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Chase Ultimate Rewards are one of my favorite types of miles and points. One reason that I think they’re so valuable is the wide variety of ways that you can use your points. Like several other types of flexible bank currencies (Citi ThankYou points, American Express Membership Rewards points or Capital One Venture miles), you can use them either directly toward travel or transfer them to hotel or airline travel partners.
(SEE ALSO: Credit Card Rewards: Points versus Miles)
Where Chase Ultimate Rewards really shines is that, unlike some of the other bank currencies, both options are often viable. Membership Rewards and ThankYou points are often not great for redeeming directly for travel, while Capital One’s transfer partners (with one exception?) aren’t that great of an option.
Chase Sapphire Preferred – 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points
With the current offer of 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points for signing up for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, I thought it might make sense to take a look at what you can do with 100,000 Ultimate Rewards. As a reminder, you can currently get:
- 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points
- You must spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
- $95 annual fee
As I always say, don’t sign up for a credit card just because some guy on the Internet says that you should, but this is a pretty amazing deal if you’re eligible for the card. If you have any questions, feel free to email me or leave a comment and I’ll be happy to talk you through what might be right in your specific situation.
Use them for $1,250 in travel (or pay yourself back!)
100,000 Ultimate Rewards points is worth at least $1,250, if you use it for travel or via Chase Pay Yourself Back. And if you have a spouse with a Chase Sapphire Reserve card, it could be worth up to $1,500. And even better, you can often get even more value by transferring to Chase’s travel partners. Like the time I turned 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points into a $6,500 train trip. This $1,250 can be used for just about any kind of travel – airfare, hotels, car rentals. You can even pay for tours and activities with Ultimate Rewards points. When my son and I were in Morocco, we used Ultimate Rewards points to book a camel ride as well as a Moroccan cooking class.
20 nights at a Hyatt hotel
$1,250 should be the baseline in value that you should expect from the card, but you can often get even more value by transferring to hotel or airline partners. Hyatt Category 1 hotels cost 5,000 Hyatt points per night. So by transferring your Chase Ultimate Rewards points 1:1 to Hyatt, you can get up to 20 nights at a Hyatt hotel. I’ve stayed at my share of Category 1 Hyatt hotels and generally find them to be exceptional value (except when the fire alarm goes off in the middle of the night). If you’d rather spice it up a bit, you can still get multiple nights at a more luxurious Hyatt like the Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall Montego Bay Jamaica.
Book a week at a Marriott
Chase is also 1:1 partners with Marriott hotels (and IHG), so you have other options if you’re looking to use your Ultimate Rewards points for hotels. Remember that Marriott gives you the 5th night free on award bookings of five nights or more, and you get the fourth night free if you have the IHG credit card. How many nights you can get for your 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points will depend on the hotel you book. We used 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points a couple of years ago to stay for five nights at the Residence Inn by Marriott Sacramento Airport Natomas and found it to be great value.
It’s a bit harder to get value by transferring your points to Marriott or IHG than it is with Hyatt, just because the number of points that you need is usually higher. Remember to check the Ultimate Rewards portal before you transfer your points. It may cost fewer Ultimate Rewards to book that way.
Fly with United or Southwest or other airline partners
Chase also has a wide variety of airline transfer partners. Which one you want to use will depend on where you want to go, but you have a variety of options. Transferring to Southwest Airlines can make sense if you are flying domestically, but again, it might make sense to pay for Southwest flights using Ultimate Rewards, especially if you have access to a Sapphire Reserve card. Transferring to British Airways Avios can make sense for short-haul domestic flights on American or Alaska, though it’s not as great of a deal as it once was.
United Airlines is another option if you can find a route where it makes sense. I have used United Airlines to fly my parents to Dublin and Scotland as well as used them to fly Aer Lingus myself.
(SEE ALSO: Aer Lingus Business Class review IAD-DUB )
The Bottom Line
If you’re eligible to get the welcome bonus on the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you should highly consider it. As we can see here, 100,000 Ultimate Rewards is a gigantic bonus that can be used in a variety of ways. No matter how you want to travel, that big of a bonus will make a big dent in helping you make it happen.
If you have any questions about this offer or want to talk over how it might work for you, please email me at superdoubledan at gmail dot com. I am more than happy to talk to anyone about this or any other offer and how it might work for you.
What would you do with a 100,000 point offer? Leave a note in the comments.
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