If You Book Through the Chase Portal Often, Stop Collecting Chase Ultimate Rewards Points and Switch to Capital One Miles

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If You Book Through the Chase Portal Often, Stop Collecting Chase Ultimate Rewards Points and Switch to Capital One Miles

Joseph HostetlerIf You Book Through the Chase Portal Often, Stop Collecting Chase Ultimate Rewards Points and Switch to Capital One MilesMillion Mile Secrets Team

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Capital One miles are underrated, man.

You’ve probably heard us screaming from the rooftops that Chase Ultimate Rewards points are the BEST points to collect.  That’s absolutely true for most of us.  But if you use those points to buy travel through the Chase Travel Portal, you’ll be much happier collecting Capital One miles.

Shameless plug (for your sake), there are some pretty unbelievable offers right now:

  • Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card – 50,000 miles ($500 in free travel) after meeting minimum spending requirements.  I have this card and have made some of my favorite travel memories from the bonus.  And I’m not just saying that.
My Rustic Tree House Experience Is One of My Favorite Travel Memories.  And the Stay was Totally Free Thanks to My Capital One Venture Welcome Bonus

Chase Ultimate Rewards Points Aren’t Always Better Than Capital One Miles

Here’s why Chase Ultimate Rewards points are better for lots of us:   They transfer to the most valuable airline and hotel partners EVER.  For example, I could take the bonus I earn from a card like the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card and:

  • Transfer the points to Singapore Airlines for 2 round-trip flights to Hawaii from anywhere in the US (continental)
  • Transfer the points to United Airlines for 3 round-trip flights to anywhere in the US from anywhere in the US (continental)
  • Transfer the points to Hyatt for 2 nights at a 5-star resort, like the Hyatt Residence Club Lake Tahoe, Northstar Lodge

    Hyatt Residence Club Lake Tahoe, Northstar Lodge Is a Luxury Ski-In/Ski-Out Resort

But there’s a catch:   Transferring points to partners means you now have to worry about blackout dates, available award seats, available hotel nights, etc.  If you don’t have flexibility with your vacation days, that could be a problem.

To solve this issue, Chase also gives you the option of redeeming your points through their online travel portal.  You’re essentially “buying” your airfare or hotel room with your points.  Through the portal, your points are worth:

For example, if you’ve earned 50,000 points with the Chase Sapphire Preferred after spending $4,000 in the first three months, your points are worth $625 in the Chase Portal (50,000 points X 1.25 cents each).  You can buy a flight through the Chase Portal and use those points to cover up to $625 of your flight cost.

I’ve used my points this way several times.  When I can’t find a good deal by transferring my points to Chase partners, I’ll just use some points through the portal to discount my vacation.

Here’s why Capital One miles are better for many of us:   If you’re not interested in hunting for a bargain, you’re probably more inclined to just redeem your points through the portal.  It’s a quick and easy discount.

If this is you, I’m willing to bet you’ll do better collecting Capital One miles from a card like the Capital One Venture instead of the Chase Sapphire Preferred.  Capital One miles are easier to redeem, and they have one giant benefit that Chase points do NOT.

Why to Choose Capital One Miles Over Chase Ultimate Rewards Points

Capital One cards can give you a better return:   Capital One miles are worth 1 cent each.  Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth 1.25 cents each through the Chase Portal.  Chase points are the clear winner.

Oh wait, no they’re not.  Here’s why:

In other words, you’re guaranteed to get 2 cents back per $1 you spend on the Capital One Venture.  You’ll get between 1.25 cents and 2.5 cents back per $1 you spend with the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

If the lion’s share of your purchases happen to be travel and dining, you’ll come out ahead with the Chase Sapphire Preferred.  If you have a more normal lifestyle, you’ll almost certainly come out ahead with the Capital One Venture.

Capital One miles are easier to redeem:   You don’t have to go through a special portal to use Capital One miles.  You literally use the card to purchase travel just as you would with any credit card:

  • Buy your flight directly from the airline website
  • Buy your hotel stay directly from the hotel website
  • Buy your flight or hotel through Orbitz, Expedia, Hotwire, etc.
  • Buy your rental car directly through the rental agency
  • Contact a travel agent for your arrangements and pay them

It doesn’t matter how you reserve your travel.  Just use your Capital One card when you do.  Then you’ll have 90 days to visit your online account, find the travel purchase, and erase it from existence with your Capital One miles.

For example, if you reserve a $400 hotel stay, your Capital One card will show a balance of $400.  You can then find the purchase in your transaction history, click “erase”, and you will instantly have a $0 balance on your card (and 40,000 fewer miles)!

