Do I Earn Hotel Points for Booking Through Ultimate Rewards?

Aug 9, 2015

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TPG reader Brent tweeted me to ask about earning rewards when booking through Chase Ultimate Rewards:

@thepointsguy — “Is it correct that I will earn airline miles for flights booked on Chase Ultimate Rewards, but I won’t earn hotel points?”

There are a lot of different ways to redeem your points and miles, and if you have a Chase credit card that earns Ultimate Rewards Points (like the Chase Sapphire Preferred or the Ink Plus Business Card), you can redeem points for any flight or pretty much any hotel at the rate of 1.25 cents apiece. The bonus is that you actually earn miles as if you had paid cash for that ticket.

In most cases, you won’t earn points when you book hotel stays through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal.

When it comes to hotels, unfortunately Brent’s observation is accurate. Rooms booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards are like those booked through an online travel agency, so you’re not going to earn points. Many hotels don’t let you earn points unless you book directly, where as the complete opposite is true for flights.

You can try to add your number and maybe get some elite perks out of it (I’ve done that several times). I stayed at the Westin Palace Madrid once when I was low on SPG points and cash, and I really just needed to book a hotel stay. I didn’t earn any Starpoints, but I tried to get some SPG Platinum recognition out of it. I was able to add my number, but the rate was not eligible.

If you’re going to use a credit card to book hotel stays, the Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts program will actually allow you to earn hotel points and elite credits. You’ll be booked as if for a corporate stay, so across the board you’ll earn miles and points.

Of course, using Amex Membership Rewards points for hotels is not a good deal, at you’re generally going to get less than 1 cent per point in value.

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

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