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How to Use Freedom’s 15,000 Point Bonus for Big Travel on United Airlines

How to Use Freedom’s 15,000 Point Bonus for Big Travel on United Airlines

Million Mile SecretsHow to Use Freedom’s 15,000 Point Bonus for Big Travel on United AirlinesMillion Mile Secrets Team

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I’m going to show you 1 of my favorite ways to get Big Travel with Small Money!

Right now the sign-up bonus for new Chase Freedom cardholders is 15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after meeting minimum spending requirements.  

That’s worth $150 in cash back.

How To Use Freedoms 15,000 Point Bonus For Big Travel On United Airlines
$150 in Cash Back Is Great, but You Can Get Much More From the 15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points You’ll Earn!

But I prefer to use the bonus for Big Travel with Small Money!  

I’ll explain why I love this card and how to use the sign-up bonus for Big Travel with United Airlines!

What’s a Good Way to Use Your Chase Freedom Card Sign-Up Bonus?

Link:   Chase Freedom

You can now earn 15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points ($150) when you sign-up for the Chase Freedom card and spend $500 on purchases within the 1st 3 months of opening your account.

You’ll also get:

  • 2,500 Chase Ultimate Rewards bonus points ($25) when you add an authorized user who makes a purchase in the 1st 3 months of opening your account
  • 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1 (5% cash back) on up to $1,500 in spending in rotating categories each quarter when you activate the bonus!
  • 1X Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1 (1% cash back) on all other purchases

There’s no annual fee, but it adds a 3% foreign transaction fee.  So it’s NOT a good option to use while traveling abroad.  

I love my Chase Freedom card and have kept it for a long time because of the rotating bonus categories and because it has no annual fee.  Keeping no-annual-fee cards for a long time can increase the average age of your accounts and potentially improve your credit score.

It’s also a good option for folks who are new to miles & points.  You can be approved even if you don’t have a long credit history!

Getting cash back is great, but you’ll get even more value from this card if you also have a Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Ink Plus, or Chase Ink Bold (no longer offered) card.

Then you can combine your points and transfer them to great airline and hotel partners, like British Airways, Hyatt, and United Airlines!

How To Use Freedoms 15,000 Point Bonus For Big Travel On United Airlines
Transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards Points to Airline & Hotel Partners When You Have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Ink Plus, or Ink Bold Cards!

Before you transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to United Airlines for an award flight, check the cash price of the same flight on the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal.

If the flight is inexpensive, you’ll often spend fewer points by using Chase Ultimate Rewards points to pay for a ticket through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal.

That’s because when you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Ink Plus, or Chase Ink Bold (no longer offered) card, your points are worth 1.25 cents each toward paid travel!

Fun Ways to Use the Chase Freedom Sign-Up Bonus on United Airlines

Link:   United Airlines Award Chart

You can transfer your 15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points bonus to United Airlines if you have a Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Ink Plus, or Chase Ink Bold card.

Then you can use your 15,000 United Airlines miles for a 1-way flight! 

1.   United Airlines Award Flights Under 700 Miles in the Mainland US and Canada

It usually costs 12,500 United Airlines miles for a 1-way award flight within the US (excluding Hawaii) or Canada.

But there are reduced price awards if your flight is 700 miles or less.  You can only book these awards on United Airlines and United Express flights in coach.

How To Use Freedoms 15,000 Point Bonus For Big Travel On United Airlines
Itineraries Of 700 Miles Or Less, Like Atlanta to Chicago, Only Cost 10,000 United Airlines Miles 1-Way (Saver Award)

You can check the distance between 2 cities by using Great Circle Mapper.

For example, Atlanta and Chicago are 606 miles apart, and there are daily flights on United Airlines between these 2 cities!

How To Use Freedoms 15,000 Point Bonus For Big Travel On United Airlines
It’s Only 10,000 United Airlines Miles for a 1-Way Flight Between Atlanta and Chicago!

This flight would cost 10,000 United Airlines miles.  So you’d still have 5,000 points left over from your Freedom bonus!

2.   United Airlines Award Flights in the Mainland US and Canada

United Airlines charges 12,500 miles for 1-way trips over 700 miles in the mainland US and Canada.

How To Use Freedoms 15,000 Point Bonus For Big Travel On United Airlines
You’ll Pay 12,500 Miles for a 1-Way Flight Between Los Angeles and Dallas!

Let’s say you wanted to fly from Los Angeles to Dallas.  This flight will cost you 12,500 United Airlines miles!

So the Chase Freedom bonus is more than enough for a 1-way flight anywhere in the Mainland US and Canada!

3.   Star Alliance and Other Partner Airline Award Flights

Link:   United Airlines Partners

The great thing about United Airlines miles is you can use them to book award flights on Star Alliance and other airline partners, like Air Canada, Hawaiian Airlines, and Lufthansa.

Have you ever dreamed of exploring the Hawaiian Islands?

How To Use Freedoms 15,000 Point Bonus For Big Travel On United Airlines
Island Hop in Hawaii for 12,000 United Airlines Miles Round-Trip in Coach

A 1-way inter-island flight in coach on Hawaiian Airlines is only 6,000 United Airlines miles.  You could visit more than 1 island with your Freedom bonus!

Or maybe you’d like to take a trip to Canada?  It’s 12,500 United Airlines miles 1-way in coach to from the US to Canada.  For example, from Atlanta to Vancouver.

