Booking on the Chase Travel Portal — Reader Success Story
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
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 Club 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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org; 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
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in your first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
- Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at US restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
- Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees