How Should I Use Chase Ultimate Rewards for Hotel Stays?
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TPG reader Ali tweeted me to ask:
@thepointsguy–“I am looking to book a trip to the Caribbean in January and sitting on a lot of Chase points. Any recommendations on hotels?”
Winter is coming, at least for those of us who live in colder climates like the Northeast. A nice getaway to the Caribbean may be the perfect way to escape a cold winter.
When considering using Chase points for hotels, you have two main options:
- You can transfer to hotel partners like Hyatt, Ritz-Carlton, Marriott, and IHG.
- You can use your points at 1.25 cents apiece to book through Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel. Sometimes you can even earn points for your hotel stays when you book through Chase this way, but generally you won’t earn elite status.
You should first decide whether it makes sense to transfer points (if there’s award availability) or if you should simply book your stay through Chase travel. Often at lower-end properties (like the Holiday Inn Aruba, for example) you can get a room for $179 a night, but it will cost you 25,000 IHG Reward Points, so you’re getting way less than one cent per point in redemption value. In those cases, you should use points to book through Chase Travel directly.
Typically I find that Hyatt is the most valuable Chase hotel transfer partner. I’ve heard many good things about the Hyatt Regency Aruba, where rooms can be had for just 25,000 Hyatt points per night. If the cash rate is above $350 per night (which it is in this case, since rooms there routinely go for over $500/night), then transferring points is the better option. Just make sure there’s availability before you transfer points, because you can’t transfer them back.
If you’re going to use points for hotels (especially Ultimate Rewards), always do the math first and see which option gives you the most bang for your points.