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There’s no denying that in my family, we love earning and burning our points earned with our Chase credit cards. Whenever I get asked “Which card should I get first? What’s the perfect travel starter card?” You would quickly hear me say, “What’s your Chase 5/24 status? And if you are under 5/24, then you should focus on getting Chase credit cards first.”
Different ways of using points
When it comes to booking award travel, and how we use our points, all of our individual needs are different. We may all earn the same sign-up bonus, but we have an opportunity to use those points in so many different ways. Some will take the time and learn every single step to book on their own, while others, would opt to work with a booking service to help sort out through all the options.
I recently partnered with Chatflights. They are an award booking concierge, and they use their own app where users like me and you can chat with their experts to help find the best available options using travel award points. I tried the app and their service for myself. All I needed to do was provide them my miles and points information, and details of my planned trip, and the Chatflights expert replied back with my potential options.
A new way of looking at things
The value of earning Chase Ultimate Rewards
Chase Ultimate Rewards points are some of the best credit card points you can earn for travel. With a 25% bonus for Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and a 50% bonus for Chase Sapphire Reserve Card,, booking travel through its portal is a popular way to redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards for travel. However, if you’re booking flights with your points — which you should be as it’s the most valuable way to use Chase Ultimate Rewards — there is another way to redeem your points for flights besides booking through the Chase portal.
Transferring your points to Chase Travel Partners
By transferring your Chase Ultimate Rewards Points to airline miles, you can sometimes book the exact same flights for up to 8x fewer points than what you’ll find in the Chase portal. Here’s a run-down on some of the best ways you can use Chase Ultimate Rewards for flights. And I’m only going to mention First and Business Class redemptions as it is typically not a great value to redeem points and miles for economy tickets compared to premium cabins.
1. Use 68,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Round-Trip to Spain in Business Class
This deal really takes the cake for the cheapest way to cross the pond in Business Class. Flights from New York or Boston to Madrid can be redeemed for as little as 34,000 Iberia Avios each way in Business Class during the low season. Flying from Chicago or Miami? It’s only 42,500 Iberia Avios each way. And from Los Angeles, it’s 51,000. Round-trip, nonstop flights in Business Class for 68k, 85k, or 102k points is a real steal!
Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfer to Iberia Plus at an even 1:1 ratio. To find availability, it’s easier to search using American’s search tool to find bookable Iberia flights and then double check specific dates on Iberia’s website.
- Transfer partner: Iberia Plus
- Points required for Business Class: 68,000 – 102,000 round-trip
- Operating airline: Iberia
2. Use 77,500 Chase Ultimate Rewards Round-Trip to Hawaii in Business Class
Sure, there are cheaper ways to get to Hawaii using points and miles. You can fly United flights to Hawaii for as little as 34k points one-way or 69k points round-trip in Business Class if you redeem Singapore KrisFlyer miles. But you’ll be hard-pressed to find availability at the Saver level for United flights.
A much more practical redemption is to use British Airways Avios to redeem for nonstop flights on American Airlines. When traveling from West Coast hubs in Los Angeles, Phoenix, and San Francisco, nonstop American Airlines flights to Hawaii can be redeemed for 38,750 British Airways Avios each way in Business Class. These same flights will sometimes cost fewer miles using American’s own AAdvantage miles, but if you don’t have miles with American, you can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards to British Airways Executive Club at a 1:1 ratio to book the exact same flights.
- Transfer partner: British Airways Executive Club
- Points required for Business Class: 77,500 round-trip
- Operating airline: American Airlines
3. Use 53,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards One-Way to Europe or North Africa in Business Class
Even though Air France/KLM devalued its Flying Blue frequent program in recent years by converting to a variable award pricing model, it still has some incredible points rates for the lowest possible rewards. Flights between North America and Europe or North Africa can be found for as little as 53,000 miles one-way in Business Class. This provides some excellent value if you’re looking for nonstop flights to France or connections elsewhere in Europe and North Africa.
Be prepared to pay slightly higher taxes/fees when booking with Air France/KLM miles than you would if you were to book with a US airline program, but the fees are still somewhat reasonable if you compare them to the fuel surcharges charged by British Airways or Lufthansa Group airlines when redeemed on certain partners. Points transfer from Chase to Flying Blue at a 1:1 ratio.
- Transfer partner: Air France/KLM FlyingBlue
- Points required for Business Class: As low as 53,000 one-way
- Operating airline: Air France or KLM
4. Redeem 55,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards One-Way to Japan in First Class
Here’s possibly the best deal in all of points and miles. If you’ve ever dreamed of flying First Class, you can do so with All Nippon Airways on nonstop flights from the West Coast to Japan for only 55,000 points one-way when redeemed through partner Virgin Atlantic Flying Club. Flying from Central or Eastern US? It’s only slightly more at 60,000 points one-way.
What makes this deal especially great is the fact that ANA’s own frequent flyer program doesn’t even let you book one-way flights. So, if you have Chase Ultimate Rewards and only want to fly First Class one-way to get the experience, transferring your points to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club at a 1:1 ratio is an amazing way to accomplish this goal. You’ll need to search for availability using United’s search tool, note down flight numbers, and call Virgin’s hotline to book.
Keep in mind that seats often get snatched up well in advance and you’ll almost always only find one seat per flight available in First Class. Consider taking separate routes or flying one passenger in First and one in Business if you’re traveling with a partner. And book these seats early! Virgin has access to ANA flights around 330 days in advance.
- Transfer partner: Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
- Points required for First Class: 55,000 – 60,000 one-way
- Operating airline: All Nippon Airways
5. Use 57,500 Chase Ultimate Rewards One-Way to Argentina, Brazil, or Chile in Business Class
Flying to the deep south of South America is the best way to enjoy a Business Class experience between North America and Latin America. When flying to Mexico or Central America, nearly all Business Class cabins are basic recliner chairs that you’ll find on most U.S. domestic routes. The longer flights to Argentina, Brazil, or Chile generally have lie-flat seats and you can book United flights for just 57,500 points one-way when redeeming Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles.
The same flights can also be booked through United Mileage Plus for 60,000 miles one-way and you may prefer to go that route due to a quicker transfer time. Nonetheless, this is a sweet spot on the Singapore Airlines award chart and if you have Chase Ultimate Rewards they transfer at a 1:1 ratio to both programs. When searching on Singapore Airlines website, you’ll need to use the Star Alliance tab after searching to see award availability on partner airlines. It may not display all options so be prepared to call in order to book flights.
- Transfer partner: Singapore Airlines Kris Flyer
- Points required for Business Class: 57,500 one-way
- Operating airline: United
6. Redeem 90,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Round-Trip to Greece or Italy in Business Class
Another great way to hop over to Europe is to redeem Emirates Skywards miles for flights on its fifth freedom routes; Newark to Athens or New York-JFK to Milan. At the saver level, Business Class seats can be redeemed for only 90,000 points round-trip. A round-trip booking is required to get this rate so you’ll need to commit to flying Emirates both ways and also find the saver award space available.
Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer to Emirates at an even 1:1 ratio and transfer times are generally fairly quick as long as the names match exactly between your Chase account and Emirates account. It’s also possible to put flights on hold before you transfer by calling Emirates ahead of time. Emirates will typically hold seats for 72 hours so it’s always a good idea to do this before you initiate a transfer since, once points are transferred, they can’t be transferred back to Chase.
- Transfer partner: Emirates Skywards
- Points required for Business Class: 90,000 round-trip
- Operating airline: Emirates
Which Chase credit cards earn Ultimate Rewards
Depending on your goals, you could apply for one or a few of these credit cards and the example above are all possible with earning Chase Ultimate Rewards. These are my top favorite cards, and their current offers:
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card – earn 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards after spending $4,000 purchases in the first 3 months of account opening
Chase Sapphire Reserve Card – earn 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards after spending $4,000 purchases in the first 3 months of account opening
Chase Ink Business Preferred Card – earn 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards after spending $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening
Chase Ink Cash Card– Earn $750 bonus or 75,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards after you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening
Chase Ink Business Unlimited Card – Earn $750 bonus or 75,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards after you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening
Chase Freedom Unlimited Card – Earn $200 bonus (or 20,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards) bonus after spending $500. To transfer to travel to partners, you would need a premium card such as Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve Card, or Chase Ink Business Preferred Card
Chase Freedom Flex Card -Earn $200 bonus (or 20,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards) bonus after spending $500. To transfer to travel to partners, you would need a premium card such as Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve Card, or Chase Ink Business Preferred Card
(Note: these offers are subject to change)
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. There are so many different ways to skin a cat. Having all of these points that you’ve earned from these credit cards could open up a world of possibilities. I’m a believer that you have to find the ones that work for you, the bookings that work for your needs. If you need assistance in sorting through all the difficulties with booking trips, Chatflights is a great option for you. Remember chatting with Chatflights is free, and if you like what they’ve done, they will tell you the next steps in booking your trip for you. Make sure to mention that Jason from Daddy Travels referred you to Chatflights.