In the world of free travel hacking, there are two elements each of us must learn to improve – earning and redeeming. Most of the material on this blog is about earning, but today I want to help you easily and effectively learn how to redeem your Ultimate Rewards (UR) points for travel.
To start, you can sign into your Chase online banking account and find your UR affiliated card. You should see a link that says “Go to Ultimate Rewards”. The other option is to go directly to the Ultimate Rewards page.
The links you’ll want to know are:
- Your current offers in the bottom right hand corner. This is where you can supercharge your earnings with Ultimate Rewards.
- Under “Use Points”, you’ll see a tab for “Book a Trip”. Use this link if you want to use your points to book travel.
- Under “Use Points”, you’ll see a tab that says “Transfer Points to Travel Partners”.
Use Points to Transfer to Travel Partners
From the homepage, if you click “Transfer Points to Travel Partners”, you’ll see the following:
All of the transfer partners are 1:1. That means 1,000 Ultimate Rewards points can be transferred into 1,000 point in each of the programs.
The transfer partners include:
- Amtrak – Great Northeast redemption rates of 3,000 points.
- British Airways – ideal for short hauls in the US
- Continental Airlines
- United Airlines
- Korean Air
- Hyatt – perfect for high end hotel nights around the world
- Southwest – a great US transfer option since each 1,000 points will get you $16.66 worth of travel (if you fly Wanna Get Away fare)
- Priority Club – fantastic redemption rates if you can find a Point Breaks location
Because of the ability to get more per dollar value out of the points, I’d suggest you first consider transferring points to programs when using Ultimate Rewards points.
Let’s say you want to transfer Continental points to someone’s Continental account. From the above page, just click on the program where you want to transfer the points. From there you’ll see the following form:
As you can see, you’ll just need the recipient’s mileage program number as well as first and last name. Transfers must take place in blocks of 1,000.
Use Points to Book a Trip
From the homepage, if you click “Book a Trip”, you’ll see the following:
From this page, you can search for flights, hotels, and car rentals.
Remember that when you book with points you get a 20% bonus for the value of your points.
Use UR Points to Buy Travel Gift Cards
Because of the ability to book points via the Ultimate Rewards site for a 20% bonus, you’ll likely not often want to buy gift cards for flights, hotels, or cars. The only exception might be if you were planning to cancel the credit card and needed to clear out your points.
Gift cards would be a way to use UR points towards cruises and places like SeaWorld.