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You probably already know that you can use your Chase Ultimate Reward points at a fixed value to book flights, hotels, and even rental cars through Chase Travel, but you can also use them to book activities and select theme park tickets. Some people never use their Ultimate Reward points at a fixed value to book travel and only transfer them to hotel and airline partners, which is how we also use the majority of our points. However, the best redemption is the one you want to make your travel dreams a reality, not the one that gives you the best return per point. If visiting Universal Studios is on your family’s travel wishlist, here is how you can use your Chase Ultimate Reward points to purchase those expensive Universal Studios theme park tickets.
The value you can get from your Chase Ultimate Reward points when booking travel is directly related to which Chase Ultimate Rewards card(s) you have. The best value per point will be obtained by having a Chase Sapphire Reserve as your points are then worth 1.5 cents each towards booking travel.
The next highest value per point can be found from the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Ink Business Preferred cards that each offer 1.25 cents in value per Ultimate Rewards point redeemed when booking travel. The Chase Freedom card will provide you with a value of just 1 cent per point. However, you can transfer the points you have earned on your other Chase Ultimate Rewards cards like the Freedom to the Sapphire Reserve and then redeem at 1.5 cents each if you happen to have multiple types of Chase cards.
In our case, we do have the Sapphire Reserve card, so our Ultimate Reward points can be used at a value of 1.5 cents each towards travel booked directly with Chase. That isn’t an outstanding redemption value given how useful the points are when I transfer them to partners including Hyatt, United, Singapore, and more, but it is still a solid return.
To use Chase Ultimate Reward points to book Universal Studios tickets, log-in to the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Site and enter the city of the theme park you wish to visit.
Since we are interested in tickets to Universal Studios Orlando, we entered Orlando, Florida, as our destination and then selected the ‘activities’ button.
There were many, many options presented, but we zeroed in on the ‘theme park’ filter and that dramatically dropped the number of results. One of the remaining options was indeed Universal Orlando theme park tickets. We are interested in one-day Park-to-Park tickets for this summer, and those tickets are available via the Chase Travel site using your Ultimate Reward points.
The price for three one-day Universal Park-to-Park tickets for our date via Chase Travel is $602.68 or 40,178 Ultimate Reward points redeemed at a value of 1.5 cents per point from the Sapphire Reserve.
To compare these tickets to the price available directly from Universal, which you should always do, it looks like the Chase price is a little higher at $602.68, compared to $566.59. This means your real value per point isn’t quite 1.5 cents as you are paying a somewhat marked up price over buying direct, but that doesn’t mean it is a bad deal. Keeping over $566 in your pockets while still getting the Universal tickets you want is absolutely a win, but be sure and do the math before deciding this is the best redemption for you.
The process would be roughly the same if you were looking for tickets to Universal Studios Hollywood, and there are various other theme park tickets available in the Chase Travel site including Legoland, Six Flags, SeaWorld, Disneyland, more.
Even a short trip to Universal Studios Orlando for a family of four can very, very easily cost into the four figures. However, if you scored a two-night stay at the on-site Loews Royal Pacific Hotel, that property conveys included Universal Express Pass tickets for all registered room occupants. If you secured a two-night stay at that property by purchasing this Daily Getaways Deal (sold out for this year), and then used your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to cover the theme park tickets, all the sudden what could be a budget-busting family vacation quickly comes into range.
Have you ever used your Chase Ultimate Reward points to secure Universal Studios or other theme park tickets?
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.