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Get two cards now and meet their minimum spending requirements. Then in a few months when the points post, book your Business Class award to Europe for Summer 2017. As cold sets in in the United States, put your escape plan into motion.


The Chase Sapphire Reserve® card offers 100,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards after spending $4,000 on the card in the first three months. The Chase Ink Business Preferred offers 80,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards after spending $5,000 on the card in the first three months.

Getting both cards and meeting their combined minimum spending requirement of $9,000 will earn you 189,000+ Ultimate Rewards.

1. Get the Cards

Right now the Sapphire Reserve and the Ink Business Preferred have huge sign up bonuses: the Sapphire Reserve is offering 100,000 Ultimate Rewards after $4,000 in purchases are made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open, and the Ink Business Preferred is offering 80,000 Ultimate Rewards after $5,000 in purchases.

Annual Fees

The Sapphire Reserve has a $450 annual fee, but don’t let that scare you–you’ll get up to $700 in statement credits in the first year of card membership:

  • There’s a $300 per calendar year to offset your first $300 in “travel” purchases. This broad category includes airfare, flight award taxes and fees, airline fees, hotels, Airbnb, car rentals, cruises, tolls/E-Z Pass, parking, Uber/Lyft, and taxis. Everyone reading this blog must rack up well over $300 in such charges per year, so that’s basically free money, and since the credit resets after your December statement, you can get two $300 credits before your second annual fee is due. That’s $600 in statement credits in the first 12 months you have the card.
  • And there’s a $100 Global Entry credit.

Read Scott’s full review of the Sapphire Reserve to learn more about all the card’s valuable benefits.

The Business Preferred has a $95 annual fee.

Who Is Eligible for the Bonuses

The Chase 5/24 rule does apply to both of these cards. Remember when totaling how many cards you’ve opened in the last 24 months, most business cards don’t count.

Another point to consider for eligibility of approval for Chase cards is that you can only get the bonus on the same Chase card once every 24 months. This 24 month clock starts when you got the last bonus (which may be several months after you got the card). The original card must also be closed if you’re opening a repeat.

2. Book the Awards

Anyways, let’s talk about the fun part–once you’re flush with all the Ultimate Rewards from the those sign up bonuses, what can you do with them? 

What Can You Do With 189,000 Ultimate Rewards?

United charges 57,500 miles each way to Europe in flat bed Business class on its own flights. (It charges 70,000 to fly its partners.) Ultimate Rewards earned on the Sapphire Reserve an Ink Business transfer 1:1 to United miles instantly.

For 57,500 miles, you can get from anywhere in the continental United States to anywhere in Europe in a flat bed like this now…


…or the improved “Polaris” product as more new planes are delivered.

Award space is excellent right now for Summer 2017 travel and probably still will be in a few months when your bonus points post. (By the way, they post the same day that the statement closes on which you meet the minimum spending requirement.)

For instance, there is award space for two people in Business Class nearly every day from Washington-Dulles to Brussels.
screen-shot-2016-12-12-at-4-30-00-pm Similarly award space is wide open in Business Class for two from Chicago to Dubrovnik all summer.screen-shot-2016-12-12-at-4-31-37-pm Unfortunately West Coast options are a lot tougher in Business Class. But you can find tons of award space in economy for Los Angeles to Paris this summer, and if you fly economy, 189,000 points is enough for three tickets.screen-shot-2016-12-12-at-4-32-43-pm

What if you don’t live in a city mentioned in this post?

Most people don’t live in Washington, Chicago, or Los Angeles. Fortunately, United is the most generous American carrier in terms of releasing award space on its domestic flights. Chances are good that you will be able to find a connecting award flight from your home town to a United hub and from there to Europe. Once in Europe, intra-Europe award space is a gimme on Lufthansa, Austrian, and several other United partners.

If you are short on time or having trouble putting together your dream trip, you can always ask for a helping hand from our Award Booking Service.

Bottom Line

Now is the time to plan your Summer 2017 awards. Get the cards to get the miles, and then book in a few months.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® offers 100,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards after spending $4,000 on the card in the first three months. The brand new Chase Ink Business Preferred offers 80,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards after spending $5,000 on the card in the first three months.

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Just getting started in the world of points and miles? The Chase Sapphire Preferred is the best card for you to start with.

With a bonus of 60,000 points after $4,000 spend in the first 3 months, 5x points on travel booked through the Chase Travel Portal and 3x points on restaurants, streaming services, and online groceries (excluding Target, Walmart, and wholesale clubs), this card truly cannot be beat for getting started!

Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

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