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After a recent stay at the Ace Hotel & Swim Club in Palm Springs, California, I realized I’ve been missing out on opportunities to use my Chase Ultimate Rewards points to book stays at unique hotels. I typically use points to stay at big chains, like Marriott or Hyatt. But I’ve found chasing status at these larger chains might not be worth the hustle, especially as elite status perks seem to be dwindling.
I currently have 7 Chase Ultimate Rewards point earning credit cards. These 2 are my favorite:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve® – I utilize this card the most. I love how fast I accumulate points by paying for travel & dining purchases with the card.
- Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card – This card gets a lot of use for my business purchases and I can just move the points I earn immediately to my Sapphire Reserve account.
With all of the Chase Ultimate Rewards points I collect, I plan to start booking free stays at boutique hotels through the Chase travel portal. We have a step-by-step guide that shows how easy it is to redeem points through the portal.
Don’t get me wrong, I love transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards points to airlines to maximize value. But sometimes it’s refreshing to have the flexibility to book any flight or hotel without having to worry about blackout dates or studying award charts.
For example, I searched the Chase travel portal for hotels in the Palm Springs area. And the results show nearly 1,100 available hotels! The Chase travel portal is also super user-friendly so you can filter properties to find the one you like.
And as a Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholder, points linked to my card are worth 1.5 cents each toward travel through the Chase portal. So to book a $100 per night hotel, I’d pay ~6,667 Chase Ultimate Rewards points ($100 / 1.5 cents).
Another awesome benefit of booking hotels through the Chase travel portal is you can book nearly any room type at a particular property.
For example, when I went to the booking page at the Ace Hotel & Swim Club in Palm Springs, I saw 5+ room types. Some folks might like this feature because typically when you transfer points to a hotel chain to book an award night, you can only secure a standard room. There are some exceptions depending on the chain and if you have elite status.
There are many fantastic Chase credit cards that earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points. Here are the ones I carry in my wallet:
|Card||Sign-Up Bonus & Minimum Spending Requirements||Our Review|
|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!|
|Chase Freedom Unlimited®||3% cash back on all purchases for the first year, up to $20,000 spent; then 1.5% cash back||Read our review of this card, which has one of the easiest rewards earning structures around!
|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 the top card pick for small business owners|
|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||This no-annual-fee business card can be a perfect addition to your wallet!|
|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||With the increased sign-up bonus, this might be the biggest no-brainer deal of the year|
If you’re just getting started in the miles & points hobby, I’d recommend by starting with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. This is the top card we recommend to folks who are new to miles & points. You can use the valuable sign-up bonus to save on airfare, hotels, or rental cars! Here’s our full review of the Sapphire Preferred offer.