7 Easy Tricks to Use 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points for Cheap Travel

This site is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as CreditCards.com. This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers. What is written in the article is the editor's opinion.

Right now, a few Chase cards have sign-up bonuses with 50,000 Chase Ultimate Ultimate Rewards points. These are by far my favorite kind of points. And the ones I focus on collecting above all others.

The Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Reserve, and Ink Business Cash all offer a 50,000 point sign-up bonus after meeting minimum spending requirements. That got me thinking how I’ve used Chase points in the past.

use chase rewards

I’ve used Chase points to spend time in Austin via British Airways, Hyatt, and Southwest

Here’s more about each card, as they all have different fees and earning rates. And ideas for how to spend those bonus points!

3 Great Chase Offers

It’s not every day Chase has 50,000 point offers on this many Ultimate Rewards cards.

To start, all these cards are under the 5/24 rule – you can’t get them if you’ve opened 5+ cards in the last 24 months. I’m LOL/24, as I lamented recently.

Here’s a side-by-side comparison:

Earn 50,000 points with...Sapphire PreferredSapphire ReserveInk Business Cash
Minimum spending$4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening$4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening$3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
Annual fee$95, waived the 1st year$450 (comes with $300 travel credit annually)$0
Earning- 2X on travel and dining

- 1X on other purchases
- 3X on travel and dining

- 1X on other purchases
- 5X on first $25,000 in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year

- 2X on first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year

- 1X on other purchases
Points worth on travel1.25 cents each (bonus is worth at least $625)1.5 cents each (bonus is worth at least $750)1 cent each (bonus with worth at least $500)
Notes- Cannot have both Sapphire cards at the same time

- Here's why it's the best card for beginners
- Cannot have both Sapphire cards at the same time

- Comes with $300 travel credit, Priority Pass membership, $100 credit toward Global Entry

- Here's why I love this card
- An excellent small business card

- Sleeper hit for road trippin'
LinkCompare it here.Compare it here.Compare it here.

And here’s how the points transfer.

Pair Chase cards to have more travel options

So with the Chase Ink Cash, for example, you’d need another premium card to access the transfer partners.

How to use 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points

I’ve had both Sapphire cards, and still have the Ink Plus (it was discontinued). So I personally use and redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards points all the time.

Here are some fun ways to get outsized value from this valuable points currency.

1. Short flights around the world with British Airways

I use British Airways Avios points a lot because Dallas is an American Airlines hub (a BA partner). You can book short flights under 1,151 miles that start or end in the US for 7,500 British Airways Avios points. That’s the price I paid to fly from Dallas to Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, and Austin.

These short flights can cost $300+! So booking this way saves a ton of money.

They’re also great for short expensive flights between:

  • Chicago and Indianapolis
  • New York and Boston
  • New York and DC
  • Dallas and Memphis (often over $300 each way)
  • New York and Toronto
  • New York and Chicago

I use Chase points for a relaxing beach vacation in Cancun

Even cooler, if your flight is under 651 miles outside the US, you’ll only pay 4,500 British Airways Avios points each way, including:

  • Jo’burg to Cape Town on British Airways in South Africa
  • Sydney to Melbourne on Qantas in Australia
  • Around South America on LATAM
  • Around Europe on British Airways (London to Paris, for example) or Finnair
  • Certain Fifth Freedom routes that are extremely interesting with usually wide open space

So yeah, I jam on this redemption a lot. It’s an oldie but goodie.

2. Free nights at Hyatt hotels

I’m spoiled for choice.  But Dallas has tons of Hyatt Category 1 and 2 hotels. Per night, you’ll need:

  • 5,000 Hyatt points at Category 1 hotels
  • 8,000 Hyatt points at Category 2 hotels
  • 12,000 Hyatt points at Category 3 hotels
  • 15,000 Hyatt points at Category 4 hotels
  • 20,000 Hyatt points at Category 5 hotels
  • 25,000 Hyatt points at Category 6 hotels
  • 30,000 Hyatt points at Category 7 hotels

So 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points is enough for:

  • 10 nights at a Category 1 hotel
  • 6 nights at a Category 2 hotel
  • 2 nights at a Category 5 or 6 hotel (like the Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta, which is only 20K points per night!)

