Redeeming travel-focused credit card points, like Chase Ultimate Rewards points, can feel especially difficult during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic with so few of us traveling. Even more so if you’ve just earned a haul of points like the best ever 80,000 Ultimate Rewards welcome bonus from the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.
Fortunately, there are still plenty of ways you can redeem, and get great value from, your Chase Ultimate Rewards points. Let’s take a look at some of those options, including a unique and limited-time offer from Chase that allows you to “Pay Yourself Back” with your points.
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Chase Sapphire Preferred Benefits
The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is one of the most popular starter travel cards on the market — and for good reason!
|Credit Card||Benefits & Info|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card|
In addition to a massive welcome bonus, the card is packed with great benefits for travelers.
- Increased Bonus Categories: Cardholders will earn 3x points per dollar with Instacart (up to $3,000), 3x points per dollar at gas stations (up to $1,500), and 5x points per dollar on select streaming services, up to $1,500, through September 30, 2020.
- 25% Point Bonus: When you redeem your points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal, your points are worth 1.25 cents apiece.
- DoorDash DashPass Subscription: DashPass members receive free food delivery and discounted service fees on select food delivery orders on the DoorDash app.
- Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance: If you need to cancel your trip, or end it early, due to covered issues (like severe weather or an illness), you’re eligible for up to $10,000 of coverage for prepaid, nonrefundable travel expenses.
- Trip Delay Reimbursement: If you purchase your flight with the Chase Sapphire Preferred card and are delayed for 12 or more hours, or require an overnight stay, you’re eligible for a reimbursement of up to $500 per ticket in reasonable expenses (like hotel lodging or food).
- Baggage Delay Insurance: If your checked baggage is delayed more than 6 hours, you’ll receive $100 in reimbursements for essential items, up to a maximum of $500 for bags delayed 5 days or more.
- Primary Rental Car Coverage: Covers for theft and damage done to your rental car.
Redeem For Everyday Purchases
1. Statement Credit
With travel limited, one good option for redeeming your Chase Ultimate Rewards points is via statement credit to offset purchases you make with your card. Chase allows you to redeem your Ultimate Rewards points at a rate of 1 cent per point towards any and all purchases you make.
When redeeming for statement credits, the welcome bonus you receive from the Chase Sapphire Preferred card will allow you to offset purchases at 1 cent per point; this means an 80,000 welcome bonus would be $800 in statement credits. While redeeming points with Chase’s airline and hotel transfer partners is preferred, this can be a good choice in the meantime until travel resumes again.
2. Chase “Pay Yourself Back”
Through September 30, 2020, Chase has offered cardholders the opportunity to “Pay Yourself Back” with your Chase Ultimate Rewards points. Similar to using your points as a statement credit, Pay Yourself Back allows you to use your points to offset purchases made within select categories.
The select categories include grocery stores, home improvement stores, and dining establishments, including take-out and delivery services. Better yet, customers can redeem their Ultimate Rewards at 1.25 cents each towards these purchases — just as you would through the Ultimate Rewards travel portal.
So, a $125 purchase at a home improvement store would cost just 10,000 points to offset the purchase. Meaning that 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points can be redeemed for up to $1,000 in purchases made within the select Pay Yourself Back categories!
How To Use Chase Pay Yourself Back
Step 1: Log into your Ultimate Rewards account, then select Pay Yourself Back from the navigation bar.
Step 2: Next, you’ll see a list of all the eligible purchases where you can use points to pay yourself back. Simply select the purchase or purchases you want to offset and then click continue. Remember that Chase Sapphire Preferred cardholders will receive a 25% bonus, while Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders receive a 50% bonus.
Step 3: Once you’ve confirmed the purchases and the number of points you’ll be redeeming, you’re all set! You’ll receive a credit back for those purchases within 2-3 days.
3. Gift Cards
Chase has always offered the option to redeem your Ultimate Rewards points for gift cards for your favorite merchants at a rate of 1 cent per point. Generally speaking, it seldom makes sense to redeem your points this way, and tie the value of your points up with a single merchant, when you can just as easily redeem your points as a statement credit towards any purchase.
On occasion, Chase will run promotions where merchant gift cards can be purchased using your points with a 10% discount — giving your Ultimate Rewards points a value of 1.1 cents per point. Redeeming your points this way could make sense if you were planning on shopping with that merchant anyway and were planning to use your points as a statement credit to offset the purchase.
Redeem For Future Travel Bookings
While no one is certain when travel will resume to “normal” levels again, many travelers are still planning trips for dates in 2021.
If you’re considering booking future travel, here are a few of our favorite uses of Chase Ultimate Rewards points that are both excellent value and flexible!
4. World of Hyatt Stays
World of Hyatt is easily one of the best Chase transfer partners due to the high quality of its hotels and very cheap award redemption rates compared to competitors like Marriott and Hilton.
Award nights range between 5,000 to 40,000 Hyatt points per night, with only a handful of properties falling into the most expensive Category 8 rate.
One of the Hyatt award chart sweet spots are Category 7 properties, where you can book a night at some of the nicest Hyatt hotels in the world like the Park Hyatt Sydney or Park Hyatt Maldives for just 30,000 points per night. Meaning 80,000 points will earn you 2 free nights at any Category 7 hotel in the Hyatt portfolio, with another 20,000 points left over!
If you’re a more budget-conscious traveler and prefer to make your points stretch, you can still stay in excellent Category 1 properties, like the Hyatt Place Los Cabos or the Hyatt House Colorado Springs, and turn 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points into 16 free hotel nights!
Of course, with the uncertainty surrounding the travel world right now, you might be wondering what the Hyatt cancellation policy is on award stays. Luckily, should you end up needing to cancel your trip, World of Hyatt offers a points refund on all award stays as long as you cancel more than 48 hours before your scheduled check-in time.
So you can book confidently knowing that, if you need to cancel, your points will be redeposited back into your Hyatt account for use on a future booking.
Hot Tip: If you’re looking for more information on hotel cancellation policies due to COVID-19, explore our COVID-19 hotel cancellation guide.
5. Round Trip Tickets to Spain (Iberia)
Those looking to use their Ultimate Rewards points to visit Spain, or to use that as a launchpad to other European destinations, can do so by transferring their points to Iberia Plus and redeeming them for some pretty spectacular rates.
|Departure City||Blue Class/Economy Off-Peak||Blue Class/Economy Peak||Premium Economy Off-Peak||Premium Economy Peak||Business Off-Peak||Business Peak|
|NYC/Boston/Chicago||17,000 / 22,000||20,000 / 28,000||25,500||35,000||34,000||50,000|
|Miami/Los Angeles/San Francisco||21,250 / 27,750||25,000 / 35,000||31,750||43,750||42,000||62,500|
Round trip Blue Class (economy) tickets from New York, Boston, or Chicago to Madrid cost just 34,000 miles, and 68,000 miles for business class — offering exceptional value for your points. Similarly, you can fly from Miami, Los Angeles, or San Francisco to Madrid for just 42,500 miles in Blue Class, and 84,000 in Business.
Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfer 1:1 to Iberia, so 80,000 points can get you 2 round trip tickets to Spain in Economy, or 1 round trip ticket in business class! Better yet, should you need to cancel your tickets in the future, Iberia charges just $40 to have the miles redeposited back into your account.
6. Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal Bookings
For those looking to purchase future travel with their points but also want the simplicity of not needing to use airline or hotel transfer partners, the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal has been and continues to be, an excellent option.
In addition to worrying about transfers, finding award space, or blackout dates, your points aren’t just limited to flights and hotels, but can also be used for rental cars, cruises, and unique travel experiences.
And thanks to your Chase Sapphire Preferred card, when you book through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal, your points are worth 25% more, or 1.25 cents each. Meaning 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points are worth $1,000 in travel purchases.
The Chase Ultimate Rewards portal effectively functions like any other OTA and is powered by Expedia. So, should you end up needing to cancel any bookings made through the Chase portal, the policies that apply to your refund will come down to which airline, hotel, etc., that you were scheduled to travel with. So make certain to review the associated cancellation or change policies before completing your booking!
There is no doubt that there is so much that is uncertain right now, but one certain thing is that Chase Sapphire Preferred cardholders have multiple phenomenal options for how to redeem the Ultimate Rewards points.
While some will prefer to wait until travel is back in full swing to redeem their points for maximum value via airline and hotel transfer partners, others will prefer to lock in value towards things they’re purchasing right now via Chase Pay Yourself Back or statement credits.
Either way, the absolute best way for you to redeem 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points from your Chase Sapphire Preferred card is by choosing whatever option is the best for you!