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Chase Sapphire rewards - is it better to pay for cruise in one or several payments?


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...or maybe it doesn’t matter?

 

I just booked the priciest trip I’ll probably ever take, a $16,000 January 2022 expedition cruise to Antarctica at the single supplement rate.  

 

So far I’ve only paid for the deposit and travel insurance.*  I just discovered that the Chase Sapphire card is a good travel card,  so I’ll be applying for it.  Does it make any difference in the rewards perks if I pay the trip balance in installments or in full?  Like, is there any advantage in paying for the trip ~$5000 at a time, a few months apart? 

 

I usually have no problem charging $4k to a card in three months’ time, trip or no trip.  I’m also on the verge of retirement and plan to travel a lot in coming years.  I hope to use rewards earned on this trip to help pay for a September 2022 Princess cruise.

 

* The recommended minimum insurance coverage needed for Antarctica is considerably more than what it appears Chase provides.  

 

🚢 TIA!  

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I don't see why it would matter, you earn rewards on what you spend, so spending $5000 earns the same reward whether you charge $500 ten times or $5000 all at once (with the exception of any additional rewards given for charges made in the months following the issuance of the card)(and of course I am not familiar with that cards terms, which may change the answer). (And congrats on booking your dream trip!)

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Thanks, sparks1093.  I’ve been leaning the same direction in my thinking, but as a new Chase Sapphire cardholder, I’m not familiar with their system.  Perhaps someone with this card will jump in—and probably say the same thing as you, ha!  ☺️

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On 5/4/2021 at 6:20 AM, skrink said:

Thanks, sparks1093.  I’ve been leaning the same direction in my thinking, but as a new Chase Sapphire cardholder, I’m not familiar with their system.  Perhaps someone with this card will jump in—and probably say the same thing as you, ha!  ☺️

 

I have the card (and love it!) It doesn't matter if you pay all at once or in installments, you will earn the same points anyway. 

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2 hours ago, skrink said:

Exactly what I needed to know, mchell810 - thanks!  What do you love about it?

 

I am sure you've looked up the many benefits on the Chase website -- travel insurance, access to airport lounges, etc.  The card also offers other reward points and/or discounts at specific retailers.  In mid 2020 when it was clear no one was really traveling Chase added gas stations and grocery stores as items that could earn towards the $300 annual credit.  Even though it's not permanent, I see that was a real effort to look after cardholders. As you noted the points are worth more if you use the via the Chase portal, but I like cards that give me the option of cash back which this card does.  I like the flexibility to cash out and use the earnings as I see fit.  Finally, if you have another reward card with Chase (as I do) you can transfer the points between cards.  I can take advantage of earnings on another card, move them to the Sapphire and have increased points to use via the Chase portal.  Bottom line the Sapphire card has lots of real benefits.  While the annual fee is hefty, it's worth it to me. 

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On 5/6/2021 at 10:53 AM, mchell810 said:

 

I am sure you've looked up the many benefits on the Chase website -- travel insurance, access to airport lounges, etc.  The card also offers other reward points and/or discounts at specific retailers.  In mid 2020 when it was clear no one was really traveling Chase added gas stations and grocery stores as items that could earn towards the $300 annual credit.  Even though it's not permanent, I see that was a real effort to look after cardholders. As you noted the points are worth more if you use the via the Chase portal, but I like cards that give me the option of cash back which this card does.  I like the flexibility to cash out and use the earnings as I see fit.  Finally, if you have another reward card with Chase (as I do) you can transfer the points between cards.  I can take advantage of earnings on another card, move them to the Sapphire and have increased points to use via the Chase portal.  Bottom line the Sapphire card has lots of real benefits.  While the annual fee is hefty, it's worth it to me. 

Access to airport lounges?  Sweeeeet!  I did not know they have a $300 annual credit.  Will have to take a closer look at the perks!  Thanks mchell810!

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There are different Chase Sapphire cards so you have to be clear which you're referring to.  The Chase Sapphire Reserve card which is $550/year offers the $300 annual credit and lounge access.  Chase Sapphire Preferred is only $95/year and doesn't include those benefits.

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On 5/1/2021 at 4:19 PM, skrink said:

...or maybe it doesn’t matter?

 

I just booked the priciest trip I’ll probably ever take, a $16,000 January 2022 expedition cruise to Antarctica at the single supplement rate.  

 

So far I’ve only paid for the deposit and travel insurance.*  I just discovered that the Chase Sapphire card is a good travel card,  so I’ll be applying for it.  Does it make any difference in the rewards perks if I pay the trip balance in installments or in full?  Like, is there any advantage in paying for the trip ~$5000 at a time, a few months apart? 

 

I usually have no problem charging $4k to a card in three months’ time, trip or no trip.  I’m also on the verge of retirement and plan to travel a lot in coming years.  I hope to use rewards earned on this trip to help pay for a September 2022 Princess cruise.

 

* The recommended minimum insurance coverage needed for Antarctica is considerably more than what it appears Chase provides.  

 

🚢 TIA!  

It makes no difference ...

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