- What it takes: Chase Sapphire Preferred Sign Up Bonus and $4k spending
- Value: $725
Disney’s Pop Century Resort
We’ve stayed at Pop Century more times than I could count and enjoyed every stay. Before Art of Animation was built this was the best Disney value resort, but since it runs about $30 a night cheaper than a comparable room at Art of Animation, it’s continued to be our go-to Disney hotel.
If this is your first trip to Disney World, we recommend you stay at a Disney hotel. Free transportation to and from the airport and everywhere on property, the opportunity to reserve FastPasses 60 days in advance, and free Magic Bands are perks Disney gives to incentivize you to stay at one of their hotels. If you’re not accustomed to navigating a Disney World vacation, these perks can be really important and make your trip a lot more enjoyable.
Chase Ultimate Rewards
Chase Bank has a credit card rewards program called Chase Ultimate Rewards. They offer four different credit cards, with a fifth on the way in April, that earn Ultimate Rewards. You can also earn additional URs by paying for travel through their travel center, which functions like Expedia or Travelocity, and by doing your online shopping through their shopping portal.
The primary ways to redeem Ultimate Rewards are as cash (1 cent per point), redeeming points for travel through their travel center (1.25 cents per point) or by transferring the points to other programs like Hyatt and Southwest Airlines (approx. 1.8 cents per point depending on the partner).
For more information about Chase Ultimate Rewards, take a look at our post “Chase Ultimate Rewards Explained.”
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is one of the top credit cards for rewards out there and the featured card in the Chase Ultimate Rewards lineup. If you only had one credit card, this would probably be the best choice for most people.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred comes with the most lucrative sign up bonus out there. You get 50,000 points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months, and an additional 5,000 points when you add an authorized user who uses the card at least once. Using these points judicially can net you more than $1,000 in value.
You also get two points per dollar spent on all travel and dining expenses and one point per dollar on other purchases. If travel and dining are big spending categories for you, there can be a ton of long-term value here.
Chase also has a shopping portal on the Ultimate Rewards site where you can earn additional points at various levels when use their links to shop at stores online. These stores include place you’re likely to shop at, including: Home Depot, Lowes, Office Max, Old Navy, and Best Buy. In most cases you’ll earn an additional 1-5 points per dollars above and beyond the one point per dollar you would get otherwise for shopping at those stores.
In addition to redeeming points through the Chase travel center, you can also earn one extra point per dollar (3 points per dollar total) when you book and pay for travel on your Chase Sapphire Preferred through the travel portal.
|Sign Up Bonus ($4,000 in first three months and authorized user)||55,000|
|Points per $ spent on travel and dining||2x|
|Points per $ spent on all other spending||1x|
|Extra Points per $ on travel paid for through Chase travel center||1x|
|Extra Points per $ on shopping through Chase shopping portal||1x-25x (varies by store)|
|Value of one CUR point when transferred to other programs (approx.)||1.8 cents|
|Value of one CUR point when redeemed through the Chase’s travel center||1.25 cents|
What to Do
With so many options to earn and spend Chase Ultimate Rewards, what do you need to do to earn enough points to stay five nights at Pop Century and how you do redeem those points for your stay? In this case we’re going to be using the Chase travel center to book our stay at Pop Century. Redeeming through the travel center is not the most valuable way to redeem points, but the perks offered at Disney hotels make it a solid option in our opinion. Here are the steps:
- Apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card
- After spending $4,000 in the first three months and adding an authorized user, you’ll receive 55,000 points (plus the points you earned by spending $4,000)
- The average cost of five nights at Pop Century with tax is $145 (but varies from season to season), so five nights would average $725. Call a Chase travel agent at 1-866-951-6952. It will cost 58,000 points to book the hotel when it’s cash cost is $725. It will costs fewer points in value seasons and more points in peak seasons as cash prices fluctuate.
A credit card sign up bonus that gets you five free nights at a Disney hotel; that’s a pretty amazing deal. Compare that to Disney’s credit card, which most commonly offers a $100 gift card, and you can see the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a big step up.
Should you keep this card long-term? If you spend very little on travel and dining and don’t have any interest in using the shopping portal to earn extra points, this may not be the long-term card for you. But, for most people, the flexibility that comes with this card, both to earn and spend point, make it one of the best options out there.