Best Use of Ultimate Rewards Points

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Leesbro63
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Best Use of Ultimate Rewards Points

Post by Leesbro63 » Fri Nov 06, 2015 5:32 am

Both my wife and I recently got Chase Sapphire Preferred cards and each received (and acumulated to total, each ) about 50,000 "Ultimate Rewards" points.

What's the best use of these? We aren't big travelers...maybe fly regionally (east coast/midwest) a few times per year.

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DaveG
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Re: Best Use of Ultimate Rewards Points

Post by DaveG » Fri Nov 06, 2015 6:26 am

I don't know if it's the best use, but I always use the "get cash back" feature. The credit appears on my statement within just a couple days. Easy.
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tenkuky
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Re: Best Use of Ultimate Rewards Points

Post by tenkuky » Fri Nov 06, 2015 6:28 am

DaveG wrote:I don't know if it's the best use, but I always use the "get cash back" feature. The credit appears on my statement within just a couple days. Easy.
+1
I do the same

Jd1006
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Re: Best Use of Ultimate Rewards Points

Post by Jd1006 » Fri Nov 06, 2015 6:30 am

Leesbro63 wrote:Both my wife and I recently got Chase Sapphire Preferred cards and each received (and acumulated to total, each ) about 50,000 "Ultimate Rewards" points.

What's the best use of these? We aren't big travelers...maybe fly regionally (east coast/midwest) a few times per year.
I have found transferring them to hyatts awards program is a cheap way to book free hotels. 100,000k points will easily get you 12-17 nights at a hyatt depending on the location.

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DrippingSprings
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Re: Best Use of Ultimate Rewards Points

Post by DrippingSprings » Fri Nov 06, 2015 6:34 am

It might depend on the card, but with my Capitalone card, I get the best return if I use the reward points to purchase gift cards -- significantly more dollars per point than using cashback.

ausmatt
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Re: Best Use of Ultimate Rewards Points

Post by ausmatt » Fri Nov 06, 2015 7:02 am

For Chase UR, the highest $/point redemption will be Hyatt hotels. You should be able to yield $0.025 to $0.05 per point that way.

Alternatively, I also use these to top off my British Airways or Southwest accounts if I need just a few thousand points for an award.

The best advice is I received previously ... What were you already going to do (travel or purchase wise) and how can the points then offset that expense. And spend the offset on your wife! ;-)

Matt

awval999
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Re: Best Use of Ultimate Rewards Points

Post by awval999 » Fri Nov 06, 2015 7:19 am

What's your home airport?

For regional flights, I'd say Southwest would be your best bet for travel value if SW flights to/from your airport/destination.

And in regards to cashing out UR points for 1c/each. How you all break my heart. :oops: :oops:

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Re: Best Use of Ultimate Rewards Points

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Fri Nov 06, 2015 8:08 am

awval999 wrote: And in regards to cashing out UR points for 1c/each. How you all break my heart. :oops: :oops:

I use the points for cash back. I have no plans to travel or stay at a hotel in the next year and get points every month. I understand that travel points get you more, if you travel, but I don't. I even use points.com to convert my Hyatt points to something I can use like Best Buy at 50% to transfer them. To me, 50% (or 1c per) is way better than 300% of something I will never use.
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killjoy2012
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Re: Best Use of Ultimate Rewards Points

Post by killjoy2012 » Fri Nov 06, 2015 8:25 am

The largest $ per point redeemed is only "best" if it fits in with what you'd have otherwise done or wanted.

Hyatt is often referred to as being the best use of UR points. The problem is, at least for me, when I visit central London or Paris, I don't feel like staying in a $500+ per night hotel, nor blowing large volume of points on said hotel, even though, yes, I would be getting maximum $ per point.

It's all a matter of perspective.

