In fact, Chase added new earning rates to this card as recently as last August, which include 10X total points on hotel stays and car rentals booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 10X total points on Chase Dining purchases through Ultimate Rewards and 5X total points on flights booked through Ultimate Rewards (after first earning your $300 travel credit).
While the earning rates on the Chase Sapphire Reserve are exceptional, another reason for this card’s popularity is its affiliation with the Chase Ultimate Rewards program. Where some travel credit cards make it difficult to use your points, Chase Ultimate Rewards lets users redeem for statement credits, cash back, merchandise, gift cards and even 1:1 transfers to Chase airline and hotel partners.
Even better, this rewards credit card lets users redeem their points for travel through Chase—and for 50 percent more value. If you’re hoping to get more value for your Chase points this year and are looking for new ways to redeem for travel, read on to learn more.
As a reminder: Details of the Chase Sapphire Reserve
Before we dive deeper into how to get more value out of your Chase points, consider the important details of this offer.
Chase Sapphire Reserve
- 50,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within three months of account opening (worth $750 when redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards)
- 10X total points on Lyft purchases (through March 31, 2022), 10X total points on Chase Dining purchases made through Ultimate Rewards, 10X total points on hotel stays and car rentals booked through Ultimate Rewards, 5X total points on air travel booked through Ultimate Rewards (after the $300 annual travel credit is earned), 3X points on general travel and restaurant purchases and 1X points on everything else
- Priority Pass Select membership, $300 annual travel credit, a fee credit for Global Entry and TSA PreCheck membership, complimentary Lyft Pink membership (activate by March 31, 2022).
- Earn 10x total points on each Peloton Bike and Tread purchase over $1,400, with a max earn of 50,000 total points. Now through March 31, 2022.
- DashPass subscription, get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash’s subscription service. Activate by March 31, 2022.
- 50 percent more value when redeeming points for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal
- $550 annual fee
- Variable APR of 17.24 percent to 24.24 percent
What is the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal?
While transferring points to Chase airline and hotel partners can help you get superior value for your rewards, you can often get the same (or better) value by redeeming points for travel through Chase. This is made possible through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, which partners with Expedia.com and works very similarly.
With the Chase portal, all you have to do is enter the dates and preferred type of travel you want to book. Available redemption options include airfare, hotels, rental cars, things to do (excursions), vacation rentals and cruises.
When you search for travel through Chase, you’ll see that you can book with points, cash or a combination of the two. Just like with Expedia, you can search for any type of travel in any destination around the world.
When you book travel through Chase with your Chase Sapphire Reserve, you’ll get 50 percent more value for your points. With this redemption rate, you can redeem 50,000 points for $750 in airfare, hotels, rental cars and more.
Why should you book travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal?
While transferring points to Chase airline and hotel partners like Southwest Rapid Rewards, United MileagePlus and World of Hyatt can provide excellent value, there are several reasons to book through the Chase portal instead.
You still earn frequent flyer miles
First off, you should know that you can still earn frequent flyer miles when you book airfare through the Chase portal. All you have to do is add your frequent flyer number to your booking when you book airfare through Chase. You can also add the flight to your frequent flyer account after the fact.
Unfortunately, you won’t earn hotel points or receive any elite hotel benefits if you book a hotel stay through Chase.
Book with any airline, hotel or cruise line you want
The biggest benefit of the Chase portal is that you can book flights, hotels, rental cars and more with all the major travel brands you can find within Expedia.com. This makes your rewards considerably more flexible than if you had airline miles with a specific frequent flyer program or hotel points with a program like Hilton Honors or Marriott Bonvoy.
The Chase portal lets you shop around for the best deal and book any travel you want, including boutique hotel brands, hostels and even vacation rentals.
Unlimited award availability
If you’ve ever booked award travel with an airline or a hotel brand before, you know how limited award availability can be. In some cases, it may even seem impossible to use airline or hotel points for the travel you want—especially over peak travel dates.
Fortunately, the Chase portal features unlimited award availability for all types of travel with no blackout dates or capacity controls. Just find the travel you want and book it with points, cash or a combination of the two. It’s as simple as that.
Unique travel options
Did you know that you could book airport pickups and ground transportation through the Chase portal? How about the fact that you can use your rewards to book guided tours of museums, foodie tours, winery visits and pub crawls?
You can even use Chase points to book vacation condominiums and villas. No matter what type of travel you book through Chase, you’ll get 50 percent more value for your points when you go to redeem.
How to book travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Booking travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards is as easy as using any other online booking site. Once you log into your credit card management page at Chase.com and navigate to the Chase Ultimate Rewards section of your account, just follow the steps below.
Step 1: Click on “Earn/Use” at the top of the page, then choose “Travel.”
Step 2: Decide on the type of travel you want to book, enter the details and hit “Search.”
Step 3: Browse travel options presented to you and select the option you want.
Step 4: Decide whether you want to pay with points, cash or a combination of the two.
Step 5: Enter your travel details to complete your booking. You’ll receive an email with confirmation details.
When to book travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards vs. when to transfer
If you are planning to book travel with a Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partner, you’ll want to “price shop” and compare both options before you book. You may find that, in some cases, you’ll fork over considerably fewer points if you transfer to a frequent flyer program or hotel loyalty program first. However, there are times when booking travel through Chase is a much better deal.
Here are a few examples that show how this can go both ways:
Let’s say you want to book a stay at the Holiday Inn Resort Montego Bay in Jamaica, which requires 50,000 points per night if you book through IHG Rewards.
If you search the Chase portal for the same dates, you will almost always find a lower price per night at this hotel. In fact, for dates we searched in February, this exact hotel would set you back 20,753 points per night if you had the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
Now imagine you want to stay somewhere a little nicer, like the Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall in Montego Bay. This all-inclusive resort would only set you back 25,000 points per night for double occupancy if you transferred your points to your Hyatt account and directly booked.
This same hotel, however, would set you back 49,648 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per night if you booked through Chase. In this case, transferring your points to your Hyatt account first will save you almost 50 percent on your rewards redemption.
Ultimately, you’ll want to do a similar search any time you plan to book travel with a Chase transfer partner. By comparing how many points you’ll need through Chase with how many points you would need to book directly, you can quickly determine which option is the better deal.
Additional ways to boost points value
Whether you are planning to use points for hotels, flights, rental cars or other travel, the tips below can help you get more bang for your buck.
- Be flexible with dates. As you compare travel options from Chase with its partners, make sure you’re as flexible with dates as you possibly can be. You may find that prices are much lower on some dates than others, which means the points you need for a redemption can be lower through the Chase portal, as well.
- Compare rates with multiple transfer partners. If you’re booking airfare or hotels, you may also want to compare options with various Chase transfer partners that work for your needs. You may find that one travel brand offers a better redemption rate than others, but you won’t know unless you check.
- Look for points transfer bonuses. Chase occasionally offers a points transfer bonus to one of their partners. Make sure to check for these promotions and take advantage when you can.
The bottom line
There are a ton of reasons to sign up for the Chase Sapphire Reserve, but this card can be especially fruitful if you travel often and want lots of flexibility. With the option to transfer points to partners or book travel through Chase, you should have no problem redeeming your points for the travel you want on the dates you prefer.
That being said, you shouldn’t jump on the first deal you come across. By shopping around, you can make sure you’re getting the best deal for the rewards you worked hard to earn.