How to Travel Big with Chase Travel Partners

How to Travel Big with Chase Travel Partners

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

In our How to Redeem Chase Points for Maximum Value post I discussed the difference between redeeming points directly through the Chase portal, and transferring points to Chase travel partners. I won’t go into the depth of the difference in this post; suffice it to say that if you want to get more bang for your buck… or point… then you should make an effort to transfer points to partners rather than redeem directly through the portal. In this post, I’d like to introduce you to the individual Chase travel partners. As always, I’m covering Chase first because it’s my preferred program. I’ll cover Citi and American Express travel partners later.

Chase Travel Partners

The current lineup of Chase partners includes 7 airlines and 4 hotels as seen in the chart below.

Airline/HotelProgramTransfer Ratio
AirlineBritish Airways Executive Club1:1
AirlineFlying Blue Air France KLM1:1
AirlineKorean Air Skypass1:1
AirlineSingapore Airlines KrisFlyer1:1
AirlineSouthwest Rapid Rewards1:1
AirlineUnited MileagePlus1:1
AirlineVirgin Atlantic Flying Club1:1
HotelIHG Rewards1:1
HotelMarriott Rewards1:1
HotelThe Ritz-Carlton Rewards1:1
HotelWorld of Hyatt1:1

Notice that the travel ratio on all programs is 1:1. Well, what the hell does that mean? It means that for each Chase Ultimate Rewards Point you transfer to a particular partner, you will receive one point in the program to which you are transferring. This may seem like a no-brainer if you are new to travel points. However, there are other programs that ding you for transferring. For example, you can transfer Citi ThankYou Points into JetBlue’s rewards program at a 2:1 ratio. So you would basically lose half your points. There are other examples where you get more points than you originally had. Let’s use Citi ThankYou Points for another example. You can transfer ThankYou Points into Hilton’s rewards program at a 2:3 ratio, meaning that if you transfer 1,000 Citi ThankYou Points to Hilton, you would end up with 1,500 Hilton HHonors Points.

Chase Travel Partners

Anyway, back to Chase. I have personally only used five travel partners: Southwest, United, Marriott, IHG, and Hyatt. This doesn’t mean that I don’t see value in the other six, because I certainly do. My wife and I have yet to travel to Asia. But make no mistake, we have our eyes set on a couple locations in the near future… Thailand, China, Japan, Cambodia… we just haven’t decided which one yet. But once we do, I’m sure Korean Air or Singapore Airlines will come in quite handy. But enough about my travel aspirations, let’s dive in to a couple scenarios and see how these partners can be utilized.

Chase Cards

Chase currently has 5 cards that allow you to collect Chase Ultimate Rewards Points. I’m going to ignore the Chase Freedom Cards and just focus on the two Sapphire cards as well as the Chase Ink. The chart below shows the points you could earn given their current bonus offers.

Credit CardSign Up BonusAuthorized User BonusRegular Points Earned While Getting BonusTotal PointsTotal Points If You Double Up With a Travel Buddy
Chase Sapphire Preferred50,0005,0004,00059,000118,000
Chase Sapphire Reserve50,0004,00054,000108,000
Chase Ink Business Preferred80,0005,00085,000170,000
Total180,0005,00013,000198,000396,000

You may be thinking, Ya right that’s the best-case scenario. And your right, but it’s also pretty achievable. My wife and I did it when we first started out. Granted the cards were branded a bit differently then, but we were still able to amass that amount of points fairly quickly. The only one that might be a challenge is for both of you to get a business card. You each would need a separate business.

One other thing to be careful about is the authorized user bonus. Most cards allow you to add an authorized user such as a spouse when you sign up for the card. Both of you will receive cards with your own names in the mail, but both are tied to the primary user’s account. Basically just two cards for the same account, like debit cards on a joint checking account. Banks figure that you’ll spend more on the account if there are two of you using it; solid logic. So often times there will be a bonus if you add an authorized user, and that user makes only one purchase of any dollar amount. The bonus is usually 5,000 points which seems like a no-brainer; easy points. This has worked out well for us, but I have heard rumblings of people not being qualified to receive the sign-up bonus on their own card if they were an authorized user on someone else’s account. Ever since I heard that, I’ve been a little weary of adding my wife as an authorized user if she hasn’t got the sign-up bonus for that card yet. For example, if neither of us had ever signed up for a Chase Sapphire card and we both want to get the sign-up bonus, I would sign up for it first without her being an authorized user. Then after I get my sign-up bonus, she could sign up for the card and add me as an authorized user (since I’ve my bonus is no longer at risk; I’ve already received it). I know some people still get away with it with no problem, but for me it’s not worth sacrificing the chance to get a 50,000 bonus for 5,000 extra points.

Regardless, between the two of you, you can still amass a large amount of points in a pretty short time.  Let’s assume both of you are able to get your own individual personal cards, and only one gets the Chase Ink Business Preferred. Let’s say you’re careful and decide to only go for the authorized user bonus on the second person to get the card. Once you’ve hit all your spending requirements, you will have earned 306,000 points. Oh, the fun you could have. Let’s see what you could do.

