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7 Step Guide to Flight Rewards with Chase Sapphire Preferred Points

7 Step Guide to Flight Rewards with Chase Sapphire Preferred Points

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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.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card


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Over the Past 60 Days!

  • 50,000 bonus points

  • 2X points on travel and dining

  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® named a 'Best Travel Credit Card' by MONEY® Magazine, 2016-2017
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards

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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.

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