Beginners Guide to Using Chase Ultimate Reward Points
Chase Ultimate Reward Points are Sooo Hot Right Now!
There are so many reasons to love Chase Ultimate Reward Points. They are currently my favorite due to their value, flexibility to use for airfare, hotels, rental cars, great set of transfer partners and an excellent online portal.
You are also able to redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards Points for direct cashback, gift cards or purchasing items through the Ultimate Rewards portal. I never recommend using cashback, gift cards or redeeming purchases through the portal as they are a much less valuable redemption than for travel. It’s a nice option, none the less.
You can earn Chase Ultimate Rewards Points with the follow 5 travel rewards cards:
- Chase Sapphire Preferred
- Chase Sapphire Reserved
- Chase Freedom
- Chase Freedom Unlimited
- Chase Business Ink
Each of these cards has their own benefits which are too many to list in this article. I will have a separate article to help you decide which chase card(s) are right for you. In this article I will focus on the options you have available when booking travel with chase points so you get the best value on your hard earned points.
To get the best value of your Chase Ultimate Rewards Points, I recommend transferring to one of their partners or using the Ultimate Rewards Portal to book. At first using a transfer partner might sound intimidating but its much easier than it sounds & often this gets the best value.
You may be able to get 3-5 cents per point redemption instead of a standard 1.25 – 1.5 cents per point (depending on if you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Reserve) from directly booking the Chase Ultimate Rewards Portal. That’s 2-3 times as much travel! Here is my recommended redemption option, transfer partners.
Option 1: Transfer Chase UR Points to Partners:
- United Airlines
- Southwest Airlines
- British Airways
- Korean Air
- Virgin Atlantic
- Singapore Airlines
- Air France / KLM
This is a great transfer list to start with but remember that if you transfer to United Airlines for example, you can then book or re-transfer the points to United’s 25+ Partners in the Star Alliance. You can travel to more than 1,000 locations from Star Alliance partners!
Same idea if you transferred your points to British Airways. You could use your transferred British Airlines points to book w/ their 13+ partners or transfer directly to them to book. These are just a couple of examples; the possibilities are endless. Here is the process I take when looking to redeem Chase UR Points for flights.
- Rewardstock.com- This awesome free tool lets you virtually keep track of your points and search for points fares based on the rewards program(s) you have. It only shows the cheapest fares which are not always available but it’s a great place to start to look and find out what airlines have the lowest points redemptions for your specific flight.
- Google Flights-Google Flights is great for pretty much everything. It’s a great way to find the cheapest flight / best route and then you can determine if you are able to use your Chase UR Points.
- Chase Ultimate Rewards Portal-Using the Portal itself is a great tool because you can see in real time flights that you are able to book. I usually use this tool to find flights then try to determine if I can get them cheaper by transferring directly to them. The only problem is that Chase UR Portal doesn’t show all the availability for every airline so you may miss some great deals if you only look here.
Yes, the partner transfer route is certainly more work but it can often have much greater value than just booking right through the portal. A little extra work can really stretch your travels farther. If you’re having issues finding what you need, don’t be scared to call Chase UR directly. They offer outstanding customer service.
You can also call airlines directly and book award flights. If you transfer to a partner online, it’s as easy as a few clicks of the mouse and the points are available often instantly but it depends on which partner.
Option 2: Book Directly Through the Chase UR Portal
If the more advanced method above is too intimidating for you, you can always book through the Chase UR Portal. This is a great option for beginner travel hackers or for a last-minute travel where you don’t have the time to research / transfer to partners.
Booking with the Chase UR portal very similar to booking something on Kayak.com, just remember that Chase UR portal books through a third party which complicates things if there are any issues or needed changes. I have never had any problem booking through the Chase portal but it’s something to keep in mind.
Spend a little extra time researching and planning when redeeming your Chase UR Points. After all, it took effort to earn them so you might as well try to stretch them as far as they can go. You might be amazed the value you can get with using the transfer partners. Most people won’t spent the time to do so, leaving big openings for you to find.
Even if you just use the Chase UR portal, you can still find amazing value and incredible travel deals…for free.
I hope this explains the basics of redeeming Chase UR points and helps you travel hack way a little farther.
Tell me about your best Chase UR Redemption below.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
With great travel benefits, 2x points on travel & dining and a 50,000 point sign up bonus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game.
More Things to Know about CHASE SAPPHIRE PREFERRED® CARD
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
- No foreign transaction fees
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
- No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards