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In terms of travel rewards cards, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is among the best, especially when it comes to its wide range of travel benefits and how easy it is to earn rewards — 2X points on dining and travel worldwide, 1X points on all other purchases, and now through March 2022 you’ll earn 5X points on all Lyft rides.
Best of all, certain Chase credit cards — namely the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve®, Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, Chase Freedom Flex℠, Chase Freedom Unlimited®, Ink Business Cash® Credit Card and the Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card — let you earn Ultimate Rewards. And if you have any of the first three mentioned cards, you can transfer those points to any of Chase’s 13 travel partners at a 1:1 ratio.
As of June 4th, 2021, Chase is offering an unbelievable welcome bonus of 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points when you sign up for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card and spend $4,000 within the first three months of account opening.
If you’ve been looking for a new travel rewards card with a reasonable annual fee (just $95) and the chance to start out with $1,250 in value after earning the sign-up bonus, this is it. In addition to having 13 airline and hotel transfer partners to redeem points through, you’ll also be able to book travel through the Chase portal, reimburse yourself for recent dining, grocery, and home improvement expenses through the Pay Yourself Back tool, or convert the 100,000-point bonus into $1,000 in cash back.
Below, Select breaks down the best ways to maximize 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022, 2X points on travel and dining worldwide, 1X points on all other purchases
Earn 100,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
15.99% to 22.99% variable on purchases and balance transfers
Balance transfer fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
Foreign transaction fee
Use airline transfer partners to make your points go further
When it comes to transferable rewards points, airline alliances are your friend, especially since Chase Ultimate Rewards points can be switched over to one of 10 airline loyalty rewards programs at a 1:1 ratio, including:
- AerClub (Aer Lingus)
- British Airways Executive Club
- Emirates Skywards
- Flying Blue (Air France / KLM)
- Iberia Plus
- JetBlue TrueBlue
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
- United Airlines MileagePlus
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
Needless to say, some truly impressive award redemptions can be had, especially if you’ve got a cool 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points to play with and have a transfer partner strategy in mind.
For instance, you could transfer Chase points to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club and redeem them for domestic flights on Delta, with prices starting at just just 12,500 miles one-way. For international trips, you could redeem 100,000 Virgin points to fly round-trip in Delta One business class between the U.S. and Europe (except the U.K.) and only have to pay $68 in taxes and fees.
A similar strategy could be employed to book a round-trip business-class flight on ANA from the West Coast of the U.S. to Japan for 90,000 miles via Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, and in the same vein, you could transfer 34,000 Chase points to airline partner Iberia, then use 34,000 Iberia Avios points to book a one-way business-class flight between New York (JFK) and Madrid (MAD).
It’s a little tricky, but if you’re looking to save on a trip to Hawaii, you can finagle four round-trip economy flights from the West Coast for 24,000 miles each. Start by transferring Chase points to Singapore Airlines, then use those KrisFlyer miles to book flights from the West Coast to Hawaii through Singapore’s partner, Alaska Airlines — in this case, you’ll actually need to call Singapore Airlines to book the award flights, since they won’t appear on Singapore’s website.
To stretch your 100,000 Chase points even more, transfer them to airline partner British Airways, then redeem those British Airways Avios points for up to 11 short haul one-way flights within the U.S. through its Oneworld partners, American Airlines and Alaska Airlines. The only catch being that the flights must be under 1,250 miles apiece since British Airways’ partner award chart is distance based.
If you’re a fan of Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards, make your 100,000 points last longer by redeeming points for Southwest flights under $100, which will give you slightly more value than booking them through the Chase travel portal. They’ll also be more lucrative if you’ve got a Southwest Companion Pass, which lets you book two tickets for the price of one, plus taxes and fees.
Enjoy a fabulous — and free — luxury hotel stay
If it’s about time you had a vacation, why not use the welcome bonus to stay at some of the world’s fanciest hotels for free? This is where Chase’s hotel transfer partners — World of Hyatt, Marriott Bonvoy, and IHG Rewards Club — really come in handy.
Here are a few examples of what 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points could be redeemed for when you transfer them to World of Hyatt and want to book a luxury stay:
- Three nights at Ventana Big Sur (30,000 points a night)
- Three nights at the Park Hyatt Sydney (30,000 points a night)
- Three nights at the Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa (30,000 points a night)
- Four nights at Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa (25,000 points a night)
- Four nights at the Andaz 5th Avenue in New York City (25,000 points a night)
If Marriott Bonvoy is your preferred chain, here’s what 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards translates to:
- One night at The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort (85,000 points a night)
- Two nights at JW Marriott Los Cabos Beach Resort & Spa (35,000 points a night)
- Three nights at The Westin Langkawi Resort & Spa (30,000 points a night)
You could also use the 100,000 points to stay at a luxurious IHG hotel:
- Three nights at the InterContinental Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort (27,000 points a night)
- Two nights at Kimpton De Witt Amsterdam (45,000 points a night)
- Two nights at Hotel Indigo Singapore Katong (45,000 points a night)
If you’re looking to save on an all-inclusive trip to Mexico or the Caribbean, 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points are enough to spend four or five nights at a Hyatt Ziva or Hyatt Zilara property, with redemption rates from 20,000 or 25,000 World of Hyatt points per night, respectively. Translation: you’ll score five free nights at Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta or Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos, or four free nights at Hyatt Ziva Cancun, Hyatt Zilara Cancun, Hyatt Ziva Cap Cana, Hyatt Zilara Cap Cana, Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall or Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall.
Alternatively, you could stretch the 100,000-point bonus to cover a longer stay in a lower-category Hyatt hotel. While similar options can be found through Marriott Bonvoy and IHG Rewards programs, here are a few from World of Hyatt, with redemptions ranging from just 5,000 to 12,000 points per night:
- Eight nights at Hyatt Regency Dar es Salaam, The Kilimanjaro (World of Hyatt Category 3, from 12,000 points or $168 a night)
- 12 nights at the Hyatt Regency Malta (World of Hyatt Category 2, from 8,000 points or $183 a night)
- 12 nights at Hyatt Regency Thessaloniki (World of Hyatt Category 2, from 8,000 points or $175 a night)
- 12 nights at Hyatt Regency Osaka (World of Hyatt Category 2, from 8,000 points or $125 a night)
- 20 nights at Hyatt Regency Belgrade (World of Hyatt Category 1, from 5,000 points or $154 a night)
Book travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal
Because Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth an extra 25% for travel when you use the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, 100,000 points will be worth $1,250 to put toward flights, hotels, cruises, rental cars, and other travel experiences when you book them through the Chase portal.
You’ll also have more flexibility regarding travel dates and brands since you’re not limited to what’s available through the 13 transfer partners and have more room to maneuver based on your specific travel needs. Booking through the Chase Travel Portal is like booking through any online travel agency, in fact, it’s nearly identical to Expedia’s interface since it’s operated by the travel booking giant.
Pay yourself back for certain purchases
Now through September 30, 2021, Chase points are worth 25% more for eligible dining, grocery and home improvement purchases, so you could always use the 100,000 points and Chase’s nifty Pay Yourself Back tool to reimburse yourself for up to $1,250 worth of recent expenses.
Simply choose how many points you’d like to redeem for each eligible purchase made within the last 90 days and a statement credit will appear on your account within three days.
Take advantage of cash back
Though their greatest value is attained by transferring them to airline and hotel partners or booking travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal, 100,000 Chase points are worth $1,000 in cash back, so you could always put the money toward other things, especially if you won’t be traveling for a while.
Remember to check your account for Chase Offers, which give you a certain amount of cash back in the form of a statement credit when shopping online. You can also score up to $60 cash back when you use your Chase Sapphire Preferred card to sign up for a digital ($12.99 a month) or all-access ($39.99 a month) Peloton membership now through December 31, 2021.
Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.