How To Use Freedoms 15,000 Point Bonus For Big Travel On United Airlines
Fly 1-Way in Coach From the US to Canada for 12,500 United Airlines Miles

Or for a trip within Canada, you can fly on United Airlines’ Star Alliance partner Air Canada.

How To Use Freedoms 15,000 Point Bonus For Big Travel On United Airlines
Flights With Air Canada Can be Booked With United Airlines Miles

A trip from Vancouver to Halifax is also just 12,500 United Airlines miles.  That’s a cross-country trip that often costs $500+!

You can even fly between cities in Europe using United Airlines miles on Star Alliance partners like Austrian, Brussels Airlines, Lufthansa, SWISS, or TAP Portugal. 

How To Use Freedoms 15,000 Point Bonus For Big Travel On United Airlines
Use Your United Airlines Miles to Visit Paris or Lots of Other European Destinations!

It will only cost 15,000 United Airlines miles 1-way for intra-European flights on these partner airlines.   

And Don’t Forget to Add an Authorized User to Your Freedom Card!

You’ll earn another 2,500 Chase Ultimate Rewards points ($25) with your Freedom card when you add an authorized user who makes a purchase in the 1st 3 months of opening your account.

Along with the 15,000 point sign-up bonus, that’s 17,500 Ultimate Rewards points you can transfer to United Airlines.  And that’ll get you a 1-way coach ticket anywhere in the mainland US, Alaska, and Canada!

Maybe you want to escape the city and head to Alaska this summer?

How To Use Freedoms 15,000 Point Bonus For Big Travel On United Airlines
Visit the Stunning Mendenhall Glacier in Alaska!

I found saver award flights from New York (Newark), to Anchorage.  This same flight costs ~$282.

How To Use Freedoms 15,000 Point Bonus For Big Travel On United Airlines
It’s 17,500 United Airlines Miles for a 1-Way Flight Between New York and Anchorage!

So you’re getting more than a 1 cent per point value by using your Ultimate Rewards points on this flight ($282 cost of paid flight / 17,500 points = ~1.6 cents per point)!

That’s a better deal than using your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to book this flight through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal at 1.25 cents per point.

OR you could use those 17,500 points for a flight to Mexico.

How To Use Freedoms 15,000 Point Bonus For Big Travel On United Airlines
Use Your United Airlines Miles to Travel 1-Way Between Washington, DC, and Cancun, Mexico!

A 1-way award ticket from Washington, DC, to Cancun is also just 17,500 United Airlines miles.  And tickets usually cost over $250!

How To Use Freedoms 15,000 Point Bonus For Big Travel On United Airlines
Snorkel in Cancun and Explore Some of the World’s Best Reefs!

Or maybe you want to head to the Bahamas for vacation?  You can also fly 1-way from the US to the Bahamas for only 17,500 United Airlines miles.

How To Use Freedoms 15,000 Point Bonus For Big Travel On United Airlines
Fly 1-Way to the Bahamas for Only 17,500 United Miles

You can even fly to Central America with the points you earn from the Chase Freedom card!

How To Use Freedoms 15,000 Point Bonus For Big Travel On United Airlines
Vacation in Belize With Your Chase Freedom Card Bonus

A 1-way flight from San Francisco to Belize is only 17,500 United Airlines miles.  So when you earn the Freedom sign-up bonus and add an authorized user, you’ll have enough miles for your ticket!

This same flight costs ~$271.  That’s a great value!

But How Do You Get Back Home After Your 1-Way Flight?

Getting a free 1-way flight on United Airlines is a great deal, but you have to get back home!

How To Use Freedoms 15,000 Point Bonus For Big Travel On United Airlines
Don’t You Sometimes Wish You Could Be On Vacation Forever?

A free 1-way flight will save you money, so you could look for a flight home on an airline like Southwest or JetBlue.  They only charge half the price of a round-trip ticket for 1-way flights!

If you have miles with another airline, you could also combine two 1-way award tickets for your trip.  For example, you could fly to your destination using United Airlines miles and fly home using American Airlines miles.

Being flexible makes it easier to stretch the value of your points and miles!

Bottom Line

You can now earn 15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points ($150) when you sign-up for the Chase Freedom card and complete the minimum spending.

You’ll get another 2,500 Chase Ultimate Rewards bonus points ($25) when you add an authorized user who makes a purchase in the 1st 3 months of opening your account.

Having the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Ink Bold (no longer available), or Ink Plus will get you even more from the Chase Ultimate Rewards points you earn with the Freedom card.  That’s because those cards allow you to transfer your points to partners like United Airlines for Big Travel!

After earning the sign-up bonus and authorized user bonus, you’ll have 17,500 Chase Ultimate Rewards points.  Those 17,500 points are worth $175 as cash back.  But I prefer to transfer them to Chase Ultimate Rewards airline and hotel partners.  Because they’re often worth much more when you use them this way! 

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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® named a 'Best Travel Credit Card' by MONEY® Magazine, 2016-2017
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel.
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards

More Info

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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@Michael Smith – Sounds like a good opportunity for some folks. Thanks for sharing!

@Sammy – You can only use United Airlines miles to upgrade paid tickets:

https://www.united.com/web/en-US/content/mileageplus/awards/upgrade/mua.aspx

If I book a one way in coach for the 17k would there be an upgrade opportunity? Paid or not paid. What are the chances?

Star One bank in CA offers 1000$ visa cards for purchase online but you have to pick it up at a bransh and they are only in CA. 3.95$ fee to activate

@phil – Thanks for catching that! I fixed the caption.

ORD-DFW is more than 700 air miles. Closer to 800.