Chase rocked the world of travel Tuesday by unveiling the biggest bonus ever on the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card: 80,000 points after spending $4,000 within three months.
That’s up from the norm of 60,000 points. And that vaults the Chase Sapphire Preferred from being the best travel cards for beginners to being one of the best travel cards, period. And it’s not particularly close.
But what does 80,000 points really get you?
Few currencies in the world of points and miles are more valuable than Chase Ultimate Rewards. You can do a lot with 80,000 points, whether you book flights or hotels directly through Chase, transfer them to 13 different airline and hotel partners, or even use them to reimburse yourself for everyday purchases with the ‘Pay Yourself Back’ feature.
Here are some of the best ways to spend that big, 80,000-point bonus when you’re ready to travel again.
Book $1,000 Worth of Flights with Points
One of our favorite uses of any frequent flyer points is booking the domestic or international flight deals you see here or with your Thrifty Traveler Premium subscription. And the absolute best way to book them is with Chase Ultimate Rewards points.
That’s because your Chase points go farther when you’ve got the Chase Sapphire Preferred (or the Chase Sapphire Reserve). Every point you’ve got is worth 1.25 cents toward travel. That means the 80,000 bonus is worth $1,000 in airfare. And there’s a silver lining: You’ll still earn miles when you fly booking this way, unlike a traditional airline award ticket.
As an example, here’s a recent deal on flights to the U.S. Virgin Islands we sent out to Premium subscribers. You can get from Miami (MIA) to St. Thomas (STT) all through the winter 2021 for just $224.
Booking this flight with points from your Chase Sapphire Preferred, it’d be under 18,000 points for a round-trip fare. Booking flights directly through the Ultimate Rewards portal is generally simple and straightforward.
Read up on how Thrifty Traveler Premium works to see if you want to level up with huge savings on both domestic and international airfare.
Fly Delta One Suites to Europe, Asia, or Australia
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 this big Chase Sapphire Preferred bonus alone.
Read our review of a Delta One Suites and whether they live up to the hype!
Delta itself often charges 250,000 SkyMiles or more to book one of these seats. Don’t do that.
Instead, you’ll transfer your Chase points to Virgin Atlantic, a close partner airline of Delta’s. And when you do that, it’s just 50,000 to 60,000 miles each way to get in a Delta One suite, depending on whether you want to go to Europe or Asia. It’s one of our favorite workarounds to book Delta One and a go-to way to book any Delta flight for cheaper.
Delta has steadily put these suites on more and more planes, so it’s getting easier to book these flights for future travel once coronavirus subsides. If Europe is calling, you’ll need to transfer just 50,000 Chase points to Virgin Atlantic to enjoy the suite life on flights like Detroit (DTW) or Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) to Amsterdam (AMS).
There are far more options to get to Asia in Delta One suites. For example, you can now book nonstop flights from the U.S. to Seoul-Incheon (ICN) online with Virgin miles. Or head for Tokyo-Haneda (HND), Shanghai (PVG), or Beijing (PEK).
For these longer flights, you’d need 60,000 points bonus to book a one-way flight. Still, for a 12-plus hour flight, you’ll treasure that lie-flat bed in your own cozy cocoon of privacy.
Want to go even farther? Thanks to some rare award availability, you could book a Delta One Suite from Los Angeles (LAX) all the way to Sydney (SYD) and visit the land down under next year. That trip will cost you 75,000 points each way – once again transferring your Chase points over to Virgin Atlantic to book.
It’s not always easy to zero in on the days when you can actually book these Delta One suites through Virgin Atlantic. But read our guide to using Virgin Atlantic miles to book Delta, and you’ll know exactly what to do.
Thrifty Tip: Virgin Atlantic charges an insanely reasonable $50 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.
Use Points for Everyday Purchases
If you have a stash of Chase Ultimate Rewards points – or even if you decide to open a Chase Sapphire card as a new member – you can now use those points for purchases beyond travel.
Through Sept. 30, you can use points through the brand new Pay Yourself Back feature to cover purchases at grocery stores and deliver services, restaurants, and home improvement stores. But Chase has indicated this new feature is here to stay – with new categories on the way.
So how does it work? It’s a lot like the Capital One Purchase Eraser feature: Just charge an eligible purchase to your Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, and go back into your account and wipe it from your statement with points. Just as when you book flights or a hotel, each point is worth 1.25 cents.
First things first: All you need to do is make a purchase at a grocery store, restaurants, home improvement store, or even Target using your Chase Sapphire Preferred or Reserve card.
After making that purchase, you can simply log into Ultimate Rewards on desktop or through the Chase mobile app and select “Pay Yourself Back” from the drop-down menu. Once here, you will be able to select from recent eligible transactions up to 90 days prior and choose to redeem points for all or a portion of the purchase.
It’s a fantastic way to use Chase points to shore up your budget at a time when travel is largely on pause. Check out our YouTube video below for more information on how exactly this new benefit works.
3 (or More!) Roundtrip Tickets to Hawaii
You can book two round-trip tickets to Hawaii with this Chase bonus. So much for Hawaii being an expensive place to get to, right?
This is an example where Chase’s transfer partners really shine, as you have several options to book round-trip flights to the Hawaiian islands for 25,000 points each – or far 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, this 80,000-point sign-up bonus is enough for a family of six to go 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. And while American charges 45,000 AAdvantage miles for a round-trip from the West Coast, you can book the exact same flights for just 26,000 British Airways Avios. That means you’ll have enough for three round-trip tickets, with miles to spare.
The trick here is that you have to fly from the West Coast, specifically Los Angeles (LAX) and Phoenix (PHX). You can fly from both cities to all four major Hawaiian airports at this low price.
Chase points transfer to British Airways on a 1:1 basis, so you’ll be set.
