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10 Great Ways to Use a Big Chase Ultimate Rewards Bonus

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In the world of travel and points and miles, nothing beats having Chase Ultimate Rewards points – the points you earn from cards like the *csp*, the *csr*, or even business cards like the *ink preferred*.

Sure, a stash of Delta SkyMiles or American AAdvantage miles can be great. But with Chase, you have far more flexibility and value. You can book almost any flight or hotel directly through the Chase travel portal … or better yet, send points straight to more than a dozen different airline and hotel Chase transfer partners.

With the ability to currently earn a welcome offer bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first three months from cards like the Sapphire Preferred or Reserve – or even 100,000 points after spending $8,000 in the first three months on the Ink Preferred – we've rounded up some of our favorite ways to use a big stash of those points.
 

 

Book Flights for Free Using Points

The starting point and easiest way for many travelers to redeem any frequent flyer points is booking the cheap domestic or international flight deals you find through Google Flights – or with a Thrifty Traveler Premium subscription. And one of the best ways to book them is with Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

That’s because your Chase points get a bonus when you've got the Chase Sapphire or Ink Preferred (or even farther with the Reserve card) and book through the Chase travel portal. Every point you've got from a Sapphire or Ink Preferred Card is worth 1.25 cents toward travel. With the Sapphire Reserve, that jumps to 1.5 cents apiece. 

That means a stash of 60,000 Chase points is worth at least $750 in airfare, hotels, or other travel expenses. And there's a silver lining: You'll still earn miles when you fly booking this way, unlike a traditional airline award ticket. Plus, there are no extra fees or taxes. You can take a cheap flight and make it free.

As an example, here’s a recent deal on flights down to Peru we sent to our Thrifty Traveler Premium subscribers: You can get from Miami (MIA) to Lima (LIM) into early next year for just $221.

 

mia to lima premium deal

 

Booking this flight with points from your Chase Sapphire or Ink Preferred, it’d be under 18,000 points for this same round-trip fareBooking flights directly through the Chase travel portal is generally simple and straightforward, and you can almost always pull up flights here at the same price you find through Google Flights.

 

chase preferred redemption  

 

Fly Delta One Biz Class to Europe

The Delta One Suite is one of the best business class seats in the skies. Every suite has its own door, lie-flat beds, chef-catered meals, and more. And though it normally costs $5,000 or more to fly in this much style, you can do it with a stash of Chase Ultimate Rewards points. 

 

delta one suite

 

Read our Delta One Suites review and whether they live up to the hype!

Delta itself often charges 300,000 SkyMiles or more to book one of these seats. Don't do that.

Instead, you'd transfer your Chase points to Virgin Atlantic, a close partner airline of Delta's. And when you do that, it's just 50,000 points for a one-way trip to Europe. Regular 30% transfer bonuses to Virgin Atlantic can drive down the price of scoring these seats to just 39,000 Chase points. That means a stash of 60,000 Chase points is almost enough for a roundtrip to Europe in Delta business class!

It's one of our favorite workarounds to book Delta One and a go-to way to book any Delta flight for fewer miles. Unfortunately, Virgin Atlantic eliminated the ability to book these cheap Delta One Suites to other destinations in Australia and Asia. And lately lately, it's gotten much harder to snag your own suite across the pond using Chase points as Delta is stingy with how many seats it will release to Virgin Atlantic. Look for flights operated by the Airbus A350 or Airbus A330-900neo to get a Delta One Suite.

Once you find the award availability through Virgin, you'll need to transfer just 50,000 Chase points (or less) to Virgin Atlantic to book business class on flights like Detroit (DTW) or Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) to Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG) or Amsterdam (AMS).

 

dtw - ams delta one via virgin

 

The problem is finding the award availability to actually book these Delta One seats via Virgin. After opening the floodgates last summer and fall, finding these seats for 50,000 Virgin points has become nearly impossible. That changed earlier this month, when we spotted a raft of Delta business class award space from New York to Brussels (BRU), Frankfurt (FRA), and even Zurich (ZRH) for early next year bookable through Virgin Atlantic.

 

Thrifty Traveler premium alert for Delta One booking through Virgin Atlantic

 

Until the next round of award space crops up, read our guide to using Virgin Atlantic miles to book Delta so you'll know exactly what to do.

Thrifty Tip: Virgin Atlantic charges a modest $50 fee to cancel any award ticket and get your miles back – and in many cases, you can even get that redeposit fee waived. That means you could book a flight now and cancel down the line if need be.

 

4 (or More!) Roundtrip Tickets to Hawaii

You can book two, four, or more round-trip tickets to Hawaii with a big Chase bonus. So much for Hawaii being an expensive place to get to, right?

This is an example where Chase transfer partners really shine, as you have several options to book round-trip flights to the Hawaiian islands for about 25,000 points each – or much less.

If you time it right, you can get to Hawaii for under 12,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards points, as with this round-trip flight from Oakland (OAK) to Maui (OGG). And because Chase points transfer to Southwest on a 1:1 basis, 12,000 Chase points is all you need.

 

southwest redemption to hawaii

 

There are some other great ways to get to Hawaii using points. Another option is transferring your points to British Airways, which you can use to book flights to Hawaii on American Airlines or Alaska Airlines. And while American and Alaska often charge 45,000 miles for a round-trip from the West Coast, you can book the exact same flights for just 26,000 British Airways Avios. 

The trick here is that you have to fly from West Coast cities like Los Angeles (LAX), San Francisco (SFO), Seattle (SEA), San Diego (SAN), or Phoenix (PHX). You can fly from those cities to all four major Hawaiian airports at this low price. Chase points also transfer to British Airways on a 1:1 basis, so you'll be set.

 

lax - ogg award via british airways

 

A Roundtrip for 2 to Europe – Or 1 in Business Class

“European vacation” and “cheap” generally don't go well together. But you could use some Chase points and make it a reality – and even fly in style.

Again, you'll want to transfer your Chase points. This time, you're going to send them to Iberia – the Spanish airline offering some of the lowest rates to get to Europe and back. Chase points transfer to Iberia on a 1:1 basis. That means 34,000 points gets you 34,000 Iberia Avios. Got at least 68,000 points with Chase? That's 68,000 Avios – or maybe even more if you time it right with a transfer bonus to Iberia.

 

iberia plane flying through the air

 

And those numbers aren't random. Using Iberia, you can fly from Boston (BOS), New York City-JFK (JFK), Washington, D.C.-Dulles (IAD), or Chicago-O'Hare to Madrid (Madrid) for as low as 34,000 miles round-trip. At that dirt-cheap rate, a stash of 60,000 points can almost cover two roundtrip flights to Europe!

Traveling solo – or feeling selfish? Why not use those points to fly business class to Spain instead? You can do it for just 68,000 miles round-trip! That's less than most airlines charge for a one-way business class ticket. Study up on how to book Iberia business class seats for cheap.

With Iberia business class, you're in for a treat. The seats are plenty spacious and recline all the way into a comfortable bed and the food is tasty. It may not be the best business class in the world, but you cannot beat this price.

 

iberia business class

 

Considering these business class tickets cost $4,000 or more a ticket when paying cash, it's a phenomenal way to use those Chase points.

 

Book a Bunch of Domestic Flights

Not looking to travel far? One of the best ways to book a short domestic flight in the United States is by using airline miles from Europe. We're not joking.

British Airways is a Chase transfer partner and a Oneworld alliance member, which means you can book flights on partner American Airlines using your Avios. And British Airways is one of the few airlines to use a distance-based award chart, meaning flights of 1,150 miles or less will cost just 9,000 Avios. 

With a range of 1,150 miles, you could fly from Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) to Chicago-O’Hare (ORD), New York City-JFK (JFK), or Washington, D.C. (DCA). Other options include Chicago to Denver (DEN), New York City to Miami (MIA), and more.

Thrifty Tip: Put in your flight plans at GCmap.com to see if your travel plan makes the cut under 1,150 miles. 

British Airways’ site can be spotty, so your best bet to find award availability is to look at American Airlines’ website and look for cheaper rates. Then input your flight details at BritishAirways.com or call up the airline to make the booking. Chase points transfer to British Airways instantaneously at a 1:1 ratio.

Read our full guide to booking American Airlines flights with British Airways!

 

Stay Free with Hyatt

With other credit card points, transferring to hotel chains is often a losing proposition. With Chase Ultimate Rewards, it might be the single-best option on this list – and it's all thanks to Hyatt.

Hyatt is one of our favorite Chase transfer partners, thanks to the insanely low rates at which you can book even some four- and five-star Hyatt properties. Here are a few quick examples of how you can squeeze a ton of value out of your Chase points by transferring them to Hyatt.

We'll start with the best of the best: Hyatt is one of the few hotel chains that operate all-inclusive resorts that can be booked with points. These Hyatt All-Inclusive properties scattered throughout Mexico and the Caribbean are amazing. Recently, Hyatt has added another 100-plus all-inclusive resorts to its portfolio after folding in several new chains with names like Secrets, Dreams, and more.

But the best part is that you can book them for as low as just 20,000 to 25,000 points per night. Even after some hefty rate increases at many popular resorts, it's still an amazing deal.

 

hyatt ziva puerto vallarta
Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta

 

At that rate, you could spend two to three nights eating, drinking, and sleeping for free on a beach by transferring 60,000 Chase points to Hyatt. It's cheaper than staying at home!

Want to stay at a Park Hyatt, the hotel chain's absolute top-of-the-line brand? Look for incredible value when you're traveling abroad: The Park Hyatt Siem Reap in Cambodia can be booked for just 15,000 points a night, while the Park Hyatt Saigon in Vietnam clocks in at 20,000 points a night. Same goes for the Park Hyatt Auckland and Park Hyatt Melbourne

Fancy a trip to Bali? Get your own villa with a private pool at the Alila Villas Uluwatu – one of the nicest properties on the island – for 30,000 points per night … and sometimes even less! My wife and I spent three nights here in September and loved its unparalleled beauty, warm service, and great food.

 

alila villas uluwatu

 

Related reading: Pure Beauty (& a Private Pool) in Bali: Alila Villas Uluwatu Review
 

Fly Emirates First Class to Europe

It's time to knock this one off your bucket list.

Emirates first class is incomparable, from the suites to the food and champagne to the showers onboard – at least if you're flying the Airbus A380. And while a trip through the Middle East will run you much more, there's a fun way to put some Chase points to use to make it happen for even less.

 

emirates first class upgrade

 

Read our full review of Emirates first class … and our tips for the best way to to book Emirates first class!

Emirates operates two flights from the U.S. straight to Europe: Newark (EWR) to Athens (ATH) and New York City (JFK) to Milan (MXP). And you can book first class in either route with just 102,000 Chase points each way by transferring them directly to Emirates.

After spending the $4,000 required to earn the 60,000-point bonus on the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you should have at least 64,000 points at your disposal. That puts you about 40,000 points away from making this bucket list flight a reality. Meanwhile, with the the 100,000-mile bonus on the *ink preferred*, you'll have enough points to pull this off in one fell swoop after factoring in the 8,000 points you'll earn from spending to get that bonus. 

Emirates has made some negative changes to its Skywards mileage program lately, increasing some award rates and jacking up cash fees on many routes. But even after an increase, this one is still a stellar deal. Just beware that Emirates is set to stop flying its signature Airbus A380s – complete with an onboard bar and showers – starting in late October.

 

emirates first class

 

Unfortunately, Emirates is no longer flying its flagship Airbus A380s on these U.S.-to-Europe routes – you know, the ones equipped with an onboard bar and showers for first class. Fingers crossed those amazing, double-decker aircrafts return to these routes in 2024.

Alternatively, you could book roundtrip flights in Emirates economy for 45,000 miles or do it in Emirates business class for 104,000 miles total!

Read our in-depth guide on how to book these Emirates flights to Europe!

 

Roundtrip to Singapore – or One-Way in Business Class

Maybe it's the hawker centers with Michelin star food for a few bucks. Maybe it's the twinkling light shows each night in the Garden by the Bay. Maybe it's a byproduct of the hit film Crazy, Rich Asians.

Chase points can get you on the long flight to Singapore on one of the world's best airlines.

You could transfer these points to Singapore Airlines and book a roundtrip in economy for just 84,000 miles from West Coast cities like Los Angeles (LAX), San Francisco (SFO), or Seattle (SEA). The 15-hour flight won't be so bad with Singapore's spacious seats and stellar service.

 

singapore economy award screenshot

 

But we won't blame you if you want to splurge for some extra space for some of the longest flights in the world. So you could also put these points for a one-way business class ticket. And on Singapore Airlines, that's hard to beat.

 

finding award space singapore

 

Read our full review of Singapore Airlines business class!

Singapore has some of the biggest and best business class seats you'll find in the skies. But it's the service and dining where Singapore business class truly shines.

You can book a one-way ticket starting at 107,000 miles. Even a business class flight on the world's longest flight – the nearly 19-hour journey from New York City (JFK) to Singapore – clocks in at 111,500 miles and less than $6 in taxes and fees. Spending 19 hours in business class for a bucket-list trip to Singapore? Yes, please.

But there's an even better way. After pairing up with Air Canada, you can now book these exact same Singapore business class flights for just 87,500 Aeroplan points each way. And since Aeroplan is another Chase transfer partner, your stash of Chase points will have you set.

 

jfk to singapore redemption

 

Tokyo & Back in Business Class

It's one of the best redemptions in the world of points and miles: A roundtrip flight from the U.S. to Tokyo in business class with All Nippon Airways – especially if you can snag a flight on one of ANA's The Room business class – easily one of the best in the world.

Using Virgin Atlantic miles (another Chase transfer partner), it’s priced more like an economy seat. You can fly from the western U.S. to Tokyo and back for just 90,000 Virgin Atlantic miles, or 95,000 miles from Chicago-O’Hare (ORD) or East Coast cities. Most airlines charge something like that for a one-way in business class! Virgin Atlantic now lets you book one-ways to or from Japan separately if you want, starting at 45,000 miles apiece.

Japan is back open. This is the best way to get there with Chase points, period.

 

ana business class seat

 

Read our full review of ANA business class from Chicago to Tokyo!

Booking ANA First Class via Virgin Atlantic used to be an even brighter spot … until they raised award rates for this redemption. But ANA business class is nothing to scoff at.

At 90,000 miles or more for a roundtrip, the 60,000-point bonus on the Preferred Card is nearly enough to get you to Tokyo in business class and back. If you time it right with one of the frequent 30% bonuses from Chase to Virgin, you'll have nearly enough points.

Pulling off this redemption through Virgin Atlantic requires some extra legwork, as finding the award availability to actually book these seats can be extremely difficult. But if you can make it work, it's one of the best deals on this list.

 

Fly Lufthansa First Class

If you're looking to splurge for a true bucket list experience, you can't beat flying Lufthansa first class to Europe.

This is truly one of the best ways to fly. While Lufthansa first class disappeared throughout much of the pandemic, it's made a triumphant return to the U.S. as the German flag carrier has redeployed its Boeing 747 fleet to cities like Chicago-O'Hare (ORD), Miami (MIA), Los Angeles (LAX), and Newark (EWR). First Class on the Airbus A380 or A340-600 is another option, including some flights into Munich (MUC) instead of Frankfurt.

But honestly, nothing beats sitting in the nose of a 747, sipping on champagne and noshing on a five-plus course meal (including caviar) on your way across the Atlantic Ocean.

 

lufthansa first class seat

 

But the Lufthansa first class experience goes far beyond the plane. Whether you're connecting onward elsewhere in Europe or just flying back to the states from Frankfurt (FRA), you'll get access to the incomparable Lufthansa First Class Terminal. And it's so much more than just lounge.

You can skip security at the airport altogether and get scanned in at the lounge itself. There are private sleeping rooms, amazing shower suites, top-notch meals on offer, and even a cigar lounge at the First Class Terminal. You'll be assigned your own attendant to alert you when it's time to catch your flight – then hop in a Porsche for a private ride on the tarmac straight to your plane.

 

lufthansa first class terminal

 

But how to book? Your best bet is, yet again, using Air Canada Aeroplan miles. With Aeroplan, you can book a one-way flight in Lufthansa First class for just 90,000 to 100,000 points each way or more, if you're starting from the West Coast. You can even connect through Frankfurt and continue on elsewhere in Europe for the same rate.

 

lufthansa first class redemption

 

Just beware that booking these awards requires a lot of flexibility. You can only book Lufthansa first class within 14 days of departure using partner airline programs like Aeroplan – and oftentimes, you can only find award availability within just three or four days before the flight departs.

 

How to Earn Chase Points

These redemptions don’t mean a thing if you don’t have any Chase Ultimate Rewards points to your name. Luckily, it’s easy to pile up Chase points, with plenty of cards to pick from.

The *csp* is easily the best place to start. While a record-setting, 100,000-point welcome bonus is long gone and probably won't ever come back, you can still earn 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 in the first three months.

You’ll also earn 3x points for every $1 spent on dining, including eligible delivery services. You’ll earn 3x points per dollar spent on online grocery purchases, and 3x points per dollar spent on select streaming services, and 2x points per dollar spent on travel purchases.

With just a $95 annual fee, it’s more than reasonable. And considering you’ll get at least $750 toward travel when booking through the Chase travel portal (or much more by using some of the redemptions above), that’s a ton of value for a cheap travel credit card.

Read our full review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred!

 

*csp*

 

Learn more about the *csp*
 

For the more seasoned traveler looking for premium perks, the *csr* is hard to beat. That’s because it comes with an outstanding set of benefits like an easy-to-use $300 annual travel credit, a free Priority Pass lounge membership, $100 toward Global Entry or TSA PreCheck enrollment, and much more. Those perks can easily outweigh the $550 annual fee.

You’ll earn 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 in the first three months.

If you hold the Sapphire Reserve, every point gets you 1.5 cents when booking directly through Chase. You’ll also get 3x points on every travel and dining purchase.

 

*csr*

 

Learn more about the *csr*
 

Unfortunately, you can’t stack both bonuses. Chase restricts cardholders to just one card at a time, and you can’t earn the bonuses within 48 months of each other. These (and most Chase cards) also fall under the dreaded Chase 5/24 rule, which means you won’t get approved if you’ve opened five or more credit cards from any bank within the last 24 months.

That said, there's another card that is a perfect complement to the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. Actually, there are two.

Enter the Chase Freedom Flex and *chase freedom unlimited* cards. These two Chase credit cards have no annual fee and typically earn cashback. But pair one with a Chase Sapphire card, and it forms a powerful tandem that can help you earn even more Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

Read more on why you should pair a Preferred Card with a Chase Freedom Card!

 

Earning Chase Ultimate Rewards with Business Cards

You can also rack up a ton of Chase Ultimate Rewards points with the suite of Chase's Ink Business cards. Swear you're not eligible for a business card? Think again – even travelers with a side hustle can likely get approved.

For small business owners looking to add to their stash of Chase Ultimate Rewards points, there's perhaps no better option than the *ink preferred*.

Beyond the ability to earn 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending only $8,000 in the first three months of card membership, the Ink Preferred offers a solid ongoing return on spending and strong travel benefits. Best of all, the card has a low annual fee of just $95 – making it worth a spot in your wallet for the long run.

 

*ink preferred*

 

Learn more about the *ink preferred*
 

Then there are the no annual fee Chase business cards – both the *ink unlimited*, and the *ink cash*. While both of these cards earn cash back, you'll be able to turn those into Ultimate Rewards points as long as you pair either card with a Chase Sapphire or Ink Preferred card.

No matter which version you choose, the sign up bonus offer will be the same. You'll bonus_miles_full. And that cash back can become 90,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

Make sure to check out our guide comparing the Ink Cash vs Ink Unlimited to help you decide which version is best for you.

 

Bottom Line

This is just the start of what could be an endless list of ways to use a big bonus of Chase points for travel – or other expenses. This list is truly just the tip of the iceberg.

And that's why we love Chase points so much – and why we always encourage travelers to start with Chase credit cards before moving on to other banks.

 

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

3 Responses

  • Appreciate the way all of you at TT explain how to use these cards to our best advantage. Now that I am a ‘premium member’, I think I finally can start t make the most use of my travel card.
    Quick question: Do stores in Europe take the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card? They sure don’t like American Express.

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