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For some people and some situations, using credit card points at a fixed value towards booking flights is a better idea than transferring them to an airline frequent flyer program and booking using traditional airline miles and award charts. This is especially true when the flights you want are pretty cheap, the awards you want aren’t there, or you simply want to earn miles on the flight. We’ve used our Chase Ultimate Reward points at a fixed value towards securing flights a few times when it made sense, but that equation got way more complicated when Basic Economy fares came on the scene and then expanded to touch virtually every domestic flight, and even some international flights.
As you likely know, Basic Economy fares come with lots of rules that are anything but family-friendly. The specifics vary a little from airline to airline, but typically Basic Economy fares mean you aren’t earning miles, can’t get advance seat assignments at booking, can’t bring onboard anything larger than a personal item, can’t use your elite status perks, are the last to board, and the list goes on. Heck, the airlines don’t even want you to book a Basic Economy fare, they want you to pay more to book something else.
For a while, the Chase Travel booking portal didn’t display Basic Economy fares with airlines like United, but eventually, it did and the only way to avoid them was to call Chase and book over the phone.
However, in recent weeks that process has changed and you can now select whether or not you want Basic Economy fares to display on the Chase travel site when you are shopping for flights with cash, points, or a mixture of both.
This is truly great news for those who, like me, vastly prefer to use their points to book travel online rather than make a phone call and risk important booking details getting lost in translation. I can think of virtually no situation where Basic Economy would make sense for me, so I’m very happy to now be able to avoid those fares when using my Chase points to book flights by simply clicking a button to filter out those fares.
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.