How to Use Your 100,000 Chase Sapphire Reserve Bonus Points

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Today is the last full day you can apply online for the big 100,000 point sign-up bonus from the Chase Sapphire Reserve. This bonus is set to drop from the 100,000 points to 50,000 points at some point tomorrow, January 12, 2017, though it should last until March in Chase branches. I just got the Chase Sapphire Reserve last week, and I know many of you are in the process of doing the same before the sign-up bonus drops by half. So, let’s jump to the fun part of how to use the 100,000 Ultimate Reward sign-up bonus points.

Use 100,000 Ultimate Reward Points to Book $1,500 Worth of Travel via Chase

If you have the Sapphire Reserve your Ultimate Reward points are worth 1.5 cents each towards travel booked via Chase. This is a greater per-point value than any other Ultimate Rewards card provides, but you can move your other Ultimate Reward points from cards like the Sapphire Preferred, Freedom, Ink Plus, etc. to your Sapphire Reserve account and get this 1.5 cents in value from all of your Ultimate Reward points.

You can book hotels, airfare, car rentals, and even activities such as lift tickets, tours, shows, ski rentals, ground transportation, and more via the Chase website and use your points at 1.5 cents in value to cover those purchases. You can also use a combination of points and cash to cover those purchases.

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use-ultimate-reward-points-for-flights-jpg I think getting 1.5 cents per point (and even earning airline miles from your flown tickets on top of that) is really solid. However, I always encourage folks to look beyond just this fixed value redemption option because you can sometimes do better than getting 1.5 cents in value for your Ultimate Reward points via transferring them to Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline transfer partners as I’ll point out below.

Use 100,000 Points to Stay up to 20 Nights at Hyatt Resorts Around the World 

I transfer a good number of our Ultimate Reward points at a 1:1 ratio to Hyatt in order to stay at their resorts and hotels around the world. Their properties start at just 5,000 points per night for places like the Hyatt Regency Wichita and go up to Category 6 and 7 properties for 25,000 – 30,000 points per night. Some of these higher end properties we have stayed at include the Park Hyatt Maldives or Hyatt Regency Churchill in London for 25,000 points per night, and the Park Hyatt New York or the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome for 30,000 points per night.

Park Hyatt New York
I have enjoyed all of those properties, as well as closer to home properties like Hyatt Hill Country (15k points per night), Hyatt Lost Pines (20k per night), and some of the Hawaii Hyatt properties like the Grand Hyatt Kauai (25k per night), Hyatt Regency Maui (20k per night), and Andaz Maui (25k per night).

Park Hyatt Maldives
When you stay at a Hyatt on points you do not pay taxes or resort fees on your award nights which can be a tremendous savings at some of these resort properties that carry resort fees of up to $50 per night. Factoring in things like avoiding resort fees and taxes on my award night stays, I often get closer to 2 cents per point in value when using my Ultimate Reward points to book via Hyatt Gold Passport.

If you want to stretch your points even further while still enjoying Hyatt properties you can also look for points + cash rates where you pay a fixed cash and points amount to stay at the various hotels and resorts. Do remember that you will pay resort fees and taxes if you book via that manner.

Use 100,000 Ultimate Reward Points to Fly on American Airlines or Alaska Airlines Flights from 7,500 Points Each

The British Airways award chart is distance-based, and that means even when you book flights on their partners such as American Airlines and Alaska Airlines, shorter flights of up to 1,151 miles in length start at just 7,500 Avios each way. Think Charlotte – Grand Cayman, New York – Montreal, or Dallas – Miami as some examples of these shorter routes. You can transfer your Ultimate Reward points to British Airways at a 1:1 ratio and take advantage of this award chart sweet spot for your shorter trips in and near the United States.

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You can book a lot of 7,500 mile award flights when you are working with 100,000 sign-up bonus points, so this is a way to leverage award flights for the whole family via just getting one credit card. You can also fly on nonstop flights operated by American or Alaska from the West Coast, and as far east as Phoenix to Hawaii for just 12,500 Avios each direction in economy, which is a tremendous deal. I will note that American saver award availability is not currently stellar, but if you have some flexibility in your travel plans this can be a solid way to redeem your points.

Use 100,000 Points to Score Round Trip Tickets to Hawaii on United via Singapore Airlines

The Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer program is also an Ultimate Rewards 1:1 transfer partner, and since it is in the Star Alliance, you can use their program to fly on their partner United Airlines. The Singapore Airlines award chart is more favorable than United’s own chart for the exact same flights in some cases. For example, United wants 45,000 miles round trip for flights from the mainland to Hawaii in economy, but via Singapore Airlines you can book the same flight for 35,000 miles round trip.

Hawaii for less

This example highlights the beauty of having transferable Ultimate Reward points as you can pick and choose between the various award charts to transfer to the partner that will help you stretch your points as far as they can go. If you wanted to go to Hawaii in business class (domestic first in a two-cabin plane), it would cost you 60,000 miles to fly on United via the Singapore Airlines chart instead of 80,000 if you transferred to United directly, though availability can be harder to secure in business/first class than economy.

