DP Santorini Greece

How to Use 100k Ultimate Rewards Points (Part 1)

Are you earning Chase Ultimate Rewards and wondering about the best way to use Chase points for amazing travel experiences?

You’re in the right place!

You’ve probably already realized how easy Chase Ultimate Rewards Points are to earn but how to redeem your Chase points may not be as clear.

So, in this guide, let’s highlight some of the Chase Ultimate Rewards sweet spots.

Best Ways to Use 100k Chase Ultimate Rewards Points

With all the ways to earn Ultimate Rewards points, it’s easy to reach the 100k mark on your account, especially with splashy welcome bonuses.

The Sapphire Preferred and Sapphire Reserve have historically both offered 100k point bonuses for new cardholders who meet the minimum spend.

Even cards like the Freedom Flex and Freedom Unlimited have come with standard bonuses but also limited time offers with huge earnings over the first year on grocery and gas spending. Not to mention the standard earning potential for these cards through their bonus categories.

Ink Business Preferred, Ink Business Cash, and Ink Business Unlimited have also historically offered welcome offers at or near 100k Ultimate Rewards Points. You can see current offers by checking out the specific card you’re interested in.

Chase Ultimate Rewards Transfer Partners

You can transfer your Ultimate Rewards Points at a 1:1 ratio to all of Chase’s airline and hotel partners.

These partners are:

  • United
  • Southwest
  • JetBlue
  • Flying Blue – Air France/KLM
  • British Airways
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Iberia Airlines
  • Aer Lingus
  • Emirates
  • Air Canada Aeroplan
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Hyatt
  • IHG
  • Marriott

Chase also has a travel portal where you can book travel plans directly. However, it’s typically a much better value to transfer your miles and points to a transfer partner for the best possible value on premium redemptions.

How to Redeem 100k Chase Ultimate Rewards Points

Lake Como Italy View from my Hyatt Hotel
Grand Hotel Victoria Concept and Spa (Hyatt) – Lake Como, Italy

1. Hyatt

Hyatt is arguably the most valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partner.

Their upscale brands around the globe combined with a reasonably priced award chart make for fantastic high-value redemptions.

Depending on your destination and if you’re looking to splurge or maximize your redemptions, you’ve got a lot of fantastic possibilities with 100k Ultimate Rewards Points transferred to Hyatt.

You could stay 4 nights at one of the all-inclusive Hyatt Zilaras or Zivas in Mexico, the Dominican Republic, or Jamaica. Or how about 4 nights at the luxurious Grand Hotel Victoria Concept and Spa on Lake Como in Italy?

How do 6 nights in New York City sound at the boutique Gild Hall Hotel in lower Manhattan sound? (And you’d still have 10k points leftover!)

Or perhaps you’d like to spend 5 nights in Madrid at the Hyatt Centric Grand Via or at the Park Hyatt in Melbourne, Australia.

2. United Excursionist Perk

where to stay in paris
Paris at sunrise is always a good idea.

United offers a great value on a roundtrip economy ticket if you’re planning a multi-European city itinerary and you utilize their Excursionist Perk.

United allows you to have 1 stopover and 2 open jaws included in your itinerary for the same 60 -77k United miles needed for a classic round trip award plus the applicable taxes and fees. The variation in the number of miles depends on whether you’re flying on a United flight or on a flight operated by one of their Star Alliance partners.

If you have more time and want to truly maximize your award itinerary, you can plan a trip that could look like this.

  1. Depart on a flight from Houston to Amsterdam. Spend as many days as you’d like exploring the city.
  2. Take the 3 hour train ride from Amsterdam to Paris. Stay in Paris for as many days as you’d like.
  3. Fly from Paris to Istanbul. This counts as you free one-way.
  4. When you’re ready, return to Houston from Istanbul.

This itinerary would be in the same price range as if you’d booked a regular roundtrip economy ticket in and out of the same European city. And because there are a lot of European Star Alliance partners and the train networks in Europe are so extensive, it’s easy to use this perk to create the itinerary to visit the cities at the top of your bucket list.

3. Emirates Fifth Freedom Flights from NYC-JFK in Business

DP Santorini Greece
Is Greece on your bucket list?

This is definitely a niche redemption, however, it can get you to two bucket-list destinations, Italy and Greece. Not to mention getting to Milan, in particular, gives you access to trains that can take you all over Europe.

Fifth freedom flights are those that are operated by a particular airline whose home country is neither the departure nor destination points of the route.

In this case, Emirates flies from NYC-JFK to Milan and to Athens.

Why is this such a good deal? Emirates round-trip Saver pricing in both economy and business class is fantastic. You’ll need 45k Emirates miles for a round trip ticket in economy and just 90k Emirates miles round trip in business class, both with reasonable taxes and fees.

What’s even better is the chance to fly on the A380, and even in economy, the experience is superior to what you’d get on a legacy carrier in the U.S.

ProTip: Check ExpertFlyer to see if Emirates is flying the A380 to Athens or Milan on the dates you want to fly. If you have flexibility, it’s the better option compared to the 777.

4. Short-Haul Flights Booked with British Airways Avios

Prague City View
I flew a short-haul flight to Prague for just a few thousand Avios!

British Airways prices its award flights based on the distance of each segment flown. For this reason, it’s best to look at direct, short-haul flights when considering some of the best ways to use British Airways Avios.

British Airways is a member of the Oneworld Alliance along with airlines like American, Alaska, and Qantas. Not to mention, British Airways operates a lot of flights within Europe.

And if you’ve ever looked at short-haul flights, you might have been shocked to notice they can be quite expensive. Mostly, because many of these routes don’t have enough competition to drive prices down.

But for just 4,000-4,500 Avios for flights operated by British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus, and Vueling that are 650 miles or less, this can be a good deal for city hopping in Europe.

Short-haul flights operated by a Oneworld partner start at just 6k Avios one-way. While flights within North America start at 7,500 Avios one-way.

Unfortunately, I had to cancel a trip to Australia. But I’d booked all my flights within the country using British Airways Avios to fly on Qantas. These short-haul Avios redemptions would have saved me over a thousand dollars out-of-pocket and I never came close to using 100k Ultimate Rewards Points.

5. Virgin Atlantic Points to Fly ANA Business Class to Japan

Fujiyoshida, Japan at Chureito Pagoda and Mt. Fuji in the spring with cherry blossoms.

Virgin Atlantic is a transfer partner with most of the flexible currencies so this award isn’t exclusive to Chase Ultimate Rewards. However, it’s too good not to mention.

Virgin Atlantic isn’t a member of any airline alliance, but they do have a few notable partnerships. One of them is with All Nippon Airways.

For just 95k Virgin Atlantic Points, you can fly round trip in business class from the eastern or central parts of the U.S. to Tokyo on ANA for a super premium flying experience. If you’re on the west coast, you can fly for just 90k Virgin Atlantic Points round trip in business class!

(Even though this post focuses on how to use 100k Ultimate Rewards Points, it would be wrong to not mention the first-class redemptions, too. Round trip is just120k/110k from the eastern/central and western parts of the U.S.)

ProTip: Since Virgin Atlantic Points are easy to get via flexible points currencies, it’s an even better deal to watch for periodic bonus transfers to reduce the number of points needed for these premium redemptions even further.

Chase Ultimate Rewards are a valuable flexible currency. With 100k Ultimate Rewards Points, it’s possible to redeem for fantastic travel rewards. Part 2 of this series highlights some more of the best ways to use Ultimate Rewards Points.

So, how would you like to use 100k Ultimate Rewards Points?

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16 thoughts on “How to Use 100k Ultimate Rewards Points (Part 1)”

  1. As someone who is always working to maximize travel benefits I found your post extremely helpful and resourceful. We have opened quite a few airline credit cards over the years in hopes of using/transferring points towards our trips. I liked being able to see the different routes you could go with rewards though! πŸ™‚

    1. Jackie Sills-Dellegrazie

      I’m so glad, Kallsy! I think taking the next step from earning miles and points to actually redeeming them is a tough one. I know it always helped me to see routing ideas when I was just starting out, too!

  2. This is THE credit card to get this year, unfortunately I think I hit my maximum for this year in earning signup bonuses. So many great ways to maximize your points uses here as you have shown. Definitely worth it.

    1. Jackie Sills-Dellegrazie

      You said it for sure, Susan. It’s THE card. Hope you can add it to your award travel wallet in 2017!

  3. Great choices! London is not only a must visit but also a great starting point for other European adventures because it has so many flights that are cheap. Surprised Budapest made the list. I absolutely loved it but I had the feeling it is not as popular as Prague for example.

    1. Jackie Sills-Dellegrazie

      I wasn’t so surprised Budapest made the list because it’s a fascinating city, Sia, but I agree, I was surprised Prague didn’t make this list! It’s so popular with travelers. πŸ™‚

  4. Some great tips on how to use points. Love that you break down what the different airlines offer. Will have to check back when I’m booking my trip to Europe next year.

  5. whats the process of booking with 2 open jaws? If I was to go from Boston to Amstredam and returning from Rome?

    Or even in the example of Boston to Peru then to Argentina.

    1. Jackie Sills-Dellegrazie

      Hi, Tesh. Thanks so much for reading. Despite United’s recent changes, you can still book these awards. Use United’s multi-city tool. Enter Bos-AMS and then return ROM/FCO-BOS. You can also add a stopover for no extra miles. So, for example, you can fly from BOS-AMS(stopover)-CDG/Paris. Then, return from ROM/FCO-BOS for the same number of miles. Use the same function for the South American itinerary. Just know that if you add a stopover, it must be in the same zone as your destination. Hope that helps!

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