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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:
|British Airways Executive Club
|Hyatt Gold Passport®
|Flying Blue® – Air France / KLM
|IHG® Rewards Club
|Korean Air Skypass
|Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer®
|The Ritz-Carlton Rewards®
|Southwest Rapid Rewards®
|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 United.com—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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