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You can’t go wrong earning Chase Ultimate Rewards points with cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card because they are incredibly flexible for award travel. You can transfer Chase points to airline and hotel travel partners, making it easy to book everything from beachside resorts to lie-flat business-class seats.
But you can also use your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to book rental cars, tours, event tickets and more through the Chase travel portal. It’s super easy – and in some cases it can cost fewer points than transferring your Chase points to travel partners.
I’ll show you, step by step, how to book through the Chase travel site. But first, you’ll want to know what your Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth because they do not always have the same value.
Why use the Chase travel portal?
The Chase travel site is now powered by Expedia, so any hotel, flight or rental car you can book with Expedia should also be available through the Chase website. When you book through the Ultimate Rewards portal you have the option to pay for the purchase with your Chase points. The amount of points you need will vary depending on two factors: The cost of the travel you’re booking and the specific Chase credit card you are using.
If you have multiple Chase cards, it’s easy to transfer points between Chase cards or to a member of your household or to a joint business owner. So you should always be able to redeem for the highest value.
The benefit in being able to use the Ultimate Rewards portal to pay for travel is that sometimes you can use fewer points to book the exact same travel than if you transferred your points to the airline or hotel. It all depends on how much the reservation costs compared to that specific loyalty program’s award chart. Let’s look at two hotel reservations.
In this first example, you would need to transfer 35,000 Chase points to IHG in order to book an award night at the Intercontinental Doha. Alternatively, you could book through the Chase portal and you’d only need 16,018 Chase points to pay for the exact same room. In this example, I’m using my Chase Sapphire Reserve® card, so I’m getting 1.5 cents per point, but even if you were only getting one cent per point you’d only need 24,027 points.
It’s not always cheaper to book through the portal. A lot depends on the price of the accommodation and the award chart of the transfer partner. World of Hyatt has a very generous award chart, with the lowest-tier properties costing 5,000 points per night and the top tier maxing out at 40,000 points a night. The Park Hyatt Sydney is a Category 7 property and you would need to transfer 30,000 points to World of Hyatt in order to book an award night. If you paid for the same stay through the Chase travel portal you’d need close to double the points.
It’s usually better to transfer points to World of Hyatt, but with Marriott and IHG you’ll most likely save points by booking through the Chase site. One caveat: If you book a hotel through a third-party site, like the Chase travel portal, you won’t earn elite-night credit or points and you most likely won’t be able to take advantage of any elite-status perks you have.
For airline partners, you’ll almost always want to transfer points if you’re looking to book business or first-class seats. Just make sure that award seats are available before you transfer. If you’re flying economy, compare prices to see which is a better option.
There are also added benefits to booking airfare through the Ultimate Rewards portal. For starters, you won’t have to worry about blackout dates or limited award seats; if you can buy a seat with cash, you can book it through the portal (the same applies for hotel blackout dates) with points. Also, when you book airfare through the Chase site, you’ll still earn frequent flyer miles on your award flight.
How to book travel with the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal
To access the Chase Travel portal, you will need a rewards credit card that earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points:
|Card||Bonus and minimum spending requirements||Our review|
|Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card||100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $15,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening your account.||Read our Chase Ink Business Preferred review.|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card||60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening your account.||Read our Chase Sapphire Preferred review.|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve®||50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening your account.||Read our Chase Sapphire Reserve review to learn more about all of the card's amazing perks.|
|Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card||$500 bonus (50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening your account.||Read our Chase Ink Business Cash credit card review.|
|Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card||$500 bonus (50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening your account.||Take a look at our Chase Ink Business Unlimited review.|
|Chase Freedom Unlimited®||$150 bonus (15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after spending $500 on purchases within the first three months of opening your account.||Read 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 three months of opening your account.||Read our review of the Chase Freedom|
You can book flights, hotels, rental cars, cruises vacation rentals and various activities with your Chase Ultimate Rewards points through the Chase travel portal. You will be able to avoid blackout dates on flights, book hotels that aren’t transfer partners and have the flexibility to choose between transferring or paying with points.
One of the great things about booking a rental car with points through the Chase travel portal is that you can still get primary rental car insurance. (You’ll have to pay with points that are attached to a card that comes with primary rental car insurance, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve.)
Here are the steps you’ll need to take to use the Ultimate Rewards portal.
Log into your chase Ultimate Rewards account
First, you need to log into your Chase account. Once you’re logged in, scroll down and click on the “Ultimate Rewards” tab on the bottom left side of the screen or click on your card account and then select “See balance” under the Ultimate Rewards heading on the right.
Pick the card you want to pay with
If you have multiple Chase Ultimate Rewards points-earning credit cards, you’ll need to choose which card’s points to use to book your travel. Go with the travel credit card that has the highest value per point, as shown in the earlier table.
Open the Chase travel search
At this point, click “Travel” to bring up the travel search site.
Search for your travel or activities
Enter the necessary details to search for everything from flights to cruises.
Narrow or sort your search and select your travel
You have the option to narrow your search depending on what you’re seeking. For flights, you can limit the search results by the airline, number of stops, flight times and price. As you select filters the search results will automatically update.
Once you’ve found the travel you want, click the “Select” button beside that specific flight, hotel, rental car, etc.
Review and confirm
This is your chance to double-check you’ve made the right booking on the dates you want to travel. Once you’ve confirmed the trip’s details and selected any add-ons you want, scroll down to the bottom and click “Continue booking.”
Enter your personal information and change the number of points you’re paying with
Now you’ll need to enter the personal information of all travelers, including first and last names, email addresses, gender and date of birth when booking flights. (This isn’t the case with hotels, rental cars, etc.)
You’ll also be able to add your loyalty account number (frequent flyer, hotel, etc.). You will earn frequent flyer miles or points on your flights, but hotel and car rental bookings will not earn loyalty program rewards.
You can pay for your entire booking with Chase Ultimate Rewards points or you can pay with a combination of points and cash.
To finish up, agree to the terms and click “Complete Booking.”
Chase Ultimate Rewards points are our favorite transferable points for a lot of reasons. They transfer to lots of great travel partners and they’re easy to earn. You can use the Chase travel portal to book everything from rental cars to boat tours to vacation rentals. This makes it easy to use your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to save on travel expenses other than just flights and hotels.
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