Hawaii

Hawaii

United Airlines charges 22,500 points per person for a one-way saver (which means your dates need to be a little flexible) flight between the mainland US and Hawaii. So two round-trip tickets would cost 90,000 points (22,500 points x 2 people x 2 flights). You’ll also have to pay a negligible amount for taxes. If I remember right it was about $10 per ticket when I went to Hawaii in 2014.

This leaves you with 216,000 points for hotels. And this is where you can get a bit more creative, and it’s really based upon what you value. Do you want to live in the lap of luxury for a couple of nights, or would you rather stay longer in more of a working man’s hotel? It’s really up to you, here’s some of your options if you were to stay in Maui.

HotelPoints Per NightNights Possible with 216,000 Points
Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa20,00010
Hyatt Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort25,0008
Hyatt Residence Club Maui, Kāʻanapali Beach30,0007
Marriott Courtyard Maui Kahului Airport35,0006
Marriott's Maui Ocean Club - Molokai, Maui & Lanai Towers40,0005
Marriott's Maui Ocean Club - Lahaina & Napili Towers
40,0005
The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua60,0003
Ritz-Carlton - Kapalua
Ritz-Carlton – Kapalua

If you only had 3 nights for a quick getaway, you could spend your whole trip at the swanky Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua. However, if you were planning on a longer trip, you could spend 10 nights at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa, or anywhere on that spectrum. You’re more likely to spend around 5 days in Maui which would allow you a lot of different options. If you wanted to spend a couple nights at the Ritz you could, and then spend the remaining three nights at a less swanky hotel.

When we were in Hawaii, we spent our time in Maui at the Hyatt Andaz, and as you can see from the pics in this post, it’s nothing to complain about.

Florida

Miami Beach

United Airlines charges 12,500 points per person for a one-way saver flight between cities in the mainland US. So, again, two round-trip tickets would cost 50,000 points (22,500 points x 2 people x 2 flights). So in this example, you’d have 256,000 points left to spend on hotels. Here’s some of your options in Miami Beach.

HotelPoints Per NightNights Possible with 256,000 Points
Hyatt Regency - Coral Gables12,00021
Hyatt Centric South Beach Miami15,00017
Courtyard Cadillac Miami Beach/Oceanfront35,0007
Holiday Inn Port Of Miami - Downtown40,0006
Winter Haven, Autograph Collection40,0006
Ritz-Carlton The Miami Beach Edition70,0003
Courtyard Cadillac - Miami Beach
Courtyard Cadillac – Miami Beach

You’re probably getting the idea here, but I’ll do one more example and look at an international destination.

Australia

Sydney

United Airlines charges 40,000 points per person for a one-way saver flight between cities in the mainland US and Australia. Two round-trip tickets would cost 160,000 points (40,000 points x 2 people x 2 flights). So in this example, you’d have 146,000 points left to spend on hotels. Your options are more limited for hotels since the airfare is a bit more expensive. I’ll discuss ways to deal with that below. But first, let’s assume there’s nothing you can do about it and all you’ve got are 146,00 points for hotels. Here’s some options if your visiting Sydney.

HotelPoints Per NightNights Possible with 146,000 Points
Hyatt Regency Sydney20,0007
Park Hyatt Sydney30,0004
Holiday Inn Old Syndey40,0003
InterContinental 60,0002
Intercontinental - Sydney
Intercontinental – Sydney

As you can see, you can still have a decent vacation even when more points are used for airfare. However, there are ways to get more points to make up for it if you’d like to spend more time (which honestly, if you’re going to fly all the way to Australia, you should spend at least two weeks there). Luckily, all four of the Chase hotel partners have their own co-branded credit cards that offer either more points, or free nights as a sign-up bonus. You can sign up for them and get the bonus just as you would the Ultimate Rewards cards. The only difference is that the points you get from these cards are not flexible. You can’t transfer them from program to program. If you get a Chase Hyatt card, the points you get will only be redeemable at Hyatt hotels. This isn’t so much of a drawback as you can use the points to supplement what you can’t get with Chase points (or the other way around, depending upon how you want to look at it). I just want to make sure that the beginners understand the difference between what can be done with flexible bank points like Chase Ultimate Rewards points versus program specific points such as Hyatt points.

Here are the co-branded cards you can get to extend your stay longer. And remember, both you and your travel partner can each get a card so you can double up on the bonus points.

Credit CardSign Up BonusSpending RequirementTime FrameAnnual FeeAnnual Fee Waived First YearApplication Link
Hyatt Credit Card40,000 Hyatt Points $2,0003 Months$75NoApply Here
IHG Rewards Club Select80,000 IHG Rewards Points$1,0003 Months$49YesApply Here
Marriott Rewards Premier80,000 Marriott Points$3,0003 Months$85NoApply Here
Marriott Rewards Premier Business80,000 Marriott Points$3,0003 Months$99NoApply Here
Ritz-Carlton Rewards2 Free Nights in a Category 1 - 4$4,0003 Months$450NoApply Here

So there are just three examples of trips you could take by utilizing Chase travel reward partners. There are probably a few destinations where Chase partner hotels aren’t available; but for the most part, you’ll be able to visit pretty much any city you’d like. Some have tons of hotels, while others are more limited. Just do a quick Google search for any city you want to visit, and combine Hyatt, Marriott, IHG, and Ritz to see what’s available.

