How Far Can Chase Points Take You? Our Best Flight Deals Using Ultimate Rewards
Chase is out with a stellar, limited-time welcome offer to earn 90,000 points on some of its Chase Ink business credit cards. Eye-popping bonuses like this one and those we’ve seen on other Chase cards make it easy to quickly rack up a lot of Chase Ultimate Rewards – some of the most valuable points to redeem for travel. That got us thinking: What are the best ways to book flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards points?
We regularly send our Thrifty Traveler Premium+ members alerts for flight deals bookable with Chase Ultimate Rewards points or by leveraging Chase’s robust list of transfer partners. A quick, cheap flight to Orlando? Check. A 30,000-point roundtrip flight to Amsterdam in summer 2023? Ditto. A normally $12,000 ANA First Class flight to Tokyo for only 55,000 points? Seriously.
Chase points can take you where you want to go, and our flight deals alerts are proof. These are some of our favorite ways to use your Chase Ultimate Rewards to fly in 2023.
Use Chase Ultimate Rewards to Book Cheap Flights
First, you find a cheap flight. Then, you use your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to book that flight. Done.
It’s the simplest and easiest way to use your Chase points to book travel, and it’s something we love recommending to our Thrifty Traveler Premium members when we find great flight deals.
Let’s take this flight deal to Aruba (AUA) for example. It featured a good chunk of U.S. cities with sub-$400 roundtrip flights to Oranjestad, Aruba in 2023. It’s a fantastic deal, even if you wanted to just shell out $392 in cash to book it.
But if you have some Chase Ultimate Rewards points, you can book the same cash deal with those points instead through the Chase Travel Portal.
Chase points are typically worth one cent each. So if you hold the Chase Ink Business Cash® Credit Card or a Chase Ink Business Unlimited® CreditCard, that Hartford (BDL) to Aruba (AUA) flight we showed you above would cost you about 37,600 Chase points to book.
But if you hold the Chase Sapphire Reserve® or the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card too, you can get even more value for your points.
For example, if you’re a Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholder, your points will be worth 1.5 cents each, meaning you can book the same flight for just 25,049 points. Here’s what that looks like.
You can use the Chase Travel Portal to book pretty much any flight with your Ultimate Rewards points, and the best way might be for really cheap domestic flights, too. Look at this flight from Austin (AUS) to Orlando (MCO) this spring. At just $89, this fare is a steal!
And when you use your Chase Ultimate Rewards points, it’s an even better deal. If you hold the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, you can redeem them at 1.25 cents per point, making this $89.90 flight cost just 7,184 Chase points!
Before I book a cheap flight with cash, I always take a quick look at the Chase Travel Portal first to see what that same flight would cost me in Chase points. It doesn’t hurt for you to do the same.
Use Chase Transfer Partners to Book Cheap Flights
As soon as your Chase points hit your account, they’re also Air Canada Aeroplan points, British Airways Avios, Singapore Airlines miles, Southwest Rapid Rewards, United miles, and Virgin Atlantic miles among others. And those are just the airlines! The same deal applies to World of Hyatt, IHG, and Marriott, too.
That’s the power of transfer partners, and Chase has a dynamite lineup of them.
Read Next: Everything You Need to Know About Chase Transfer Partners
Taking advantage of those transfer partners for your Chase points isn’t as difficult as it seems. About two years ago, I had never transferred a single credit card point to an airline or hotel program. Jump to today and I’ve transferred hundreds of thousands of points to other programs to book some incredible flight deals for next to nothing.
Here are some of my favorite examples of how you can leverage Chase’s transfer partner network to book cheap flights.
If you want to fly abroad in economy, you won’t have to use many Chase points to do so.
Let’s start with a cheap flight to London (LHR) using United MileagePlus miles.
Just a few weeks ago, United launched this flash sale allowing travelers to book one-way tickets to London (LHR) for just 23,000 United miles from nearly every U.S. city with United service. Roundtrip, that works out to 46,000 miles.
If you’re anything like me, you don’t have a ton of United miles in your MileagePlus account … but you might have some Chase Ultimate Rewards points. You can instantly transfer those Chase points to United, book the deal with your new stash of United miles, and voila! You’re heading to London in Main Cabin.
Read our guide on how to transfer Chase points!
The same goes for other airline programs, too. You can also instantly transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards to Air France/KLM Flying Blue miles – another great way to get across the Atlantic for cheap.
This deal we sent our Thrifty Traveler Premium+ members last week featured some sweet fares from Austin, Texas (AUS) to Western Europe for just 30,000 Flying Blue miles roundtrip. If you had that many Chase points, you could have booked this deal in minutes!
Air France/KLM does this pretty frequently, too. This fare below was from a deal just a few weeks prior, where you could have booked some nonstop flights to Paris (CDG) from places like Chicago (ORD) for just 22,500 miles.
As you can see, it doesn’t take many Chase Ultimate Rewards points to fuel your 2023 travels if you don’t mind flying economy. But, there are some more luxurious options you might want to check out, too.