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Re: Best Use of Ultimate Rewards Points

Post by dsmil » Fri Nov 06, 2015 8:33 am

killjoy2012 wrote: Hyatt is often referred to as being the best use of UR points. The problem is, at least for me, when I visit central London or Paris, I don't feel like staying in a $500+ per night hotel, nor blowing large volume of points on said hotel, even though, yes, I would be getting maximum $ per point. It's all a matter of perspective.
Agreed. I redeemed my points at a Hyatt in Paris for 3x the cash value. It was not necessary, but after staying in a hostel in London beforehand, it was a nice treat. Southwest is also a good use of your points and is probably comparable in redemption value when compared to the mid-tier Hyatts.

conroy
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Re: Best Use of Ultimate Rewards Points

Post by conroy » Fri Nov 06, 2015 8:42 am

I generally use them for Hyatt too - once in awhile, using the Chase travel portal will give better rates for hotels, and it's decent as a fallback (20% discount using points) if you have to use a hotel/airline that's not a partner.
I've also used southwest before.

This is a pretty good article on the values of different partners
http://thepointsguy.com/2015/03/redeemi ... mum-value/

As others have said, if you don't travel, it's probably easiest to just cash them out.

Leesbro63
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Re: Best Use of Ultimate Rewards Points

Post by Leesbro63 » Fri Nov 06, 2015 10:55 am

awval999 wrote:What's your home airport?

For regional flights, I'd say Southwest would be your best bet for travel value if SW flights to/from your airport/destination.

And in regards to cashing out UR points for 1c/each. How you all break my heart. :oops: :oops:
Pittsburgh. Southwest does fly in and out of here.

Leesbro63
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Re: Best Use of Ultimate Rewards Points

Post by Leesbro63 » Fri Nov 06, 2015 10:58 am

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
awval999 wrote: And in regards to cashing out UR points for 1c/each. How you all break my heart. :oops: :oops:

I use the points for cash back. I have no plans to travel or stay at a hotel in the next year and get points every month. I understand that travel points get you more, if you travel, but I don't. I even use points.com to convert my Hyatt points to something I can use like Best Buy at 50% to transfer them. To me, 50% (or 1c per) is way better than 300% of something I will never use.
I don't travel much and when I do, it's basic 3 to 3.5 star hotels for me...and for not too many nights. So the Hyatt thing doesn't work well for me. I'd be inclined to cash out the points unless it's a really bad value versus transferring to Southwest, which we do use a few times per year.

dsmil
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Re: Best Use of Ultimate Rewards Points

Post by dsmil » Fri Nov 06, 2015 2:16 pm

Leesbro63 wrote: I'd be inclined to cash out the points unless it's a really bad value versus transferring to Southwest, which we do use a few times per year.
If you are going to use Southwest a few times per year than you should just use the points towards Southwest rather than cashing them out. I think you'll get around 1.4 cents per point.

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munemaker
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Re: Best Use of Ultimate Rewards Points

Post by munemaker » Fri Nov 06, 2015 3:10 pm

Leesbro63 wrote:
awval999 wrote:What's your home airport?

For regional flights, I'd say Southwest would be your best bet for travel value if SW flights to/from your airport/destination.

And in regards to cashing out UR points for 1c/each. How you all break my heart. :oops: :oops:
Pittsburgh. Southwest does fly in and out of here.
I just used my Chase Ultimate Reward points to top off my Southwest miles to make 2 round trip flights from Pittsburgh to Tampa.

I suspect the best way to obtain maximum value for the points is to book travel through Chase, which just doesn't seem to work out for me. Short of that, take cash or transfer to the partner rewards programs; I like Marriott and Southwest Airlines.

sliqua
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Re: Best Use of Ultimate Rewards Points

Post by sliqua » Fri Nov 06, 2015 3:54 pm

One nice benefit of Ultimate Rewards is that they transfer to British Airways (their program calls points 'Avios'). Booking reward flights using Avios is great because British Airways is one of the last major airlines to offer zone-based flight redemptions based on distance. Flights under 750 nautical miles cost as little as 4500 Avios/Ultimate Rewards one way. With 100,000 miles, that's nearly 5 roundtrips from Pittsburgh to New York or Boston, DC, Burlington, Chicago, Charlotte, etc. Beats paying $300 roundtrip each time...