If there’s a city you want to visit, and you’re having a hard time figuring out award travel, leave me a comment and I’d love to look into it with you. As always, thanks for taking the time to read.


14 Replies to “How to Travel Big with Chase Travel Partners”

  1. Well, this was very thorough as far as what kind of options you would have with the points. I’ve heard that airlines often “sell out” of those trips that can be used with points. Have you experienced this? Thanks for the enticing review!

    1. Hi Jackie. That’s a great question. While the benefit to transferring Chase points into the airline’s award program is that your points go a lot farther, the drawback is that you now become subject to the program’s award chart availability. While this is a drawback, I’ve never had a single problem with it. As long as you don’t have your heart set on a certain date to take your vacation, you should be fine. For the three years I have been doing this, I have always been able to find flights within the time frame that I’m wanting to travel. I may have to depart on a Thursday instead of a more preferred Friday; but in my opinion, it’s better to be flexible with your dates and be able to get more out of your points.

  2. Thanks for sharing this information. Chase really gives you more options to redeem more points. I didn’t realise how many points you can get on one stay. I stay recently 4 nights in Sydney Hyatt.

    1. Thanks for the comment Vince.

      Four nights in Sydney sounds great. I have yet to make it to Australia, but I hope to visit within the next few years. Do you have any good recommendations?

  3. Your page is very nicely laid out & very informative especially with all the chats you have displayed. Your header image is very eye catching & your images are well displayed, I don’t travel or fly much but with the information your page provides, it’s a good thing to keep in mind.

    1. Hey thanks for the kind words Rick. If you ever decide to do more traveling, be sure to check back to learn how to use credit card points to travel for free. It’s a lot of fun.

  4. I had a buddy of mine try his best to explain to me what chase travel partners was and why i should join them. He didnt give a really good description and it left me with questions and concerns. So i sought out information on the internet. I came across this post and it was exactly what i needed to see. Thank you so much.

    1. Hi James Harvey. Thanks for the comment. I’m glad our site helped you out.

      If you have any more questions, feel free to ask away in the comments. We love discussing credit card point travel.

  5. AN Online travel agency. The best idea in the world.
    I bet you have a lot of fun booking trips for people and making everything worth their while.
    Where is one of your favorite places to go.
    So I did a lot of traveling myself and I wrote a book on it, want to take a look and share with your friends and tell them about the opportunity to read a well traveled book along there travels.
    Look me up, you won’t be sorry!

    1. Hi there and thanks for the comment.

      It’s hard to pick a favorite place, but right now we are really loving Europe, more specifically anywhere in the Alps region. I’d recommend Switzerland and Eastern France to anyone. Also we loved the Algarve area in Southern Portugal.

      I’d love to check out your book. Do you have a link to it? I googled Advent Voice, but it didn’t really direct me to any one book.

  6. Really awesome website man! I love to travel and I love to travel. This post has some amazing promotions in it as well. I love cards that give reward points or cash back. They are really helpful as long as you keep the balance paid in full.

    -Pat

    1. Hi Pat. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment.

      My wife and I share the same love for travel and credit card points. It has completely changed the way we travel. We used to stash away 50 bucks a paycheck, and then have around $1,200 bucks to take an annual vacation. So we would usually end up just driving down to Southern California. They were great trips especially since we’ve got some good friends down there, but it’s much nicer to be able to travel the world and spend much less than that. Credit card points make all that possible. And like you said, as long as you pay off the bill each month and do it responsibly, there really is no down side.

  7. I love this!! My husband and I went to Italy last year for the first time and now we have the travel bug bad! Your post is exactly the advice I’ve been looking for in selecting a credit card to use for our family and maximize the cash/points back for family travel experiences. Have you ever looked at Alaska Airlines card? Just wondering how it compares? I know they give you a free buddy flight every year, which is why they were on the top of my list.. but I’d love your opinion!

    1. Hey Collette,

      Good to hear from you. How have you been?

      I have never personally used the Alaskan Airlines card, but it does have a pretty cool offer. It looks like you can get a 30,000 point sign-up bonus when you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days, which is totally doable. They also have an annual buddy pass that you can purchase for $99. But the fee on the first one is waived as part of the sign-up bonus. And the great thing about credit card offers is that both you and your husband can do them and double up on the offers.

      I usually recommend people start out with cards like the Chase cards, and you can read why on this post.

      One of the benefis of starting with Chase cards that I will mention here is that you’ll be able to take advantage of more of their offers. Chase won’t approve you for cards if you’ve applied for more than 5 cards with any bank in the last 24 months. Since they’re the only bank that does that, I recommend doing as many Chase cards as you can get approved for before moving on to other banks’ cards. The Alaskan card is offered by Bank of America, so I wouldn’t get it until I’ve got all the Chase cards.

      Hopefully this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Take care,
      Dustin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *