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INSIDER SECRET: The Comfort Suites Paradise Island is right next to the Atlantis Bahamas, and guests get full access to the Atlantis Resort for a fraction of the room price!
Labor Day weekend is fast approaching. This traditionally marks the end of summer, but there’s still time to go out with one last big weekend trip before settling in for the fall, sending the kids back to school and nestling into your comfy chair for football season.
It’s not too late to plan a last-minute Labor Day weekend getaway, and Chase Ultimate Rewards points are the perfect way to plan this trip for free. With their versatility, you can transfer Ultimate Rewards points to Chase airline and hotel partners, or use the points to directly pay for flights, hotels or even car rentals through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal. Best of all, you can get great value doing so.
I’ll show you seven last-minute Labor Day weekend getaways and the best ways to use Chase Ultimate Rewards points to make them happen.
7 Fun Last-Minute Labor Day Weekend Getaways With Chase Ultimate Rewards Points
Chase Ultimate Rewards points are easy to earn from the following cards:
|Card||Sign-Up Bonus & Minimum Spending Requirements||Our Review|
|Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card||80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening your account||Read 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 account||The #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 Card||$500 bonus (50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening your account||Read 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 account||Check out our tips on how to get approved for this card!|
|Chase Freedom Unlimited®||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 back||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 3 months of opening your account||Read our review of the Chase Freedom|
Keep in mind, in order to move your points to Chase transfer partners, you’ll need to have at least one annual-fee Chase Ultimate Rewards card, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Ink Business Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve. Having one of those cards also unlocks the ability to book airfare, hotels and more through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal at an improved rate.
Here’s how you could use your Chase Ultimate Rewards points for a last-minute Labor Day trip.
Jamaica All-Inclusive Resort
What’s better than not sitting on a Caribbean beach sipping a frozen rum drink? Sitting on a Caribbean beach sipping a frozen rum drink. And what’s even better than that? Having those drinks included in your hotel stay!
Hyatt has two all-inclusive properties in Jamaica and you can book either for only 25,000 Hyatt points per night. If you’re looking for a romantic getaway, check out the adults-only Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall. Or if you want to bring along the little ones, the Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall is the family-friendly option. Both are conveniently located close to Montego Bay airport and both have award availability over Labor Day weekend!
Remember, you can transfer Ultimate Rewards points to Hyatt at a 1:1 ratio – by far the best value on lodging you can get with Chase transfer partners.
A Quiet(er) San Francisco
Hey, where is everyone? The city is quiet. Parking is available on the streets. So much less traffic. What’s going on??
Every year during the week leading up to Labor Day, 75,000 people converge in a Nevada desert for that crazy counterculture event called Burning Man — a large percentage of them from the Bay Area. While it’s way too late to get tickets for that event, you can enjoy the wonderful city many of those “burners” have deserted for the week — with much less madness than the crowded city normally deals with.
Also, San Francisco enjoys an “Indian Summer,” meaning September is about the best weather you’ll find all year! Expect plenty of availability at hotels and restaurants. You’ll also see an uptick in Airbnb listings this week.
Baseball in the Windy City
It’s September, which means baseball playoffs are on the horizon. The National League Central is shaping up to be the tightest division race, and Labor Day weekend will see two teams in the thick of the race squaring off at legendary Wrigley Field. The Milwaukee Brewers are in town for three day games against the Chicago Cubs. Grab a hot dog, a beer and a seat in the outfield bleachers to get the quintessential Wrigley experience.
When scouting out flights, remember you have two airport options in Chicago. O’Hare is United Airlines’ home airport, and Midway sees more Southwest departures than any other airport. And you can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to both programs.
Southwest has the friendliest change and cancellation policies in the country, so jump on a deal if you find one. You can always change your mind later. Also, they don’t charge for baggage or close-in award booking fees like United does.
Atlantis Bahamas for Cheap
If you want another option for a Caribbean getaway, how about the Bahamas? And would you believe me if I said a Labor Day weekend of leisure and adventure at the spectacular Atlantis pools on Paradise Island could be a budget vacation using both points and dollars? Here is how you can make that happen.