Hyatt does NOT have blackout dates. If a standard room is for sale, you can book it with points.

Hyatt House and Hyatt Place hotels are gold for points awards

I easily found 6 consecutive nights in Dallas this May at the Hyatt House Lincoln Park, a Category 2 hotel.

You’d pay 48,000 Hyatt points to stay completely free. Or ~$990 in cash.

Visit Hawaii AND save money? Where do I sign up?

Of course, luxury Hyatt hotels like the Grand Hyatt Kauai can easily cost over $1,000 for a 2-night stay. Or you could use 50,000 Hyatt points for a stay in Hawaii (I’m tempted to redeem this myself).

Staying at Hyatt hotels is up there as far as good deals with Chase points go.

3. 2 Round-trip flights to Hawaii

On the topic of Hawaii, you can use Chase points to fly there!

From the west coast, you’ll pay 12,500 British Airways Avios points each way from:

  • Anchorage
  • Los Angeles
  • Oakland
  • Phoenix
  • Portland
  • Sacramento
  • San Diego
  • San Jose
  • Seattle

Ain’t that cool?

That’s 50,000 British Airways Avios points for 2 round-trip coach flights. You can find all the flights on AA.com – and need to call British Airways to book for flights on Alaska.

Not on the west coast? Book it with Korean Air miles instead, for the same price.

Delta wants 60,000 miles for flights to Hawaii from Minneapolis

You’ll pay 25,000 Korean Air miles for a round-trip flight on Delta from anywhere in the US. I found flights from Minneapolis to Honolulu this October for 60,000 Delta miles.

Muuuch better

Or, you can book the exact same flights with 25,000 Korean Air miles. These flights would cost nearly $1,000 out-of-pocket. So this represents a stunningly good deal.

The only downside is you can only book awards for yourself and family – not for friends. And keep in mind, you can sometimes find dirt-cheap fares to Hawaii – in which case, just pay the cash fare and save your points.

Note: Before June 1st, 2018, you can use Flying Blue miles to book award flights for 15,000 miles each way from the US!

4. 2 domestic round-trip flights

Get 2 round-trip coach award flights within the US, or to Alaska or Canada, for 50,000 United miles.

Think big with this one:

  • Miami to Anchorage
  • Dallas to somewhere in Canada
  • To an expensive National Park
  • To a small airport with typically expensive flights

This represents an easy win if you can find award space domestically. I’ve found United often has the most open award seats.

Toronto, I’m coming for you

And keep in mind, short flights under 700 miles are only 10,000 United miles each way.

I’ve had my eye on Dallas to Toronto for as long as I can remember. The second the temperature gets above freezing, I want to head north. And I’ll likely use United miles.

Or keep in mind, you can book partner awards like Air Canada, Lufthansa, and so many other Star Alliance partners with United miles, too. (It’s the largest alliance with 27 airline members.) You can also use Singapore Airlines miles, too – so compare and pick the cheapest price!

The caveat is you should only pull this trick for expensive flights of $500+. Otherwise, you are better off paying cash. The goal is to SAVE money.

5. Flights on Southwest

Southwest points are worth ~1.5 cents each per point. So 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points is good for $750 toward Southwest flights (50,000 X 1.5).

Even better if you have the Companion Pass! And… Southwest is likely to start flights to Hawaii this year.

Yeah, I’m one of those “I love Southwest” people

This method is best if you have the Sapphire Preferred (because points are worth 1.25 cents each when you book travel through Chase, so you always get more value by transferring).

But with the Sapphire Reserve, points are worth 1.5 cents each. All things being equal, you should book through Chase to earn points when you fly and credit toward elite status (you need to call to book Southwest flights).

Before I transfer to Southwest (because I have the Sapphire Reserve), I check to see what’s cheaper: booking through Chase or transferring to Southwest. I want to pay as few points as possible (duh!). And if I can, earn some more points on top of that!

I’m in Dallas (where Southwest is based), so I make good use of this redemption opportunity. But if you have the Companion Pass, wow, this could really be worthwhile. Or if you’re in a Southwest city.

