Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
& Kellie Jez
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Here at Upgraded Points, we love using points for travel expenses. Points and miles can help make luxury travel experiences like first class flights and top-notch hotels much more accessible. But, it’s always good to have options, so today we’re showing you how to use your points for experiences.
There are lots of programs that allow you to use your points for shopping and some even allow you to exchange your points for fun activities and experiences (like cooking lessons in Indonesia or a yacht ride in the Maldives).
In this post, we’ll go over all of the programs that offer the ability to use your points for experiences, plus we’ll take a look at what kind of value you get from your points when you use them this way. Let’s get to it!
We all know that Hilton Honors points can be used for hotel rooms, but did you know that you can also use them for exclusive events, culinary experiences, sporting events, spa treatments, concerts, and more?
Hilton Honors Experiences gives you creative and unique ways to use your Hilton Honors points that go above and beyond just a hotel room.
These experiences are presented as one of 3 auction types — bid auctions, redeem auctions, and dutch auctions.
Any Hilton Honors member can redeem points for a Hilton Honors Experiences as long as they have enough points at the time of purchase.
Once you’re on the Hilton Honors Experiences website, you can either search for experiences by date, location, number of points, or type of experience or you can browse all of the available experiences.
The cost in points will be clearly displayed in your search results. The points price is not necessarily per person — many experiences are for 2 or more people.
For more information, just click Redeem. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the experience’s details so you know exactly what’s included.
Once you’re ready to purchase, make sure you’re logged in to your Hilton Honors account and click Redeem. If you don’t have enough points in your account, you’ll need to transfer, buy, or earn more before you can proceed.
Hilton Honors Experiences can’t be canceled, refunded, transferred, or changed after purchase.
Some Hilton Experiences may have a specific dollar value, like a spa treatment or a class, while others don’t necessarily have a price in dollars, like an exclusive culinary event (the experience’s dollar value won’t be displayed). It’s important to keep in mind that you may not know the exact value you’re getting when you use your points for a Hilton experience.
With that said, we did some searching and found the prices for a couple of experiences and found that they offered a value of about 0.3 to 0.6 cents per point. That’s not bad since Hilton Honors points are valued at around 0.4 cents per point.
While it may not always be the case, many Hilton experiences can offer a good point value.
World of Hyatt FIND Experiences are unique activities and experiences offered to World of Hyatt members that can range from cooking classes and surfing lessons to concerts, sailing, or tennis lessons with a pro. Some of these experiences can be purchased with money (preferably using one of these credit cards) but all of them can be purchased using your World of Hyatt points.
To see how you can use your Hyatt points for a FIND Experience, first head to the World of Hyatt FIND website.
After browsing the options, click on any activity for more information, including pricing. Here you’ll be able to see everything you need to know about the experience, including location, duration, number of people included, and pricing.
You may notice that some experiences have pricing in dollars in addition to points. Purchasing an experience with dollars is a great way to earn lots of World of Hyatt points since you’ll earn 10 base points per dollar spent. Some experiences even offer extra bonus points if you use The World of Hyatt Credit Card.
You might be wondering if Hyatt FIND Experiences are a good use for your World of Hyatt points. Since many of these experiences can be purchased with dollars, it’s easy to figure out the value you’re getting.
Let’s take a look at some examples.
|Experience||Cost in Dollars||Cost in Points||Points Value (Cents per Point)|
|Chef’s Table Experience at Blue Duck Tavern||$600||42,857||1.4|
|Culinary Experience at Miraval Arizona||$740||52,857||1.4|
|San Francisco Sailing Adventure||$1,080||77,143||1.4|
As you can see in all of these examples, you would get a value of 1.4 cents per point — in fact, in every example we checked, the points value was 1.4. Since World of Hyatt points are valued at about 1.5 cents per point, you’ll get a good, not great, value when you use your points for experiences. Keep in mind, you won’t know the exact value you’re getting for experiences that can’t be purchased with dollars.
While you can often get more value by using your points to book a Hyatt hotel, if there’s an experience you’re interested in and your points can help make it happen, rest assured you’ll still be getting a decent value.
Wyndham Rewards Experiences are fun and unique ways to use your Wyndham Rewards points for activities instead of hotel stays.
These experiences can include everything from tours and culinary classes to shows and sporting activities. If you’d rather pay for your Wyndham Rewards Experience in cash you’ll earn 10 Wyndham Rewards points for each dollar you spend.
To purchase a Wyndham Rewards Experience, you’ll need to head to the Experiences website. From there you’ll enter your destination in the search box, or you can scroll down to see what’s available at featured destinations.
Next, you’ll see a list of available activities. You can filter the list with the options on the left and sort your results using the drop-down menu at the top. Each activity will display the price in dollars and in points.
Once you’ve chosen your activity, you can select the date, time, and number of people. On the payment page, you’ll have the opportunity to choose to pay with a credit or debit card (we recommend one of these cards) or with Wyndham Rewards points.
When you use your Wyndham Rewards points to pay for an Experience, you’ll get 0.3 to 0.4 cents per point in value. Wyndham Rewards points are valued at approximately 0.9 cents per point, so, unfortunately, you’re not getting a great deal when using them for experiences.
Accor is a hotel chain that we don’t hear about too often in the U.S., but it’s actually the largest hospitality company in Europe. You might recognize some Accor brands like Fairmont, Sofitel, or Delano.
