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As many of you know, I applied for the Chase Sapphire Preferred (CSP) card back in July just before I joined The Startup Bus because of that hefty signup bonus. Now after three months, I am completely satisfied with my CSP card. Today was day 90 from when I applied, and I fulfilled the minimum spend of $4,000. Logged into Chase today to see I was just awarded my 50,000 points. Along with all of my purchases, I have a total of 56,596 points. I can redeem those points for cash at a 1pt value; and 1 point = 1 penny. So, move that decimal place two to the left, and boom! I have $565.96 in cash.

Or, I can get 1.25 per point if I redeem for travel. That is 25% more if I redeem for flights, hotels, rental cars, etc. 1.25 x $565.96 = $707.45 for travel! Don’t take my word for it, here’s my account:

Picture of my Chase Account Showing $707.45 for travel

Let’s break down my unique experience with the card.

Please note: there are links to the Chase Sapphire Preferred card application. I can receive a 10,000 point bonus for the first five people that sign up for the card. It’s called “Refer a friend” and after you sign up, you can also refer your friends and get this 10,000 point sign up. If you are interested, I’d greatly appreciate you applying by clicking the link, but only apply if you actually want the card and the 50,000 point bonus.

When I applied, my credit wasn’t so great as I was sitting at 640 amongst the the three big Credit Reporting Agencies (Experian, Equifax, TransUnion). For those that know me, I’m more than open to talk about finances. I wish more people did it because you can learn a lot from other people; what I have learned is all my internet research about finances, travel rewards, bonuses, cut dates, credit scores, etc, seems to be useful knowledge to many people, and I’ve advised traveling friends, soon-to-be-married people about to spend a lot on weddings, new home owners, etc with their credit decisions and how to accomplish their goals.

It’s part of what I do, and I love doing it.

I frequent the credit card forums on Reddit and the “My Fico Forums,” so I got the skinny on this card. If you are thinking about applying for this card here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • If you applied for more than 5 credit cards in the last 24 months, you’ll get rejected immediately
  • If your Equifax credit score is lower than 640, it will be you need other factors in your favor
  • If your credit card debt to income ratio is greater than 50%, you might not get approved.
  • $50,000 salary and $25,000 in debt? Don’t apply…you have other problems
  • No late payments in the last 6 months
  • Those are the big criteria for this card

Short credit bio: My credit was/is crap because of a collection and a civil judgment on my credit history, and 17 late payments back in 2014 across six student loans because FedLoan refuses to follow the Fair Credit Reporting Act…I don’t want to get on that rant and I’m not at a point to hire a lawyer…but eff FedLoan.

My point is that I have a crap credit history and I still got approved for this premier travel rewards card with one of the best sign up bonuses.

My Chase Sapphire report showing a 643 credit score on July 24My credit score on the day I applied was 643 according to Experian. At the time, I knew I was going to jet to Nicaragua or Mexico after The Startup Bus. So, I knew I would be spending money on hotels, flights, food, etc.

I got approved for the CSP, and when it arrived I was on my way to New Orleans on The Startup Bus.

So, I had my dad send a photo of the front and back of the card so I could use it; it’s nice having parents you can trust Love ya, pops

I immediately called the front desk of my hotel and told them I needed to switch cards for payment. They switched my payment by entering in my number manually. Then, I had my mom overnight my new CSP card to the hotel, and I have been using it ever since for my flights to my Airport food, restaurants, etc.

You need $4,000 in charges clear to your account BEFORE the 90 days are up. That means you need $4,000 in charges that are NOT pending. Also, 90 days starts immediately upon approval. So, even though it will take 7-10 days to get your card, that 7-10 counts towards your 90 days.

Considering we are on the brink of the 2017 holiday season, you might be ready to spend money, why not get $500 (50,000 points) in cash value or $625 in travel just for using your new Chase Sapphire Preferred when you were already going to spend anyway?

If you get this card, I highly recommend getting your minimum spend accomplished at least a week prior to your 90 day deadline that way all of your pending transactions are complete.

Other Benefits:

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Roadside assistance
  • Car rental insurance
  • Trip cancelation up to $10,000

You can read more about those and other benefits here.

Buying gift cards on Amazon, eating out, paying car insurance, and any other purchase will count towards your minimum spend; and damn, having this $700+ to spend on travel is nice. Glad I made the decision to try for the card even though I didn’t have great credit.

As I sit here from Lake Chapala, Mexico, it’s nice to know that I now have a free plane ticket home if ever something goes wrong.

Seriously, you want this card and that 50,000 bonus. If you want, apply here.