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You’re about to get more travel redemption opportunities with the new Ultimate Rewards travel portal. Chase is partnering with Expedia to offer double the current award travel options. This change can possibly add more value to your credit cards that earn the already extremely valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards.
Enjoy Double the Ultimate Rewards Travel Redemptions
Currently, Chase Freedom and Freedom Unlimited card holders are using the new Expedia platform for booking Ultimate Rewards travel redemptions. The Sapphire and Ink families will gain access in a few months.
Although the current Ultimate Rewards travel redemption platform powered by Connexions Loyalty is good, you can expect more options for the following categories:
- More than 250 airlines
- Over 272,000 lodging options
- Dozens of car rental companies
- 25,000+ activities, tours, and nightlife
- Seasonal bonuses and discounts
The travel platform automatically factors in the travel redemption bonus (25% or 50%) for the Chase Sapphire cards and Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card. When you browse the redemption opportunities, you will see the cash value and the points required.
Navigating the New Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal
The new Ultimate Rewards travel portal has a similar appearance to the Expedia website. In addition to having more redemption opportunities, it can also be easier to navigate the new portal. Plus, new features will be rolling out in the coming months too.
You can easily select one of the following travel categories too:
- Vacation Rentals
- Things to Do
Just like the main Expedia website, you never have to pay a booking fee for any travel purchase or redemption!
Increased Flight Fare and Seat Selection Transparency
Some travel booking sites don’t always do the best job of disclosing the final price or airline seat selection options until it’s too late. Thankfully, Expedia thought of that. You will find the portal redesign as a welcome change to help you quickly locate the final price for your travel bookings. If you choose to pay with points and cash, you can quickly choose the best redemption option too.
It can also be easier to navigate between classes and spot upgrade opportunities during the flight booking process.
The Ultimate Rewards portal also uses SeatGuru reviews to help you find the best seat on the plane.
Don’t forget to check out the travel deals section as well. You will find travel deals similar to those offered on Expedia. Two categories you might enjoy the most are the 24-hour only Daily Deals and the last-minute deals.
Enhanced Customer Experience
It’s also easier to cancel a hotel or rental car reservation. In the past, you might have called to cancel an Ultimate Rewards travel reservation. Not anymore!
You can also book your travel using the Ultimate Rewards mobile app, also powered by Expedia.
As always, you will also have 24/7 live customer support for any question you have during the booking process.
When to Use the Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal
Chase Ultimate Rewards points are some of the most valuable credit rewards currency in existence. Some would even argue that they are the best credit card rewards available for award travel.
Here are a few reasons you should redeem your points on the Ultimate Rewards travel portal.
Points Are Worth the Same For All Travel Redemptions
Your Ultimate Rewards points hold the same value for every redemption opportunity. It doesn’t matter if it’s a flight, rental car, or guided tour.
Whether you book a $100 flight or a $100 excursion, you pay the same amount of points for both travel purchases. With other rewards programs, you might get the maximum redemption value for award flights only. Non-flight redemptions require more points.
Up to 50% Travel Bonus
Depending on which credit card you own, your points are worth between one cent and 1.5 cents each. If the flat value rate isn’t enough, maybe the 25% to 50% redemption bonus is another reason to save your points for award travel.
The three following Chase credit cards earn a redemption bonus that makes each point worth 1.25 or 1.5 cents each:
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (1.25 cents each)
- Chase Sapphire Reserve® (1.5 cents each)
- Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card (1.25 cents each)
All other Chase cards that earn Ultimate Rewards only have a redemption value of 1 cent per point.
Some travelers only redeem their points for award flights when they can transfer them to a 1:1 Chase travel partner. Even though the 25% and 50% redemption bonus is remarkable, you can still squeeze at least 2 cents value from each point by booking a flight directly from the airline.
But if your desired award seat is already booked at the discount rate through the airline, you can still save points going through the Ultimate Rewards portal instead. How much you pay is based on the cash value of the plane ticket.
For most hotel loyalty programs, you’re lucky to get at least 1 cent per point for award nights. In many cases, each point is worth 0.8 cents at best. When you book a room with Ultimate Rewards points, you’re guaranteed the 1 cent per point value!
In addition to national and local hotels, you now have the opportunity to book vacation rentals with points too. If you’re traveling with a large group and need multiple hotel rooms or a full kitchen, you can get more bang for the buck with this lodging option.
Don’t forget that the following hotel programs are 1:1 Chase travel partners as well:
- IHG Rewards Club
- Marriott Rewards
- Ritz-Carlton Rewards
- World of Hyatt
You can transfer your points to these four loyalty programs when you can get a better redemption value. Alternatively, the 1:1 transfers help roundup your existing points balance too.
It’s possible to book rental cars from the largest rental agencies and the discount agencies too. When you use your Sapphire or Ink Business Preferred Credit Card, you also get primary rental car collision and theft coverage too. With this card benefit, you don’t have to pay cash for the car rental or the rental insurance.
Being able to book cruises, tours, and other travel experiences for the same value as flights and hotels means you can truly book an entire trip with points. You’ll only have to pay cash for your food and souvenirs!
Switching to Expedia is a positive change for Ultimate Rewards travel redemptions as you have more options. Even if you exclusively save your points for 1:1 point transfers, you may now find a reason to pay with points through Chase, but I will still redeem the majority of my Chase Ultimate Rewards through transferring to a travel partner like United or Hyatt.