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5 Best Ways to Use Chase Points for Remarkable Value (and Save Thousands of Dollars!)

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5 Best Ways to Use Chase Points for Remarkable Value (and Save Thousands of Dollars!)

Jake Pearring5 Best Ways to Use Chase Points for Remarkable Value (and Save Thousands of Dollars!)Million Mile Secrets Team

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INSIDER SECRET: If you have certain Chase cards, you can fly to Hawaii for 35,000 points round-trip (that’s crazy cheap). That’s a heck of a deal for a ticket that can cost ~$1,000 per person. But you’ll have to transfer your points to Singapore Airlines!

Most of us love Chase Ultimate Rewards points because their points are easy to earn, simple to navigate, and provide plenty of flexible redemption options.

With excellent airline and hotel transfer partners, as well as booking travel through the Chase Travel Portal, you can get fantastic value from Chase Ultimate Rewards points when you have cards like:

In the past year alone, I’ve redeemed Chase points over 20 times to book premium flights, luxurious hotels, boring rental cars, excursions on a vacation, and everything in between.  But if you’re looking to redeem your points for maximum value, you’ll want to plan ahead and save your Ultimate Rewards for a niche redemption.

So what’s the best way to use Chase points? Here are 5 ways to save hundreds (or thousands) of dollars!

The best way to use Chase Ultimate Rewards points can get you outstanding value–at home or abroad! (Photo by icemanphotos/Shutterstock)

The Best Way to Use Chase Points

How to Earn Chase Ultimate Rewards Points

Read our post on how to earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points

Chase Ultimate Rewards points are some of the easiest to earn, especially because many cards offer spending bonuses for your everyday purchases, in addition to massive sign-up bonuses.  For example, I currently hold 4 Chase credit cards that help me earn huge amounts of Chase Ultimate Rewards points:

  • Chase Sapphire Reserve – I use this card to earn 3 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on travel and dining purchases worldwide – it’s our favorite card for frequent travelers
  • Ink Business Preferred Credit Card – This is our top small business card pick – I earn 3 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar (on up to $150,000 in combined purchases per account anniversary year) on travel, shipping purchases, internet, cable and phone services, advertising purchases made with social media sites, and search engines
  • Chase Freedom – Each quarter, I earn 5 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar (5% cash back) in categories that rotate, like drug stores, gas stations, and supermarkets, on up to dollar,500 in combined spending after activating the bonus
  • Chase Freedom Unlimited – All other purchases go on this card, because it earns 1.5 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar (1.5% cash back) on purchases with no limits

Here are all the cards that earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points:

Card Sign-Up Bonus & Minimum Spending RequirementsOur Review
Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
InkBusinessPreferred
80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening your accountRead why this is our top card pick for small business owners
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card


60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening your accountThe #1 card for beginners
Chase Sapphire Reserve®50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening your account
Lots of folks love this premium credit card because of the ongoing perks!
Ink Business Cash℠ Credit CardCard Image Not Available
$500 bonus (50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening your accountRead our review of this great no-annual-fee small business card!
Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card$500 bonus (50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening your accountCheck out our tips on how to get approved for this card!
Chase Freedom Unlimited®Card Image Not Available
3% cash back (3 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar) on all purchases for the first year, up to $20,000 spent; then 1.5% cash backRead our review of the Chase Freedom Unlimited
Chase Freedom®$150 bonus (15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after spending $500 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening your accountRead our review of the Chase Freedom

Note:   To transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to travel partners, you’ll need at least one of the following cards:

If you have one of the cards listed above, you can combine points to your account from no-annual-fee Chase Ultimate Rewards cards like the Ink Business Cash  or Ink Business Unlimited, then transfer them to airline and hotel partners.

5 Ways to Get HUGE Value From Chase Ultimate Rewards Points

1.   Short Flights on American Airlines Between Expensive Cities (With NO Close-In Booking Fee)

I have many gripes about redeeming British Airways Avios points, including large fees and a glitchy award booking website. But if you are looking to fly between obscure or expensive airports served by American Airlines, you can get tremendous value by redeeming British Airways Avios points for otherwise highly-priced flights. And British Airways is a Chase transfer partner.

For example, Miami and Dallas based readers can get expensive flights to the Caribbean for just 7,500 to 10,000 British Airways Avios points (depending on the distance) plus taxes and fees. American Airlines will regularly charge hundreds of dollars for these short flights knowing that resort travelers are willing to pay a pretty penny to visit the Caribbean’s luxurious islands.

