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The Single Best Credit Card for Travelers: Earn 40,000 Points Now and More Everywhere You Go

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Link: Chase Sapphire Preferred

Last year we had a celebration for Tyler, our Adventure Czar, when he came home from running a marathon on Antarctica. At the end of the night, I went to pay my tab, and the bartender said, “What is this card that all of you guys have?!”

It turned out that of the dozen or so folks that had an open tab at the bar that night, at least half of us were using the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

There’s a good reason for that! Our readers are smart. 🙂

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Virgin Atlantic Lounge, Heathrow Airport, London

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Virgin Atlantic Lounge, JFK Airport, New York

Over the years I’ve written a lot about travel hacking (and travel in general). I’ve gone on missions to apply for every rewards credit card I could find—documenting the process and showing how my credit score actually improved over time. Many readers have done similar experiments, earning hundreds of thousands of miles and taking off to see the world.

But I also hear from readers who want to start slow or only want enough miles to visit their grandma in Nebraska a couple times a year. I also understand that not everyone likes the idea of getting a dozen credit cards.

That’s why, if you don’t want to worry about whatever the latest-and-greatest offer is, you should just get one: the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

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Suvarnabhumi International Airport, Bangkok, Thailand

I like a lot of different cards for different reasons. I wouldn’t want to be without the Platinum Card from American Express for domestic lounge access, and I use the Starwood Preferred Guest Business Card for a lot of business spending every year.

The Hyatt Credit Card is great for one free anniversary night every year—and I could go on with a list of a dozen more.

Still, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is the one I pull out of my wallet most frequently. If I didn’t have a small business (it’s important to keep business and personal spending separate, of course) or a bunch of other expenses to put on other cards, I’d still keep this one. It’s served me well for several years and I use it every day.

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Dessert at the Park Hyatt, Shanghai, China

So, Why Is This Card So Great? A Few Reasons

  • You’ll earn 40,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months
  • You can also earn an extra 5,000 points when you add an authorized user within the first 3 months and they make a purchase of any amount (there’s no charge to add an authorized user, and no minimum spend to earn the additional bonus)
  • Ultimate Rewards points transfer (usually on a 1:1 basis) to nearly a dozen travel partners, including United, Hyatt, Marriott, British Airways, Korean Air, Singapore Airlines, and Southwest Airlines
  • You’ll earn 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & one point per dollar spent on all other purchases (very helpful the next time you visit 12 restaurants in one day)
  • There are no foreign transaction fees (that’s why this is my primary card for travel)
  • The annual fee of $95 is waived for the first year (and if you want, you can cancel before it shows up in year two—though for many of us the card is well worth keeping)
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Park Hyatt Suite, Istanbul, Turkey

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Park Hyatt, Milan, Italy

Again, there are a lot of options out there. You can earn hundreds of thousands of miles by putting in a bit of effort.

But if you want to skip that and just want the best possible card for daily use, complete with a nice introductory signup bonus, this is the best way to go.

Link: Chase Sapphire Preferred

Disclosure: Some of the links on our partner site Cards for Travel pay a referral bonus to us. We always promote the best available offers, regardless of benefit. Always be responsible with credit and don’t apply for cards you can’t use well.

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