How to Save BIG (Like $700 Big!) Using Chase Ultimate Rewards Points for Last-Minute Travel!

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Oh, Chase Ultimate Rewards points, how I love thee!

Ever since getting into the miles & points hobby I’ve used Chase Ultimate Rewards points more than any other rewards currency.  And they came in handy again just this past weekend when I helped my sister buy a ticket home!

She recently accepted a new job and was able to schedule a few days off before starting the new gig.  She really wanted to come home to visit with family, but last-minute round-trip tickets between Santa Barbara, California, and Missoula, Montana (2 small airports!) were running $600+.  Ouch!

Luckily, per her big sister’s excellent guidance, she’d recently gotten the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.  It’s the #1 card we recommend for beginners, and it’s also always on our list of best credit cards for travel.

Miles & Points Make Getting Friends and Loved Ones Together so Much Easier

So, I told her not to sweat it.  We could transfer the Chase Ultimate Rewards points she’d earned to United Airlines for an award ticket.  And she wouldn’t have to shell out that much cash.

I hopped on United’s site and found available award seats for flights ~2 weeks away.   Then, my sister transferred 25,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points to United Airlines and booked her ticket!

The exact same ticket she booked using miles & points (and just ~$11 in taxes and fees!) was selling for over $700 in cash.

It’s Always a Good Idea to Keep a Stash of Flexible Rewards Points Because They Can End Up Saving You BIG Time, Especially When It Comes to Last-Minute Travel!

Helping my friends and family experience the magic of miles, points, and travel is my favorite part of this hobby.  I can’t count the number of times miles & points have come to the rescue when I or my loved ones have had to book last-minute travel.  And being able to get together with family for nearly free makes travel rewards worth even more than their monetary value!

Have miles & points ever saved you a ton on last-minute travel?  Tell me about your experience in the comments!

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Meghan Hunter is a contributor to Million Mile Secrets, he covers topics on points and miles, credit cards, airlines, hotels, and general travel.

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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Camilla
1 year ago

We used miles when my father-in-law died unexpectedly. We had to get four people to the DC area and then two had to fly back to college in different states. It would have cost us a fortune doing it last minute!