How to use the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal

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With the right amount of planning, it’s possible to book your entire vacation, including flights, hotels, cruises, car rentals, tours and other activities, entirely on points through the Chase travel portal.

But are you getting the best deal by doing this instead of transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards (UR) points to travel partners and booking directly? It turns out there’s a lot more to consider — everything from travel date flexibility and brand variety to the credit card you’re using — if you want to get more value for your points by booking through the Chase travel portal.

Below, Select breaks down the best ways to book flights, hotels, cruises, tours and vacation activities through the Chase travel portal with Ultimate Rewards points.

Earning and redeeming Chase Ultimate Rewards points

To access the Chase travel portal, you’ll need to have a credit card that earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve®, Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card, Ink Business Cash® Credit Card, Chase Freedom Unlimited® or Chase Freedom Flex℠.

The easiest way to earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points quickly is by taking advantage of the lucrative welcome bonuses offered by certain rewards cards: 

The card you’re using to redeem UR points will also affect your point redemption value. For instance, if you’re using the Chase Sapphire Preferred to book through the Chase travel portal points are worth 25 percent more (1.25 cents per point). But if you’re booking with the Chase Sapphire Reserve, points are worth 50 percent more (1.5 cents per point) — the other no annual fee Chase cards each carry a redemption rate of 1 cent per point.

That means the 100,000 points you’d earn from the Chase Sapphire Preferred‘s welcome bonus are worth $1,250 towards travel, while the Chase Sapphire Reserve‘s 60,000-point sign-up bonus is worth $900 in travel rewards.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Rewards

    $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3X points on dining, 2X points on all other travel purchases, 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022, and 1X points on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 100,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

  • Regular APR

    15.99% to 22.99% variable on purchases and balance transfers

  • Balance transfer fee

    Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

Getting started with the Chase travel portal

To reach the Chase travel portal, log into your Chase account, then click the arrow near the right side of the screen where it says the amount of your Chase UR points. Depending o
n how many Chase credit cards you have, you may be asked to choose which one you want to proceed with.

The next screen is your credit card’s main dashboard, showing how many UR points you currently have, as well as any deals or bonus opportunities. Click the arrow at the top where it says, “Earn / Use” and the number of points you have. A menu will appear, offering various options for earning and redeeming UR points.

While not the best redemption in terms of overall value, you could choose to use your Chase points for Apple and Amazon purchases, cash them in for gift cards and experiences, or reimburse yourself for certain recent charges through Chase’s nifty Pay Yourself Back tool. This is also where you can transfer points directly to one of Chase’s 14 travel partners if you have a specific flight or hotel in mind. Otherwise, click “Travel” to enter the Chase travel portal.

From here, you’ll be able to search for flights, hotels, Luxury Hotel & Resort collection properties, rental cars, things to do (vacation activities and tours), vacation rentals and cruises. Simply choose your category, plug in your desired dates and details, and book with points, cash or some combination of the two. The search engine is powered by Expedia, with a similar user-friendly interface. You should see booking options similar to if you were booking directly with Expedia itself.

How to book flights through the Chase travel portal

There are a few pros and cons to consider when booking flights through the Chase travel portal. You won’t have to worry about blackout dates or limited award availability, which makes it great if you’re not flexible with dates and flight times. Just make sure you compare the amount of points needed through the Chase travel portal with how many points the airline would require if you were using its own miles, especially if you’re hunting for a good deal on economy seats.

The catch with using the Chase travel portal is you won’t be able to shop for tickets on low-cost carriers like Spirit Airlines, Frontier Airlines, or Allegiant Air — you can search for flights on Delta, JetBlue, American, and United. You’ll also be able to book flights on most international carriers.

And while you can’t bring up Southwest Airlines flights through a regular search, you can still transfer UR points directly to the airline at a 1:1 ratio since it’s a Chase travel partner, or call 1-855-233-9462 to book with UR points by phone through the Chase Travel Center.

Another thing to consider now that the Chase travel portal is powered by Expedia: you won’t be able to tell whether you’re booking a basic economy seat or a main cabin seat until you reach the fare selection page, so pay attention if you’re trying to avoid basic economy.

Remember that you can still earn miles and elite credits on flights, as tickets booked through the Chase travel portal are categorized as “paid” rather than as an award flight, since you’re “paying” for them with points instead of cash. Consider the taxes and fees you might have to pay if you were to transfer the points straight to one of Chase’s travel partners versus booking directly through the portal, and to calculate and compare how many points and miles you’d earn by booking with either method.

You’ll be able to search, filter, and sort by price, airline, departure time, arrival time, and departure airport. For this example, below, consider a round-trip flight from Washington, D.C. to Nashville with sample dates of November 5–12, 2021, booked through the travel portal with a Chase Sapphire Reserve card (redemptions are worth 1.5 cents per point):