I’m bananas over the new offer to earn 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points with the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. (Here’s my recent post on this incredible offer with even more ways to redeem Chase points.)
Which got me thinking – how would I use 100,000 Chase points?
I love thought experiments like these. So while you might use them differently – there are so many ways and everyone has a different travel style – here’s what I’d get up to at this moment in time. We like the points!
How I’d use 100,000 Chase points
|Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
|• 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1 spent on travel booked through Chase
• 3X Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1 spent on dining
|• $95 annual fee
• $50 annual hotel credit
• 10% anniversary points bonus
• Free DoorDash DashPass subscription
|• $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
|• The best card for beginners
|• Compare it here
For reference, here are Chase’s travel transfer partners:
1. 21 nights at a Hyatt Category 1 hotel to help earn Globalist status.
Hyatt’s 2021 elite requirements are half of what they normally are. This year, you can earn top-tier Globalist status with only 30 nights – and award nights count.
Hyatt has also delayed the introduction of peak and off-peak award pricing. So while I have the chance, I’d stay in as many Category 1 hotels as I could, which are only 5,000 points per night. When you factor in the minimum spending, you’ll have enough for 21 award nights from the Chase Sapphire Preferred bonus.
Some of them are in really neat locations! Domestically, I would consider:
- Hyatt Place Tucson-Central – Tucson is a cool, arty town
- Hyatt Place Boise/Towne Square – I’ve never been to Idaho and hear good things about Boise
- Hyatt Place Memphis/Germantown to be close to my family
- Hyatt Place Dallas/Plano to hang out with my Dallas friends
- Hyatt Regency Albuquerque – Are you kiddin’? A Category 1 Hyatt Regency? And I *love* New Mexico
- Hyatt Place Nashville/Hendersonville – I did stay here for 29 nights! And earned Globalist status in the process
Most Category 1 options are Hyatt Place or Hyatt House, but if the locations are good, that’s the biggest thing I care about.
If we’re talking internationally, I’d give serious consideration to:
- Hyatt House Mexico City/Santa Fe because I love CDMX
- Hyatt Place San Jose/Pinares – I’ve always wanted to visit Costa Rica
Let’s do a quick number crunch. I’ll pick 21 consecutive days in November 2021 (that are available with points) and see how much a cash stay would cost. And select Hyatt Place Boise/Towne Square.
This hotel was ~$140 a night. That would make the Chase Sapphire Preferred bonus worth over $3,000 and also get me within striking distance of Globalist elite status through February 2023 (if I didn’t already have it). Plus, I’d get to spend time in a new place and cross a state off my list.
(I only have North Dakota, South Dakota, Idaho, Wyoming, and Minnesota left!)
The Mexico City hotel is only $50 per night (!) and the Costa Rica location is only $82 per night, so for those rates, I’d just pay cash. Also holy crap – do I need to spend a month in Mexico City? I think I just gave myself an idea.
Also remember, you don’t pay taxes and fees on award nights – so that’s an automatic added value. And Globalist members also get free parking on award nights.
2. 5 nights at the Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos or Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta.
- Link: Review of My $100 Stay at the Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos
- Link: Trip Report: An Amazing Repeat Stay at the Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta
Both of these hotels are 20,000 Hyatt points per night – and they’re all-inclusive. I have stayed at both and had a fantastic time. I give the slight edge to the Puerto Vallarta location.
Of course, you can sometimes find low rates. But you can also save a ton of money by doing a fly-and-flop and just really enjoy yourself for 5 glorious nights. You could also opt to stay longer and use points to offset a few of the nights, especially if the rates fluctuate.
I might actually return here in October for a trip with one of my friends. So this might very well be how I actually use 100,000 Chase points – and I’d highly recommend it to anyone.
3. 14 short one-way coach flights within North America (or 7 round-trips).
Using British Airways Avios points, you’ll pay 7,500 points for coach flights up to 650 miles within North America on partner airlines (American and Alaska). That includes some pricey routes like:
- Miami to Nassau, Bahamas or Cancun
- Chicago to Memphis or Columbus or Kansas City
- NYC to Boston
- Dallas to Austin
- Seattle to Portland
This is perhaps the best use of British Airways Avios points. Because when you can find these award flights, you stand to save a looot of money.
For example, I was able to find 7 seats available from Miami to Cancun for 7,500 Avios + $35 in taxes in November. This same flight would cost $188 in cash.
In this case, I would happily redeem Avios points (transferred from Chase). You could use the Chase Sapphire Preferred bonus for 14 similar flights.
Even at the $188 price point, 14 flights would cost $2,632. Or you could use 105,000 Chase points + $490 instead. Which means the bonus is worth $2,142. Still an excellent deal!
Remember, this pricing is only for North America. For the rest of the world, these flights only cost 6,000 Avios points! So you could get 17 short one-way flights instead. Think of routes like:
- Sydney to Melbourne
- Tokyo to Osaka
- London to Paris
- Barcelona to Milan or Madrid
- Many, many more
Ironically, the worst way to use Avios points is for award flights on British Airways because of the exorbitant taxes and fees. The real value is for short partner flights, either domestically or in other parts of the world.
4. Find a sweet deal to Europe in Delta business class.
It’s no secret that Delta is stingy AF with their award space, and that the SkyMiles program is an absolute blowhole of a joke. (This IS me holding back.)
That’s precisely why I’d look for Delta award space on Virgin Atlantic until I found one of those little unicorn business class seats that are 50,000 miles each way to Europe with minimal taxes. And then I’d book it just to YOLO to Europe. It would probably be hard for me to part with 100,000 Chase points just to do this. But if I was flush with points…
…and found the right seats…
…and was in the right mood…
…and just REALLY wanted to do it…
heck yeah I’d book it. It’s an experience I’ve always want to have. And life is for living and all that. And because 50,000 miles each way to Europe in business class is actually a fantastic deal. And these flights are usually $1,000s if you pay cash.
5. Or wait until Air Canada joins the program, and add a couple of hotel nights.
Air Canada is joining Chase Ultimate Rewards later this year and we are ready for it!
Partner award flights to Europe cost:
- 35,000 Aeroplan points – coach flights under 4,000 miles
- 45,000 Aeroplan points – coach flights over 4,000 miles
- 60,000 Aeroplan points – business class flights under 4,000 miles
- 70,000 Aeroplan points – business class flights over 4,000 miles
Sure, you can find cheaper flights with Flying Blue (on Air France, KLM, or Delta), but that requires hunting and pecking. But with Air Canada, there are three main benefits:
- Star Alliance access – by far the most flights to Europe from the US of any alliance
- Set award chart prices – you’ll pay the same price no matter which partners are available and the only variable is flight distance
- No fuel surcharges on partner award flights
With this option, I’d mix and match my points redemption. Coach flight to Europe and fly in business back home. Or pay for a flight and use the rest for a couple of free nights at a Hyatt hotel. Just to give a couple of possibilities.
6. Top off my hotel program.
You can transfer Chase points to 3 hotel programs:
The most worthwhile of these is of course, Hyatt, but do you ever run into the issue where you have aaalmost enough points for an award stay… but not quite?
The cool thing about Chase transfers is that they’re all 1:1 and instant. That means I can look for an award room on the Marriott (or IHG or Hyatt) website, open a new tab and transfer some Chase points, then flip back and book the room.
And I have done this many times. Ever since living on the road, I find this happening more often. And if I had a stash of 100,000 Chase points? Why, that would get me out of a tight spot tout de suite!
You could also use this to quickly book any award flights you find. And you should! Keep your points with Chase until you’re ready to transfer. (It’s a hedge against loyalty program devaluations and ensures your eggs are never in one basket.) I have done this many times – especially with British Airways award flights (see #2 above).
Use 100,000 Chase points bottom line
Hopefully this gives you some ideas, too! Chase points are valuable because they’re so flexible and have a few standout travel partners. Used judiciously, you stand to save literally thousands on award flights or hotel stays.
The current offer on the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is the highest there’s ever been (and likely the highest it will ever be). If you haven’t had this card yet or have been waiting for an amazing offer, THIS IS IT. There’s no reason why you can’t get $2,000+ in award travel from this bonus – which is insane for one card offer. Here’s another post with a few more ways to use Chase points and here’s why the Chase Sapphire Preferred is the BEST card for points and miles beginners.
How would you use 100,000 Chase points? Is there anything you’d lift from my playbook?
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