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Here at The Points Guy we’re always looking to make the most of our points and miles, and we get countless questions from readers looking to maximize their travel as well. But with a fairly small team, it isn’t possible to get back to everyone — that’s one of the reasons we decided to expand our platform with the TPG Lounge Facebook group, giving readers an opportunity to connect with each other directly.
From time to time, we’ll pose a question and ask readers to comment with their own experiences. This time around, we asked group members to share their favorite points and miles redemption. More than 100 of you chimed in, with answers ranging from one-line summaries to three paragraphs. There are clearly a lot of fantastic values to be had — while there were some great one-off examples, I decided to share redemptions that are easy for you to replicate yourself.
Below, I’ll walk you through the five redemptions I think are the most compelling.
Flying First Class on Thai’s 747 for 40,000 Chase Points
Tom M. was able to take advantage of one of my favorite United redemptions, booking first class on Thai’s 747-400 from Sydney (SYD) to Hong Kong (HKG) for just 40,000 miles. He transferred his Ultimate Rewards points instantly from Chase in order to book this award, in addition to a 30,000-mile award flight from HKG to Brisbane (BNE) in Singapore Airlines business class. Note that both of these redemptions will increase on November 1, with economy jumping to 50,000 miles and first class increasing to 65,000 miles each way.
Three Nights at the 2018 Masters for 24,000 Chase Points
Jared G. is headed to the Masters Tournament in Augusta, Georgia next year. As you’d expect for such a high-profile event, hotel rates are sky high, so Jared transferred 24,000 Ultimate Rewards points instantly to Hyatt to book three nights at the Augusta Hyatt Place, saving more than $3,300 compared to paid rates.
11 Hours in Lufthansa First Class for 40,000 Starpoints
Aaron K. took advantage of a little-known sweet spot on Asiana’s award chart, booking a one-way flight from San Francisco to Frankfurt in Lufthansa’s outstanding first class for just 50,000 miles. Lufthansa doesn’t open first-class award space to partners until 14 days before departure, and Asiana requires that you book award flights at least three days in advance, so you only have an 11-day window to take advantage of this deal, and you’ll need to transfer your points from SPG advance. Also be prepared for high fuel surcharges of up to $550 each way. Still, for just 40,000 Starpoints with the 5,000-mile bonus Starwood offers for each 20,000 points transferred, this redemption is hard to beat.
Five Nights in a Macassar Suite at the Prince de Galles in Paris for 120,000 Starpoints
Frank V. decided to redeem his valuable Starpoints for a luxurious trip to Paris. He settled on the Prince de Galles for 30,000 SPG points per night, and the fifth was free thanks to Starwood’s 5th Night Free offer for award bookings. Ultimately, he ended up getting a fantastic upgrade to a Macassar Suite, which would have cost him a whopping €3,500 ($4,150) per night!
Flying Cathay Pacific First Class to New York for 35,000 Alaska Miles
TPG reader Chad S. managed to snag a seat in Cathay’s exclusive first-class cabin for just 35,000 Alaska miles. The flight from Vancouver to New York is short, at just over five hours, but there’s no beating Cathay first class for a flight within North America.
Our readers’ favorite redemptions don’t always involve flights or hotels, or even a great value. Malika J. and Stephanie M. both used their Amex points for Bose noise-canceling headphones, for example, and it seems they couldn’t be happier. Meanwhile, Lee C. was going to redeem 20,000 miles + $600 for a one-way upgrade to business class on United — fortunately he decided not to, and ended up scoring an operational upgrade for free. So, in Lee’s case, his “favorite redemption is a non-redemption.”
We still want to hear from you, of course — it’s not too late to share your own great redemptions over in the TPG Lounge or in the comments section below.
With great travel benefits, 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. Here are the top 5 reasons it should be in your wallet, or read our definitive review for more details.
- 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®
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® named a 'Best Travel Credit Card' by MONEY® Magazine, 2016-2017
- 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 travel 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