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Can I Change Flights Booked with Chase Ultimate Rewards?

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Through December 31st of this year, Chase will give you one extra Ultimate Rewards point per dollar spent on flights (and other qualifying travel expenses) when you book through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal. That’s in addition to the 2 points per dollar that you get for travel purchases on your Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. The bonus has made booking through Chase a pretty lucrative option, but there’s some confusion out there about how such flights are classified by the airlines.

TPG Reader Rebecca sent me a message looking for clarification about whether her ticket would be eligible for changes:

“If I book using Chase Ultimate Rewards, are flight changes handled the same as if I had booked directly with the airline?”

The answer is yes; even though your flight is technically booked through Chase (which is handled via a travel agency), you can still call the airline and make changes based on the fare class that you purchased. You’ll still pay the same change fees, and if you book a nonrefundable fare, it’s still nonrefundable.

You can redeem Ultimate Rewards to pay for flights, while earning miles and elite credit as if you had paid cash.

These rules apply even if you use Chase Ultimate Rewards points to pay for your flights, since the booking is made through the same platform either way. You can choose either to pay cash for the ticket or to redeem Ultimate Rewards points. If you have the Sapphire Preferred or Ink Plus Business Card, you can redeem at a rate of 1.25 cents per point (so 40,000 Ultimate Rewards points will get you $500 in flights).

Also, regardless of how you pay, you’ll earn miles and elite credits on your flights as if you had paid cash, so you’ll be eligible to upgrade (again, based on the fare class you purchased).

If you have any other questions, please tweet me @thepointsguy, message me on Facebook or send me an email at

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

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  • 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 a 'Best Credit Card' for Travel Rewards by MONEY Magazine
  • 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 Regular APR Annual Fee Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Rating
N/A 16.24%-23.24% Variable Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95 0% Excellent Credit