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This past week, TPG reader Hareesh tweeted me to ask:

@thepointsguy Is it better to redeem Ultimate Rewards directly through the Chase portal, or should you transfer points to a partner and then redeem?”

When you redeem Ultimate Rewards (earned from Chase credit cards like the Sapphire Preferred, Ink Bold Ink Plus, Chase Freedomand Sapphirethrough the Ultimate Rewards travel portal, your points are generally worth 1.25 cents apiece towards airfare and hotels. I wouldn’t recommend redeeming Chase points this way, considering that you can get much more value by transferring to Chase travel partners like Hyatt or United.

Redeeming Chase Ultimate Rewards directly through the travel portal doesn't provide the best value
Redeeming Chase Ultimate Rewards directly through the Chase travel portal doesn’t provide the best value.

Note that even The Platinum Card from American Express will give you 1 cent per point – or 1.25 cents if you have the The Enhanced Business Platinum Card from American Express OPEN. You may instead want to use a card like the Barclaycard Arrival Plus, which gives you 2.2% back for every dollar spend, since you get 2 points per dollar spent on every single purchase and a 10% rebate when you redeem points for travel.

The glory of the points and miles game is learning how to leverage transfer partners for amazing redemptions. For instance, you might find a $5,000 business class award for only 100,000 miles, which gives you 5 cents per point in value. (Of course, you may not receive that full 5 cents in value, because you wouldn’t actually have spent the $5,000, but that doesn’t make the reward any less sweet!) Most frequent flyer awards are still based on regions, which means (for example) that you can fly from anywhere in America to anywhere in Europe for the same set amount of miles.

Chase Ultimate Rewards offer a better value when first transferred to a travel partner
Chase Ultimate Rewards offer the most value when transferred to a travel partner.

Learn how to leverage all of the travel partners for Chase Ultimate Rewards, and I can almost guarantee you’ll end up getting 2 cents per point in value. It’s a lesson that’s well worth your time!

I hope this answered your question, Hareesh. If anyone has additional questions, please message me on Facebook, tweet me @ThePointsGuy, or send me an email at

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.

Apply Now
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.

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