6. Pay with points for travel

You can book most flights, hotel stays, and car rentals directly through Chase at UltimateRewards.com.

Depending on which card you have, your points are worth different amounts. They’re worth (and 50,000 points are worth):

  • 1 cent each with Ink Business Cash, Freedom, and Freedom Unlimited ($500)
  • 1.25 cents each with Sapphire Preferred and Ink Business Preferred ($625)
  • 1.5 cents each with Sapphire Reserve ($750)

Want to just go without worrying about award space? You can do that with Chase points

Here, your points are worth which card you have. So put your points into the most lucrative card account and just book it.

I like to book travel through transfer partners. But I get it’s a hassle to find space and be flexible with dates. If you don’t want to think about that, 50,000 Chase points is worth, at an absolute minimum, $500 toward travel. Which is a great sign-up bonus!

And at the high end (with the Sapphire Reserve), they’re worth $750 toward travel. With all the other perks you get, you can come out well ahead of any annual fees (which is waived the first year for the Sapphire Preferred and doesn’t exist for the Ink Business Cash).

7. Top-up your other loyalty accounts

Chase Ultimate Ultimate Rewards points transfer at a 1:1 ratio to:

  • Aer Lingus
  • British Airways
  • Flying Blue (Air France and KLM)
  • Hyatt
  • Iberia
  • IHG
  • Korean Air
  • Marriott
  • Ritz-Carlton
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Southwest
  • United
  • Virgin Atlantic

If you’re *thisclose* to an award with any of those programs (like within under a few thousand points), it’s 100% worth it to top-up your account with Chase Ultimate Rewards points. Especially if your points are set to expire.

Don’t let an award trip slip through your fingers because of a few missing points. Or let points expire!

I’ve done this in several situations. And it’s always been the make or break between taking a trip or not. If you’re in that situation, your points are worth even more – because they’re the hinge on which the award swings, at that point.

This is true for all transferable points. But I’ve transferred to Hyatt, Marriott, IHG, and British Airways before – all to get a few extra points to score a nice award. Priceless.

A few considerations

The Ink Cash Preferred is a small business card. So you need to be aiming to make a profit to apply for that one. In addition, it does NOT let you access award partners on its own. You need another “premium” Chase card to get award with travel partners (see chart above).

I also wrote about the break even point for Sapphire cards if you’re having trouble deciding. And if you’re truly stumped, just go for the Sapphire Preferred <— here’s why.

Finally, the Ink Business Preferred has a sign-up bonus of 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points (yes, even MORE). Compare it here. You’ll earn 3 points per $1 in these categories:

  • Travel
  • Shipping purchases
  • Internet, cable, and phone services
  • Advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines

Here’s my full review of the offer. This one is worthwhile if you make lots of purchases in the bonus categories.

Bottom line

I jam on these tricks all the time. They’re my favorite, and most lucrative ways, to redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

And Chase is offering 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points on 3 cards right now.  You can use them for:

  • Short flights with British Airways Avios points
  • Free stays at Hyatt hotels
  • 2 flights to Hawaii
  • 2 domestic round-trip coach flights on United
  • Cheap travel on Southwest (especially if you have the Companion Pass)
  • Travel through Chase (at least $500, up to $750, depending on which card you get)
  • Topping-up your loyalty accounts

The beauty of transferable points programs like Ultimate Rewards is the flexibility and variety of uses.

So I’m curious to hear: what’s your favorite way to redeem Ultimate Rewards points? And which of these cards is your fave?

BEST Current Credit Card Deals

COMPARE MORE CARD OFFERS HERE.

* If you liked this post, consider signing up to receive free blog posts via email (only 1 per day!) or in an RSS reader and you’ll never miss an update! And thanks for using my links to apply for new card offers!

About Harlan

Just a dude living in Dallas.

More articles by Harlan »

Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post. The opinions of the commenters are not necessarily the opinions of this site.

Pingbacks

Comments

  1. @Joe C: We got Qantas Business class between Melbourne and Sydney last year for 9500 Avios. Plenty of award space too. Just a few weeks ago Helsinki to LHR for 4500 in economy. BTW, hate BA economy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *