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I Used My Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card for Beyoncé Tickets and Scored Two Flights in Return

Three of my friends helped me earn this card's large welcome bonus in a matter of minutes.

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When you get a new travel credit card, there’s a good chance a welcome bonus comes with it. I applied for the Chase Sapphire Preferred earlier this year, paid for Beyoncé tickets with this card, earned the welcome bonus, then used those rewards to pay for two flights.

If you’re considering a new credit card, a welcome bonus is a quick and easy way to earn more rewards. But it only works if you use the card responsibly, spend within your means, and pay off your balance in full.

Earning the Chase Sapphire Preferred’s welcome bonus was much faster and easier than most other credit cards. Since I had a plan, it only took me a few days to earn the bonus and get my extra rewards. Here’s how it did it. 

I applied for my first travel credit card 

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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

8.6/10 CNET Rating CNET rates credit cards by comparing their offers to those of their categorical competitors. Each card is individually evaluated through a formula which reflects the standards and expectations of the contemporary market. Credit card issuers have no say or influence in our ratings. How we rate credit cards
Intro Offer
60,000 bonus points Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $750 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.
Annual fee
$95
APR
21.49% – 28.49% Variable
Rewards rate
1x – 5x 5x on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠.; 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries.; 2x on all other travel purchases.; 1x on all other purchases.
Rewards Rate
5x
5x on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠.
3x
3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries.
2x
2x on all other travel purchases.
1x
1x on all other purchases.

Now that I’ve checked off a few financial goals and have become more savvy with money, I wanted to add another credit card to my financial repertoire -- I’ve only had one credit card since college. I chose the Chase Sapphire Preferred since it aligns with my spending habits and has time- and money-saving perks.

More importantly, I wanted to save on travel by earning points for everyday purchases. For instance, my husband and I dine out one to two times a week, so earning 3x points from my Sapphire Preferred card for those purchases can add up quickly. 

Plus, the Sapphire Preferred had an attractive welcome bonus. But experts are clear that you should never overspend to earn a welcome bonus, and I was determined not to. Accruing credit card debt can lead to interest charges and other fees. 

I earned the welcome bonus

Initially, I planned to earn the card’s welcome bonus by covering my child’s daycare expenses and monthly bills, then paying down the balance each month. But after Beyoncé announced her Renaissance World Tour, I realized I could reach the welcome bonus sooner by putting the tickets on my new credit card, then paying the bill with the money I had already saved in my Beyoncé sinking fund

When my three friends asked me to put their tickets on my card so we could secure seats together, I put an estimated $5,000 on my card. The big purchase helped me earn the welcome bonus in minutes without accruing debt or hurting my credit utilization ratio. And since I already had a sinking fund to cover my ticket -- and my friends paid me back promptly -- I didn’t have to worry about carrying a balance.

While this worked out well for me, if you decide to put a group purchase on your card to earn a welcome bonus, make sure everyone can pay you back right away or before your due date. Otherwise, you may be on the hook for interest charges and late fees. 

Then, I used my points to book two flights

My husband and I knew we wanted to use our welcome bonus to purchase flights for a summer trip to visit family. Since I was new to the card, I wasn’t familiar with how to transfer points to travel partners, so I took the easy route -- I booked the flights using Chase’s Travel portal. Points redeemed through this travel portal are worth 1.25 cents per point, giving me a little more value than if I had redeemed them for cash back.

We were able to book two round-trip tickets using a combination of the welcome bonus and points earned through regular spending. We didn’t have to pay anything out of pocket for our summer trip, and the Sapphire Preferred continues to help limit our travel expenses on trips we book now.

The bottom line

A welcome bonus can help offset the cost of future travel or purchases -- especially if you have a large upcoming expense. But remember that the bonus isn’t worth it if you’re overspending to reach it, or landing in debt as soon as you get the card. 

 

And even if you can’t comfortably earn the bonus, the card can still add value and savings to your wallet if it has solid ongoing rewards or other card benefits. The key is to treat it like a debit card -- avoid making purchases you couldn’t normally make -- and pay off the card balance as soon as you can.

The editorial content on this page is based solely on objective, independent assessments by our writers and is not influenced by advertising or partnerships. It has not been provided or commissioned by any third party. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products or services offered by our partners.

Dashia is a staff editor for CNET Money who covers all angles of personal finance, including credit cards and banking. From reviews to news coverage, she aims to help readers make more informed decisions about their money. Dashia was previously a staff writer at NextAdvisor, where she covered credit cards, taxes, banking B2B payments. She has also written about safety, home automation, technology and fintech.
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