11 Little-Known, Unusual Ways to Use Your Chase Ultimate Rewards Points: Visit These Amazing Off-the-Beaten Path Spots for Nearly FREE!

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11 Little-Known, Unusual Ways to Use Your Chase Ultimate Rewards Points:  Visit These Amazing Off-the-Beaten Path Spots for Nearly FREE!

Million Mile Secrets11 Little-Known, Unusual Ways to Use Your Chase Ultimate Rewards Points:  Visit These Amazing Off-the-Beaten Path Spots for Nearly FREE!Million Mile Secrets Team

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Chase Ultimate Rewards are among the most valuable points in our hobby and is our favorite rewards program.  And while the value of Chase Ultimate Rewards points varies depending on how you redeem them, we’ve always said the best use of miles and points is for travel that’s meaningful to you.

But if you’re looking for something truly unusual, Chase Ultimate Rewards points have you covered as well.  You can visit incredible off-the-beaten-path destinations, check out remote islands, or take a trip to spots you’d never imagine possible.

Redeeming Chase Ultimate Rewards points from cards like the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card can get you a once-in-a-lifetime experience you’ll never forget.

Visit Remote Islands in the South Pacific by Transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards Points to Fly on United Airlines’ Iconic Island Hopper

Check out these 11 weird and awesome ways to use your Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

Redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards Points for These Incredible Experiences

1.   The Famous United Airlines Pacific Island Hopper

If you’ve been dabbling in the points and miles hobby for any amount of time, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of United Airlines’ Pacific Island Hopper.  This route begins in Honolulu, Hawaii and ends in Guam.  Depending on which day of the week you fly, it makes stops in either 5 or 6 islands in the Pacific along the way and is operated by a Boeing 737.

United Airlines’ Island Hopper Is One of the Most Famous Weird Routes in the Sky

We think this is one of the most iconic ways to fly across the Pacific Ocean.  From Guam, it’s possible to connect onward to other destinations in Asia and Oceania.

Flying one-way between Hawaii and Guam will cost you:

  • 27,500 United Airlines miles in coach
  • 45,000 United Airlines miles in Business Class

If you’re starting from the US mainland, you can fly one-way for:

  • 35,000 United Airlines miles in coach
  • 70,000 United Airlines miles in Business Class

United Airlines is a Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partner.  You can move your points at a 1:1 ratio and transfers are instant.

2.   Visit St. Helena

If you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve, your Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth 1.5 cents each when you book paid travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal.  Now that the Chase portal is powered by Expedia, you can book a flight to St. Helena, to an island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, with your points.

Redeem Your Chase Ultimate Rewards to Visit the Remote Island of St. Helena – It’s Where Napoleon Was Exiled!

The flight is operated only once per week on Saturdays, so you’ll either have to fly there and immediately turn around or stay for at least a week.  We recommend the latter.  However, you must book these flights over the phone.  A round-trip ticket in coach will cost ~$1,200, or 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points (linked to your Chase Sapphire Reserve) depending on the exchange rate.

3.   Short-Haul United Airlines and Partner Routes (800 Miles or Less)

There are a number of fun short-haul routes on United Airlines and United Airlines’ partners that are pretty awesome redemptions.  Flights that are 800 miles or less in distance (outside of North America), cost only 8,000 United Airlines miles to book in coach.

Better yet, you won’t have to worry about paying for fuel surcharges with these bookings!

Visit Osaka (Pictured) and Seoul on the Same Trip With a Short-Haul United Airlines Award

Many of these routes tend to be quite expensive in terms of cash fares, so they’re a wonderful use of miles.  Here are some of our favorites:

  • Seoul, Korea to Osaka, Japan on Asiana or ANA
  • Busan, Korea to Beijing, China on Air China
  • Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam to Singapore on Singapore Airlines
  • Bangalore, India to the Maldives on Air India
  • Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to Iguazu Falls on Avianca
  • Panama to Liberia, Costa Rica on COPA
  • San Salvador, El Salvador to Panama on COPA or Avianca
  • Cairo, Egypt to Amman, Jordan on EgyptAir
  • Guam to Saipan on United Airlines
  • Guam to Yap on United Airlines

4.   To France – Without Leaving North America

You can fly from the US to St. John’s or Gander, Newfoundland on Air Canada for only 12,500 United Airlines miles each way in coach, and then take the ferry to St. Pierre and Miquelon.

Hope for a Clear Day to Enjoy the Colorful Houses in St Pierre and Miquelon!

St. Pierre and Miquelon is a French archipelago just south of Newfoundland.  Many say that St. Pierre has a distinct French atmosphere and Miquelon is a bird watchers paradise.

