10 best ways to use 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points
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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
Chase just announced an awesome new offer for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. New card applicants can earn 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.
Chase advertises the 100,000-point bonus as being worth $1,250 when you book travel through the Chase Travel Portal. That’s already a terrific offer, considering the card’s annual fee is just $95. However, this value isn’t taking into account Chase’s vast list of airline and hotel transfer partners. If you take advantage of these partners, you can stretch your welcome bonus far beyond Chase’s $1,250 valuation.
If you want to maximize your bonus beyond $1,250, I’ll show you ten of the best ways to redeem 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points through transfer partners. I’ve made a point to look through various redemptions in this piece, including everything from booking high-end international business class tickets to domestic airfare to free hotel stays at 5-star properties around the world.
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I want to be fully transparent with you before we jump into the post, though: Some of the redemptions here will be slightly more than 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points.
So while these awards are higher than the Sapphire Preferred’s welcome bonus, keep in mind that you’ll need to meet the $4,000 minimum spending requirement to get the bonus. This means you’ll have a minimum of 104,000 points after meeting the spending requirement. Plus, you can use the Ultimate Rewards online shopping portal to earn even more points on your online purchases.
Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partners
Below you’ll find a quick rundown of the program’s current partners, including the name of each partner, the transfer time, and the current TPG valuation. Note that all transfers process at a 1:1 transfer ratio, so one Ultimate Rewards point equals one airline mile or hotel point.
|Transfer partner||Transfer time||TPG valuation (cents per point)|
|Aer Lingus AerClub||Instant||1.5|
|British Airways Executive Club||Instant||1.5|
|Flying Blue (Air France-KLM)||Instant||1.2|
|IHG Rewards Club||Up to 24 hours||0.5|
|Marriott Bonvoy||Up to 48 hours||0.8|
|Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer||Up to 24 hours||1.3|
|Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards||Instant||1.5|
|United Airlines MileagePlus||Instant||1.3|
|Virgin Atlantic Flying Club||Instant||1.6|
|World of Hyatt||Instant||1.7|
There’s a bit of variation when it comes to TPG’s valuation of each transfer partner’s points or miles. As a general rule of thumb, I recommend staying away from low-value transfer partners…with one exception. If you can find a specific redemption that works for your travel plans and gives you more than 1.25 cents per point in value (the value you can redeem towards paid travel), it may be a good deal. This minimum changes to 1.5 cents per point if you also have the Chase Sapphire Reserve because you could transfer points from the Sapphire Preferred card to that account and redeem them for 1.5 cents each toward travel.
I say that it may be a good deal because TPG values Ultimate Rewards points at 2 cents per point. So with this in mind, I personally don’t redeem points for an award ticket unless I’m getting at least 2 cents per point in value. This is because I know I can get a higher value on a different redemption.
Of course, you don’t have to follow my rule, but it’s something to keep in mind when you’re redeeming Ultimate Rewards points.
Fly Singapore Suites first class from New York-JFK to Frankfurt (FRA)
Singapore Airlines’ top-notch Suites class product is one of the best on the market. For example, you’ll enjoy top-notch caviar service, premium Champagne and receive proper turn-down service on all Singapore Suites flights.
Singapore Suites class is offered on most of Singapore Airlines’ A380 aircraft, and you can find it one U.S. route: New York-JFK to Frankfurt to Singapore (SIN), although this route offers the “old” suites product. You can find out which routes offer the new product by checking out our ultimate guide to Singapore Suites.
You don’t have to fly all the way to Singapore to experience Singapore Suites, though. Instead, you can transfer just 86,000 Ultimate Rewards points to Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles for a one-way Suites ticket between JFK and FRA. Even better, the taxes and fees on these tickets are just under $250 — a stark contrast from a $6,629 paid one-way ticket. This means that you get a whopping 7.41 cents per point in value when you redeem Ultimate Rewards for this transatlantic hop.
The mileage cost is a lot cheaper than booking other Star Alliance first-class tickets, too. United — another Ultimate Rewards transfer partner — requires a minimum of 110,000 miles to book a ticket in Lufthansa first class on the same JFK to FRA route. And while I’m also a fan of Lufthansa first class, Singapore Suites is a far superior product and 24,000 miles cheaper. This is a win/win in my book, so make sure to always check Singapore Suites award space before you book a first-class flight to Europe.
You can book Singapore Suites by searching for availability on the Singapore Airlines website. Just search for the award using the search box on the Singapore Airlines website and look for dates with Saver award availability. Once you’ve found this, call Singapore Airlines at 312-843-5333 and have the phone representative put the ticket on hold for you. Then, transfer the number of miles needed to book your ticket after the hold is secured; Singapore Airlines transfers take up to 24 hours to process, so you’ll need to call back the next day to finalize your hold.
Fly Delta One business class to Europe for 100,000 miles round-trip
Virgin Atlantic and Delta Air Lines partnered up in 2012 when Delta purchased a large chunk of the U.K.-based airline. The two airlines entered a non-alliance partnership shortly after this purchase, meaning Virgin Atlantic Flying Club members can redeem points for flights on Delta Air Lines and vice-versa. Virgin Atlantic Flying Club is Ultimate Rewards transfer partner as well, so you can use your Ultimate Rewards points to book Delta Air Lines tickets.
Round-trip Delta One tickets from the U.S. to Europe cost just 100,000 Flying Club miles round-trip, or 50,000 miles one-way with minimal taxes and fees. This includes routes with the Delta One Suites product. As of early 2020, all of Delta’s Airbus A350-900, A330-900neo, and Boeing 777-200LR fleet and select Boeing 777 and 767 aircraft are equipped with this new seat. More aircraft will be added as Delta continues to retrofit older aircraft.
What’s so great about Delta One Suites, you ask? Simple: this brand-new product offers the privacy of a fully enclosed suite, complete with a sliding door and a “Do Not Disturb” indicator. Delta’s service is known as some of the best of the big three U.S. carriers — you can expect delicious food, a solid wine selection, and attentive flight attendants. To me, this business-class product is miles better than American Airlines’ international service and is closing the gap with United’s flagship Polaris business class product.
Thankfully, you can book most Delta routes online — just head over to the Virgin Atlantic website and search for your flight of choice. Once you find this space, you can transfer miles and book your ticket by calling Virgin Atlantic. Unfortunately, though, this isn’t the case for all Delta routes — as TPG writer JT Genter noted in his full guide to booking Delta with Virgin Atlantic miles, some routes don’t show up on the Virgin Atlantic website.
If you want to book a route that you can’t find on the Virgin Atlantic website, give the Flying Club call center a call at 800-365-9500. Ask the phone agent if he or she can help you find award space for your route of choice. If award space is available, the agent can put the ticket on a two-day hold. Once the hold is secured, transfer the required points to your Virgin Atlantic account and ask the agent to finalize your ticket. You should be able to do this in one phone call as Ultimate Rewards to Virgin Atlantic transfers are instant.
Fly from the U.S. to Tokyo in ANA first class for 110,000 points
Interestingly enough, Virgin Atlantic is also partnered with Tokyo-based ANA, short for All Nippon Airways. Like Delta, you can use your Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles to book tickets on ANA at really attractive rates — in fact, it’s hands-down the best way to book tickets on ANA. Plus, ANA’s first-class cabin is pretty awesome too — you can expect top-notch service, great new seats, and a selection of delicious meals and Champagne.
Round-trip ANA first-class flights cost 110,000 miles round-trip from the U.S. West Coast and 120,000 miles from the East Coast and Chicago. For comparison, United MileagePlus — another Ultimate Rewards transfer partner – charges 110,000 one-way for a first-class ticket from the U.S. to Asia on ANA, so you’re effectively doubling the value of your points when you book through Virgin Atlantic. Note that taxes and fees on this ticket are roughly $250.
