Update: The Chase Ink Plus 70,000 point offer is no longer available, but check Hot Deals for the latest offers!
One of the more popular ways to use Chase Ultimate Rewards points is transferring them to United Airlines. Folks like United Airlines because they usually have lots of award seats available, and you can use miles to travel on lots of partner airlines.
Now that the Chase Ink Plus sign-up bonus has increased to 70,000 points for a limited time after you spend $5,000 in the 1st 3 months, you might wonder how much travel you could get by transferring those points to United Airlines.
Note: The Chase Ink Plus 70,000 point bonus offer ends on October 19, 2014.
What are the best ways to make the most of 70,000 points on United Airlines? Let’s find out!
Use Points for United Airlines Flights
Link: Airline Award Charts
1. Example: Coach Class or First Class Within North America
70,000 miles plus using another 5,000 miles from the minimum spending is enough for 3 round-trip, coach class saver award tickets within the continental US and Canada on United Airlines (3 tickets x 25,000 miles per ticket). You’d pay fees of ~$11 per ticket.
I priced tickets between Houston and Vancouver and the cheapest I could find in coach class were $556 round-trip.
Not all domestic coach class tickets are this expensive, but 3 tickets using this example are worth $1,668 (3 tickets x $556 per ticket). That’s a lot of travel from the Chase Ink Plus sign-up bonus!
If you feel like splurging, you could get a round-trip, First Class ticket on United Airlines for 70,000 points. This could be a great value, depending on the route.
For example, a paid round-trip, First Class ticket between New York and San Francisco costs $1,638.
So you’re getting a similar dollar value for your points, but only getting 1 round-trip ticket instead of 3. But it could be worth it if you really want to fly First Class.
2. Example: Coach Class From Mainland US, Alaska, and Canada to Hawaii
You could get a round-trip, coach class saver award ticket between the mainland US, Alaska, or Canada to Hawaii for 45,000 miles.
So with the Chase Ink Plus sign-up bonus, you’d have enough for this ticket and have 25,000 points left over (enough for another domestic round-trip ticket)!
I checked the price of a round-trip, coach class ticket between Philadelphia and Honolulu in April. You’d pay ~$1,113!
That’s a really great deal, considering you’ll still have 25,000 points left over from the Chase Ink Plus sign-up bonus to use for more flights or hotels!
3. Example: Coach Class or Business Class From North America to Europe
A coach class, round-trip saver award ticket costs 60,000 miles. United Airlines flies to many European cities, including London, Frankfurt, Paris, and Rome.
Searching for a round-trip ticket from Washington, DC, to Rome in June, the cheapest non-stop ticket was $1,767!
You could get a 1-way Business Class ticket to Europe for 57,500 miles. A paid ticket costs over $3,000!
In this case, you’ll get more dollar value for your points (and have more left over) by using them for a 1-way Business Class ticket.
Use Points for Partner Flights
Link: United Airlines Partners
United Airlines is a member of the Star Alliance, which means you can use United Airlines miles to fly on any Star Alliance airline, like Air Canada, Lufthansa, or Singapore Airlines.
You can also use United Airlines miles on their other partners, like Aer Lingus, Hawaiian Airlines, or Jet Airways.
The award ticket pricing on partner airlines can be much more expensive than using miles on United Airlines, so it’s not always a good deal. But with so many partners, you can go almost anywhere.
1. Example: Business Class From North America to South America on Avianca
You could use 70,000 miles for a round-trip, Business Class ticket between New York and Lima, Peru, on Avianca (a Star Alliance partner).
A paid ticket on this route costs over $2,300!
2. Example: Business Class From North America to Europe on Lufthansa
Or you could fly to Europe in Business Class 1-way for 70,000 miles on partner airlines like Lufthansa, Swiss, or Austrian.
Here’s where you’d get a lot of value from the sign-up bonus. I priced a 1-way Business Class ticket from Chicago to Berlin on Lufthansa and it costs over $7,200!
That’s an amazing value from just 1 credit card sign-up bonus.
3. Example: Business Class From North America to Japan on Singapore Airlines
Between the sign-up bonus and minimum spending on the Chase Ink Plus card, you’ll get 75,000 points. It costs 75,000 United Airlines miles for a 1-way partner award ticket to Japan in Business Class.
Singapore Airlines is consistently ranked as 1 of the world’s best airlines. So this could be a great opportunity to try them out!
I searched for flights between Los Angeles and Tokyo in February and the cheapest tickets were over $2,900.
Note: Singapore Airlines is also a Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partner. You’d pay fewer miles (57,375 if you book online) for the same ticket, but Singapore adds fuel surcharges while United Airlines does NOT.
Transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards points to United Airlines could be a great way to use the 70,000 point sign-up bonus from the Chase Ink Plus card.
What’s your favorite way to use United Airlines miles?