Looking back, I think I may have mentioned only once about the program offered with the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. It is that, on the first Friday of the month, you will earn an addition point per dollar spent at restaurants. The Chase Sapphire Preferred card earns 2 points per dollar at restaurants 353 days a year – the other 12, first Fridays, it earns 3 points per dollar. If you have read any other blog in this category, you have most likely seen this talked about each month. Is it really a good deal? What is the earning potential?
First Friday Dining For Extra Ultimate Reward Points
Obviously, 3x points is better than 2x points! Who doesn’t want an extra point? But, how much money is the average person spending on restaurants and do those people plan their dining based on what day they earn that extra point? Say a couple goes out and has a nice dinner and leaves with a $80 tab after tax and tip. Doing that on the first Friday allows that couple to earn 80 extra points for using their Chase Sapphire Preferred card. Is 80 points all that exciting? If so, then absolutely plan your dining around the first Friday!
But, you actually do not have to dine on the first Friday. You can also purchase gift cards from the restaurant on the first Friday and that will count for that extra point. So, if you have a lot of dining or catering coming up and the date is not the first Friday of the month, buy gift cards on that first Friday to earn the point.
Is an extra point such a big deal?
If you were able to get an extra point each month on department store purchases, electronic store purchases, travel purchases, etc that extra point would be a huge deal! But, for most people, Chase’s first Friday dining promotion is not that big of a deal at all.
Don’t neglect the Chase Freedom!
It is especially not that big of a deal when you can earn 5x points at restaurants this quarter if you use the Chase Freedom card instead (which, actually has a 20,000 point bonus ongoing right now). That 5x bonus is on every day restaurant spending through the end of June (until you reach your max of $1,500 spent in the bonus category).
How about earning 5X points at restaurants all the time?
Depending on the restaurants you frequent, you can actually earn 5x Ultimate Reward points at restaurants all the time! That is thanks to the Chase Ink cards that earn 5X points per dollar at office supply stores. These stores, such as Office Max and Staples, carry many restaurant gift cards. Some of the gift cards that I have seen are for restaurants like:
- Cheesecake Factory (personal favorite!)
- Cracker Barrel
- Olive Garden
- PF Changs
- Pizza Hut
- Red Lobster
- Ruby Tuesday
The great thing about some of those restaurants is that the gift cards for those restaurants can actually be used at several other restaurants as well! On those cards, you will find the list of other restaurants that accept those gift cards. One such example is with the Outback Steakhouse gift cards. These can be used at the following: Bonefish Grill, Carabba’s Italian Grill, Fleming’s, and Roy’s. That is a nice list of other restaurants that you can continue to earn 5X per dollar on! This is a great way to rack up some great Ultimate Reward points for future dining!
The First Friday does have it’s place
I am actually taking advantage of the first Friday Chase bonus today. My brother’s rehearsal dinner is tonight and is at a restaurant without gift cards at office stores. Without a Chase Freedom, I am using my Chase Sapphire Preferred to pay for it (and be paid back, of course!) and will be able to earn the 3x points today. For large restaurant purchases like this, it makes complete sense to take advantage of this.
Are you a regular First Friday dining customer or do you also find it too low yield to be bothered? What is the largest restaurant purchase you have made on a first Friday?
If you would like to apply for the cards mentioned in this post – the Chase Sapphire Preferred, the Chase Ink Bold/Plus, or the Chase Freedom – you can head on over to Frequent Miler’s site to apply and help him with a commission. I do not get anything from FM or Chase for sending you over, just trying to be a nice guy. 🙂 Here is the link for his credit card page – Frequent Miler.