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Re: Best Use of Ultimate Rewards Points

Post by Quark » Fri Nov 06, 2015 4:06 pm

sliqua wrote:One nice benefit of Ultimate Rewards is that they transfer to British Airways (their program calls points 'Avios'). Booking reward flights using Avios is great because British Airways is one of the last major airlines to offer zone-based flight redemptions based on distance. Flights under 750 nautical miles cost as little as 4500 Avios/Ultimate Rewards one way. With 100,000 miles, that's nearly 5 roundtrips from Pittsburgh to New York or Boston, DC, Burlington, Chicago, Charlotte, etc. Beats paying $300 roundtrip each time...
From 2 February 2016, reward flights will start from 7,500 Avios, instead of 4,500 Avios, plus taxes, fees and carrier charges (“TFCs”) from $5.60 USD.

Gemini
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Re: Best Use of Ultimate Rewards Points

Post by Gemini » Fri Nov 06, 2015 4:47 pm

We also have a bunch of chase UR points. We are thinking of using them for airlines : United. Any tricks on how to maximize?

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Re: Best Use of Ultimate Rewards Points

Post by traveler90 » Fri Nov 06, 2015 5:10 pm

The best use is to transfer them to your airline mileage account, especially if you have a Southwest hub for domestic flights. I use mine as United miles.

Using them as cash back is about the worst use of those miles.

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Re: Best Use of Ultimate Rewards Points

Post by Bfwolf » Fri Nov 06, 2015 5:42 pm

I think there are 4 programs that generally make sense for transferring UR points to.

Southwest: You'll get something like 1.6 cents a point. Super easy to use because there's no worry about availability...it's generally a fixed point value per $ although not always.

British Airways: Useful if American goes anywhere from your airport you want to go, especially shorter distances. Less useful in a few months when they raise the minimum # of points needed for a flight from 4,500 BA points to 7,500. Also potentially useful to fly to Dublin cheap, 12.5K BA points one-way from Boston and 20K from some other locations like Chicago.

United: Useful for int'l flights.

Hyatt: You can get good value if you want to stay at their hotels.

Southwest is the easiest to get good value for if they serve your airport and you fly domestically time to time. You can get better value from the others, but not as easily.

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Re: Best Use of Ultimate Rewards Points

Post by mervinj7 » Fri Nov 06, 2015 5:45 pm

Bfwolf wrote:I think there are 4 programs that generally make sense for transferring UR points to.

Southwest: You'll get something like 1.6 cents a point. Super easy to use because there's no worry about availability...it's generally a fixed point value per $ although not always.

British Airways: Useful if American goes anywhere from your airport you want to go, especially shorter distances. Less useful in a few months when they raise the minimum # of points needed for a flight from 4,500 BA points to 7,500. Also potentially useful to fly to Dublin cheap, 12.5K BA points one-way from Boston and 20K from some other locations like Chicago.

United: Useful for int'l flights.

Hyatt: You can get good value if you want to stay at their hotels.

Southwest is the easiest to get good value for if they serve your airport and you fly domestically time to time. You can get better value from the others, but not as easily.
Definitely agree that the best use of the point is on airline or hotel bookings. Cash back may be easy, but you get more $/point if you use them to book tickets and/or overnight stay. Personally, we use them for Hyatt stays and United flights.

Gemini
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Re: Best Use of Ultimate Rewards Points

Post by Gemini » Fri Nov 06, 2015 5:59 pm

So best bet is to transfer to United and then use points to buy tickets? Am I understanding it the right way?

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Re: Best Use of Ultimate Rewards Points

Post by Bfwolf » Fri Nov 06, 2015 7:32 pm

Gemini wrote:So best bet is to transfer to United and then use points to buy tickets? Am I understanding it the right way?
This is a good bet for Int'l flights, especially business class. It's harder to get great value from United flights domestically though certainly not impossible. If you're looking for domestic flights, I'd think hard about Southwest first if they serve your airport.

