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My favorite use of Chase Ultimate Rewards points is transferring them to airline and hotel partners for Big Travel with Small Money. But sometimes you’re better off using points to book tickets through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal.
And here’s a secret! There are 4 airlines you can book with Chase Ultimate Rewards points that do NOT show up on Chase’s travel portal!
I’ll tell you which airlines the Chase travel portal doesn’t show. And why knowing how to use your Chase Ultimate Rewards points for tickets with these airlines might be a good deal!
Book Tickets With These 4 Hidden Airlines
Link: Chase Sapphire Reserve
When you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Reserve, Ink Plus, or Ink Bold (no longer available) card, you can use the Chase Ultimate Rewards points you earn to book travel at an improved rate through Chase’s travel portal.
With the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Ink Plus, or Chase Ink Bold, you’ll get 1.25 cents per point for tickets booked on Chase’s travel portal. And your Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth 1.5 cents each for travel booked through Chase’s travel portal with the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
But did you know? There are 4 airlines that do NOT show up on the Chase Travel Portal that you CAN book with Chase Ultimate Rewards points!
You Have to Call This Number
Once you’ve found your flights, call the Chase travel center at 866-951-6592 to book your tickets.
Being able to book Southwest tickets through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal is important because you can get a better deal than if you transferred your points to Southwest.
That’s because you can transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Southwest at a 1:1 ratio, and Southwest points are worth, at most, ~1.43 cents each. But if you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve, you’ll get 1.5 cents per point when you book airfare through Chase’s travel portal!
If you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, it’s still a better deal to transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Southwest instead of booking through the Ultimate Rewards travel portal, because your Chase Ultimate Rewards points are only worth 1.25 cent each with the Sapphire Preferred.
Norwegian Air offers cheap flights to spots like Copenhagen, Oslo, and London. And even has flights between certain US cities and the Caribbean!
For example, I found a flight using the 20% off trick on Norwegian Air for from New York (JFK) to London leaving February 13, 2017, and returning February 19, 2017, for ~$392.
That same ticket would cost ~$467 on the Chase travel portal. Meaning you’d need ~31,133 Chase Ultimate Rewards points if you have the Sapphire Reserve ($467 / 1.5 cents per point), or ~37,360 Chase Ultimate Rewards points with the Sapphire Preferred ($467 / 1.25 cents per point).
So you’d have to decide whether to spend ~$392 on the ticket and save your Chase Ultimate Rewards points for a better deal. Or if you’d rather spend the points for a free ticket.
Allegiant tickets are usually fairly cheap, so using your (very valuable!) Chase Ultimate Rewards points for flights with Allegiant might not always make sense, unless you’re just looking for a free ticket. Because you could have used them for a more valuable redemption instead.
That said, do what makes sense for you! Because a free ticket is better than nothing. 😉
Because they offer such cheap flights, I always recommend doing the math to decide what makes sense for you.
For example, I found a round-trip flight from Sao Paulo to Rio de Janeiro for ~$149 in February 2017. If you booked that same ticket using your Chase Ultimate Rewards points, it would cost ~9,933 Chase Ultimate Rewards points if you have the Sapphire Reserve card ($149 / 1.5 cents per point). Or ~11,920 Chase Ultimate Rewards points with the Chase Sapphire Preferred ($149 / 1.25 cents per point).
I’d personally rather pay the $149 cash price for the ticket, and save my ~9,900+ Chase Ultimate Rewards points for a more valuable redemption!
Chase Ultimate Rewards points are my favorite points because they’re so flexible. Not only can you transfer them to a number of great travel partners for Big Travel, you can use them to book flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal without having to search for award seats.
But there are 4 low-cost airlines that do NOT show up on Chase’s travel portal: Southwest, Norwegian Air, Allegiant, and Gol. And that’s important to know, because you can still book tickets using your Chase Ultimate Rewards points by calling the Chase travel center at 866-951-6592.
And you might find a better deal through Chase’s travel portal than you can by transferring points to the airline or booking directly with the airline!
Have you ever booked a ticket with your Chase Ultimate Rewards points by calling Chase’s travel center? Let me know your experience in the comments?