Key takeaways

  • It's possible to earn 100,000 points quickly with a single credit card sign-up bonus, but you could also hobble together a few bonuses to create a six-figure stash of points or miles
  • Either way, the best ways to spend 100,000 points still depend on your travel goals. Maybe you're angling for an all-inclusive resort stay or an international flight in a lie-flat business seat, and both strategies can work
  • Generally speaking, you can get more value from airline miles when booking a premium cabin over other types of travel points. However, there are plenty of ways to maximize miles for economy flights or hotel points for a fun trip

The best ways to use 100,000 points depend largely on the type of rewards currency you have and how much your points or miles are worth. For example, 100,000 Hilton Honors points may not even be enough for a single night’s stay in one of their top tier hotels that typically cost 100,000 points per night or more. But the same amount of Chase Ultimate Rewards points or Amex Membership Rewards points can be worth $2,000 (and potentially more) in travel if transferred to the right partner for a high-value redemption.

With that in mind, we set out to answer a few simple questions. What is the best way to use 100k Amex points? What is the best use of 100k Chase points? And how can someone get a ton of value out of 100,000 airline miles?

If you have 100,000 points burning a hole in your pocket, read on to learn six awesome ways you can redeem them.

Book cheap economy flights to Europe for a family of five

First off, you can use 100,000 points to book five one-way flights to Europe, but only if you use the right program. My favorite airline loyalty program for this purpose is the Air France / Flying Blue program, which just happens to be one of the best ways to use 100,000 Chase points, as well as a partner of the American Express Membership Rewards program and Capital One miles.

You’ll need to be flexible if you want to find economy award flights at the lowest possible rate, but they’re absolutely out there. For example, our search yielded the following one-way economy flights from Chicago (ORD) to Paris (CDG) for 20,000 Air France miles plus $63 per person in airline taxes and fees.

Pay for two business class flights in a lie-flat seat

If you’re looking for the best way to spend 100,000 American Express points for business class airfare, the Air France / Flying Blue program has some pretty good options in that realm, too. You’ll have to do some digging to find destinations and dates with the lowest possible rates, but they’re definitely out there.

For example, we found one-way business class flights from New York (JFK) to Amsterdam (AMS) for 50,000 miles plus $217 in airline taxes and fees. This flight takes place on an Air France Boeing 777-300, which features fully flat-bed seats with a 1-2-1 configuration. This is much better than flying economy for a reasonable number of miles, and having a lie-flat seat will make it much easier to sleep peacefully all night while you move toward your destination.

Spend a week in a boutique hotel

You can also spend a week in a hotel almost anywhere with 100,000 points, provided it’s part of a flexible program like Chase Ultimate Rewards or Amex Membership Rewards.

As an example, consider a search we did for a week-long stay in Krakow, Poland. We found rooms at the Hotel Indigo Krakow – Old Town smack dab in the middle of this stunning European city for just 8,375 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per night.

Keep in mind that this search was made using a Chase Sapphire Reserve® account, so it reflects the fact Reserve cardholders get 50 percent more value for their points when redeeming for travel.

At this rate you could spend well over a week in this boutique hotel for less than 100,000 points. That would even leave you with enough leftover Chase points to pay for a skip the line ticket to Oskar Schindler’s Factory or even a guided walking tour of the city.

Spend a week or longer in a luxury hotel in Europe

Maybe you’re hoping for a luxury hotel stay somewhere that is fancy and worthy of an Instagram photo shoot. In that case, you could consider booking several nights at the five-star Grand Hyatt Berlin in Berlin, Germany. A one-night stay here with World of Hyatt points would only set you back as little as 12,000 points for a standard room, so 100,000 points are enough for eight nights.

This rate gets you a king bed with more than 400 square feet of space, free spa access, free mineral water, fresh apples and luxury Balmain bath products. You would also be within walking distance to the town’s main attractions and all this fantastic German city has to offer.

Spend four or five nights at an all-inclusive resort

Also, remember that you can use various types of points to stay in all-inclusive resorts with various brands. For example, you could stay multiple nights at many all-inclusive properties in Cancun, Mexico, with the World of Hyatt program — including the Breathless Cancun Soul Resort & Spa, the Hyatt Zilara Cancun and Dreams Natura Resort and Spa.

Nightly rates at the Dreams Sapphire Resort and Spa with double occupancy even go as low as 17,000 points.

The Marriott Bonvoy program also has a ton of all-inclusive resorts within their brand, including most Royalton properties. That makes them a good option if you have a Marriott credit card or have points to transfer from Amex or Chase Ultimate Rewards.

However, you’ll need to fork over more points for free nights with Marriott Bonvoy than you would with Hyatt. As an example, you can book an award night at the Planet Hollywood Cancun all-inclusive resort for as little as 53,000 points with double occupancy.

Fly five people round-trip to the Caribbean

Finally, don’t forget all the different ways you can maximize airline miles for flights almost anywhere. A good example comes from the American Airlines AAdvantage rewards program, which offers various web specials that can be booked to destinations around the globe.

While you’ll have to be flexible with your destinations and dates to find these deals, they’re fairly plentiful to some destinations, including those in the Caribbean.

As an example, we found these round-trip flights from Indianapolis, Indiana, (IND) to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, (PUJ) for a departure of February 2024 for just 17,000 miles (plus $127.10 per person in taxes and fees).

Bonus tip: Redeem your points for gift cards

Although the best ways to redeem 100,000 points typically involve travel redemptions, those who are not interested in travel might consider redeeming points for gift cards to be a good option. Most rewards programs allow you to redeem points for gift cards at hundreds of your favorite retailers. You can utilize those gift cards to purchase things you need or use them to help defray the cost of things like holiday shopping.

Even better, some rewards programs offer periodic gift card sales — allowing you to secure gift cards for less. For example, during our search we found ULTA Beauty gift cards available for 10 percent off through Chase Ultimate Rewards. That means your 100,000 chase points could potentially be worth $1,100 toward gift cards at your favorite retailers.

The bottom line

There are all kinds of ways to get more bang for your buck when it comes to rewards, and that’s true whether you have 100,000 points or 50,000 points to burn. Make sure to look at all your options before you book your next trip, and don’t forget to check all the different ways you can use flexible points. With some research and planning, you can turn 100,000 points into an epic trip you’ll never forget.