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Re: Best Use of Ultimate Rewards Points

Post by nyclon » Fri Nov 06, 2015 7:35 pm

Leesbro63 wrote:Both my wife and I recently got Chase Sapphire Preferred cards and each received (and acumulated to total, each ) about 50,000 "Ultimate Rewards" points.

What's the best use of these? We aren't big travelers...maybe fly regionally (east coast/midwest) a few times per year.
You can transfer to British airways avios. They partner with American Airlines and very often have AA short haul flights for 7,500 points + $5 each way.

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Re: Best Use of Ultimate Rewards Points

Post by bta15 » Fri Nov 06, 2015 7:53 pm

I've probably used 250k UR over the last few years. IMO, and as others have said, I have found the best value through Hyatt and direct domestic flights on BA partners (Alaska Air primarily but American Air is also viable).

For example I was getting $600rt tickets for 9k avios. Thats a value of more than 6c per point.

I'm going to vegas in a couple weeks, I'm getting a $450 a night room for 15k hyatt points. Thats a 3c per point value.

While redeeming for cash is the boglehead thing to do it does not represent the best value if you fly or stay in hotels semi-often.

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Re: Best Use of Ultimate Rewards Points

Post by THY4373 » Fri Nov 06, 2015 8:30 pm

Best use generally will be either Hyatt or for business/first class international long haul where you can get north of 3 cents of value (possible 2-3x that). I realize you got a signup bonus but if you aren't a big traveler why continue to carry the CSP? You'd be much better off with a 2% cashback card. It seems crazy to me to deal with points and frequent traveler programs for less return than a 2% cashback card (e.g., I would never waste my points on SW other than perhaps to get the companion ticket which doesn't apply here).

My personal rule is if I cannot get at least 2.5 cents in value from my dollar spent using points then I should just do straight cashback on a 2% card.

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Re: Best Use of Ultimate Rewards Points

Post by THY4373 » Fri Nov 06, 2015 8:33 pm

Gemini wrote:So best bet is to transfer to United and then use points to buy tickets? Am I understanding it the right way?
I don't know that it is the best better but a decent bet but then you have to deal with awards availability.

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Re: Best Use of Ultimate Rewards Points

Post by Gemini » Sat Nov 07, 2015 10:30 am

No Southwest. Well there is Southwest, but no direct flights.

Also, checked the United awards availability. There is only one flight that day at 830PM - too late in the day.

Leesbro63
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Re: Best Use of Ultimate Rewards Points

Post by Leesbro63 » Sat Nov 07, 2015 10:33 am

I am the original poster. A related new question: What's the deal with cancelling flights bought with points, particularly on Southwest? Somewhere I heard that you can cancel and get your points back. Effectively meaning you can book flights with no risk of penalty or of not getting your cash back (even though Southwest does allow you to use credits later, which is better than many other airlines).

e5116
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Re: Best Use of Ultimate Rewards Points

Post by e5116 » Sat Nov 07, 2015 11:52 am

Leesbro63 wrote:I am the original poster. A related new question: What's the deal with cancelling flights bought with points, particularly on Southwest? Somewhere I heard that you can cancel and get your points back. Effectively meaning you can book flights with no risk of penalty or of not getting your cash back (even though Southwest does allow you to use credits later, which is better than many other airlines).
You're understanding it correctly. Southwest flights purchased on points can be canceled at any time and the points will immediately be refunded to your account. I've done it before with no issues. Definitely gives you some more flexibility. Other airlines usually charge a fee (unless you have a certain status).

Southwest FAQ:
"If I make my reservation using points and have to cancel my flight, how long will it take to get the points redeposited in my account?
If you cancel your reward travel reservation before the flight, the points will be immediately redeposited in your account. If you do not cancel the reservation, the unused points will be redeposited in your account within three to four days after the date of the last flight in the reservation."

Yes, they're even nice enough to give you your points back if you don't cancel, but end up not taking the flight!

