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We like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card because it offers great flexibility for using its Ultimate Rewards® points toward air travel. But with that flexibility comes choices, and not every choice will give you the best value for your points. With our guide, though, you’ll be able to get the maximum value for your points every time.
50,000 bonus points 2X points on travel and dining 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs See additional details for Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
50,000 bonus points
2X points on travel and dining
1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
See additional details for Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
First, remember there are two ways to use your points for air travel. How many points you will need for a flight depends on which method you use:
- Points as cash via UltimateRewards.com. You can book most flights at any time, and use your points as cash toward all or part of the purchase. The flight search is just like you’d find at Expedia or Travelocity, though you won’t find some low cost carriers like Easyjet and Ryanair. Each one of your points is with 1.25 cents toward the airfare in all cases. So, a $500 ticket will require 40,000 points, $100 ticket requires 8,000 points. A bonus is the airlines often treat tickets redeemed this way as if they were purchased in cash, so could earn miles on the flights.
- Transferring your points into real airline miles with United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, British Airways, or Korean Airlines. The cost in points will vary based on mileage reward availability. Many times it will cost fewer points to book an award ticket directly via the airline mile program than using the points as cash on UltimateRewards.com. This is usually the case when the cash price of a ticket is very expensive.
So, to make sure you get the best deal follow these basic steps to check how many points you’ll need for a flight quickly.
1. Login here to UltimateRewards.com, and enter the info for the day and destination you’re considering.
2. Review the price in points
In this example, the flight costs $277 or 22,168 points.
3. Check United miles to see if you can find a better deal
Since you can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards® points to United miles anytime, it’s a good idea to check and see if United charges fewer miles for similar flights. Go to United.com, input the destination and day you’re looking for and select ‘Search for award travel’ to get prices in miles.
4. See the results…yes, there is a better deal
There is a flight available booking directly using United miles for only 12,500 miles. That’s a lot less than the 22,168 point cost to book via Chase. Since you can transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards points into United MileagePlus® miles instantly, you can get this flight for 12,500 miles instead.
So how do you get the points to United?
It’s actually pretty easy….
5. Go to the ‘transfer points to travel partners’ page
You’ll see the link under the ‘Use Points’ menu when you’re logged into UltimateRewards.com.
6. Select the point transfer partner, in this case United MileagePlus
7. Input your information for the transfer, and the miles will show up in your partner account
That’s it. The transfer is generally instant. Just keep in mind that you CANNOT REVERSE a transfer of points to a mile partner.
Once the points are transferred to your United or other partner account, they cannot be sent back to your Chase Ultimate Rewards account.
So make sure you really want to use the points there before making the transfer. Once in the partner account, the partner’s rules will apply, including expiration dates if any.
What about other airlines?
If your’e really into maximizing the value of your Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card points you may want to include other airline partners in your search.
- For example, go to Southwest.com to see how many points your trip would cost on Southwest. It’s just as simple as the search on United.com. If it’s cheaper, you can transfer your points to Southwest Rapid Rewards.
- The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card also lets you transfer to British Airways Avios, Korean Skypass, Air France Flying Blue, Singapore Krisflyer, and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club. There are lots of details on how to use and search each transfer partner here.