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For the second week of “Catch The Points Guy” on the Chase Sapphire Facebook page, I headed to one of my favorite international destinations: Madrid.

Calle de Alcalá with a view of the Metropolis Building in Madrid.

As you’ll see in the posts over on the campaign page, to get from Miami to Madrid, I transferred Chase Ultimate Rewards points to my British Airways Executive Club account and booked a last-minute one-way Club World (business class) ticket – which ordinarily would have cost around $5,000! – using 65,000 points and $480.77 in taxes, fees and carrier charges.*

I flew from Miami to London Heathrow on the upper deck of a British Airways 747 and used my layover at Heathrow to take a quick shower at the airline’s huge lounge at Terminal 5 before taking the two-hour flight to Madrid, where I arrived well rested and ready to watch the Euro Cup soccer…uh, I mean futbol…finals.

The Westin Palace Madrid.

When deciding where to stay, I found I could redeem 21,306 Ultimate Rewards points to stay at the Westin Palace Madrid, which is one of my favorite hotels in the city, and where a standard room was going for $267 a night. Though Starwood isn’t a transfer partner of Ultimate Rewards, I redeemed points directly through the Chase travel portal and since Chase Sapphire Preferred cardholders get a 20% discount, so each of my points was worth 1.25 cents. Note: Since Starwood only counts days booked directly through them for points and elite status, I didn’t earn either on my stay.

Museo del Prado

Some of the things I love about this particular hotel is how centrally it’s located and the fact that it’s near major museums like El Prado and the Reina Sofia, which I try to visit every time I’m in the city. Even better, my rate included breakfast in the Opera restaurant, with its gorgeous stained-glass dome, and which is one of the most spectacular hotel restaurants I’ve ever visited.

I happened to be in the city for the Euro Cup final, so I went with my friend Lori to a local bar called La Manduca to watch the game with a rowdy crowd that went into a joyful frenzy when Spain won. It was the perfect Madrid evening.

The wild crowd at La Manduca for the Euro Cup final!

The other days I spent in the city included a visit to leafy Buen Retiro park and rowing in its small lake, enjoying a hearty plate of huevos rotos (“broken eggs” scrambled with chorizo, tomato and potato in a skillet) and visiting a “Ham Museum” where I picked up some slices of my favorite jamon Serrano.

Delicious plate of ham at Museo del Jamon.

Some of my other top spots in Madrid include an adorable little museum called the Museo Sorolla to look at the small but brilliant collection of Impressionist paintings – it only takes about 30 minutes to go through in details, so it’s perfect for a little dose of culture.

I head to a restaurant called Lateral to snack on their delicious tostas and pinchos, La Finca de Susana near the Puerta del Sol for an upscale lunch or dinner of nouvelle Spanish cuisine in their beautiful dining room; and I go for drinks either at Ole Lola in the Tribunal barrio which is filled with buzzing nightlife, or the rooftop of Mercado San Anton in Chueca – the perfect spot for a nightcap.

Puerta de Alcalá

I love Madrid, and when I’m there, it’s hard to imagine leaving, but after a few days, it was time to head to my next “Catch The Points Guy” destination. Check the Chase Sapphire Preferred Facebook page next week to find out where I was headed.

Note: I was compensated by Chase for my participation in this campaign, but all opinions expressed are completely my own.

*Avios redemption levels, taxes, fees and carrier charges cited at time of publication subject to change.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

With great transfer partners like United and Hyatt, 2x points on travel & dining and a 50,000 point sign up bonus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
16.49% - 23.49% Variable
Annual Fee
Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.