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Re: Best Use of Ultimate Rewards Points

Post by canderson » Sat Nov 07, 2015 12:18 pm

Another good use not mentioned is upgrading flights on BA. Book premium economy and use points to upgrade to business. It's a steal in international flights that don't land in London (tax surcharges are crazy).

Leesbro63
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Re: Best Use of Ultimate Rewards Points

Post by Leesbro63 » Sat Nov 07, 2015 12:45 pm

Thanks everyone for this info. I get such value out of Bogleheads! :D

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Re: Best Use of Ultimate Rewards Points

Post by amphora » Sat Nov 07, 2015 1:07 pm

I agree with the airline suggestions for maximizing UR points. I've also found that dedicated points and miles websites like thepointsguy.com or any of the BoardingArea sites have tons of info about redeeming UR rewards.

As for the cash back argument, it's simple but not the best value as has been mentioned. But moreover you should be using a CapitalOne 2x points on everything card or Citi DoublePoints card for cash back, not Sapphire.

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: Best Use of Ultimate Rewards Points

Post by Doom&Gloom » Sat Nov 07, 2015 1:49 pm

Thanks for this thread!

I just joined Hyatt's program, transferred 10k UR points, booked a 2-night stay with UR points, and cancelled a previous reservation I had made elsewhere for those nights. I figure I got ~2.7c/pt value. Sweet!

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Re: Best Use of Ultimate Rewards Points

Post by hsv_climber » Sat Nov 07, 2015 6:50 pm

I just would like to add about Southwest booking with points. Not only you can get your points back, but it is also extremely useful for getting the best value out of your points by re-booking the same flight.
For example, you'd buy a one-way ticket from Point A to Point B on Aug. 10 for a flight on Dec. 10.
Lets say, next week (remember - Sothwest sales are always between Tue afternoon and Thr. evening) flight price drops by 3,000 points. All that you'd need to do is login into your southwest account -> select Change -> select the same flight -> rebook. You'll get refunded 3,000 points. This would be essentially "free money", since you were ready to pay higher price the previous week.

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Re: Best Use of Ultimate Rewards Points

Post by hsv_climber » Sat Nov 07, 2015 6:54 pm

About United...United economy is 30,000 one-way + ~$80 anywhere in Western Europe. Price is about the same on a return ticket.
So, you'd pay 60,000 UR (or United) points + ~$160 on a round-trip ticket to nearly any airport in Western Europe (there are few exceptions, such as higher London taxes) at any time of the year when United economy is available.

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Re: Best Use of Ultimate Rewards Points

Post by takeshi » Sat Nov 07, 2015 11:45 pm

Leesbro63 wrote:What's the best use of these?
This won't help you now but you really should perform this sort of due diligence before applying for a card with such a rewards program as redemptions can have a significant impact on point/mile value.
Leesbro63 wrote:We aren't big travelers...maybe fly regionally (east coast/midwest) a few times per year.
Best value with these programs is usually attained by transferring to travel partners.

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Re: Best Use of Ultimate Rewards Points

Post by protagonist » Sun Nov 08, 2015 12:57 am

I would always first opt for an international flight via transfer to one of their airline partners.

Yes, it is true that you may be able to stay at a $500 hotel and, via simple arithmetic, calculate that your points are worth more in dollar value. But that implies that the $500/night hotel is worth $500/night to you.

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Re: Best Use of Ultimate Rewards Points

Post by Jags4186 » Sun Nov 08, 2015 9:01 am

What I both love and hate about points is that I can spend them without thinking I'm spending money, but in reality if I had 100,000 points in an account to spend on travel, or $1000 in an account to spend on travel or withdraw as cash, I'd be more conservative with the $1000 even though I could convert the 100,000 points to $1000 with the click of a button.

Funny how the mind works.

