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Here's how this winner spent 1 million Chase Ultimate Rewards points

Dec. 01, 2022
3 min read
Woman enjoying alone in luxury swimming pool, drone view from above.
Here's how this winner spent 1 million Chase Ultimate Rewards points
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Earlier this year, TPG raised money and awareness for a charity near and dear to our hearts: Rainbow Railroad, an organization dedicated to helping members of the LGBTQI+ community facing persecution in their home countries to relocate. In collaboration with Chase Sapphire, we ran a sweepstakes that saw one lucky reader win a trip worth 1 million Chase Ultimate Rewards points. The grand prize winner also received a one-on-one consultation with Brian Kelly to plan out the trip of a lifetime.

All it took to enter was a $10 donation — and TPG readers responded in a major way.

By the end of our campaign, we’d raised more than $300,000 to support Rainbow Railroad’s work around the world. And one lucky reader was randomly selected to take home the grand prize.

So, how did that lucky winner spend a million Ultimate Rewards points? Keep reading to find out.

A dream honeymoon come true

MANDAPA, A RITZ-CARLTON RESERVE

Points and miles make many dreams a reality, as our winner found out while planning his dream honeymoon. Before winning the grand prize of 1 million Ultimate Rewards points, he’d already been able to redeem rewards to travel around the world as a holder of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card — and he was even able to gift points to his parents for some amazing trips over the years.

But for his honeymoon, he went all-out.

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The newlyweds will be traveling to Hong Kong, Tokyo, Bali and Singapore on a whirlwind postnuptial adventure. With their points winnings, the couple redeemed for business-class seats on Singapore Airlines as well as a few notable hotel stays. They're especially excited for a stint at Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Bali. In fact, they said they've been dreaming about the view of the forest from the villa pool for years — and these properties are now eligible for earning and redeeming Marriott points.

They also redeemed some of their points for free nights at the Andaz Singapore and the Park Hyatt Tokyo by transferring them to World of Hyatt.

And even though we were only able to select one winner, you don't need to be a points millionaire to make at least some of these dream redemptions a reality. Cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve allow you to earn incredibly valuable Ultimate Rewards points that can put you that much closer to your own bucket-list trip.

Read more: How to redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards points for maximum value

Bottom line

We're excited for our winner to take this dream trip, and given what he has booked, we're confident that it'll be a special launch into a lifetime of wedded bliss. Of course, this was all possible thanks to his donation — as well as the support of everyone who donated to our campaign to support Rainbow Railroad.

And a special thank-you to the Chase Sapphire team for their incredible generosity with the grand prize. We wouldn't be able to do this without your help.

Featured image by OLEG BRESLAVTSEV/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.

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

60,000 points
Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 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 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 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, 60,000 points are worth $900 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 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    60,000 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 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 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, 60,000 points are worth $900 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