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I like to take flights (sometimes international First Class and sometimes coach) and stay at hotels by transferring my Chase Ultimate Rewards points to partner airlines and hotels.
But YOU might enjoy different ways to use your points!
So I looked into using Chase Ultimate Rewards points for interesting travel experiences.
But are these adventures a good deal?
Chase Ultimate Rewards Experiences
Link: Ultimate Rewards
In the Ultimate Rewards portal, Chase has something called, “Experiences.”
Let’s look at 4 examples.
1 – Snow Kiting
With this Ultimate Rewards Experience, you’ll have a day-long session with Snow Kiting instructors. And you’ll glide along the snow pulled by a giant kite.
With the 70,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points you currently get for signing-up for the Chase Ink Plus card and meeting the minimum spending requirement, you and a partner, friend, or fellow snow kiting enthusiast can enjoy a winter’s day in the Minnesota snow.
Note: The Chase Ink Plus 70,000 point bonus offer ends on October 19, 2014.
I did some research and it turns out that most (if not all) of the Ultimate Rewards Experiences can be found on www.cloud9living.com.
This exact experience costs $9 less ($330) at cloud9living. So with Chase Ultimate Rewards you’ll be getting less than 1 cent per point in value ($330 cost on cloud9living / 33,900 Chase Ultimate Rewards points).
Because you can redeem your Chase Ultimate Rewards points for a statement credit or bank deposit for 1 cent per point, it’s a bad deal to redeem for anything less than that!
And then use your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to get a statement credit!
What makes this an even worse deal is that on the Ultimate Rewards site, when you add a friend, it’s double the price. But on cloud9living, there’s a $30 discount when you pay for 2 people at once.
2 – Celebrity Chef
Chef Christopher Tong will knock on your door and serve you a 3-course dinner in your home. And his staff will even wash the dishes!
However, you can book the same experience on cloud9living for $485. Even if the prices were the same, you’d be better off NOT booking this with points.
That’s because you’ll EARN points when you pay with your card. And then you can use those points for a statement credit.
3 – Spelunking
I checked for “Experiences” a little closer to home. And about an hour from Austin, I found this.
I can not tell you how often Emily has asked me to go spelunking. Everywhere we go all around the world, she asks, “But can we spelunk here?”
OK so she’s never expressed that desire, but we agree it looks fun! You crawl and climb with a guide through ancient caverns creating during the Ice Age.
But again, this appears to be cheaper on the cloud9living site where it’s $95 for 1 person. And again, there is a discount for 2 people, whereas the Ultimate Rewards site does NOT offer that savings.
4 – Manhattan Sail
Before I gave up hope that it was a good idea to use Chase Ultimate Rewards points on an Experience, I looked to Lady Liberty.
But once more the Ultimate Rewards price was greater than the cloud9living price. And remember, any time you’re getting a penny per point in value, it’s probably better to buy the item or service.
That’s because you will earn points on your purchases AND you can always redeem your Chase Ultimate Rewards points for a penny per point as a statement credit.
It is NOT a good value to use your Chase Ultimate Rewards points toward “Experiences” in the Ultimate Rewards portal.
Whenever you’re getting 1 cent per point (or less) in value, it’s not a good deal!
That’s because you can redeem your Chase Ultimate Rewards points for 1 cent per point as a statement credit or bank deposit.
So it would be better to earn points by purchasing the item or service with your Chase Ultimate Rewards card, then using your points for a statement credit.