Use 100,000 Points to Fly to Hawaii from 25,000 Miles Each on Delta

Thanks to Korean Airlines, you can fly round trip to Hawaii on Delta operated flights for just 25,000 miles in economy. Because of some recent updates on the Korean side of things, you can even now book those flights online! Theoretically you can even do the round trip in Delta first class for just 45,000 miles round trip, though you need some true needle-in-a-hay-stack luck to find that availability.

Make sure these boxes are checked to search for awards on Delta

Make sure these boxes are checked to search for awards on Delta

Getting four round trip tickets to Hawaii with one credit card sign-up bonus is very exciting for many family travelers!

Use 100,000 Bonus Points to Fly United Business Class Polaris Flight to Europe

United premium cabin flights to Europe and beyond recently got an upgrade when the new Polaris flights kicked off in late 2016. At first there won’t be actual new Polaris seats on most aircraft (though those start appearing in the coming months), but almost everything else from the Saks Fifth Avenue duvet, to the food and beverage options, to the new Polaris lounges is upgraded over previous United BusinessFirst offerings, which I think were already totally adequate for a lie-flat trip to Europe.

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You can get a one-way United operated award flight to Europe from North America for 57,500 Ultimate Reward points transferred 1:1 to United. Getting a one-way flight in lie-flat business class for far less than one credit card sign-up bonus isn’t too shabby when that flight would sell for several thousand dollars!

United Polaris Lounge in Chicago

United Polaris Lounge in Chicago

Use 100,000 Bonus Points for Lots of Domestic United flights from 10,000 Miles

It may not be fancy, but we still use United miles (transferred in from Ultimate Rewards) for domestic United flights when the selling price of the flight is pretty high. We also use them quite a bit to fly my husband’s parents from Kansas to Texas for visits. The selling prices for that route can be close to $400 or more round trip, but it is just 20,000 United miles round trip since the flight is less than 700 miles each way.

With 100,000 points you have enough to transfer to United and get several round trip saver economy award tickets within the lower 48 or Canada for 20,000 – 25,000 miles each via United. It may not be the most exciting redemption out there, but it is still one of the most valuable for us to keep our daughters connected to their family.

Hurray for getting the whole family together!

Hurray for getting the whole family together!

Use 100,000 Bonus Points for Over $1400 in Southwest Flights

If you want easy award flight booking options with no blackout dates, you can use your Chase Ultimate Reward points for 1:1 transfers to Southwest Airlines where 100,000 points can get you more than $1400 worth of “Wanna Get Away” fares! The exact amount of value you get from points transferred to Southwest will vary, but some recent tests resulted in about 1.4 – 1.6 cents per point via Wanna Get Away fares. I love that with Southwest you can redeposit or change your award flights without paying a penalty.

Do note that transfers to Southwest from Ultimate Rewards do not count towards earning the valuable Companion Pass, though of course if you already have the Companion Pass you will get twice as far on your transferred points.

So Many Ways to Use 100,000 Sign-Up Bonus Points

This post really just scratches the surface of what you can do with 100,000 Ultimate Reward sign-up bonus points, but whether you want four nights at a Hyatt Resort in Hawaii, multiple Southwest award flights maximizing the Companion Pass, several domestic round trip tickets to visit family starting at just 7,500 points each when booked via British Airways, or you just want to use your points at a flat 1.5 cents each for travel booked via Chase, you can make it happen when you are working with such a large number of bonus points.

How do you plan to use your 100,000 Chase Sapphire Reserve sign-up bonus points?

Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.

Comments

  1. I try to apply again for this car but was denied because I’ve opened 10 cards in the last 24 months. Any suggestions for getting around this? We don’t live anywhere near a Chase branch. It makes me so sad I can’t get this card!

    • Sorry to say there really isn’t any good way around 5/24. Some over that can go into a branch if they are pre-approved for the CSR that can bypass 5/24, but if you can’t get into a branch that is out….and even if you could it is faaaaaaaar from a guaranteed route. It didn’t work for me. My best advice in this situation is just be happy that you got so many offers in the last 24 months and focus on non 5/24 products from Chase and others.

  2. I was really debating getting this card, but your article on “is the $450 annual fee worth it” helped me decide YES! It was so easy and took all of 5 minutes online. Yay!!!! After a year (and some good travel rewards), I’ll decide if I want to keep it. Thank you for the deadline reminders!

  3. I like the idea of using 100K UR points + the 4K points from minimum spend for four roundtrip economy tickets from the East Coast, e.g., Boston, New York, DC) to Dublin where you can take Ryanair or Easyjet to most anywhere in Europe for +/- $100 or less.(Not doing economy for anything further than that.)

  4. Hi Summer,

    I am trying to book the R/T tickets to Hawaii for my family of 5. I am having no luck in finding rewards on Alaska or Delta’s website for 25,000 R/T. Do you know if it shows higher on there and less when I book through Korean Air?

  5. Any idea when, after spending the required $4k to get the signup bonus, the points will be usuable to book travel or transfer to places like KrisFlyer??

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