Over $200 for such a short flight in coach? Ouch!

For example, Friday and Saturday departures to the Caribbean island of Saint Maarten are understandably expensive during peak season. Instead of paying $214 for a Basic Economy ticket, you can redeem just 10,000 British Airways Avios points plus ~$6. This gives you a value of over 2 cents per point, and you wouldn’t have to deal with the harsh restrictions of American Airlines’ basic economy fares!

Transfer Your Chase Ultimate Rewards to British Airways and Book American Airlines Flights With Avios Points Instead!

Last but not least, you won’t pay a pesky close-in booking fee when redeeming your British Airways Avios points for award flights. So if you’re looking for last-minute travel (whether for fun, or in case of an emergency), British Airways Avios points can provide outstanding value.

2.   All-Inclusive Vacations in the Caribbean and Mexico at Hyatt Ziva and Hyatt Zilara

Speaking of the Caribbean islands, one of my absolute favorite Chase Ultimate Rewards redemptions was transferring to Hyatt points for a stay at the Hyatt Zilara Cancun in May of last year. The Hyatt Zilara is one of several hotels in the Caribbean and Mexico where you can redeem Hyatt points for a luxurious all-inclusive vacation.

And if you know the Hyatt brand, you can be confident that you’ll receive great service, outstanding food, genuine hospitality, and high quality drinks throughout your stay. My wife and I loved the Hyatt Zilara in Cancun, and enjoyed some much-needed R&R on the pristine white beaches of the Mexican Riviera. I highly recommend visiting this resort—but cash prices can be prohibitive!

Even with huge discounts, Hyatt’s all-inclusive hotels are pricey!

Instead of paying $1,263 for 2 nights (and this is during a 55% off promotion!), you can redeem just transfer 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Hyatt. You’ll also have more flexibility when it comes to changes and cancellations, because points reservations typically come with fee-free changes. This can come in handy when planning spring break or holiday vacations far in advance that you might need to change.

3.   Hyatt: Luxurious Hotels and Peak Travel Dates

In addition to all-inclusive Hyatt hotels, you can also get incredible value from Ultimate Rewards points by redeeming them at Park Hyatt hotels around the globe. Not everyone will be interested in using so many points for a single night in a hotel room (most Park Hyatt hotels cost 20,000 to 30,000 points per night), but you might want to go all out or splurge for a special occasion such as a honeymoon or significant anniversary.

My wife and I have received tremendous value from converting Ultimate Rewards to Hyatt points and then redeeming them at Park Hyatt hotels such as the Park Hyatt Vienna, the Park Hyatt Sydney, and the Park Hyatt Maldives! And even if you don’t want to travel all the way around the world for a luxury hotel stay, you can enjoy high-end service at Park Hyatt locations within the US at the Park Hyatt New York, the Park Hyatt Chicago, or the Park Hyatt Washington, DC.

The Park Hyatt Sydney is my favorite Hyatt in the world, but still not worth ~$1,000 per night (plus tax!). Redeem 30,000 Hyatt points instead

If you care less about luxury and more about events or destinations, you can also redeem Hyatt points in hot locations during specific events or seasons. For example, the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek in Colorado is one of the top hotels in the area for luxury and comfort during snow season. If you’re willing to spend 30,000 Ultimate Rewards points, you can save well over $1,000 per night and get a fantastic value of over 3 cents per point!

Note: I always try to use hotel points when booking travel for New Year’s, spring break, holiday weekends, and around major sporting events. During these dates, cash prices can be frustratingly high, while points redemptions typically do not change!

4. Award Flights to Hawaii on United Airlines Using Singapore Airlines Miles

I’ll have to apologize for sounding like a broken record, but I absolutely love visiting Hawaii. The island charm, close proximity to home, amazing food, and other-worldy scenery make the Hawaiian Islands a destination I’m constantly dreaming of returning to. But flights to Hawaii are notoriously expensive, with endless amounts of tourists wanting to visit year round.

Traveling to Hawaii from the East Coast during summer? Use points to avoid ~$1,000 fares per person

That’s when rewards like Singapore Airlines miles can become so valuable. Coach award flights from the continental US to Hawaii (regardless of whether you depart from San Francisco or New York City!) for just 17,500 Singapore Airlines miles each way!

Plus, Southwest now flies to Hawaii. So you can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Southwest for free flights. And anyone with the Southwest Companion Pass can bring a travel buddy along for nearly free!

