We love Chase Ultimate Rewards points not just because they’re so valuable, but for their flexibility, too. Sure, you can use Chase points to book flights for pennies on the dollar. But another area where they shine is that you can use Chase points to book hotels.
There is no shortage of ways to use Chase Ultimate Rewards points to cover your lodging expenses for your next trip, whether that’s next month or next year. You can transfer points to popular hotel chains, book directly with Chase using your points, and there’s even a sneaky way to redeem Chase points for Airbnb stays.
So let’s dive into all of the different ways you can use Chase Ultime Rewards points to cover the cost of lodging.
Earning Chase Ultimate Rewards Points
First things first: Before you can use Chase points to book hotels and other lodging, you need some Chase Ultimate Rewards points.
And the easiest way to quickly earn a stash of Chase Ultimate Rewards points is from a handful of different Chase credit cards. Whether you’re looking for a personal or business credit card, there are plenty of options.
First and foremost, there is the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. In our opinion, it’s the best card out there for beginners and one of the best all-around travel credit cards, period. You’ll earn 2x points per dollar spent on dining and travel, 5x points spent on Lyft rides through March of 2022, and 1x point per dollar spent on everything else.
Make sure to read our full review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.
Welcome Bonus: 60,000 Chase Points after spending $4,000 in the first three months of card membership.
Annual Fee: $95
Next, there’s the bigger sibling of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, and it’s called the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
The card launched back in 2016 and provides tons of travel-focused benefits like lounge access, an annual $300 credit for travel expenses, travel insurance, and much more. But those benefits come at a cost: The annual fee on the card clocks in at $550.
Make sure to read our full review of the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card.
Welcome Bonus: 50,000 Chase Points after spending $4,000 in the first three months of card membership.
Annual Fee: $550
Then there are the no-annual-fee Chase Freedom Unlimited and Chase Freedom Flex cards. While Chase markets these as no annual fee cashback cards, they get infinitely more valuable if you hold pair them with a Chase Sapphire card. That’s because you can transfer your cashback into Chase Ultimate Rewards – each cent gets you 1 point. And since both cards earn bonuses in a number of categories not covered by the Sapphire cards, it makes them a powerful tandem.
Just what you get with each Freedom Card varies, so make sure to read our post comparing them to help make the decision on which is right for you.
Welcome Bonus: Both cards offer $200 cashback (or 20,000 Chase points) after spending $500 in the first three months of card membership.
Annual Fee: $0
Chase also offers a suite of small business credit cards that earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points. If you’re a small business owner, they’re an easy way to bolster your Chase balance.
To start, there’s the Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card. You’ll earn 3x points per dollar spent on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories like social media advertising each year.
Welcome Bonus: 100,000 Chase points after spending $15,000 in the first three months of card membership.
Annual Fee: $95
Finally, there is the Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card and the Chase Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card. And these cards function similarly to the Freedom Cards – they technically earn cashback, but if you hold them with a card that earns Chase points, you can convert it into points.
Both cards have no annual fee and can be another great boost to your Chase balance.
Welcome Bonus: Both cards offer $500 cashback (or 50,000 Chase points) after spending $3,000 in the first three months of card membership.
Annual Fee: $0
Use Chase Points to Stay at Hyatt
We saved the best for first.
One of the absolute best ways to redeem Chase points, period, is using them to book Hyatt hotel stays. The World of Hyatt program has some of the best rates to book nightly stays using points of any hotel program.
And thanks to partnerships with luxury and boutique brands, they have some amazing properties scattered all around the world that you can book using Hyatt points. Even top resorts on the Las Vegas Strip and private island escapes in Southeast Asia make the cut.
You can easily transfer your Chase points to Hyatt: Every Chase point gets you 1 Hyatt point, and these transfers are instantaneous. But be warned: These transfers are a one-way street. Like all transfer partners, once you send Chase points to Hyatt, you can’t get them back to your Chase account. So be sure you’ve got your Hyatt redemption lined up before transferring points.
Read our guide on how to transfer Chase points to partner programs here.
You’ll just need a World of Hyatt loyalty program account before you make the transfer. If you don’t have one, you can sign up for one here.
We think Hyatt is the best option for hotel transfers when it comes to Chase Ultimate Rewards points because of its insanely reasonable redemption rates. It starts at just 5,000 points per night for Hyatt Category 1 properties, as much as 30,000 for Category 7 hotels like top-tier Park Hyatt locations in New York or Tokyo. A handful of small luxury resorts around the world are considered Category 8, which cost 40,000 points per night.
Here’s a look at Hyatt’s full award chart below. Keep in mind that Hyatt plans to implement peak- and off-peak pricing sometime in 2021, so in the future your next stay could cost you more (or fewer) points than these standard rates.
|Hotel Category||Standard Room Points Per Night||Regency/Grand Club Points Per Night||Standard Suite Points Per Night||Premium Suite Points Per Night|
Hyatt has a ton of amazing values in its portfolio of properties that you can use points to book. This includes some of our favorites, the Hyatt Ziva and Zilara all-inclusive resorts that are scattered throughout Mexico and the Caribbean. If all-inclusive properties are your thing, these are some of the only resorts in the world that can be booked with points.
Additionally, thanks to Hyatt’s partnership with MGM hotels, you can use Hyatt points to book many of the properties located on the Las Vegas strip. Of course, the top-of-the-line Park Hyatt hotels scattered throughout the world are a favorite as well, starting as low as 12,000 points per night depending on the location. See our review of the Park Hyatt New York City here.
Hyatt also recently rolled out the ability to book suites online using points, which opens up some massive value. For example, you can book this massive three-bedroom suite called the “Royal Residence” at the Park Hyatt Zanzibar for just 30,000 points per night. This massive suite typically costs nearly $3,000 a night!
Use Chase Points to Book IHG Rewards Club Stays
Another hotel transfer partner option for Chase Ultimate Rewards is IHG Rewards Club – the brand behind Holiday Inn, InterContinental, and many others.
Like Hyatt, Chase Ultimate Rewards points will transfer to IHG Rewards Club points on a 1:1 basis. This means that one Chase point will equal 1 IHG point. Once again, these transfers are one-way only. You’ll just need an IHG Rewards Club loyalty program account before you make the transfer. And if you don’t have one, you can sign up for one here.
But just because you can transfer points to IHG Rewards Club doesn’t mean you should. Their award pricing rates are often inflated, and that means it will simply cost more points to book than it may to book a similar room with Hyatt.
Earlier this year, IHG rolled out a dynamic award pricing model. So unlike with Hyatt, there is no set cost for an award night stay: rates can swing wildly based on a number of factors like time of year, events happening close to the property, etc.
Often, that’s a bad thing when it comes time to use your points – but not always. Sometimes, that means properties you want to book will be much cheaper than normal. Case in point: The InterContinental Resort Tahiti can cost as much as 70,000 to 80,000 points each night. But you can easily find nights for 50,000 points a night as well.
And while that is a good rate, especially considering the cash rates can be around $400 to $500 a night, there are simply better ways to use Chase Ultimate Rewards points.
It is certainly worth checking the IHG program when you are looking to make an award booking. Personally, the only situation I would recommend transferring points from Chase Ultimate Rewards to IHG Rewards Club is if you are just a few thousand points short of booking an award stay and you need to top off your account.
Use Chase Points to Book Marriott Bonvoy Stays
The third and final hotel transfer partner offered through Chase Ultimate Rewards is Marriott Bonvoy.
Like all the others, Chase Ultimate Rewards points will transfer to Marriott Bonvoy on a 1:1 basis, so 1 Chase point equals 1 Marriott Bonvoy point. You’ll just need a Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program account before you make the transfer. And if you don’t have one, you can sign up for one here.
In our minds, this is much like IHG: While it’s possible to transfer points and book with Marriot, there are simply better ways to use your Chase points. Because of Marriott’s peak and off-Peak award pricing structure, award nights can get spendy very quickly.
Here’s Marriott’s official award chart:
|Hotel Category||Off Peak Points Rate||Standard Points Rate||Peak Points Rate|
Compared to Hyatt, which allows you to book a night in their top tier properties for 40,000 points a night, Marriott will charge 85,000. Your Chase points just simply will not go as far by using them to book Marriott properties.
In my opinion, the best way to utilize Chase points transfers to Marriott is to top off your account with a few thousand points if you are just short of making an award booking.
Use Chase Points to Book Hotels Through the Chase Travel Portal
The Chase Ultimat Rewards Travel Portal is one of our favorite ways to book flights. But what about hotels?
When you book flights through the portal, your Chase points will be worth more. If you hold the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or the Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card, your points will redeem at 1.25 cents each. That means 50,000 points will be worth $625 towards travel. If you hold the Chase Sapphire Reserve, your points will be worth 1.5 cents each, so 50,000 points will be worth $750 towards travel.
And the same redemption rates hold true if you’re booking a hotel through Chase. Depending on which Chase card you have, you can book a $200 hotel stay for as few as 13,333 Chase points. While not outstanding, it’s worth looking into and comparing it against some of the transfer partner options, especially when cash hotel rates are relatively cheap.
But there’s a big caveat to keep in mind. Since the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal is powered by Expedia, your bookings will be made via a 3rd party. And that means you won’t earn hotel points or hotel elite night credits on the vast majority of bookings. In most cases, any benefits you have from hotel status won’t be honored, either.
In my opinion, booking through the Chase travel portal is a great option if you want to use Chase points to book hotels that are not affiliated with a major hotel brand like Marriott, Hyatt, IHG, or Hilton. It allows you the ability to use points when you otherwise wouldn’t be able to.
Take for example one of my favorite hotels in the world – the Kempinski Hotel in Berchtesgaden, Germany. Because it is not a part of a major U.S. chain, you can’t use traditional hotel points to book it.
But with Chase Ultimate Rewards points, you can book it through the Chase travel portal for as low as roughly 20,000 points per night, depending on the nightly cash rate and which Chase card you have.
Use Chase Points to Book Airbnb
Airbnb doesn’t yet have their own loyalty program. And that means there are no points you can earn when you book a stay with Airbnb – and no way to redeem Airbnb points for a free night. But that doesn’t mean you can’t use Chase points to book an Airbnb stay.
There is a workaround to use your credit card points to pay for your next Airbnb booking. And it’s made possible by a new Chase Ultimate benefit called Pay Yourself Back. Chase rolled out this new feature available to both Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders in May of 2020.
The benefit allows you to use your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to pay yourself back for everyday purchases at restaurants, home improvement stores like Home Depot and Lowes, and even at grocery stores. Just as when you use your points to book travel through the Chase Travel Portal, you get a bonus when using your points to Pay Yourself Back. If you’ve got the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, each point will be worth 1.25 cents. With the Chase Sapphire Reserve, each point will be worth 1.5 cents.
But here is where it gets interesting. Since the new Pay Yourself Back benefit launched, purchases made in-store at some Target stores have worked for Pay Yourself Back redemptions. Anything you purchase at Target (Super Targets that sell groceries seem to be the best bet) can be erased with Chase Ultimate Rewards points. That includes Airbnb and many other store gift cards.
We need to start with a warning: This may not work for everyone. This is the epitome of a “Your Mileage May Vary” situation. Still, the potential is there. There are a handful of other grocery and home improvement stores that sell you Airbnb gift cards, too, so keep your eyes peeled.
Once your purchase of an Airbnb gift card posts to your Chase card account, just log in and use the Pay Yourself Back feature to erase it.
Watch our YouTube video on how Pay Yourself Back works.
Chase Ultimate Rewards points are some of the best points you can use to book your next hotel stay, period. They offer a ton of flexibility and options which is a big reason why we think they are so valuable.
Whether you want to use Chase points to book hotels with a chain like Hyatt or use the Chase travel portal to book a smaller boutique hotel, your options are limitless.