You can use British Airways Avios points to book partner American Airlines flights, and because British Airways uses a distance-based award chart, often the flights are even less than American charges! Labor Day flights are available from Miami to Nassau for just 7,500 Avios each way, and direct flights from Charlotte and Philadelphia are only 9,000 Avios each way. American charges 15,000 American Airlines miles for these exact same flights. To top it off, British Airways doesn’t charge the $75 close-in booking fee that American does.
See our in-depth guide to booking American Airlines flights with British Airways Avios here. And of course, Chase Ultimate Rewards points are transferable to British Airways Avios at a 1:1 ratio.
As for where to stay, the Atlantis is deservedly the most famous resort in the Bahamas. Atlantis does offer cheaper rooms at the far corners of their property, however, there’s an even better option if you are on a budget. If you stay at the Comfort Suites Paradise Island next door, you get full access to the Atlantis resort including its incredible water park. Rooms at the Comfort Suites are about one-third cheaper than the cheapest Atlantis rooms — and include breakfast. On Labor Day weekend, rooms there will only set you back $110, or use your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to book through the travel portal — if you hold the Chase Sapphire Reserve that’s only 7,000 points per night!
See our guide on how to book hotels through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal.
Free Attractions in Washington, DC
Our nation’s capital may be the best city in the country for free attractions. Early September is perfect weather for walking through the National Mall, the monuments and the memorials. And the Smithsonian museums — the best museums in the country — are also free entry. Labor Day weekend has a special treat for visitors on Sunday evening. The National Symphony Orchestra is playing a concert on the Mall, and like DC’s other most famous sites, it’s free.
Washington Dulles is another hub airport for United, and Reagan airport sees many flights from both United and American. Using British Airways’ distanced-based award chart to fly American into Reagan can be especially reasonable if traveling from the East Coast.
Minnesota’s Fabulous State Fair
This isn’t what you imagine a state fair to be. You could write a full article on the booze offerings alone. This year, Minnesota is debuting 53 funky new booze offerings. Maple bacon brown ale anyone? How about a cotton candy sparkling wine? Or a dill pickle Kölsch? Or maybe stick to one of the 250 classics like the frozen Grain Belt Blu blueberry beer or the Original Beergarita, then wander over to the Leine Lodge Bandshell for free daily outdoor concerts.
But the fair is more than booze and music. There’s a llama costume contest, a live carving using a 90-pound block of butter and a lumberjack show. You could even witness a live animal birth! But make sure your stomach is settled before you try one of the 60 foods they offer on a stick, such as alligator sausage. Cap it all off at the free talent show finals in the Grandstand on the Sunday, September 1.
Round-trip flights from most major cities can be found for less than $250 for Labor Day weekend. Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders can get these flights for about 15,000 points when booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, with no close-in booking fees!
The Many Climate Zones of Hawaii’s Big Island
The Big Island of Hawaii is actually named “Hawaii” but called the “Big Island” to avoid confusion with the state name. I visited this island earlier this summer, and it quickly became my favorite of all the Hawaiian Islands. From the sea cliffs to the north to the lava fields of the center to long rumbling fields of the south, it’s one of the most ecologically diverse places on earth.
One of the great sweet spots of the British Airways distanced-based award chart is American Airlines flights from the West Coast to Hawaii. One-way flights from Los Angeles or Phoenix cost only 13,000 Avios points each way!
They call this island “big” for a reason — it’s bigger than all of the other Hawaiian Islands combined! You’ll want a rental car to get around, but you can use Chase points for a car rental too. Again, the best value you will find is for Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders who get 1.5 cents per point on travel redemptions in the Chase portal.
Remember, there’s no use hoarding your points and miles because programs routinely devalue them. Use the long Labor Day weekend to send the summer into the books with a bang, and cash in some of those hard earned points.
To learn more about Chase Ultimate Rewards points, check out our guides:
- Chase Ultimate Rewards Review
- Chase Points Value
- Best Way to Use Chase Points
- Chase Transfer Partners
- How to Earn Chase Ultimate Rewards Points
- How to Setup a Chase Ultimate Rewards Account
- How to Use Chase Ultimate Rewards Points
- Do Chase Ultimate Rewards Points Expire?
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