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Booking on the Chase Travel Portal — Reader Success Story

July 8 2019
4 min read
Booking on the Chase Travel Portal — Reader Success Story
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Today I want to share a story from TPG reader Isaac, who saved points by opting not to transfer them:

I was planning a trip to Portugal with three-night stays in Lisbon and Porto. With my IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card, I had a free night certificate to use plus 51,000 points. I wanted to stay at the InterContinental Lisbon, which would cost the free night plus 80,000 points (40,000 per night). I weighed the option of transferring 29,000 Ultimate Rewards points to cover the difference for the third night, but realized I could instead book that night through the Ultimate Rewards travel portal for just 18,000 points. That saved me 11,000 Ultimate Rewards points, along with 11,000 IHG points I didn't have to use on that night.

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Understanding that my IHG Platinum Elite status gives me no benefits on award stays, I knew I wasn't giving up any perks during my stay by not booking directly with IHG. The 11,000 IHG points I didn't spend in Lisbon came in handy for my stay at the Crowne Plaza Porto, which was available for 10,000 points per night thanks to the PointBreaks deal. So instead of using 29,000 Ultimate Rewards points and all my IHG points on the last night in Lisbon, I only used 18,000 Ultimate Rewards points and got an extra free night in Porto with the leftover IHG points. Awesome!

One reason TPG maintains a monthly list of points and miles valuations is to help guide you toward decisions like the one Isaac made. Just because one award requires fewer points than another doesn't mean it's truly less expensive — it all depends how much those points are worth. Rather than weighing the nominal cost of awards, you should assess the value of the points or miles you plan to redeem, and (setting aside other factors like convenience and future plans) go with whichever booking option is cheapest.

The math is elementary in Isaac's case: paying 18,000 Ultimate Rewards points for his third night in Lisbon was clearly a better deal than paying 29,000 Ultimate Rewards points plus 11,000 IHG points. A more illustrative example would be deciding which points to use if he had enough rewards in each program to cover the balance. Based on TPG's latest valuations, 18,000 Ultimate Rewards points are worth $360 on average, while 40,000 IHG points are worth $200. In that scenario, booking with IHG points would be the "cheaper" option even though the total number of points redeemed is greater.

Related: Guide to Redeeming Ultimate Rewards for Maximum Value

I love this story and I want to hear more like it! In appreciation for sharing this experience (and for allowing me to post it online), I’m sending Isaac a gift card to enjoy on future travels, and I’d like to do the same for you. Please email your own award travel success stories to info@thepointsguy.com; be sure to include details about how you earned and redeemed your rewards, and put “Reader Success Story” in the subject line. Feel free to also submit your most woeful travel mistakes. If your story is published, we’ll send you a gift to jump-start your next adventure. Due to the volume of submissions, we can't respond to each story individually, but we'll be in touch if yours is selected.

Safe and happy travels to all, and I look forward to hearing from you!

Feature photo of Crowne Plaza Porto hotel courtesy of booking.com

Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.
  • 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
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Best Marriott card for Business Owners
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

6X6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
4X4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
2X2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Intro Offer
    Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.

    Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 points
    75,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $125
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

The Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex is a stacked card with a rewards rate that will help you earn bonus points on everyday and business-related purchases. You'll earn 15 elite night credits each calendar year, and receive automatic Gold elite status. Finally, the free night award certificate with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less can get you hundreds of dollars in potential value each year.

Pros

  • 6x points on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 4x points at restaurants worldwide, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. shipping
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases
  • Earn a free-night award each card renewal month (up to 35,000 points)
  • Receive 15 elite night credits to jump-start status
  • Transfer Marriott points to 40+ airlines

Cons

  • Airline points transfer ratios are poor
  • Must spend $60,000 in a year for second free-night award
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.
  • 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Card.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees