We devote thousands of hours of research to help you get Big Travel with Small Money. You support us by signing-up for credit cards through partner links which earn us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.

What’s the Best Way to Redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards Points?

What’s the Best Way to Redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards Points?

Million Mile SecretsWhat’s the Best Way to Redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards Points?Million Mile Secrets Team

Million Mile Secrets Reader, Ankit, commented:

What is the best way to redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards Points?  Use the Chase portal to book directly using points, or transfer points to travel partners?

Great question, Ankit!

You’ll often get the most value by transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards points to travel partners, like Hyatt, Southwest, and United Airlines.

But there are times when using the Chase portal is a better deal when you want a specific flight or hotel because your travel dates aren’t as flexible.

What's The Best Way To Redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards Points
Knowing How to Use Your Chase Ultimate Rewards Points Can Get You More Big Travel!

The best deal depends on several factors, including your travel goals.  I’ll show you how to decide which option is best for you!

Chase Ultimate Rewards

Link:   Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Link:   Chase Ink Plus® Business Card

Link:   Chase Freedom®

Link:   Chase Freedom Unlimited℠

Link:   Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card

Chase Ultimate Rewards is my favorite points program.  Their points are valuable because they’re:

And they are the best points for beginners in the miles and points hobby!

You can earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points from the following cards:

Personal CardsBusiness Cards
Chase Sapphire ReserveChase Ink Business Preferred
Chase Sapphire PreferredChase Ink Business Cash Credit Card
Chase FreedomChase Ink Bold (No Longer Available to New Applicants)
Chase Freedom UnlimitedChase Ink Plus (No Longer Available to New Applicants)
Chase Sapphire (No Longer Available to New Applicants)
Note: Points earned from the Chase Freedom, Freedom Unlimited, Sapphire, and Ink Business Cash cards can only be transferred to travel partners if you also have a Chase Sapphire Reserve, Sapphire Preferred, Ink Business Preferred, Ink Plus, or Ink Bold card.

And you can combine your points from different accounts!  But you can only transfer points to travel partners if you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Ink Plus, or Chase Ink Bold (no longer available) card.

And if you have one of the above cards, you can redeem your Chase Ultimate Rewards points through Chase’s portal for 1.25 cents per point.  Otherwise, your points are worth 1 cent each toward paid travel or cash back.

What Are Your Travel Goals?

It’s possible to get a value of more than 1.25 cents per point when you transfer to travel partners.  But it is also possible to get less!

There isn’t one answer for every situation.  The key in deciding how to use Ultimate Rewards is to compare the paid price with the transfer partner price.

Transferring to Airlines

For example, you can transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to British Airways and fly American Airlines from Sacramento to Los Angeles over 4th of July weekend for 15,000 British Airways Avios points round-trip.

But instead of transferring your points, you could book your round-trip flight through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal for ~11,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points!

What's The Best Way To Redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards Points
Use Your Points With the Chase Ultimate Rewards Portal When the Airfare Is Cheap!

Booking through the portal will save you ~4,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points.  Plus, when you buy your tickets through the portal, you will earn airline miles for your flight.  Award flights do NOT earn miles.

And there are no blackout dates when you book through the portal, so you don’t have to worry about available award seats.

That said, some folks prefer to book relatively cheap flights without using points at all, saving them for expensive flights.

If airfare is expensive (like long-haul or international flights), it’s usually better to transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to airline partners.

For example, a round-trip coach ticket from Salt Lake City to Athens costs over 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points in October 2016 through the portal.

What's The Best Way To Redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards Points
Ouch! The Cheapest Options From Salt Lake City to Athens on the Chase Ultimate Rewards Portal Are Expensive

By transferring points to airline partners like United Airlines, you can save over 40,000 points for the exact same dates!  But you will have to pay taxes.

What's The Best Way To Redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards Points
You’ll Have to Pay ~$115 in Taxes. But Saving 40,000 Points Is a No-Brainer!

40,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth $500 when you use them through the Chase portal (40,000 points X 1.25 cents per point = $500).  Deduct the ~$115 you will pay for taxes, and you save $385 by transferring your points to United Airlines.

Ankit can get even more value when he books Business Class or First Class seats by transferring his points!

What's The Best Way To Redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards Points
Transferring ~58,000 Points to Singapore Airlines Can Get You a First Class Ticket Worth Over $5,000!

If you want to book Business and First Class seats, Korean Air, Singapore Airlines, and United Airlines are good transfer options.

Transferring to Hotels

Transferring points to Hyatt can be a terrific way to save money!  Award nights at Hyatt hotels cost 5,000 to 30,000 Hyatt points per night.

I enjoyed my stay at the Park Hyatt Sydney when I visited Australia to surprise my mom on her birthday.  Paid nights here usually cost $750+.

If you booked a room through the Chase Portal in October 2016, you’d pay ~70,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points.  That’s a lot of points for one night!

What's The Best Way To Redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards Points
A 70,000 Point Hotel Night Is Hard to Swallow

If you transferred Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Hyatt instead, the same room costs 30,000 Hyatt points.  You’ll save 40,000 points!

What's The Best Way To Redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards Points
30,000 Points Is a Great Deal for a Room Going for Over $800

Transferring points to other hotel chains isn’t always as good a deal.

For example, a night at the Intercontinental Dubai Festival City costs ~$250.  But an award night costs 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points (transferred to IHG).

That’s worth $625 through the Chase portal (50,000 points X 1.25 cents = $625).

What's The Best Way To Redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards Points
In This Case, It’s Not Worth Transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards Points to IHG Points

This is NOT a good points transfer option.  Buying through the portal will save you over 30,000 points!

Use the Portal for Other Travel

The Chase Ultimate Rewards portal is very handy for other travel purchases, too.  Like booking non-chain hotels that don’t have loyalty programs.

It can also be an excellent deal for rental cars!  The portal often has the lowest prices.  And the cancellation policy is generous.

Bottom Line

The best way for Ankit to use his Chase Ultimate Rewards points depends on his travel goals.  And the paid price of the flight or hotel he wants to book!

Cheap airfare and hotel stays often cost fewer points when you book directly through the Chase Travel Portal.  Plus, you don’t have to worry about blackout dates.

But it’s usually a better deal to transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to airline and hotel partners for expensive flights and pricey luxury hotels.

It’s worth comparing the number of points you’ll need in either scenario to figure out what’s best for your travel plans!

Thanks for your question, Ankit!

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!

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! :)

Add comment

E-mail is already registered on the site. Please use the Login form or enter another.

You entered an incorrect username or password

Sorry, you must be logged in to post a comment.

10 comments

by Newest
by Best by Newest by Oldest

BEWARE: With UR hotel awards you can NOT make any changes, NOR refunds so make sure you 100% sure of your plans. Otherwise they are great!

Love, love, love Chase and their rewards points! We recently had to cancel a trip the day before we were due to leave due to the death of my father-in-law and we got All our money back within 10 days courtesy of Chase Bank. We used Chase rewards points to transfer to United for our plane tickets and United refunded the points with no fees. We used the Chase United credit card to pay for the cruise portion of our trip and since that card comes with trip cancellation coverage the entire amount we paid (and forfeited) to the cruise line was refunded to us. We booked three excursions through Chase using our Ultimate Rewards and Chase was able to get those points refunded to us too, even though one of the excursion places told us they wouldn't do it!

brian - Nice!

Thanks Rob, I was approved.

brian you can go ahead and apply for the Preferred.

Load more