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Your Chase Ultimate Rewards points will become even more valuable this summer! TAP Portugal will introduce 2 new flights between the US and Portugal. And hopefully, this will mean more award seats to Europe!
TAP Portugal will also partner with JetBlue on paid flights between Portugal and the US.
I’ll share the details. And how you can book an award flight on the new routes!
What’s Going On?
Link: TAP Portugal Route Map
TAP Portugal announced they’ll add 2 new routes to Lisbon, Portugal, this summer. They’ll fly between:
- Boston and Lisbon starting June 11, 2016
- New York – JFK and Lisbon starting July 1, 2016
This is great news for folks with Chase Ultimate Rewards points! That’s because you can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to United Airlines at a 1:1 ratio.
And then use United Airlines miles to book flights to Europe on Star Alliance partners (including TAP Portugal)!
Note: You can NOT transfer United Airlines miles to other airlines. And once you transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to United Airlines, you can NOT reverse the transaction.
For partner award flights to Europe, United Airlines charges:
- 30,000 United Airlines miles 1-way in coach
- 70,000 United Airlines miles 1-way in Business Class
- 110,000 United Airlines miles 1-way in First Class
Remember, United Airlines never adds fuel surcharges to award flights. So in addition to your miles, you’ll only pay ~$53 round-trip for your award ticket.
A friend of mine was in Lisbon recently and raved about the delicious fresh seafood. He was also excited to tell me about very affordable Port wine and the local cherry liqueur, Ginjinha.
From Lisbon, you can take a very easy and quick train to the mountain town of Sintra to visit ancient castles, get great views of the local scenery, and explore cute boutiques and shops.
You can also use Lisbon as a jumping-off point to explore more of Europe for cheap with budget airlines!
My Favorite Combination for Earning Chase Ultimate Rewards Points
Link: Chase Sapphire Preferred
Link: Chase Freedom
I like using the Chase Sapphire Preferred card for travel and dining purchases, because it earns 2X Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1 spent in those categories. I use it overseas because there is NO foreign transaction fee.
And the Chase Freedom card has rotating quarterly categories that earn 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points.
For example, you’ll earn 5X points (5% cash back) on commuter transportation and at gas stations from January 1, 2016, to March 31, 2016, on up to $1,500 in spending when you activate the bonus.
So you can earn up to 7,500 Chase Ultimate Rewards points each quarter by taking advantage of the rotating 5X bonus.
And, when you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, you can combine all your Chase Ultimate Rewards points. And then use the Chase Sapphire Preferred to transfer them to airline and hotel partners like United Airlines and Hyatt.
Stay for Free!
You can use your United Airlines miles to cover the cost of your flight and then use your hotel points to stay in Europe for free.
My guides on where to stay in Europe with hotel points might give you ideas:
- 5 Great Hotels in Europe Where You Can Stay 2 Weekend Nights With the Hilton Reserve Card
- 5 Great European Hotels to Book With Hyatt Points
- Top 5 Hotels in Europe to Book With IHG Card’s Free Night
- 5 Fantastic Marriott Hotels in Europe You Can Book With the 80,000 Point Sign-Up Bonus
- 5 Fantastic Ritz-Carlton Hotels in Europe
- 5 Top European Hotels to Book With Starwood Points
The New JetBlue Partnership
TAP Portugal also said they have a new partnership with JetBlue, but didn’t say when it begins. This agreement would let JetBlue sell connecting flights on TAP Portugal to its customers, and vice-versa.
It doesn’t look like you’ll be able to book these flights with miles or points, though. And it’s not yet clear if you’ll be able to earn miles or points on either airline for the partner flights.
If I find out more details, I’ll be sure to let you know!
Starting this summer, TAP Portugal will add 2 new flights between the US and Europe. You can fly between Boston and Lisbon as of June 11, 2016. And between New York – JFK and Lisbon on July 1, 2016.
And then use United Airlines miles to book flights on Star Alliance partners, including TAP Portugal.
Between these 2 cards, you can earn bonus points for lots of everyday purchases, like 5X points (5% cash back) on commuter expenses and gas from January 1, 2016, to March 31, 2016, on up to $1,500 in spending on the Chase Freedom card when you activate the bonus.
Will these new routes inspire you to visit Portugal?