miles. That's $600 towards travel!
Excellent, Good Credit
NEW: Earn 10,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles and receive a $50 statement credit after making $500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening*
Excellent Credit
Limited Time Offer: Enjoy 70,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 90 days
Good/Excellent Credit
See Rates & Fees

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