Updated: July 29, 2016

If you like to travel, you’re in luck. Today our No. 1 ranked travel card, Chase Sapphire Preferred, launched its brand new intro bonus – 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months. That’s equal to a huge $500 in cash or $625 in travel if you redeem your points through Chase Ultimate Rewards. In addition you’ll earn 5,000 bonus points after adding your first authorized user in the first three months. Plus you’ll earn 2 points for each $1 you spend on travel and eating out and 1 point per $1 on all other purchases. Whether you’re redeeming for cash back or travel, this is now one of the most lucrative introductory bonuses we know of from a credit card today.

We really like this travel card because of its versatility. There are so many things you can do with your earned points – you can redeem them for cash back or use them to book travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, which offers 20% discounts on flights, hotels, car rentals and other travel options. You can also transfer them at a 1:1 value, completely free of charge, to other participating travel programs including Hyatt Gold Passport, Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards, United Mileage Plus and many others.

In fact, according to our Travel Rewards Analysis your points might be worth more if you do transfer them. For example, if you move your 50,000 bonus points to the Hyatt Gold Passport program they would be worth a whopping $1,086 in hotel stays! And if you add an authorized user to earn the additional 5,000 bonus points they would be worth $1,195 in hotel stays! That’s a tremendous bonus. Plus if you have a Chase Freedom or Ink Cash Business Card you can move the rewards you earn from those cards over to Chase Sapphire Preferred and they will be worth 20% more if you use them on travel (Chase Ultimate Rewards).

There are also no foreign transaction fees, which is nice because those fees (which are typically about 3%) can really add up if you travel outside the U.S. The card does have a $95 annual fee that is waived the first year. If you’re looking for a travel card with no annual fee, take a look at the BankAmericard Travel Rewards Credit Card which earns 1.5 miles per $1 on all purchases, lets you book your travel however you’d like, and has a 20,000 point bonus (equal to $200 in travel) after making $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days.

Your credit score does need to be in the excellent range to be approved for Chase Sapphire Preferred. If you have a late payment or two on your credit report but still have a score in the good range, take a look at Chase Freedom, which also just increased its introductory bonus to $150. While that may not sound like a lot compared to Sapphire, you only need to spend $500 in the first three months to get Freedom’s bonus. That, along with no fees and great cash back (up to 5%), make it a great choice for those who may not hit the $4,000 spend threshold in three months but are still looking for a great intro bonus.

Overall Chase Sapphire Preferred is a smart pick for a travel card. It offers tremendous flexibility in the way you can redeem your rewards, not to mention the huge intro bonus. You can apply online or learn more by visiting our Chase Sapphire Preferred review.

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