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Chase to launch a new travel portal, expand travel business — here's what we know

June 01, 2022
5 min read
Chase bank sign in Manhattan
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According to Chase, $1 out of every $4 of leisure travel is charged to one of its credit cards. However, only a "small percentage" of that travel was actually booked through Chase. To that end, the credit card giant accurately ascertains that its "assets were not differentiated."

To capitalize on that massive volume of travel purchased by its cardholders, Chase just announced the creation of ChaseTravel.com, a new stand-alone consumer travel portal, coming later this year. This announcement was made at the company's 2022 annual Investor Day, as first reported by Skift.

Here's why Chase is going deeper into the travel booking business -- and what this will mean for Chase customers.

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Chase has been moving toward this for a while

Chase expects to have $8 billion in travel sales volume by the end of the year and is hoping to nearly double that to $15 billion by 2025. That's no small amount of money and something that Chase is clearly hoping to capitalize on as travel rebounds from the coronavirus pandemic.

Right now, the company estimates that it's a top-five travel provider. Its impending move to expand Chase Travel to be a leading travel booking platform shows that it has ambitions to move even higher in the ranks.

This announcement isn't too out of left field, as Chase made two key travel-related acquisitions during the coronavirus pandemic: CxLoyalty and Frosch.

CxLoyalty is a technology company that provides travel booking, gift card sales and other transactions to loyalty programs, and currently runs the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal.

Meanwhile, Frosch is a leading travel agency that specializes in the corporate and luxury travel segments.

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A new Chase Travel could help Chase catch the competition

Growth and innovation are important for Chase's travel efforts, especially as competitors like American Express and Capital One continue to make their travel offerings more robust.

Chase shares that this product "will deliver distinctive content and experiences and become a full-service travel agency to our small business and premium leisure travelers," according to Marianne Lake, the co-chief executive officer of consumer and community banking at JPMorgan Chase.

As an example of the catching up and differentiation that Chase has to do to really compete in this area, Capital One's new travel portal will monitor flight prices and let you know when it expects the cost of airfare to go down. Likewise, the program will actually refund you the difference if it tells you to book a flight and the price later drops. This is a hallmark feature of the Capital One portal and one that the TPG staff has used on a number of occasions.

Capital One also made a handful of travel acquisitions, including Freebird, a travel insurance company, and Lola, a travel management company.

Likewise, Amex Travel has a slew of features offered to premium cardholders. For example, travelers with The Platinum Card® from American Express or The Business Platinum Card® from American Express can take advantage of discounted premium-cabin airfare with the International Airline Program and hotel perks with Fine Hotels + Resorts. The catch is that you must book through Amex Travel to take advantage of these benefits.

What could ChaseTravel.com offer consumers?

Details are still sparse, but we can make a couple of assumptions about Chase Travel based on Chase's current offerings, recent acquisitions and competitor analysis.

First off, Chase Travel is likely to focus on high-end luxury travel. In its Investor Day presentation, the bank specifically stated emerging affluent and high-net-worth individuals as key focus areas when expanding its reach.

(Screenshot from Chase)

Chase currently runs the Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection, which offers exclusive perks when staying at select luxury hotels to Chase credit card holders. But right now, you cannot redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards points on LHRC hotel stays, and they must be booked using a separate portal.

With a renewed focus on Chase Travel and the luxury travel segment, I think we're likely to see LHRC integrate directly with the Chase Travel booking portal. This is similar to how Fine Hotels + Resorts is baked into Amex Travel. Likewise, the bank could use its Frosch acquisition to provide curated luxury experiences and trip planning in its portal.

(Screenshot from Chase)

We're also likely to see Chase add travel content to Chase Travel. This is in large part due to the bank's recent acquisition of The Infatuation, a major dining publication. The bank could leverage this acquisition to create travel guides and upsell Chase Dining reservations throughout the Chase Travel booking process.

It would also not be surprising if Chase completely reworked the airfare booking process to keep up with the competition. This could mean adding similar price tracking and protection features and adding optional cancel-for-any-reason coverage, similar to what we see with the newly revamped Capital One Travel portal.

When Chase Travel does launch, it will first open to Chase credit card holders, and later open up to Chase's other banking customers.

Bottom line

We now know that Chase is planning to launch a new Chase Travel by the end of the year. The details of this launch are still forthcoming, but the bank seems set on massively expanding its travel business over the next few years. It's a big business for the bank and one that will help it diversify away from traditional banking activities.

TPG has reached out to Chase for comment and more details. As always, we'll keep you updated when we know more about the program.

Featured image by JOHN HICKS/GETTY IMAGES
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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TPG featured card

Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 10X points
10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

80,000 bonus points
Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

Annual Fee

$550

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
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.

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    80,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • 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.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more