Read more about how to book both of these awards in our post outlining the four best ways to book cheap flights to Hawaii. It’s a great way to put that 80,000-point Chase bonus to use.
A Round-Trip for Two to Europe – Or One in Business Class
“European vacation” and “cheap” generally don’t go well together. But you could use this big Chase bonus and make it a reality for two – or fly solo 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, so your 80,000 bonus = 80,000 Iberia Avios.
Using Iberia, you can fly from Boston (BOS), New York City-JFK (JFK), or Chicago-O’Hare to Madrid (Madrid) for as low as 34,000 miles round-trip. At that dirt-cheap rate, you’ll have more than enough to book flights for two.
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. And with this bonus alone, you’ll have enough points to make it happen. 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. The food is tasty, and the service is attentive.
And at a $7,000 or more a ticket when paying cash, it’s a phenomenal way to use those 80,000-plus points you’re going to earn.
Book Some Domestic Flights
Not looking to travel far, or accepting our new normal of less international travel? 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 ORD-Denver (DEN), JFK-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. 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.
But if you’re flying round-trip, there can be even more savings by using those miles through Iberia. It’s another one of our favorite ways to save on flights within the U.S.
With Iberia, short flights can go as low as 11,000 miles for a round-trip flight in economy. Flights under 600 miles total price at that amount, while journeys between 601 and 1,000 miles come in at just 12,000 Iberia Avios. Flights up to 2,000 miles cost just 17,000 Iberia Avios, which still gives you some solid savings.
No matter which route you take, there are some serious savings here.
United is another Chase transfer partner. And the U.S. airline has started selling domestic flights for as low as 5,000 miles each way. Once again, Chase points transfer to United on a 1:1 basis, and they transfer instantly. That means a 80,000 bonus could be enough for eight domestic round-trip flights – if you play it right.
Stay with Hyatt
It’s not just airfare. In fact, using your Chase points to book free nights at Hyatt hotels around the world may be the absolute best use of these points.
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: Hyatt is one of the few hotel chains that operate all-inclusive resorts that can be booked with points. These Hyatt Ziva and Zilara properties scattered throughout Mexico and the Caribbean are amazing. But the best part is that you can book them for just 20,000 to 25,000 points per night!
At that rate, you could spend up to three nights eating, drinking, and sleeping for free on a beach by transferring your Chase points to Hyatt. It’s cheaper than staying at home!
Hyatt has started adding smaller hotel chains to its portfolio, and it’s a great way to get a ton of bang for your buck. Check out the Thompson Chicago or Gild Hall in New York City – both properties typically sell for nearly $400 per night, but you can book them with just 15,000 Hyatt points!
Want to stay at a Park Hyatt, the hotel chain’s absolute top-of-the-line brand? Look for insane value when you’re traveling abroad: The Park Hyatt Saigon and Park Hyatt Siem Reap each can be booked for just 15,000 Hyatt points a night. Or why not splurge for a suite? You can now book suites online with Hyatt points – including this ridiculous three-bedroom suite called “The Royal Residence” at the Park Hyatt Zanzibar for 30,000 points per night.
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 through Jan. 4, 2021, you can get up to 25% of your Hyatt points back on award stays with an ongoing promotion. If you hold the World of Hyatt Credit Card, you’ll get a total of 25% of your points back on every award stay, while all other Hyatt members will get 15% of their points back. Most award stays will also get free parking.
Fly Emirates First Class
Remember those Emirates commercials with Jennifer Aniston, flying with a cozy suite, onboard bar, and even a shower? Chase points can make that happen.
Emirates is one of Chase’s newest transfer partners, which means every 1 Chase point you transfer over gets you 1 Emirates Skywards miles. And you can use those miles to book Emirates vaunted first class.
At 136,000 miles or more, flying first class on a tricked-out Airbus A380 from the U.S. to Dubai (DXB) will require some more points than you can quickly earn with a single Chase Sapphire Preferred bonus. But there’s a way to fly Emirates first class for less: Fly from the U.S. to Europe.
Emirates flies from New York City (JFK) to Milan (MXP) and also between Newark (EWR) and Athens (ATH). And you can book those first class flights for just 85,000 miles. Considering you’ll earn at least 84,000 after spending $4,000 within three months on your new Sapphire card to earn the big bonus, it’s not such a stretch to book.
Emirates typically doesn’t fly the massive A380 on these flights, which means you’d miss the onboard bar and shower. But you’ll still get the same lie-flat suite, amazing catering, and standout service that makes Emirates … well, Emirates.
How to Get Chase Points
Chase Ultimate Rewards points are viewed as some of the most valuable in the miles and points world in part because they’re so easy to collect.
And you should start off with the Chase Sapphire Preferred, which we already considered the best travel card in these times. With this new 80,000-point bonus after spending $4,000 in three months and an annual fee of $95 (which isn’t waived in the first year), it’s tough to beat. There are a handful of other perks, too. That includes 2x points on travel and restaurant purchases and no foreign transaction fees.
Between the extra value you get when booking through the Ultimate Rewards portal and the flexibility of transfer partners, it’s easy to see why we generally consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred a better option than the Capital One Venture card.
Be warned that you can’t stack welcome offers by opening both the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve. Chase requires you to wait a whopping 48 months after receiving one Sapphire card bonus to be eligible for the other.
And this card is subject to Chase’s 5/24 rule. So you’ll have to consider your recent credit card applications to figure out if you’re able to apply for the card.
Click Here to get more information about the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.
This is just the start of what could be an endless list of ways to use up your 80,000 point bonus from the Chase Sapphire Preferred. We could go on for pages and pages.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred card has long been one of the best cards out there. But with 80,000 points, it’s indisputably the best card available right now. And that’s because it makes your options for future travel nearly endless.