You can redeem Capital One miles for more things than Chase Ultimate Rewards points:   As long as the transaction is travel related, you can redeem your Capital One miles for it.  I have the Capital One Venture, and I redeemed the bonus for a 3-night Airbnb stay in Barbados.  You won’t find Airbnb in the Chase Portal.

You can also use Capital One miles to erase food purchases you make inside hotels, like room service or hotel restaurants.  Because the bill codes as a hotel purchase instead of a restaurant purchase.

I Used Miles to Erase the $160 Price of My Legendary 7-Course Afternoon Tea at the Burj Al Arab in Dubai

Capital One miles earn hotel points:   The Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal uses Expedia to book travel.  That is NOT a good thing if you’re booking a hotel.

That’s because you won’t earn hotel points when you book a hotel through the Chase Portal.  If you book a hotel room anywhere but directly with the hotel, you will not get:

  • Hotel points
  • Elite night credits
  • Your elite status benefits

When you book with Capital One miles, you can reserve your room directly with the hotel.

For example, the Washington Hilton, DC, generally costs $250 per night.  If you book 2 nights directly with this hotel, and use your Capital One miles to erase the purchase later, you’ll receive:

  • 5,000 Hilton points (you get 10 points per $1 you spend on your room when you book direct)
  • Any bonus promo points (Hilton always has something good going on)
  • 2 elite night credits
  • Elite status recognized (possible upgrades, welcome gift, late checkout, free breakfast, etc.)

If you book the same 2 nights through the Chase Portal, the hotel will give you shelter for the night, and then tell you to get lost.

Bottom Line

We often say the Chase Sapphire Preferred is the best card for newbies.  Because Chase Ultimate Rewards points are so incredibly useful!

But if you find yourself repeatedly using your points through the Chase Portal, the Chase Sapphire Preferred might be the wrong card for you.  Look into cards that earn Capital One miles instead, like:

You’ll almost certainly get a better return for your spending.  And you can redeem them for a wider variety of travel purchases!  Check out our review of the Capital One Venture here.

Do you find yourself spending Chase Ultimate Rewards points through the Chase Travel Portal?

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Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel
  • Earn 2X miles on every purchase, every day. Plus earn 10X miles on thousands of hotels, through January 2020; learn more at hotels.com/venture
  • Named ‘The Best Travel Card' by CNBC, 2018
  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime; no blackout dates. Plus transfer your miles to over 12 leading travel loyalty programs
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $95 after that

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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The capital one venture card is essentially a 2% back card valod for travel only with a $95 annual fee. Why not just use the no annual fee Citi double cash for unrestricted 2% cashbacks? That’s the opportunity cost benchmark I use for all spend to determine if restricted use points/miles are worth it.

There is zero compelling reason to spend on the venture card beyond the $500 signup bonus.

The problem with using Chase portal is that at the beginning they had all the same flights and prices available as Expedia, Orbitz, etc. Now they do not list the cheapest flights. I’ve called them and they say they only have what airlines give, it’s an inventory issue. I call BS, they are in control of paying for the service and don’t want to provide the cheapest flights for some other reason

please quit pushing the chase sapphire preferred. the reserve is infinitely better and only $55 more per year. i cannot understand why anyone would want the preferred card unless they do not travel much in which case, why would you want the preferred; get a cash back card.

I guess I’m one of those weirdos that use the portal ALL the time. I have CSR, Freedom, Ink Preferred and Unlimited. I get 3x points on advertising (have an agency) and then move every single point to Reserve. I just booked two RTs for my kid to Asia (multi city in and out) for 120K points. I had 25 choices to pick from. Every time I compare moving points to airlines vs. going thru the portal, the portal is so beneficial. It’s a 33% discount with the Reserve!

I’m one of those weirdos also and use the Chase portal all the time. Best deal out there. I have my CSR card and Bus Pref INK. Huge sign up bonuses and my wife did the same thing. 360,000 points times 1.5 for travel = 540,000 for travel for us which is a value of $5,400

One thing not mentioned, which is CC specific, The Venture cards earn 10x points on hotels.com. Though its specific I used it to recently book a weekend hotel and th 10x was better then my chase UR. I have both cards so its nice to be able to check out each of them.

An even easier and more lucrative approach is to sign up for the US Bank Altitude card. Triple points on travel and mobile wallet purchases such as Apple Pay. Then, if you sign up for real-time mobile redemption, whenever you purchase airfare, uber, lyft, etc., points are immediately and automatically redeemed at 1.5 cents each to offset the purchase.

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