4 easy ways to get maximum value out of 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is a great option for frequent travelers who spend a lot on travel and dining. It earns 3 points per dollar on all dining purchases and 2 points on travel. And when you book your travel through the Chase travel portal, your earnings go up to 5 points per dollar. Plus, it comes with a suite of other benefits, including DoorDash DashPass, a $50 annual Chase travel portal hotel credit and a primary auto collision damage waiver for use on rental cars.
Better yet, the card is offering a heightened sign-up bonus to new applicants. Through Thursday, May 25 at 9 a.m. EST, you can earn 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
This is 20,000 points higher than the normal offer, and based on TPG’s valuation of Ultimate Rewards points at 2 cents each, this works out to an impressive $1,600 in value. So, if you’re looking for a new travel credit card under Chase’s 5/24 limit, you may want to consider applying now while this bonus is still available.
But before applying, here's a look at four of the easiest ways to redeem these 80,000 bonus points. These aren’t the most advanced redemptions, but they are ways to get excellent value from your Ultimate Rewards points with minimal effort.
A whole wide World of Hyatt
Generally speaking, flights often provide a much better redemption value than hotels (on paper, at least).
But Hyatt, a 1:1 transfer partner of Chase Ultimate Rewards, is a notable exception. Whether you’re looking at the top or the bottom of Hyatt’s award chart, this can be a great option for redeeming your Chase Sapphire sign-up bonus.
Category 1 hotels start at just 3,500 points on off-peak nights, meaning your 80,000-point bonus can get you nearly 23 free nights.
Even for high-end hotels like the Category 8 Park Hyatt Paris or Park Hyatt New York, your sign-up bonus could get you two nights here. And rooms at these properties can easily surpass $1,000 per night.
You can also opt for an all-inclusive vacation, where food and drink are included. Hyatt has its own all-inclusive properties under the Ziva and Zilara brands. Plus, it's integrated many AMR all-inclusive resorts into its portfolio — which now features brands like Secrets, Dreams and Breathless.
Related: World of Hyatt announces new all-inclusive award chart
In addition, Hyatt’s all-inclusive Miraval resorts provide a more elevated experience and are a bit pricier at 45,000 points per night.
Related: TPG’s guide to the best all-inclusive points resorts
Fly round-trip to Asia on United
Chase has an especially close relationship with United Airlines, issuing its cobranded credit cards and offering 1:1 points transfers to United MileagePlus. 80,000 points are more than enough for a round-trip economy ticket to Asia.
Plus, you can take advantage of United’s Excursionist Perk to see another Asian city for no extra points cost. For example, this itinerary from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to Manila's Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL) with a week-long stopover in Singapore Changi Airport (SIN) costs 80,000 United miles and $86.45 in taxes and fees.
Related: Your ultimate guide to the United MileagePlus program
Double your value with the Southwest Companion Pass
Chase points transfer 1:1 to Southwest, and while that isn’t normally the best value you can squeeze out of them, the Companion Pass instantly doubles your return.
TPG values Southwest points at 1.5 cents each, and you typically don’t need to put in any extra work to get that value, as Rapid Rewards redemptions are revenue-based. This makes 80,000 points worth $1,200 without a Companion Pass and a whopping $2,400 if you have a Companion Pass and book travel for you and your designated Southwest companion.
Southwest flights to Hawaii are a great way to get the maximum value from your Sapphire Preferred sign-up bonus and the Companion Pass. For example, you can often find round-trip flights from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to Maui’s Kahului Airport (OGG) for under 30,000 points per person. If you have a Companion Pass, you and your companion can take two trips to Hawaii using the points earned from the Chase Sapphire Preferred and still have points to spare.
You’ll qualify for a Southwest Companion Pass by earning 135,000 Southwest points in a calendar year. Unfortunately, Chase transfers don’t count toward this requirement, but you might consider opening a Southwest cobranded credit card to speed up the process. Southwest card sign-up bonuses do count toward the 135,000-point requirement for the Companion Pass.
Related: How to earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points
Book $1,000 worth of flights and hotels through the Chase portal
Chase Sapphire Preferred cardholders get 25% more value from their points when redeeming them directly through the Ultimate Rewards portal. This is a helpful baseline, as you know that it’s always possible to get at least 1.25 cents per point. That said, it also means you have no room to grind out a better redemption with careful research and planning.
Still, there are plenty of times this can come in handy. If you find a good fare sale, you might pay fewer points than if you transferred to a partner with a fixed award chart. For example, this $423 round-trip ticket from New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to Porto's Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport (OPO) would only cost 33,840 Ultimate Rewards points.
Related: 6 reasons the Chase Sapphire Preferred should be your next credit card
Tickets booked this way also code as revenue tickets, meaning you’ll still earn miles and elite qualifying miles/dollars/segments. However, be careful not to accidentally book a basic economy fare, as the Ultimate Rewards portal doesn’t always display that information clearly.
Also, note that you generally won’t earn points, elite credits or elite benefits if you book a hotel through a third-party online travel agency like the Chase portal. Still, this can be a great way to stay at boutique hotels for fewer points by leveraging cheap cash rates.
Related: Better together: The power of the Chase Trifecta
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is one of the most popular travel rewards cards on the market. If you are eligible to apply and don’t already have one, now’s a great time to apply before the 80,000-point sign-up bonus expires on Thursday, May 25 at 9 a.m. EST. This elevated sign-up bonus and all the amazing ways to redeem it make it worthwhile.
Additional reporting by Andrew Kunesh, Benji Stawski and Kyle Olsen.