There are a couple of restrictions you need to be aware of. You can only book round-trip non-stop tickets; one-way flights and intra-U.S. and intra-Japan connecting flights are not bookable. You can, however, book an open-jaw ticket. For example, you can fly from Chicago O’Hare (ORD) to Tokyo Haneda (HND) and return on a flight from Tokyo Narita (NRT) to Washington, D.C. (IAD).
You can’t book ANA tickets on the Virgin Atlantic website either. Instead, you have to find award space using ExpertFlyer (owned by Red Ventures, TPG’s parent company) or United.com. Doing this is pretty simple: on the United site, look for nonstop, ANA-operated flights with first-class “Saver” award space. Make sure to take note of the flight numbers you want to book. See an example of a bookable award above.
Once you find a round-trip ticket, call Virgin Atlantic Flying Club at 800-365-9500 and ask the agent to put the ANA flight on hold. Transfer points from Chase to Virgin Atlantic after the hold is secured and ask the agent to finalize your ticket. Then, you’re all set to fly!
Round-trip ANA first-class tickets from Chicago to Tokyo usually cost somewhere around $15,000 round-trip. This means that you can get a whopping 12.37 cents per point in value when booking ANA first class through Virgin Atlantic Flying Club — talk about an incredible deal!
Spend 3 nights at the 5-star Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme for 90,000 points
Let’s switch gears to hotel redemptions for a second. I generally don’t recommend transferring Ultimate Rewards points to hotel partners as they’re usually not a great deal. However, I make an exception to this personal rule for World of Hyatt transfers. Hyatt is known for its excellent award chart, with many high-end hotels running 40,000 points per night or less.
One of my favorite Hyatt redemptions is at the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme. This five-star hotel is located in the heart of Paris, and since it’s a Category 7 hotel, it costs just 30,000 Hyatt points per night. This means your 100,000 Ultimate Rewards point bonus will give you three free nights at the property, and you’ll still have 10,000 points to spare.
Booking this stay is easy, too. Just head over to the Hyatt website and search for your stay using the search box at the top of the website — just make sure to select the “Use Points” button at the bottom of the menu before you search. If award nights are available, you’ll be prompted to select a room. At this point, calculate the number of points needed and transfer them from Ultimate Rewards to Hyatt. These transfers process instantly, so run your search again and book your free hotel stay.
Rooms at the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme average about $800 per night. That means this redemption gives you a solid 2.77 cents per point in value, which is higher than our 2-cent-per-point valuation for Ultimate Rewards points.
Take 4 round-trip flights from the West Coast to Hawaii
Are you on the West Coast and considering an island vacation? You can use your 100,000 Ultimate Rewards-point bonus to fly you and three of your closest friends to Hawaii from any of Alaska Airlines’ West Coast hubs. And while Alaska Airlines isn’t an Ultimate Rewards transfer partner, the Seattle-based airline has a partnership with Singapore Airlines that lets you use Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles to book Alaska Airlines tickets on the cheap.
Singapore Airlines’ Alaska Airlines award chart (warning: PDF link) can be a bit confusing, though. The award chart is split up into different regions, but you can only use Singapore miles for nonstop tickets on Alaska Airlines.
Thankfully though, award pricing is very reasonable. A West Coast to Hawaii redemption costs just 12,000 Singapore miles and $5.60 in taxes one-way on any of Alaska’s non-stop routes to Hawaii in economy class. This means that a flight from Portland (PDX) to Kahului (OGG) costs just 24,000 Singapore Airlines miles round-trip, making it one of the best ways to get from the U.S. to The Pineapple State.
Like booking ANA with Virgin Atlantic miles, you can’t book Alaska Airlines flights on the Singapore Airlines website. Instead, use ExpertFlyer or the American Airlines website to find award space.
Finding award space on AA.com simple: just head to AA.com, enter the route you’d like to fly and make sure to select the Redeem Miles button before you run your search. Then, look for nonstop award flights operated by Alaska Airlines, and have open saver award space. See the screenshot above for an example of a bookable flight.
