5 Great Ways to Spend Your 50K Chase Ultimate Rewards Bonus Points
Few frequent flyer currencies are more valuable than Chase Ultimate Rewards. That’s why we constantly talk about them: If you want to travel more for less, you need to be collecting Chase points.
The beauty of Chase points is their flexibility, as you can transfer your points to one of 13 travel partners or book directly through the Chase Ultimate Rewards hub. And with great cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Sapphire Preferred, they’re easy to collect.
Here are some of the best ways to spend the big, 50,000-point bonuses you can get with either card.
2 RT Tickets to Hawaii for 50k (or Less)
You can book two round-trip tickets to Hawaii with a single 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 two options to book round-trip flights to the Hawaiian islands for 25,000 points or less each.
In the first example, you’ll send your points to Singapore Air’s KrisFlyer program. Of course, Singapore doesn’t fly between the U.S. and Hawaii. But you can use KrisFlyer miles to book Alaska Airlines flights, for just 24,000 miles round-trip in economy.
Alaska flies to all four major Hawaiian islands from the West Coast. The catch here is that it has to be a nonstop flight, so you may need to book a separate connecting flight to an airport like Los Angeles (LAX), San Francisco (SFO), Seattle (SEA) and Portland (PDX). Chase points transfer to Singapore on a 1:1 basis, and generally take a few days.
Another option is transferring your points to Korean Air, which you can use to book Delta flights to the Hawaiian islands. While Delta often charges at least 45,000-60,000 SkyMiles – and often much more – you can snag the exact same flights for 25,000 in economy. Or if you want to fly first class, it’s just 45,000 round trip.
You’ll want to start by looking for award availability through Delta.com. And once you’ve found your flights, you may need to try a few different dates on Korean Air’s search engine to lock in the best pricing. Delta doesn’t pass on all of its award fares to Korean SkyPass members. Chase points also transfer to Korean at a 1:1 basis but can take up to a week to clear.
Read more about how to book both of these awards in our post outlining the three best ways to book cheap flights to Hawaii.
Book Domestic Flights
One of the best ways to book a short domestic flight in the United States is by using British Airways Avios. Yes, you read that right. British Airways is a Chase transfer partner and a Oneworld alliance member, which means you can book flights on partner American Airlines with your Avios. And British Airways is one of the few to use a distance-based award chart, meaning flights of 1,150 miles or less will cost just 7,500 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. Put in your desired destinations 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.
No matter your route, there are some serious savings here. Consider that many of these flights would cost at least 12,500 one way if booking with United Airlines – another Chase transfer partner. Chase points transfer to British Airways instantaneously at a 1:1 ratio.
Round Trips to Europe with One Card Bonus
Looking to book a trip to Europe? Transferring your Chase points to Air France/KLM could be a strong option to utilize your big points bonus.
Some recent changes to how the airlines’ frequent flyer program, FlyingBlue, prices awards have made it a mixed bag. Rather than a stable award chart, the program now uses a mileage calculator. In general, it’s now cheaper to fly to Europe from the East Coast. Meanwhile, flights from the Midwest and West Coast are now more expensive.
However, there are some great deals. For starters, you can fly round trip from JFK to Amsterdam (AMS) or Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG) for just 44,000 miles round trip in economy. Most airlines would charge you 60,000 miles or more for that flight.
And it can get even better. Be sure to check out FlyingBlue’s promo rewards page, where they regularly offer discounts on award flights.
They have a barnburner through the end of the month: You can book flights from ORD to CDG or AMS for just 22,000 miles round trip. Travel in August and September qualifies, which makes it an unbeatable deal for the peak travel season. But you have to hurry, as you need to book your flights by June 30.
Whether you cash in on this promo or book at any time of the year, you can easily score a European vacation. Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfer to Air France/KLM instantly on a 1:1 basis.
Fly a Top-Notch Business Class Product
This one won’t be for everyone, but you could get a taste of one of the world’s best business class cabins with just one Chase Ultimate Rewards bonus.
Singapore Airlines is consistently rated as the top airline, and its business class seats and service are a big reason why. The lie-flat seats are some of the widest and glitziest you’ll find in the skies. The service is second to none, and great features like “Book the Cook”allows you to preselect your meals from a huge, chef-curated menu.
Singapore’s award chart rates aren’t the best, especially for flights out of the U.S. And unfortunately, using Singapore KrisFlyer miles is the only way to book business or first class. The airline doesn’t release premium cabin awards to its partners. However, there are a few routes that stand out as a tremendous value.
If you find yourself in Asia, you could spend seven-plus hours in style flying between Singapore (SIN) and Tokyo-Narita (NRT). This would run you just 43,000 Chase points, transferred directly to your KrisFlyer account.
If you want a longer experience, there’s a major sweet spot: Flights between Africa and SIN cost just 45,000 miles. That means you could fly the 11-plus hours between Johannesburg (JNB) or Cape Town (CPT) with a single Chase bonus. That’s tough to beat. Chase points transfer to Singapore on a 1:1 basis but can take a few days to clear.
Book Flight Deals with Points
One of our favorite uses of any frequent flyer points is booking the 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 booking flights with cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Sapphire Preferred. Your first choice should be the Chase Sapphire Reserve: Every point is worth 1.5 cents toward travel. That means your 50,000-point bonus is worth $750.
With 1.25 cents for every point, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a strong second option.
As an example, here’s a recent deal on flights to Europe we sent out to Premium subscribers. The nationwide sale to a handful of European hubs starts at $393 round trip, and Dublin is calling my name.
And if you were to book with points from your Chase Sapphire Reserve, it’d be just over 27,000 points for a round-trip fare. That’s less than half what most airlines would charge you. Booking flights directly through the Ultimate Rewards portal is simple and straightforward.
As a bonus, you still earn miles and build status when booking flights through the Ultimate Rewards portal. That’s not the case when you transfer your points to an airline partner to book an award flight.
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.
You can start off with the Chase Sapphire Preferred, which we’ve named our #1 starter card. With a 50,000-point bonus after spending $4,000 in three months and an annual fee of $95 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 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.
Another premium option is the Chase Sapphire Reserve, our #1 overall travel rewards card. With an annual fee of $450, it’s not cheap. But that price tag comes with some huge benefits like free Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, global airport lounge access and $300 in travel credits that easily outweigh the annual fee. Plus, you get the 50,000 Ultimate Rewards bonus after spending $4,000 in three months.
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 24 months after receiving one Sapphire card bonus to be eligible for the other.
And both cards are 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.
There’s a reason why we rank the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Sapphire Preferred cards as the best out there. It’s because they help unlock some of the fantastic value that we’ve laid out here. With a 50,000 point bonus upon opening the card, that is at least $625 towards travel in the first year of card membership.
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