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- If you have a Chase credit card that earns cash back or travel points, you can use your rewards to book airfare, hotel stays, car rentals, cruises and more through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal.
- Where most travel bookings through Chase offer 1 cent per point in value, premium Chase travel credit cards let you get 25 percent or 50 percent more value for your rewards.
- The Chase travel portal lets you book travel with points, cash or a combination of the two. You can even earn bonus cash back or points when you book paid travel through Chase.
Most credit card rewards programs let you redeem your points or cash back in several different ways, and this is definitely the case with Chase Ultimate Rewards. These points are some of the most dynamic and versatile among all rewards programs available today, mostly because you can redeem them for cash back, statement credits, gift cards, merchandise and travel through Chase.
Some premium travel credit cards from Chase even let you get 25 percent to 50 percent more value for points when you redeem for travel through Chase, and the same selection of cards allow 1:1 point transfers to Chase airline and hotel partners.
If you’re interested in booking travel directly with your rewards, however, you should know that this is an option for their travel credit cards as well as cash back credit cards associated with the brand. All rewards cards offered through the bank let users book travel the exact same way — through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal.
How to use the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal
To use the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal, you need to have a Chase credit card and an online account with Chase.com. Once you log in to your account, you only need to click on the side of the page where your rewards points are displayed to access the Chase Ultimate Rewards booking portal.
Once you click on your rewards total to get to the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, you’ll be asked which one of your Chase card accounts you want to access. This part is important since some Chase credit cards offer more value when you redeem points for travel through Chase.
Specifically, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card offer 25 percent more value when you redeem points for travel through Chase, whereas the Chase Sapphire Reserve® offers 50 percent more value.
Once you are logged in to your rewards account, you can see all the different ways you can redeem your points or cash back. Your options will vary depending on the Chase credit card you have, but they can include:
- Gift cards
- Pay with points options
- Chase Pay Yourself Back
- Transfers to travel partners
To book travel through the Chase travel portal, you’ll click on the option that says “Travel.”
At this point, you’ll be shown all the different ways you can use your points directly for travel through Chase. These can include airfare, hotels, car rentals, experiences, cruises and more.
Using Chase Ultimate Rewards travel is a lot like booking travel through any other site given you search for the travel you want, compare prices and options and proceed by making a booking based on whatever you decide. The difference is, you can pay for airfare, hotels and other travel with Chase points, cash or a combination of cash and points.
The fact Chase lets you book with a combination of cash and points makes it really easy to use up small amounts of points you have on your card, especially since there are no minimums to redeem this way.
Who can access the portal
To access the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal, you need to have a credit card that earns rewards with the card issuer. This means co-branded airline and hotel credit cards offered through Chase will not work, and you’ll need a Chase credit card that earns cash back or travel rewards instead.
Credit cards that give you access to the Chase travel portal include:
Benefits of booking through Chase Ultimate Rewards
While many experts believe you should always transfer points to airlines and hotels before booking travel with rewards, there are plenty of reasons to use the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal instead — at least part of the time. Here are some of the benefits you can get for doing so.
Earn a ton of rewards when you book paid travel through Chase
While the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal lets you redeem points or cash back for travel through Chase, you can also pay for travel through the portal and earn more rewards when you do. The fact is, all Chase credit cards offer a minimum of 5 percent back or 5X points on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards, and the Chase Sapphire Reserve offers 10X points on hotels and car rental bookings made through Chase.
You can still earn airline miles
Also note that you’ll still earn airline miles for flights you book through the Chase portal, and that’s true whether you pay with Chase points, cash or a combination of the two. In order to double dip and earn airline miles, you just need to add your frequent flyer number to your booking with the airline after you pay.
Get 25% to 50% more value when redeeming your points
As we mentioned already, some Chase credit cards offer more than 1 cent per point in value when you use rewards to book travel through Chase. Where the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Ink Business Preferred offer 25 percent more value when you redeem points for travel through Chase, the Chase Sapphire Reserve offers 50 percent more value.
Ultimately, this means you get 1.25 cents per point for travel with the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Ink Business Preferred, and 1.5 cents per point for travel with the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
Book any travel you want
Booking through the Chase travel portal also lets you avoid dealing with complex loyalty programs and limited award availability often found with hotel and airline programs. When you book travel through Chase, you get to pick from any hotel brand, airline, car rental company or travel provider that’s available for your destination and dates.
Combine your Chase points in one account
Also note that Chase lets you pool rewards from multiple cards into one account for premium travel redemptions. For example, you can earn cash back with a card like the Chase Freedom Unlimited, use a business card like the Ink Business Preferred for all your business spending and utilize the Chase Sapphire Preferred for all your travel, dining and online grocery purchases. From there, you can combine all your points into your Chase Sapphire Preferred account to get 25 percent more value when booking travel through Chase, or for 1:1 point transfers to Chase airline and hotel partners.
Is the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal worth using?
The Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal is definitely worth using in a wide range of scenarios, and that’s true if you also transfer points to airlines and hotels part of the time. The fact is, the Chase portal gives you another way to book the travel you want if you cannot find award availability with an airline or hotel program, want to book travel you don’t have other points for or if you need extra flexibility due to where you’re traveling or when.
Also note that you can use Chase points to book other types of travel you can’t book with airline miles or hotel loyalty points. For example, you can use the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal to book airport transfers in your destination or to book snorkeling tours, guided museum tours and other excursions through the portal’s “activities” tab.
That said, there are certainly situations where the Chase travel portal is not the best deal, or when you’ll be a lot better off paying cash for travel directly or transferring points to airline and hotel partners. At the end of the day, the Chase travel portal is just one tool you can use to maximize your rewards and your travel budget.
The bottom line
Now that you know how the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal works, you should spend some time getting acquainted with all the ways you can use your points. The fact is, Chase lets you book airfare, hotels, rental cars, cruises, activities and more using points, cash or both, giving you a lot more flexibility when it comes to using your rewards.
Bankrate’s travel toolkit can help you learn more about Chase Ultimate Rewards points and other travel programs, so consider continuing your research there.
*The information about the Chase Freedom Unlimited and Chase Freedom Flex has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.