Flights from the West Coast to Hawaii can be pricey during peak summer and winter travel dates. For example, round-trip tickets from PDX to OGG cost $650 per person in July 2020. This means that you can get 2.7 cents per point in value when booking during peak dates — a pretty solid deal, especially when you book for a family of four.
There is one major downside to booking this ticket. Singapore Airlines points can take up to 24 hours to transfer from Ultimate Rewards, and Singapore Airlines doesn’t let you put Alaska Airlines award tickets on hold. With this in mind, I only recommend that you transfer points to Singapore Airlines if you have flexibility in your travel dates and can fly on alternate dates if award space dries up.
Fly round-trip to Madrid in business class from 68,000 points
Iberia is one of my favorite ways to fly from Boston (BOS), Chicago, or New York-JFK to Europe. The Madrid-based airline flies from all of these airports to its hub in Madrid (MAD) using Airbus A330 and A350 aircraft. Each of these planes is equipped with a solid business-class product with lie-flat seats and good dining options. You can see TPG Senior Writer Lori Zaino’s review of Iberia’s A350 business class product for a look at what to expect.
But the real reason to fly Iberia from the U.S. to Europe is its stellar off-peak award pricing. Round-trip business-class tickets from Boston, Chicago or New York to Madrid cost just 68,000 Iberia Avios during the airline’s off-peak award dates. These dates change annually, but you can see the 2020 calendar in the screenshot above. You may be surprised to see that most of the year is considered off-peak, and even late May and early June have a plethora of off-peak days available. Taxes and fees are roughly $200 on a round-trip business-class ticket.
Actually booking this ticket is simple too. Head to the Book Flights with Avios page on the Iberia website and enter your search details. All available flights will appear on the search results page, and you can book directly on the website — no phone call required. I’ve found that Iberia’s business-class award space is relatively easy to come by during these off-peak dates, especially when booking a few months in advance.
A round-trip Iberia business-class flight from New York to Madrid usually costs around $2,650 when booking three to four months in advance. This means you’ll get around 3.6 cents per point in value for your points when taking the award’s taxes and fees into account. Oh, and you’ll still have 32,000 Ultimate Rewards left to use for hotels in Madrid or short-haul flights around Europe.
Book up to five nights at an all-inclusive hotel
People like to call award travel “free” without factoring in all the other costs that go into a vacation. With Hyatt’s all-inclusive hotels, you have one less thing to worry about because it’s possible to check out with a $0 bill. Everything from your room to the meals (even room service) and some non-motorized sports are included in your point booking.
With 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points, you can book up to five nights at a Hyatt Ziva or Zilara hotel inn Mexico or the Caribbean.
- Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta – 20,000 points per night
- Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos – 20,000 points
- Hyatt Ziva Cancun – 25,000 points
- Hyatt Zilara Cancun – 25,000 points
- Hyatt Ziva Cap Cana – 25,000 points
- Hyatt Zilara Cap Cana – 25,000 points
- Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall – 25,000 points
- Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall – 25,000 points
Hyatt’s Ziva and Zilara hotels take the all-inclusive experience to a new level. With many of their resorts being newly built or renovated, you get beautiful rooms and amenities. Granted, things aren’t always smooth on opening day but over time they’ve gained a reputation as being great spots for a relaxing vacation.
TPG values Hyatt points at 1.7 cents each and with rates at these resorts often exceeding $425 per night, you are bound to get value out of your 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points.
Fly 11 short-haul flights on American or Alaska Airlines
Want to stay stateside instead? You can use 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points to take 11 short-haul flights on American Airlines or Alaska Airlines by transferring Ultimate Rewards points to British Airways Avios.
Flights under 1,151 miles one-way cost 9,000 Avios in economy class and charge just $5.60 in taxes. This includes business-heavy routes like Chicago to New York (LGA), Washington D.C. (DCA) to Toronto (YYZ) and others that can be expensive when booking at the last minute or during holidays, trade shows and other special events.
