Do You Know the Chase Freedom Airline Ticket Booking Trick?

Disclosure: We get a commission for links on the blog. You don’t have to use our links, but we’re very grateful when you do. American Express, Barclaycard, Chase, and US Bank are Million Mile Secrets advertising partners. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or endorsed by our partners. Here’s our Advertiser Disclosure.

Update:   A credit card offer in this post may no longer be available, but check the Hot Deals for the latest offers!

Update #2:   After October 25, 2014, this trick will no longer work!  All flights redemptions will be based on the cost of the flight.

There’s a little-known trick to using Chase Ultimate Rewards points earned from the Chase Freedom card.

Did you know you can use 25,000 points to book a paid round-trip ticket worth up to $335?  Normally, Chase Freedom points on their own are worth 1 cent a point when used for travel.  But in this case, you’re getting a value of up to 1.34 cents per point (assuming $335 ticket / 25,000 points).

Increased Bonus on Chase Freedom

Link:   Chase Freedom

Now is a good time to get the Chase Freedom card because Chase just doubled the sign-up bonus to 20,000 Ultimate Rewards points ($200 cash back) after you spend $500 in the 1st 3 months.  Normally, the bonus is 10,000 points after meeting the same minimum spending.

So with a little more spending, perhaps in Chase Freedom 5X points bonus categories, you could earn 25,000 points and a $335 airline ticket!

Chase says this offer is for a limited time.  In the past (most recently last November) it stayed around for a few weeks.  But I’m not sure how long it will last this time.

How Does It Work?

Link:   Chase Freedom Terms and Conditions

You can use 25,000 Ultimate Rewards points from the Chase Freedom towards paid round-trip airline tickets with a maximum value of $335.  To redeem, you need to call Chase at 866-951-6592.  You can NOT do this redemption online.

Do You Know The Chase Freedom Airline Ticket Booking Trick?

You Can Redeem 25,000 Points for a $335 Ticket by CALLING Chase

It makes the most sense to find an airline ticket as close to $335 as possible (you’d still pay 25,000 points for a $150 ticket, which isn’t a good deal at all!).  If the airline ticket costs more than $335, you can pay the balance with points (at 1 cent per point) or with a Chase Ultimate Rewards earning credit card.  You’ll earn miles for any amount in excess of $335 that you put on your card.

To compare, if you made a booking directly using Chase Freedom points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal, a $335 ticket would cost 33,500 points ($335 cost of ticket x 1 cent per point).

But this isn’t quite as good a deal as transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Southwest.  With Southwest, you’ll get a value of ~1.43 cents per point (and sometimes even more).

What About Transferring to Airlines and Hotels?  Isn’t That a Better Deal?

I’ve written about using Chase Ultimate Rewards points from the Chase Freedom card by transferring them to airlines and hotels.  But this only works if you also have a Chase Sapphire Preferred, (no longer offered) Chase Ink Bold, or Chase Ink Plus card.

You can’t transfer points from the Chase Freedom directly to airlines or hotels.  But you can transfer Ultimate Rewards from the Chase Freedom to either your Chase Ink Bold, Chase Ink Plus, or Chase Sapphire Preferred and from there to airlines or hotels!

If you only have the Chase Freedom card, you can redeem points for cash back or for travel redemptions through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal at a value of 1 cent per point.  This is not nearly as good a deal.

And even if you do have a Chase Sapphire Preferred, (no longer offered) Chase Ink Bold, or Chase Ink Plus card, you’ll only get a value of 1.25 cents per point if you redeem for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal.

Suppose you wanted to buy a $335 ticket at 1.25 cents per point through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal.  It would cost 26,800 points ($335 cost of ticket / 1.25 cents per point).

I checked the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal for a $335 ticket (I couldn’t find 1 for exactly $335, so ~$334 it is!) and the number of points needed is indeed ~26,800 (26,718 points to be exact).

Do You Know The Chase Freedom Airline Ticket Booking Trick?

A ~$334 Ticket Through the Chase Travel Portal Costs 26,718 Points…So You WILL Save With the Chase Freedom Redemption

But you could get the same ticket for 25,000 points using this Chase Freedom redemption.

You’ll save 1,800 points compared to booking through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal (26,800 points redemption at 1.25 cents per point – 25,000 Chase Freedom points redemption).  That’s worth $23 (1,800 points x 1.25 cents per point).

So calling in to redeem 25,000 points for a $335 ticket is a better deal, especially for those folks who only have a Chase Freedom card.

Using the 25,000 points for a $335 ticket is like paying cash for a ticket – it’s not an award booking.  So this deal is good when there might not be award seats available on the dates or times you need, especially during holidays or peak travel periods.

With this trick you can quickly save $85 ($335 airline ticket – $250 value of 25,000 Chase Freedom points because they’re worth 1 cent per point on their own) on ANY airline at ANY time.

Bottom Line

You can use 25,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points from the Chase Freedom card for a paid round-trip airline ticket with a maximum value of $335.  If the ticket costs more, you’ll have to pay the difference with points or with a Chase Ultimate Rewards earning credit card.

This can’t be done online.  You have to call Chase at 866-951-6592 to make a booking.

It’s still generally better to transfer your Chase Freedom points to a Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Ink Bold or Chase Ink Plus card, then transfer the points to partner airlines or hotels.  But sometimes it makes more sense just to buy a paid ticket.

I haven’t tried this way of redeeming Chase Freedom points yet.  If you have, please let me know about your experience in the comments!

* If you liked this post, why don’t you join the 16,000+ readers who have signed-up to receive free blog posts via email (only 1 email per day!) or in an RSS reader …because then you’ll never miss another update!

* If you liked this post, why don’t you join the 25,000+ readers who have signed-up to receive free blog posts via email (only 1 email per day!) or in an RSS reader …because then you’ll never miss another update!

Editorial Disclaimer: Neither the responses below nor the editorial content on this page are provided or commissioned by the bank advertisers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertisers. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the bank advertisers. It is not the bank advertisers’ responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

20 responses to “Do You Know the Chase Freedom Airline Ticket Booking Trick?

  1. With the new OV issues at WM how will you generate spending?

  2. I don’t think we can transfer points from Chase Freedom to Chase Ink anymore? Hope I’m wrong

  3. Tri- not sure where you heard that, didn’t find it in any credible sources.

  4. @Tri,
    Why would you say that? Did you receive something in writing from Chase?

  5. is there trick that you can get 1.34/1.25 for cash back? like booking travel and then cancelling? etc…

  6. This is not even remotely new. Maybe you should be reading better blogs for your information….

  7. another trick by MMS 🙂 sarcastic tone!

  8. Is combing thru the t&c your new way of generate more post to fill with links? By the way what ever happen to your mother in law rule, seems to have gone out the window… Did affiliate income win out over family?

  9. Does this card have any annual fee?

  10. I don’t see any option to combine points in my Chase accounts anymore. Does anyone still have that option?

  11. @Tri-Go to your online account associated with your freedom and click “Go to UR” right underneath the rewards balance. Then, go to “check rewards activity” and from there yuo see “combine UR points.” It should still work 🙂

  12. Out of all I have learned about miles and points, I never knew about this simple trick until now. Thank you, Daraius! I wish I had known this 2 years ago when I purchased a one-way, full priced ticket using UR points. It’s never too late to learn, right?

  13. Can Chase book tickets on Southwest using the 25,000 point for up to $335 ticket?

  14. Perfect timing as I just booked trip with Chase Freedom points yesterday. Looks like Chase actually offers lower prices for various travel options over any travel web site. Here is breakdown of what I paid for 3 day Paris-Milan trip with my wife:

    – We need to fly on particular days, checked all major travel web site. My Air France tickets would be $262, for total of $524. Chase charged 41,856 points for the same flights (1.25c per point)

    – The best 3 day car rental in Milan would be via Enterprise for $220 total. I am Hertz Gold but it would cost more. Chase charged 17,188 points for the same car type with Hertz. (1.28c per point)

    – Wanted to check out particular hotel in Milan, all major web site listed it for $226 per night (refundable fare) for total of $678. Chase charged 33,555 for the same room type. (2.02c per point)

    Overall, I could spend $1422 but used 92,529 points for total of 1.54c saved per point

    thanks

    • @sechs – I never wrote that it was “new!”

      @ Tim – The Chase Freedom in the post is the best offer for the card. Please let me know if you have a link to a better offer and I’ll post it!

      @Jason – There’s no annual fee on the card.

      @ Emily – Glad you find it useful!

      @DJ – I’ll check!

      @Roman P – Have a great trip!

  15. The Barclay Arrival Is better for travel no? 2.2% on every purchase. Your $20,000 spend gets you $440 off your trip.

  16. Thanks Emily.

  17. Thanks for all your good advice. I am working toward a Southwest companion pass. I have a Chase Southwest Premier card and have completed the spend. I was denied a Chase SW business caed because of too many Chase cards. ( my only other Chase card is a debit card). I could try for a resolution on the business card or apply for the regular Chase SW card in Nov and finish the spend in Jan, giving me a companion pass good thru 2016. What is the likelihood that this offer will be available at the end of 2014?

  18. Pingback: Can You Use 25,000 Chase Freedom Points for a $335 Ticket...On Southwest? | Million Mile Secrets

  19. Just wanted to give everyone a heads up its only 1 more day until this perk is over. I managed to book for a future trip in February 2015. My total was $358 but I opted to use 25K UR points ($335) and charge the difference of $23 to my Freedom card. I would rather save the 2300 points and transfer it to my INK Plus card.