5.   To France – in South America

If you’d rather fly south, consider taking the Air France Island Hopper flight from Miami to Cayenne, French Guiana.  On your way, you’ll stop in Port au Prince, Guadeloupe, and Martinique, though the route is subject to change seasonally.

Hop Your Way From Miami to Cayenne, French Guiana on Air France’s Caribbean Island Hopper

The best way to book this flight is by transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Flying Blue (the award program for Air France and KLM), though they have a variable award chart so make sure to compare your award price with the cash price to be sure you’re getting a good deal.

6.   Off the Beaten Path in Hawaii

If you’re a fan of off the beaten path destinations, Molokai is about as far as you can get in the Hawaiian islands.  Molokai is friendly, but make sure to respect the locals.

Molokai is as Off the Beaten Path as You Can Get in Hawaii

If you’re a fan of off the beaten path destinations, Molokai is about as far as you can get in the Hawaiian islands.  Molokai is friendly, but make sure to respect the locals.

You can book a flight to Molokai by transferring your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to JetBlue and booking an inter-island flight on Hawaiian Airlines for 6,000 JetBlue points one-way in coach.

7.   An Iconic National Park in Zhangjiajie, China

If you’re looking for an other-worldly experience, you’ll find it in Zhangjiajie, China.  It’s one of the world’s most iconic national parks.

The Zhangjiajie National Forrest Park Feels Like Another Planet

Fly there on Air China, and redeem United Airlines miles to get there.  For a one-way flight, you’ll pay:

  • 35,000 United Airlines miles in coach
  • 80,000 United Airlines miles in Business Class

8.   Reach the Northernmost City in the US

Want to see a polar bear?  Your best chances in the US are by visiting Barrow, Alaska in the winter.

This is the farthest northern city in the United States, but it’s a bustling and surprisingly modern community.

You’ll need to fly Alaska Airlines to get there.  And the cheapest way to book your tickets is using Singapore Airlines miles (also a Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partner) for 11,500 to 12,500 miles one-way in coach (depending on where you’re flying from).

9.   Paramaribo, Suriname Direct From Europe

This UNESCO World Heritage city in a former Dutch colony is accessible non-stop from Amsterdam on KLM.

Paramaribo, Suriname Is Recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage City, and It’s Possible to Fly There Direct From Amsterdam!

Your best bet is to transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Flying Blue.  Again, because of its variable award chart, make sure to compare with cash prices to make sure you’re getting a good deal.

If you want to really take it to another level, combine this flight with the Air France island hopper (#5) and travel overland between Cayenne and Paramaribo.  You’ll get to cross a piranha-infested river in a leaky dugout canoe, and negotiate a shared taxi in a city that was a civil war hotspot.  It’s actually a relaxed experience with friendly people, but you don’t have to tell your friends that. 😉

10.   Almost to the Bottom of the World

Use Flying Blue’s variable award chart to book Aerolineas Argentinas to Ushuaia, Argentina.  Aerolineas Argentinas flies direct from both New York and Miami, but you can connect from other destinations in the US.

Ushuaia, Argentina Is Only a Hop, Skip, and Jump Away From Antarctica

Bring ~$3,000 in cash with you, and you’ll be able to negotiate your way onboard a ship to Antarctica in a stateroom that hasn’t been sold ahead of time.

This is the unique “bucket list” trip, but it’s also one of the most incredible places in the world.  Travel insurance recommended for this one!

11.   A Former Navy Base in Alaska

Adak, Alaska was once a navy base of nearly 6,000 people, but now only 331 hardy souls live there among abandoned buildings slowly falling into ruin.  One of the windiest places in the world, you definitely won’t want to camp here.

You’re Sure to Come Home From Adak With a Good Story or Two

Alaska Airlines operates 2 flights per week that you can book with with Singapore Airlines miles.  Pricing is variable depending where you’re coming from, but doesn’t exceed 25,000 miles round-trip.

Want More Chase Ultimate Rewards Points?

You can earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points to transfer directly to airline and hotel partners with these excellent card offers:

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


50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 within the first 3 months of opening your accountThis is the #1 card for beginners
Chase Sapphire Reserve℠
50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 within the first 3 months of opening your account
Lots of folks love this premium credit card because of the ongoing perks!

And consider pairing these cards with a no-annual-fee Chase Ultimate Rewards card, like:

 

 

What are some of your favorite wacky ways to use Chase Ultimate Rewards points? 

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Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases–with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Redeem points for travel, cash back, gift cards and more – your points don't expire as long as your account is open
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
  • $95 Annual Fee

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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