You can book longer routes at competitive rates with British Airways Avios, too. See the British Airways partner award chart for partner economy flights below.
|Zone||Distance in miles||Price|
|Zone 1*||1 – 650||6,000|
|Zone 2||651 – 1,151||9,000|
|Zone 3||1,152 – 2,000||11,000|
|Zone 4||2,001 – 3,000||13,000|
|Zone 5||3,001 – 4,000||20,750|
|Zone 6||4,001 – 5,500||25,750|
|Zone 7||5,501 – 6,500||31,000|
|Zone 8||6,501 – 7,000||36,250|
* Zone 1 Avios awards are not available for flights to, from or within the US.
American and Alaska flights are bookable on the British Airways Book With Avios website. Just run a search and look for flights on the day you want to book. Then, you can transfer your points from Ultimate Rewards and book the flight as soon as the miles hit your British Airways account. Note that you may need to log out of your British Airways account and log back in to see your updated mileage balance.
There is one thing you should keep in mind when booking airfare with British Airways Avios, though: itineraries with stopovers are considerably more expensive than nonstop flights. This is because British Airways prices its award tickets leg-by-leg. So if you fly Boston (BOS) to New York (LGA) to Chicago (ORD), you’ll pay 18,000 Avios as you’re essentially booking two short-haul tickets. Alternatively, you can book the BOS to ORD nonstop flight for 9,000 Avios.
The cent per point value of this ticket depends on how much the cash cost of an award ticket is. When writing this article, I found a next-day American Airlines ticket from Chicago to New York with open award space. This same ticket was $374 one-way when booked with cash, giving a 4.15 cent per point valuation for this specific booking.
Fly United Polaris business class to Europe for 60,000 points one-way
United’s new Polaris business-class seat is undoubtedly an industry leader for U.S. airlines. It offers direct aisle access for all, Saks Fifth Avenue bedding and — when flying from United hubs — access to United’s top-tier Polaris lounge. The Polaris hard product is already flying on all United Boeing 777-300ER and 787-10 aircraft and select Boeing 767, Boeing 777-200, 787-8, and 787-9 aircraft.
Despite United switching to dynamic award pricing in 2019, the airline still offers standard award pricing for most award tickets with saver-award space. In the case of United-operated flights, you can expect to pay 60,000 miles for a one-way Polaris ticket from the U.S. to Europe. Do note that United now tacks on up to 3,500 extra miles if you book award tickets within 30 days of travel.
Most United-operated award tickets to Europe have low fuel surcharges too. For example, I looked for a ticket from Newark to London — a Boeing 767 Polaris route — and found that award tickets have just $5.60 in attached taxes and fees. Other routes may be higher if the origin or destination country levies high fuel surcharges, but since United doesn’t pass on fuel surcharges or other carrier-imposed fees, you can usually redeem your United miles with low taxes.
As mentioned earlier, not all of United’s long-haul fleet is equipped with the Polaris hard product. You can see if your United flight has Polaris seats by clicking the Seats button to the left of award pricing on United’s website. If the seat map shows staggered blue business-class seats (as shown in the screenshot above), your flight is equipped with Polaris seats. On the other hand, if the seat map shows orange seats, your plane is not equipped with the Polaris hard product.
Again, the value you’ll get from this redemption largely depends on the route you fly and when you fly it. However, I looked for a Newark to London round-trip ticket departing three months from my date of search; a paid flight was $3,254 while an award ticket was 120,000 United miles and $327.15. This means that you’d get 2.43 cents per point in value for this sample redemption, but you can likely get much more if you’re booking on a higher-demand date.
United doesn’t offer holds for award tickets, but points transfer instantly from Ultimate Rewards. Remember, it’s best practice to only transfer miles after you’ve found award space on a flight you want to book. This ensures that you’re not stuck with United miles that you can’t use.
Related: The ultimate guide to United Polaris
Enjoy a lie-flat transcontinental flight for just 46,000 points round-trip
If you’re based on the East or West Coast, you know the pain of getting to the opposite coast for business, a vacation, or visiting friends and family. The flight is nearly as long as a flight to Europe, and the time change on an eastbound flight can leave you without a good night’s rest.
