How to Save on Travel Using Chase Ultimate Rewards® Points

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One of the most popular credit card reward programs is Chase Ultimate Rewards. The Flight Deal team carries multiple Chase cards to take advantage—our favorites being the Chase Sapphire Preferred® and the Chase Sapphire Reserved. There are a couple of way to those points—book travel on the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal or transfer to and book directly with its partners. Generally it’s a better value to transfer to partners so please check for awards with them first before booking with points at the Ultimate Rewards portal. Here’s where you can transfer points to and how you can take advantage:

Airlines Hotels
British Airways Executive Club Hyatt Gold Passport®
Flying Blue® – Air France / KLM IHG® Rewards Club
Korean Air Skypass Marriott Rewards®
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer® The Ritz-Carlton Rewards®
Southwest Rapid Rewards®
United MileagePlus®
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

Transfer to British Airways at a rate of 1:1

We feel the best use of British Airways Avios are for shorthaul flights where it’ll only cost 4,500 points for one-way flights between 1 and 650 miles or 7,500 points for those between 651 and 1,151 miles.  Intra-Latin America (on Lan) and intra-Japan (on JAL) flights are a perfect example how these flights will provide plenty of value.

As you can see here, it’ll cost CL$274,445 (~$420) to go from Santiago de Chile to Córdoba, Argentina.


But using Avios costs only 4,500 and $30. Which would you rather spend?


Another good use is for reward flights within Japan. Let’s say you want to go to Sapporo after traipsing around Osaka. Avios can get you there for only 7,500 points. JAL only release their intra-Japan awards 60 days out and you may see something like this:


Great, no taxes or fees! You’ll need to provide credit card info to proceed but you can’t charge $0. So, you just need to donate $1 to continue. Simply enter $1 into the Other Amount box to book your flight.



Another great use Avios is 7,500 (15,000, roundtrip) for a one-way economy flight of 1-1150 miles in the United States for last minute travel. Unfortunately, the 4,500 point rate mentioned above isn’t available in North America. American Airlines and Alaska Airlines partners with British Airways in North America, so you’ll be flying on their metal. The following provides a good example why Avios would be a better option instead of paying for a last minute fare.


15,000 Avios roundtrip which isn’t exactly cheap but the alternative is this:



Use Avios to Fly to Europe for 25,000 Roundtrip

Another great use of Avios is 25,000 points for roundtrip in economy for flights between 2001 – 3000 miles. The best use of this is from the US to Europe, specifically Boston to Dublin on Aer Lingus. You can’t book this on British Airways’ site. Find the award fare on—it’s important that you search for a Saver award on Aer Lingus as these are the only ones that the Avios will apply to.


While searching, notice that it would cost you 60,000 United Mileage Plus points instead of 25,000 Avios. Once you find your flights, call British Airways at 1-800-AIRWAYS to book and make sure you ask them to waive the phone booking fee since this isn’t bookable online.  This would cost $775 if you paid for this fare and this will translate to 3 cents per Ultimate Reward points, a very good value!



Transfer to United MileagePlus® at a rate of 1:1

Transferring points to fly with United is also a good use of Ultimate Rewards points. You’ll need to price out a multi-city roundtrip in economy to book this example—New York – Zurich – Tokyo. For 110,000 miles and $106 in taxes and fees, you can cover three great cities. 


If you were to purchase this itinerary, it would be a whopping $7598! This means these Ultimate Reward points are worth almost 7 cents each.


Transfer to Hyatt Gold Passport at a rate of 1:1

Let’s take the Park Hyatt Vendome in Paris as an example. It’s a fantastic hotel in a very convenient area of Paris and the service we’ve experienced there is impeccable. It’s a Category 7 hotel which means, it’ll take 30,000 points to score a night. The per night rate for our sample 3 night stay is 756 € (~$850). Using 30,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points per night will yield almost 3 cents per points. Getting over 2 cents per points is good!




These are just some of the examples how Chase Ultimate Rewards can help save you money while traveling. Transfers to United, Avios and Hyatt are instantaneous so you can find the award space to confirm availability first, then move the points. You’ll need a Chase product that will allow you to transfer points to these programs such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® and the Chase Sapphire Reserved.

Happy travels (and savings)!


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Comments (8)

  • Scot Shapiro 7 years ago Reply

    I have a little more than 220,000 ultimate reward points and so I’ve been looking for something fun to use them for. I like using them for saver business class flights overseas so I began there. On Singapore Air I could fly from Singapore to Perth for 32,300 each way or 35,000 to Sri Lanka fm Singapore, but the most intriging thing I saw was a round the world flight on Korean air in Business for 220,000 which seems to be a pretty good deal since all of the flights are business and there are multiple stops allowed with total time to do this trip allows you up to a year. Rules aren’t quite clear and apparently you need to go to a Korean Air office to book this trip, but still sounds like a great deal as a simple business class roundtrip flight on United fm USA to KL or BKK will run 160K to 170K points.

    Love your flight deals. Keep up the great work!

    jw 7 years ago Reply

    Thanks Scot, enjoy those points however you decide to use them

  • Charles McCool 7 years ago Reply

    $7600 for an economy fare? Yikes. That definitely drives up the value of UR points.

    jw 7 years ago Reply


  • gary 7 years ago Reply

    Another great use Avios is 7,500 (15,000, roundtrip) for a one-way economy flight of 1-1150 miles in the United States for last minute travel.

    How exactly do I do this id im in USA. Im in chicago, and i tried some routes from chicago to florida and vegas and BA says they do not have traffic rights to those cities.

    jw 7 years ago Reply

    On the BA site, if you go to the My Executive Club and book with Avios it should show you the options. Keep in mind you’re pretty much searching for AA routes. Also know that the site is VERY glitchy so you may have to try again later.

  • gary 7 years ago Reply

    is this what you mean by glitchy?

    There was a problem with your request, please try again later.

    jw 7 years ago Reply

    exactly; alternatively you can book by calling them at 1-800-452-1201 and ask to waive the phone booking fee since the site isn’t cooperating

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