The good news is that you can use Accor Live Limitless points for experiences in addition to hotel stays.
To search for Accor Limitless Experiences, go to the website and use the main search bar, scroll down for featured experiences, or use the menu to browse by category.
In addition to experiences, you can also use your points to shop for anything from electronics and home goods to clothes and beauty products through this portal.
IHG Rewards Access gives you members-only access to sporting events, concerts, and other fantastic activities. You can either purchase these events or bid on them in an online auction format. Regardless of how you purchase an IHG Rewards Access experience, you’ll pay using your IHG One Rewards points.
Due to the current situation, there are no IHG experiences available right now.
Unfortunately, Marriott Moments are currently unavailable due to COVID-19.
Delta SkyMiles Experiences is a program designed to help you have access to some incredible activities and experiences. These activities are generally sold in an auction-style format and you can pay using your Delta SkyMiles.
The program is currently undergoing some updates, so it’s temporarily unavailable.
United MileagePlus Exclusives and MileagePlus Event Awards are experiences and activities that you can pay for using your United MileagePlus miles.
Unfortunately, both programs have been temporarily suspended due to COVID-19. Check the United MileagePlus Exclusives website and the MileagePlus Event Awards website for updates about when activities and events will resume.
Rapid Rewards Access Events are exclusive events and activities offered to Southwest Rapid Rewards members. The best part is that you can use your Rapid Rewards points to pay for them.
Unfortunately, there are no Rapid Rewards Access Events currently available. Check back often to see when new events are added.
Chase Ultimate Rewards Experiences are fun and unique activities that you can pay for using your Ultimate Rewards points.
To access these experiences, go to your Ultimate Rewards homepage and click on the 3 lines icon in the upper left-hand corner, then click on Experiences in the drop-down menu.
From here, you’ll be able to see all of the experiences available to you or you can search if you’re looking for something specific.
The experiences you see can vary based on the Chase credit card you hold. Because of that, you’ll want to search through all of your cards if you have more than one. You can easily switch your credit card in the Ultimate Rewards portal by clicking on the 3 lines icon in the upper left-hand corner and clicking on a new credit card.
When you’re redeeming Chase Ultimate Rewards points for experiences, you’ll get 1 cent per point in value. Whether or not that’s a good deal depends on which credit card you have since they all come with different redemption values.
|Chase Credit Card||Value of UR Points (Booking Through Travel Portal)|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve®||1.5 cents|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card||1.25 cents|
|Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card||1.25 cents|
|Ink Business Plus® Credit Card||1.25 cents|
|Ink Business Premier℠ Credit Card||1 cent|
|Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card||1 cent|
|Ink Business Cash® Credit Card||1 cent|
|Chase Freedom Flex℠||1 cent|
|Chase Freedom Unlimited®||1 cent|
|Chase Freedom® card||1 cent|
As you can see, half the Chase credit cards available offer a better redemption value, so if you have one of these, you’ll probably want to stick to redeeming your points for travel or transferring them to one of the Chase transfer partners to get maximum value.
However, if the Ultimate Rewards experience is unavailable to purchase otherwise, using your points may be a great option, regardless of the value you’re getting.
Hot Tip: Chase Ultimate Rewards points are a valuable currency that can be used for flights, hotels, rental cars, and even experiences. When you use your points for experiences, you’ll get 1 cent per point, which can be significantly less than you can get if you transfer your points or use them for travel through the Chase portal. If you need some more points, check out our guide to earning lots of Chase Ultimate Rewards points.
While you’ll generally get a better value by using your points for travel, there may be times you’d prefer to use those points for experiences instead. The good news is that there are lots of programs to help you do this. These programs allow you to use your points for activities and experiences like sporting events, cooking classes, spa days, and more.
The information regarding the Chase Ink Plus Business Card, Chase Freedom Flex SM and and Chase Freedom® was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding The World of Hyatt Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Ink Business Plus® Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Chase Freedom Flex℠ was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Chase Freedom® Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The value you’ll get from your points will vary based on the program you’re using. For example, you’ll get about 0.3 to 0.6 cents per point in value when you’re booking a Hilton Honors Experience — that’s pretty good considering Hilton Honors points are valued at about 0.4 cents each. However, when you’re booking experiences using Chase Ultimate Rewards you’ll only get 1 cent per point in value and that’s not great because Chase points are valued at about 1.95 cents each.
A World of Hyatt FIND Experience is an activity that you can purchase using your World of Hyatt points. When you do this, you’ll get about 1.4 cents per point in value. Hyatt points are generally valued at around 1.6 cents each, so while you’re not completely maximizing your points this way, you can still get some decent value out of Hyatt FIND Experiences.
Marriott Bonvoy Moments are unique experiences centered around food, sports, and entertainment that you can purchase with your Marriott Bonvoy points.
Unfortunately, they are currently unavailable due to COVID-19.
Wyndham Rewards Experiences are fun ways to use your Wyndham Rewards points for activities like sporting events, classes, and shows, instead of hotel stays.
Unfortunately, when you purchase a Wyndham Rewards experience with points, you’ll only be getting about 0.3 to 0.4 cents per point in value, which is less than half of what you could get if you used your points for a hotel stay.
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UP's Bonus Valuation
This bonus value is an estimated valuation calculated by UP after analyzing redemption options, transfer partners, award availability and how much UP would pay to buy these points.