There are two ways to redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards
Actually there are more, but as I have stated before, please don’t ever use reward points or miles for gift cards or merchandise! Your points are the most valuable if you use these 2 methods.
- Transfer points to airlines or hotels at a 1:1 ratio
- Book hotels and/or flights through the Ultimate Rewards portal (not to be confused with the shopping portals I mentioned for earning) which is basically using your points as cash for 1.25 cents per point if you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred and 1.50 cents per point if you have the Chase Sapphire reserve
Most of the time, you’re going to get more value out of transferring your points to partners, but I’ll give examples of both scenarios. Remember that in general when it comes to redeeming points, I try to get at least 2 cents per point in value. But as I have said before, there may be scenarios where I will redeem for less than that, and redeeming in the Ultimate Rewards portal is one of these scenarios. That is just on the redemption side; keep in mind that when it comes to earning, Chase Ultimate Rewards points are very easy to earn if you utilize category bonuses and the shopping portal.
I’m going to use Puerto Vallarta for this example, because we love going with our awesome friends and maybe said friends will take this as a hint that we need to go back soon. Also, Happy Cinco de Mayo! First, let’s talk about the flights.
Redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards with the booking portal
You could log into your UR account and book through the portal.
Explore & Book Travel (by using points as cash)
Redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards by transferring to airline partners at a 1:1 ratio
OR you can transfer your points to British Airways to book the non-stop AA flights for only 7,500 each way or 15,000 roundtrip in economy.
OR you can transfer to BA to book the AA flight in business class for 15,000 points each way or 30,000 roundtrip.
Now of course this is assuming BA/AA has the award ticket available. As I’ve stated before, but I can’t say it enough, NEVER TRANSFER YOUR POINTS UNTIL YOU’VE CONFIRMED AVAILABILITY ON YOUR DATES!
In this case, the ticket is available in both economy and business.
You can book a business class ticket on an American Airlines flight by transferring Chase points to British Airways for less than the amount of points an economy ticket would cost if you were to book through the portal.
I’m going to play devil’s advocate and give an example of a better use of the redemption portal than points:
Looking at hotels in Puerto Vallarta, there is a Marriott category 7 property. Since Marriott is a transfer partner of Ultimate Rewards, you could transfer your points to your Marriott account and book through them. Or you could book through the Chase UR redemption portal at a 1.25 cents or 1.50 cents per point rate (depending on which Sapphire card you have).
To book through Marriott:
30,000 points per night
To book through the Chase Ultimate Rewards redemption portal:
8,601 points per night with the Chase Sapphire Reserve or 10,320 points per night with Chase Sapphire Preferred.
So in this case, booking the hotel with 8,601 or 10,320 points per night is clearly a better deal. I know I’ve said I like to try to get at least 2 cents per point when redeeming, but there are some instances where it may make sense to use the booking portal to redeem, especially with points such as Chase Ultimate Rewards where it is easy to earn more than 1 point per dollar on the earning side of the equation.
Enjoy your Cinco de Mayo, book a trip to Mexico, and send us pics! Follow on Instagram and Facebook!