Compared to regularly published flight prices of nearly ~$1,000 round-trip, redeeming just 35,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points (transferred to Singapore Airlines) is a phenomenal deal! Although these saver level award flights can be difficult to find, they’re readily available if you can book well in advance. And if you’re dreaming of a Hawaiian vacation (just like I am), why not start the planning early to snag the best deals on award flights and hotels?

5.   International Business Class or First Class flights on Star Alliance Partner Airlines

I saved the most luxurious (and most expensive!) redemption for last, because not everyone is regularly shelling out $5,000+ per person for business class or first class flights overseas. But if you’re looking to truly squeeze the most value per point, look no further than redeeming them for premium flight awards on international airlines.

As mentioned above, Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfer to both United Airlines and Singapore Airlines, which you can then redeem for award flights on any Star Alliance partner airline. The value of these redemptions can quickly get out of hand, such as redeeming 110,000 United Airlines miles for a last minute flight on Lufthansa First Class to Europe (which regularly sell for nearly $10,000, yielding nearly 10 cents per point in value).

Note: Singapore Airlines is world-famous for their Singapore Suites – perhaps the nicest First Class flight option in the world.  Although these suites can be challenging to book, you can get legendary value from your Ultimate Rewards points if you can find award seats!

Here’s Jason and his wife flying Singapore Airlines first class suites – they saved thousands of dollars by transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Singapore Airlines. (Photo by Jason Stauffer/Million Mile Secrets)

If you have enough points or want to save up for a honeymoon or special occasion, flying in lie-flat seats with champagne and multi-course meals is tough to beat! Chase Ultimate Rewards are my favorite points for international business class flights, in particular because booking award flights on the the United Airlines website is so straightforward. I recommend you read our article on how to book United Airlines award flights before transferring over your points!

Bonus:   Topping up Your Loyalty Account to Reach a Certain Award Threshold

Although the above are my 5 favorites, you shouldn’t rule out ANY of the Chase transfer partners. If you need a few more miles or points to top up your account for a specific redemption, that can be a great value!

For example, if you are 1,000 Southwest points short of being able to use points for a one-way flight, transferring 1,000 Ultimate Rewards points to Southwest is a no-brainer. This added flexibility (even for less-outstanding value programs) is another reason I love and continue to earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

Bottom Line

There are so many great ways to redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards points, even if you end up just using them for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. But if you’re willing to do some homework, you can plan strategically and squeeze much more value from your points!

From all-inclusive vacations, high-end hotels, or luxurious premium flights in a flat bed (or even a suite in the sky!), there are incredible possibilities when you have Chase Ultimate Rewards points in your travel arsenal. And you can earn them easily from cards like:

What are some of your favorite, redemptions using Chase Ultimate Rewards points? Let me know in the comments! And check out these posts to learn more about Chase Ultimate Rewards points:

You can also subscribe to our newsletter for more trip inspiration with miles & points!

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel

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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Would love to know more about using BA points for AA. We have a Chase Sapphire Reserve card, but when I look at BA for CLT to UVF, it wants to route thru London! I don’t see how to specifically book only AA flts??

I’ve found that BA’s site doesn’t work well with connecting flights. If you need to connect you need to look up availability for City 1 – City 2 City 2- City 3. then you can call BA and book with the dates/flight numbers.

WARNING – do not transfer points before you call in! There have been instances where flights are showing on the site BUT for whatever reason they cannot be booked. Call into BA and see what they can get you then PUT THE FLIGHTS ON HOLD. Then transfer the points over. That way you won’t be stuck with tons of points in your Avios account that you can’t use.

I have the chase freedom card and cannot figure out how to transfer my points to Hyatt or united can someone explain how?

Hey Blake! You need a premium Chase card (any of the cards with an annual fee) to access travel partners. It’s possible to move points between cards – and then you can transfer them to partners.

Here’s a guide with more info:

https://millionmilesecrets.com/guides/video-guide-combine-chase-ultimate-rewards-points-to-one-card-or-transfer-points-to-a-spouse/

If you have more than one card do all the points go to 1 account or are you managing multiple UR accounts? Also I’m assuming if it’s 2 separate people you and your wife each have your own account?

You can combine the points across cards and across cardholders within a family/household. So husband/wife consolidate into one place easily.

Thank you for your guidance, Joe!

Caribbean flights – AA charges checked bag fees even if an AA branded card holder. Do they charge these also on award flights (Bermuda and Caribbean)?

Yes, the free checked bag perk only works for domestic flights (within the US).