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Step 9: Use Your Points

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The possibilities are almost endless when it comes to using your points towards travel.

How Will You Use Your Points?
How Will You Use Your Points?

Take a look at the airline and hotel award charts to find out how many points you need to travel to your desired destination.  You can also browse our Trip Reports to see how miles and points can get you to MauiKauaiVeniceRomeBora Bora, and more.

Try to book your travel as soon as possible, because award seats fill-up fast!

The number of bonus points offered by the bank will fluctuate, but let’s say you earned 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points by signing-up for the Chase Ink Plus card.  To use your Chase Ultimate Rewards points with United Airlines (1 of its partner airlines), you would go the United Airlines award chart and find that it costs 30,000 miles for a 1-way coach trip from the US to Europe.

You’d also see it’s 45,000 miles for a round-trip coach ticket from the mainland US to Hawaii!  Without miles, this same flight could cost you ~$1,000 depending upon your travel dates.

Hyatt Regency Maui
With 1 Credit Card, You Could Be Saying Aloha to Maui!

You can also transfer 40,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Hyatt for an All-Inclusive Weekend in Mexico!

Signing-Up for 1 Chase Ultimate Rewards Card Could Get You 2 Nights in Mexico With Free Drinks and Dining!

And if you earn a few more points on your Chase Ink Plus card you could book a 1-way Business Class ticket from the US to Europe for 57,500 United Airlines miles.

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Signing-Up for 1 Credit Card Will Get You Most of the Way to a 1-Way Business Class Award Ticket to Europe!

The same ticket could cost you ~$3,000 (depending on your dates of travel).

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Most of Us Would Never Be Able to Pay Cash for a Business Class Ticket to Europe!

You have to transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to United Airlines or Hyatt to book your award travel.  But make sure seats or rooms are available on your desired travel dates BEFORE you transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards points!  Once you transfer your points you can’t get them back.

These are just a few examples of what you can do.  But check out our Trip Reports for some inspiration and to learn how to use your miles like a Pro.

While my award booking guides, like The Ultimate Guide to United Miles, will give you in-depth details on how to book an award flight, here are some basic tips to remember:

  • Book in Advance – You will find the most availability ~1 year before your departure date.  This is important if you want to use your miles to travel during peak times, such as holidays.
  • Be Flexible – Remember you will be taking a trip for close to free, so there are going be some trade-offs at times.  You may not be able to get an international flight at the exact date and time you want.  This is especially true if you don’t book well in advance!
  • Use Airline Alliances to Your Advantage – There are 2 major airline alliances Star Alliance and oneworld.  If you can’t find available award seats to a desired destination, check with a partner airline.

And if you need some help, there are plenty of Award Booking Services who can book your award ticket for a fair price.

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