Thanks to their flexibility, Chase Ultimate Rewards are one of the most valuable currencies out there. With 14 transfer partners, there are many options for redeeming points for maximum value. You can fly the world’s best first-class seat, stay at all-inclusive hotels, book a cruise or cover theme park tickets. The possibilities are nearly endless.
With the elevated Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card sign-up bonus, there are even more options to think about. The card offers 80,000 points after $4,000 spent within three months of account opening. That’s at least $1,000 worth of travel booked through Chase. However, you can get even more value when transferring points to a partner program.
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Annual Fee: $95
Bonus: 80,000 Points
APR: Variable Rate
Rewards Rate: 1X-5X Points
Details: Full Review
Terms and restrictions apply
Annual Fee: $95
APR: Variable APR depending on credit worthiness.
Rewards Rate: The card offers 5x points per dollar on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3x points on dining (including eligible takeout and delivery services), as well as 3x points on select streaming services and online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs). This card earns 2x points on all other travel spending and 1x point per dollar everywhere else. Chase broadly defines travel to include not just airfare, hotels and rental cars, but expenses like parking, tolls and public transit too.
Sign-Up Bonus: New applicants can earn 80,000 bonus points after using their card to spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. That’s $1,000 when redeeming points to book travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
Who Should Use This Credit Card? People who are beginning with travel rewards cards.
Why We Like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred actually works like having over a dozen different rewards credit cards. That’s because this credit card allows you to transfer your rewards points into miles with 11 airlines and points with three hotel programs.
Although the Chase Sapphire Preferred might not be ideal for the most frequent travelers and highest spenders, it’s part of a family of Chase cards that has a built-in upgrade path. So when it comes time to take your travel rewards game to the next level, you won’t have to start from scratch with an entirely different credit card and rewards program.
The card has a $95 annual fee, but the $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit effectively reduces that fee to $45. Plus, the credit card allows you to continue earning points through bonus categories and a 10% anniversary points boost. But when it comes time to redeem your rewards for travel, this card really shines. You can take advantage of some really strong transfer partners such as United, Southwest, Singapore Airlines, Virgin Atlantic and Hyatt. Similarly, you can just book any reservation you want through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel center.
To give you an idea of what’s possible, here are 11 ways to redeem 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points for travel:
Virgin Atlantic Economy Award to London
Did you know you could fly to Europe for less than the cost of a domestic award ticket? Starting at just 10,000 miles one-way in economy class, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club offers the cheapest way to cross the Atlantic. At this rate, you can fly from the East Coast to London. West Coast flyers can also get a bargain at just 15,000 miles each way.
Considering 10,000 miles is less than what some loyalty programs charge for domestic flights, this is an excellent use of Ultimate Rewards points. With 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points, you can book up to four roundtrip tickets to London. That’s unheard of outside of the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club program.
ANA’s Ultra-Private Business Class Using Virgin Atlantic Miles
Virgin Atlantic hits it out of the park again, this time with an international partner award. You can book a roundtrip first-class ticket to Japan on All Nippon Airways (ANA) starting at just 45,000 Flying Club miles each way.
ANA has one of the best business class products in the sky, rivaling most first-class seats. “The Room” on the airline’s 777 aircraft is a fully-enclosed suite nearly three feet wide, offering both luxury and comfort.
This is an excellent use of Ultimate Rewards points if you want an aspirational award at a reasonable rate. And if you want to splurge further on a first-class seat, it will cost you just 10,000-12,500 extra miles each way. That’s not really necessary, since The Room isn’t that different from ANA’s first class product.
All-Inclusive Hyatt Hotels
When you’re redeeming points for travel, there are usually a lot of other expenses to pay out of pocket: Award taxes, meals, and activities, to name a few. But stay at an all-inclusive resort and it’s totally possible to walk away with a $0 bill at checkout.
Hyatt’s all-inclusive resorts range from family-friendly Ziva properties in Mexico and the Caribbean to luxury Miraval resorts in stateside destinations like the Berkshires, Austin and Arizona.
Hyatt’s all-inclusive resorts offer tremendous value, with rates starting at just 12,000 points per night. Of course, Hyatt now utilizes peak and off-peak pricing, so award rates will vary depending on your travel dates. That being said, you can book up to six nights at a Hyatt all-inclusive resort with 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points.
West Coast to Hawaii with British Airways Avios
Since British Airways prices out awards by distance and segment, the best use of Avios is for direct flights (the shorter, the better). One great way to redeem Ultimate Rewards points is for economy tickets from the West Coast to Hawaii. This will set you back just 26,000 Avios roundtrip. With 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points, you could book a total of three tickets with miles to spare.
Experience Singapore Suites En Route to Europe
Singapore Airlines is one of the top airlines in the world and offers a first-class product to match its reputation. If you want the private jet experience on a commercial flight, look no further than Singapore Suites on the A380. These fully-enclosed suites are equipped with a plush swivel seat and a fully-flat bed. If you’re traveling with a companion, you can remove the partition between two suites and enjoy your own private bedroom in the sky.