Business Class Deals
If you’re like us and are always on the prowl for outsized value for your points and miles, you’ll find it in business class. Economy is more accessible and certainly cheaper, but for what many of these business class seats cost in cash (think $3,000-8,000 one-way in some cases), this is the best value for your Chase Ultimate Rewards points.
We’ll start with some peak summer flights to Dublin (DUB) on the Irish flag carrier Aer Lingus. Aer Lingus’s swanky new business class is really nice, and you could book it for just 50,000 miles each way.
This deal is long gone. Subscribe to Thrifty Traveler Premium+ so you don’t miss the next award alert when we find one!
Your Chase points (you guessed it) are also Aer Lingus Avios, meaning you could have transferred 50,000 Chase points to your Aer Lingus account and booked this seat in an instant.
The same goes for Virgin Atlantic points, which are crucial for finding great award space flying to Tokyo (HND, NRT).
With the click of a button, you could send 45,000 Chase points to Virgin Atlantic and book ANA’s The Room business class seat to fly in comfort across the Pacific.
If a business class flight to Greece on Emirates sounds pretty good to you, that’s also well within reach for just 108,000 miles roundtrip from Newark (EWR). Emirates Skywards miles are also a 1 to 1 transfer partner for Chase Ultimate Rewards.
Getting sick of this yet? Of course not!
You can also transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards to Air Canada Aeroplan miles, which are extremely valuable when booking Star Alliance flights. The Star Alliance is home to airlines like United, Lufthansa, SWISS, ANA, and many more, which gives you a great crack at these plush new Lufthansa business class seats for just 63,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points each way.
At one point, you could book almost the exact same deal for SWISS’s business class seat, too.
This example is from just a few days ago, highlighting the brand new business class seats on Virgin Atlantic’s A330-900neos. Transferring 62,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Virgin Atlantic could put you in this seat to London (LHR) from Tampa (TPA) or Boston (BOS) this year, including summer and Christmas availability in some cases.
Or, transfer 124,000 Chase points and book it for two! It’s great for couples with sliding doors and a retractable divider between the two seats.
First Class Deals
Let’s talk First Class. Don’t click away yet.
First Class just feels out of reach for most travelers. It always has for me. I don’t think First Class travel is in the cards for me, honestly. Or at least I didn’t…
Recently, however, we found some unbelievable First Class fares flying ANA to Japan in “The Suite.” Bookable through Virgin Atlantic, this unbelievable (but short-lived) deal was one of the best we found this year.
And it’s your Chase Ultimate Rewards points doing all the heavy lifting for you. Don’t spend $10,000 on these seats when you can spend 157,500 Chase points for a roundtrip fare instead!
The Best Ways to Earn Chase Points
So you’ve seen all the best ways to use Chase points to book flights, but first, you have to earn them. Luckily, Chase Ultimate Rewards points are some of the easiest points to earn thanks to some fantastic credit card sign-up bonuses.
Read our guide to earning and burning Chase points!
And right now, two Chase credit cards stand above the rest: The Chase Ink Business Cash® Credit Card and the Chase Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card.
On both cards, you can currently earn $900 bonus cash back after spending just $6,000 in the first three months of card membership … with an easy path to turning that into 90,000 Chase points. That’s up considerably from the standard bonus on either card. Best of all, neither charges an annual fee.
But these bonuses are too good to last much longer: We’ve just heard from Chase they’re set to end very soon! You’ll want to act fast if one of these cards is on your list.
Not sure if you’re eligible to open business credit cards? You might just be!
Whether you’ve got a full-fledged small business or just a side hustle, you could easily be eligible. While these cards technically earn cash back, you can turn that cash back into valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards points as long as you hold a card that earns them, including the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve®.
Speaking of the Preferred and Reserve cards, those are also great options for travelers to load up on Chase points fast. Plus, those cards make earning Chase points through your everyday spending fast and easy, too.
First and foremost, there is the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. In our opinion, it’s the best card out there for beginners and one of the best all-around travel credit cards, period. You’ll earn 3x points per dollar spent on dining and 2x points per dollar spent on travel, and 1x point per dollar spent on everything else.
Read our full review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.
Next, there’s the bigger sibling of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, and it’s called the Chase Sapphire Reserve®.
The card launched back in 2016 and provides tons of travel-focused benefits like lounge access, an annual $300 credit for travel expenses, travel insurance protections, and much more. But those benefits come at a cost – the annual fee on the card clocks in at $550.
Read our full review of the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card.
Then there are the no-annual-fee Chase Freedom Unlimited® and Chase Freedom Flex cards. While Chase markets these as no annual fee cashback cards, they get infinitely more valuable if you hold pair them with either Chase Sapphire card. That’s because you can transfer your cashback into Chase Ultimate Rewards – each cent of cashback gets you 1 point. And since both cards earn bonuses in a number of categories not covered by the Sapphire cards, it’s a powerful tandem.
Just what you get with each Freedom Card varies, so make sure to read our post comparing them to help make the decision on which is right for you.
Chase Ultimate Rewards points are some of the most valuable points you’ll find for booking travel. They can take you where you want to go, and our flight deal alerts are proof of that.