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How to Book Flights and Travel With Chase Ultimate Rewards

10 minute read 25 June 2024
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Written by: Jordan Rozum

You can use your hard-earned Chase Ultimate Rewards points for many things, though the most popular is to redeem them for travel. Here are the best and smartest ways to do it.

Transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards points for travel

Booking travel with your points can be done in two different ways. The first is to transfer your points to one of Chase’s travel partners; the other is to use the Chase travel portal. The value you get from your points is going to depend on how you redeem them.

Generally speaking, you’ll get the best value from your points by transferring them to Chase’s airline and hotel partners. All points can be transferred at a 1:1 ratio, meaning one Chase point becomes one hotel or airline point. Chase also offers transfer rewards that give you bonus points when you transfer.

Chase has 14 different hotel and airline partners, including:

  • Aer Lingus AerClub
  • Air Canada Aeroplan
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Flying Blue Air France/KLM
  • Iberia Plus
  • JetBlue TrueBlue
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
  • United MileagePlus
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
  • IHG® Rewards Club
  • Marriott Bonvoy
  • World of Hyatt

When transferring your points, you can expect to get a minimum of 2 cents’ value per point, though it can range higher, especially with business- and first-class flights.

Using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal to book travel with points

You can also use the Chase travel portal to book your travel, though it may work better if you’re looking at long-distance low-cost flights. When used within the Chase travel portal, the value of your points will range from 1 cent to 1.5 cents each, depending on which Chase credit card you hold.

  • Chase Sapphire Reserve: 1.5 cents each
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred card: 1.25 cents each
  • Chase Ink Business Preferred credit card: 1 cent each
  • Chase Ink Business Unlimited credit card: 1 cent each

The cheaper your flight in cash, the fewer points you’ll be using. This is in direct opposition to transferring your points out — airline award seats are at a fixed rate, no matter how much they’d charge you in cash for the ticket.

Booking domestic flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards points

Wondering how to book flights with Chase points using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal? It’s simple. Just head to the Chase travel portal and sign in to your Chase account, and from there, you can enter your search parameters.

Booking international flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards points

Booking international flights via the Chase travel portal is the same process as booking domestic flights.

However, the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal is treated as a third-party agency, so you’ll want to be wary when booking flights. If you need to change or cancel your travel plans, you’ll have to speak directly with Chase, not the airline. That can be a huge headache, so it’s something to keep in mind before relying on the Chase travel portal to book flights.

Booking hotels with Chase Ultimate Rewards points

It’s also possible to book hotels with your Chase Ultimate Rewards points via the Chase travel portal. Like with flights, you’ll need to navigate to the Chase travel portal’s website. From there, you simply input where you’d like to stay and when.

You’ll want to avoid redeeming your points for hotel bookings through the Chase travel portal as much as possible. This is because hotels booked through the Chase travel portal won’t be eligible for elite-status benefits or credit. Instead, you should transfer points directly from your Chase Ultimate Rewards account to your hotel program of choice, then redeem your points for an award stay.

The only exceptions to this are if you’re not staying at a chain hotel or if you’re looking to book with hotels participating in The Edit program. The Edit offers premium benefits, such as free breakfast, room upgrades, late check-out, and more.

Booking car rentals with Chase Ultimate Rewards points

Booking rental cars can also be done through the Chase travel portal. As with hotels, though, you won’t receive any elite benefits or credit towards elite status when booking a rental car through the Chase portal.

However, Chase credit cards offer some of the best rental ncar insurance around. Booking directly with the rental car agency and using your card to pay will qualify you for the rental car insurance, as will redeeming your points within the portal.

Booking other travel and activities with Chase Ultimate Rewards points

The Chase travel portal can also be used to book cruises, tours, and other activities. Using your points for activities is probably the best way to redeem points within the portal, because you’ll be able to use points for things you’d normally pay for with cash. Excitingly, this even includes theme park tickets.

Using airline alliances to maximize your Chase Ultimate Rewards points

You’ll note that Chase doesn’t partner with every airline out there, which may make you think that you won’t be able to redeem your points for non-partner airlines, such as Delta.

However, Chase’s airline partners include members of all three major airline alliances — Oneworld, SkyTeam, and Star Alliance — and members of these alliances have access to flights with other members.

In practice, this means you could transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Air France/KLM Flying Blue. As Air France/KLM and Delta are all in the SkyTeam alliance, you’d then be able to use your Flying Blue points to book Delta flights.

The best ways to redeem your Chase Ultimate Rewards points

You’ll get maximum value for your Chase points if you search award flights to see which partner will give you the most value and then transferring your points out to that travel partner and booking directly. Not all of them are created equally — you’ll want to avoid transferring to Marriott and IHG because they tend to charge quite a lot for stays using hotel points. World of Hyatt is one of the most valuable options overall.

Aside from hotels, most of Chase’s airline partners are excellent options as well. Transferring to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, for example, could allow you to fly ANA’s business class to Tokyo for just 45,000 points.

The worst ways to redeem your Chase Ultimate Rewards points

The worst way to redeem your Chase points is for cash back. You’ll only get 1 cent per point in value when doing so. Compare this to the 2-plus cents you’ll get from transferring points or the 1.5 cents you’ll get when redeeming via the Chase travel portal, and you’ll see it’s a terrible value.

Rely on point.me to maximize your points and save you time

It can be a pain to remember all of Chase’s airline partners, where they fly, and which alliances they belong to. But point.me can handle the headache for you. Our flight award search engine will look for award availability from multiple airlines at once, letting you know the best way to book — and guiding you through the process step-by-step.

Frequently asked questions about using Chase Travel to book flights

Can I use Chase points for flights?

Yes, you can use Chase Ultimate Rewards points to book flights.

How many points do I need to book a free flight with Chase points?

The number of Chase Ultimate Rewards points you’ll need to book a flight will depend on the method you’re using. If you’re booking within the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal, the number of points you’ll need depends on the cash cost of the flight. If you’re transferring points, the number you’ll need depends on that airline’s loyalty program.

Should I book my trip via the Chase travel portal or through the airline/hotel directly?

Generally speaking, you’ll get the best value from your points by transferring to an airline or hotel and booking directly.

Will I earn points if I book my Chase travel directly?

If you’re using Chase Ultimate Rewards points to book award travel, you won’t earn additional points on your bookings.

Can I cancel a trip booked with Chase rewards points?

The cancellation policies for airlines and hotels differ, so you’ll need to check those out on a case-by-case basis.

Can I transfer my Chase points to an airline or hotel loyalty program?

Yes, Chase has 14 different hotel and airline partners that allow you to transfer points.

How long does it take to transfer my Chase points to a travel partner? 

The time it takes to transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards to a partner depends on several different factors. Most transfers are instant, though some can take up to 48 hours.

Will I earn miles or points on bookings made with Chase Ultimate Rewards? 

If you’re booking flights through the Chase travel portal, you’ll earn points with the airline. Otherwise, no.

Does travel booked through the Chase travel portal help me earn status? 

Yes, flights booked through the Chase travel portal will earn you miles and credit towards elite status.

Which Chase credit cards earn Ultimate Rewards points? 

There are a few credit cards that earn Chase Ultimate Rewards, all of which earn bonus points or cash back with minimum spends within three months of account opening:

  • Chase Sapphire Reserve
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred card
  • Chase Ink Business Preferred
  • Chase Ink Business Unlimited

Note that to be able to transfer points earned with the Chase Ink Business Unlimited card to partners, you must also hold one of the above three cards.

Can I consolidate Chase Ultimate Rewards points from multiple Chase cards?

Yes, any Chase Ultimate Rewards you earn with one Chase credit card can be easily combined online.

Getting started on point.me

Rather than sifting through 10 different websites and 20 different airline programs to figure out award travel, point.me does the work for you. All you need is your dates, your airports, and who’s traveling and where, and our real-time search and booking engine handles the rest.

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