The cheapest way to fly Singapore Suites is on the New York (JFK) – Frankfurt (FRA) route for just 86,000 Krisflyer miles. Granted, the sign-up bonus from the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is just 80,000 points after $4,000 spent within the first three months of account opening. However, if you spend some of that $4,000 on the card’s various bonus categories, you’ll easily make it to 86,000 points.
Visit North Africa with FlyingBlue Miles
Air France and KLM’s joint FlyingBlue program has several sweet spots that make transferring Ultimate Rewards points worthwhile. One of the best ways to redeem FlyingBlue miles is for flights to North Africa, which start at 22,000 miles in economy and 53,000 in business.
Considering how long flights to places like Morocco and Algeria are, these rates are exceptional. With 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points, you can book up to three one-way economy tickets to North Africa through FlyingBlue.
Sometimes Flying Blue offers even lower fares through Promo Rewards. These are fares get discounted by as much as 50%. Be sure to check out Promo Rewards regularly, as they get updated monthly.
Book Bargain Flights from the East Coast to Ireland with Aer Lingus
British Airways isn’t the only Avios program offering outstanding value on award tickets. Aer Lingus prices out flights between the East Coast, Midwest and parts of Ireland for just 13,000 Avios each way.
Considering most U.S.-based loyalty programs will charge at least 30,000 miles each way, that’s a fantastic deal. Aer Lingus lets you book a roundtrip ticket for less than half that price. Needless to say, this is an excellent way to put your Chase Ultimate Rewards to good use.
$1,000-$1,200 Worth of Travel
People often overlook Ultimate Rewards Travel as a means to redeem points. After all, conventional wisdom dictates that point transfers are the best way to maximize rewards. While that is generally true, the Ultimate Rewards Travel portal can offer exceptional value.
With the Chase Sapphire Preferred’s sign-up bonus, you’ll have at least $1,000 worth of spending power at your disposal when you use your points to book travel.
Points are worth 1.25 cents each for Sapphire Preferred and Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card cardholders. Chase Sapphire Reserve® cardholders enjoy an elevated redemption rate of 1.5 cents each. You can even transfer points from your Sapphire Preferred account to the Reserve in order to redeem points at a higher value.
These rates can work out cheaper than if you were to transfer your points to one of Chase’s 14 travel partners.
For example, a room at the Kimpton Epic Hotel in Miami over the summer can cost 52,000 IHG points per night.
Meanwhile, Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel lets you book the same room for just 20,819 points. In this scenario, you can save 60% by redeeming points through Ultimate Rewards over IHG One.
Hotels aren’t your only booking option. Through Ultimate Rewards Travel, you can redeem points for flights, cruises, rental cars, theme park tickets and more. You will have more flexibility regarding the type of room and seat you book, plus, you will earn miles through your frequent flyer program.
Fly Domestic Business Class with Krisflyer Miles
Flying international business class is exciting (and sometimes necessary if you want to arrive well-rested). Still, it’s not the only way to enjoy a flatbed seat. For just 23,000 Singapore Krisflyer miles one-way, you can book United’s Polaris business class on a domestic flight.
The best way to maximize this experience is to book a transcontinental flight. That way, you get to spend as much time enjoying this premium seat as possible. For 46,000 miles roundtrip, it’s well worth it, considering United charges at least 50,000 miles. With dynamic pricing in place, the redemption rate can fluctuate greatly.
Australia or New Zealand in Business Class
If ever you’re going to splurge on a business class seat, it should be on flights from the U.S. to Australia and New Zealand. These flights are long and there’s nothing like a flatbed seat to get you there in comfort. You can redeem 80,000 MileagePlus miles for a one-way business class ticket on United.
While that sounds hefty, it’s actually reasonable for a long flight. It’s worth noting that partner flights increase to 90,000 miles, so you’ll want to search for awards on United metal for a lower rate.
Cheap Flights to the Caribbean with JetBlue
JetBlue is one of the more pleasant domestic carriers to fly with. Yet, it offers reasonable fares on its extensive route network. This is especially true for flights to the Caribbean, where fares can be as low as $250 roundtrip or under 20,000 TrueBlue points. That’s significantly less than most loyalty programs will charge for a flight to the Caribbean.
Flights are one of the most significant expenses for most families. With 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points from the Sapphire Preferred Card, you can cover up to four roundtrip economy class tickets on JetBlue if you book at the right time of year.
The sign-up bonus from the Chase Sapphire Preferred can go quite a long way. You can splurge out on incredible first-class seats and luxury hotels if you’re a solo traveler. If you’re traveling with a family, you might want to opt for a family-friendly cruise or all-inclusive resort to keep your out-of-pocket cost low. And if you’re looking for ultimate flexibility, you can always use your points through the Ultimate Rewards Travel portal for virtually any travel expense you can think of.