The better alternative is to fly the route in business class — the big 3 U.S. airlines all offer lie-flat seats in business class, so you can arrive at your destination rested and well-fed. Unfortunately, though, these tickets usually cost $2,500 or more on most transcontinental flights, putting the redemption out of reach for most of us — unless you have Ultimate Rewards points to spare, that is.
You can transfer just 46,000 (or 23,000 one-way) Ultimate Rewards points to Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer and book a round-trip transcontinental ticket on United Airlines. United flies a mixture of Boeing 757, 777-200, and 787-10 aircraft on its transcontinental routes, and all aircraft are configured with lie-flat seats. Oh, and if you’re lucky enough to score a flight on a 787-10 operated route, you’ll fly in the new Polaris hard product I mentioned in the last section.
You can book United tickets on the Singapore Airlines website. Just head to the airline’s website and enter your search criteria in the search box on the homepage. Make sure to select the Redeem flights button at the top of the search box before running your search.
You’ll see all available United flights on the search results page. We highly recommend looking at the plane type before you book your ticket, though — this is because some of the Boeing 777 aircraft on the Newark to Los Angeles route still have 2-4-2 seating in business class. This means that you can be stuck in a middle seat even if you’re traveling in business class, which is incredibly annoying even if you’re flying on an award ticket.
You can view your plane type by clicking the arrow button located to the right of the flight number. If your flight is operated by a Boeing 777, enter your flight number on SeatGuru to see if it has the 2-4-2 seating we discussed earlier.
Transferring Ultimate Rewards points to Singapore Airlines can take up to 24 hours to process, and you can’t place holds on partner award tickets. I only recommend transferring points to Singapore Airlines if your itinerary is flexible so that you can move to another date with award space if needed. Regardless, 46,000 miles is an incredible deal for lie-flat transcontinental business class, so it may be worth the risk if you’re planning a trip from coast to coast.
I looked for a last-minute award ticket from Newark (EWR) to Los Angeles (LAX), departing just six days from when I searched. There was plenty of award space, and my total came to a modest 46,000 Singapore miles and $11.20. This ticket would’ve been $2,137 if I paid cash, meaning that this redemption is worth a whopping 4.62 cents per point. This is double the TPG valuation and is undoubtedly a great way to transit between the U.S. coasts.
Bonus: Check out Air France-KLM Flying Blue Promo Rewards for discounted tickets
Flying Blue is Air France and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines’ joint loyalty program, and it’s also an Ultimate Rewards transfer partner. The program transitioned over to a dynamic award chart years ago. While this has skyrocketed the price of some awards, there are still some good deals to be found — especially if you take advantage of Flying Blue’s famous Promo Rewards.
If this is the first you’re hearing of Promo Rewards, here’s a quick overview. Every month Flying Blue releases a new set of these rewards. These are limited-time offers between a specified city and another region — for example, one of this month’s Promo Rewards is discounted premium economy tickets from Seattle (SEA) to Europe. Generally, the airline releases economy, premium economy and business-class Promo Rewards for different destinations in regions worldwide, but all Promo Rewards originate or end in Europe.
Further, these discounted tickets must be booked by the end of the month and flown within a specified set of travel dates. Additionally, Promo Reward tickets must be booked online and you can’t make any changes or cancellations. Flying Blue phone agents cannot book Promo Rewards.
Sometimes these deals are better than others — for example, in November 2019 we saw 26,500-mile trips from Chicago to Europe. Be sure to check the Flying Blue Promo Rewards website at the beginning of every month to see the latest Promo Rewards.
The Sapphire Preferred Card is one of the most rewarding business credit cards on the market, and the 100,000 Ultimate Rewards-point welcome bonus can go a long way toward your next vacation or business trip. There are many different ways to use Ultimate Rewards points for maximum value, but I hope this post gave you a good jumping-off point for redeeming your newly minted Ultimate Rewards points.
Additional reporting by Ariana Arghandewal
Featured photo by Uwe Krejci/Getty Images
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