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Re: Best Use of Ultimate Rewards Points

Post by THY4373 » Sun Nov 08, 2015 10:28 am

takeshi wrote:
Leesbro63 wrote:What's the best use of these?
This won't help you now but you really should perform this sort of due diligence before applying for a card with such a rewards program as redemptions can have a significant impact on point/mile value.
This is so true. Not specifically calling out OP but this is a mistake a lot of beginners make. You really need to understand the spend side of the equation (which is much more complicated) before earning points. The "best" redemptions/frequent traveler programs are going to be highly variable on where you live, where you want to go and a variety of other factors. Honestly if at some level you don't view this as hobby and enjoy digging into the details on frequent traveler programs to understand the sweet spots, one would likely be better of with a cashback card.

Leesbro63
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Re: Best Use of Ultimate Rewards Points

Post by Leesbro63 » Sun Nov 08, 2015 10:36 am

THY4373 wrote:
takeshi wrote:
Leesbro63 wrote:What's the best use of these?
This won't help you now but you really should perform this sort of due diligence before applying for a card with such a rewards program as redemptions can have a significant impact on point/mile value.
This is so true. Not specifically calling out OP but this is a mistake a lot of beginners make. You really need to understand the spend side of the equation (which is much more complicated) before earning points. The "best" redemptions/frequent traveler programs are going to be highly variable on where you live, where you want to go and a variety of other factors. Honestly if at some level you don't view this as hobby and enjoy digging into the details on frequent traveler programs to understand the sweet spots, one would likely be better of with a cashback card.
I am the OP. I agree with this. I generally use a 2% Fidelity cash back Visa (1.5% on the first $15,000 then 2%...amounts to a $75 annual fee). I got the Chase Sapphire card for 45,000 free points and no fee the first year. For me it was more about playing the bonus game than about using it for ongoing charges. I may even drop it before the annual fee is due. The one feature worth the annual fee is primary rental car coverage. So I might keep it.
Last edited by Leesbro63 on Sun Nov 08, 2015 12:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

THY4373
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Re: Best Use of Ultimate Rewards Points

Post by THY4373 » Sun Nov 08, 2015 11:26 am

Jags4186 wrote:What I both love and hate about points is that I can spend them without thinking I'm spending money, but in reality if I had 100,000 points in an account to spend on travel, or $1000 in an account to spend on travel or withdraw as cash, I'd be more conservative with the $1000 even though I could convert the 100,000 points to $1000 with the click of a button.

Funny how the mind works.
Agreed and it goes both ways. At one level it is easier to spend points and it is also easy to overvalue them. For example, it is easy to take the retail rate of an F (first class) airline ticket and say that xxx,xxx miles "saved" you $8k or whatever when the regular "sale" price might be half that or less if you keep an eye out for fare sales. I am taking my family to Spain next year in J (business class) via the British Airways fare sale from a few weeks ago. The purchased tickets cost me *LESS* than the YQ fees on a "free" British Airways award ticket and I didn't have to deal with any awards availability limitations.

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Re: Best Use of Ultimate Rewards Points

Post by davidsorensen32 » Sun Nov 08, 2015 11:39 am

BTW, the incentives are being reduced significantly:

Discontinuing 7% Annual Points Dividend

After 12/31/2015, you will no longer earn the 7% Annual Points Dividend. You will be awarded your final 7% points dividend in early 2016. You can still continue to enjoy the many other ways to be awarded rewards such as 2X points on travel and dining and 1 point on all other purchases.
Getting Cash

You can continue to redeem your rewards points for cash through a statement credit or direct deposit into an eligible checking or savings account. Rewards check redemptions will no longer be available after 11/15/2014.
Earn on Travel

You will continue to earn an extra 1 point for each $1 of airfare and hotel accommodations booked through Chase.com/UltimateRewards until 12/31/2015. After that, you will no longer earn an extra point. We may periodically offer ways for you to earn bonus points through the program.
Other Changes

We modified some of the existing features:

Merchandise may be offered directly through Chase or third-party merchants
The Ultimate Rewards Mall will be referred to as Shop through Chase℠

We've discontinued underutilized features:

Auctions
Purchasing Ultimate Rewards points

Ultimate Rewards Program Agreement

Effective 9/21/2014, we’ve changed the name of the agreement and clarified how the program works. The new version can be found here or by calling the number on the back of your card to get a copy. Along with the other changes mentioned in this communication, we have added details about how we will tell you about changes, what points are worth, when your use of Ultimate Rewards may be suspended, how you can lose your points, responsibilities related to the rewards you obtain, and the law applicable to the agreement.
Changes at a Glance

Increased trip cancellation insurance coverage to a maximum of $10,000*

Enhanced auto rental coverage

New and improved Chase.com/UltimateRewards

Discontinuing 7% Annual Dividend after 12/31/2015

Changes to the Ultimate Rewards℠ program





THY4373 wrote:
Jags4186 wrote:What I both love and hate about points is that I can spend them without thinking I'm spending money, but in reality if I had 100,000 points in an account to spend on travel, or $1000 in an account to spend on travel or withdraw as cash, I'd be more conservative with the $1000 even though I could convert the 100,000 points to $1000 with the click of a button.

Funny how the mind works.
Agreed and it goes both ways. At one level it is easier to spend points and it is also easy to overvalue them. For example, it is easy to take the retail rate of an F (first class) airline ticket and say that xxx,xxx miles "saved" you $8k or whatever when the regular "sale" price might be half that or less if you keep an eye out for fare sales. I am taking my family to Spain next year in J (business class) via the British Airways fare sale from a few weeks ago. The purchased tickets cost me *LESS* than the YQ fees on a "free" British Airways award ticket and I didn't have to deal with any awards availability limitations.

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VictoriaF
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Re: Best Use of Ultimate Rewards Points

Post by VictoriaF » Wed Nov 18, 2015 7:36 pm

There are some recent good news for those collecting Chase URs:

1. Chase Sapphire Preferred (CSP) is now offered with a 50k bonus (up from 40k).
2. Chase Freedom's bonus category for October-December 2015 is Amazon.com Starting on 23 November, the bonus will reset to 10x. Thus, one will be able to get 1.5k x 5 = 7.5k between 1 Oct and 22 Nov, and additionally, 1.5k x 10 = 15k between 23 Nov and 31 Dec.

Amazon gift cards qualify as legitimate spending. Check out the details on Freedom's web site and in travel/credit blogs.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

Gemini
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Re: Best Use of Ultimate Rewards Points

Post by Gemini » Sat Nov 21, 2015 12:17 am

How do Chase UR compare to Amex Rewards?

I have both card and thinking of getting rid of the Amex gold card as I reach for my chase more and more.

Bfwolf
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Re: Best Use of Ultimate Rewards Points

Post by Bfwolf » Sat Nov 21, 2015 7:05 pm

Gemini wrote:How do Chase UR compare to Amex Rewards?

I have both card and thinking of getting rid of the Amex gold card as I reach for my chase more and more.
Chase UR are generally better than Amex MRs. Maybe if you live in a Delta hub Amex MRs would be close, but Delta's program really stinks.

Amex MRs are becoming significantly less valuable when British Airways gets rid of their 4,500 point short-haul trips on AA. Chase UR is also a BA transfer partner, but Chase UR has LOTS of other good transfer options while BA was probably the only shining star for MRs.

There's some clever things you can still do with MRs, like use them on Air Canada to go to Europe or Australia/New Zealand and take advantage of their generous stopover policy. But Chase URs are a lot easier to use and get good value with United, Hyatt, Southwest, and BA as transfer partners.

takeshi
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Re: Best Use of Ultimate Rewards Points

Post by takeshi » Tue Nov 24, 2015 9:54 am

Gemini wrote:How do Chase UR compare to Amex Rewards?

I have both card and thinking of getting rid of the Amex gold card as I reach for my chase more and more.
Each has to evaluate the redemption options for any rewards program as that plays a significant role in point value. Everyone's situation, preferences, etc aren't the same so you can't rely on broad, sweeping generalizations. In my case I live in a United fortress hub city so all my travel is on United. Since they're a Ultimate Rewards partner it makes my decision easy. On the other hand, I don't have much use for Membership Rewards's partners and at best I can usually get about 0.6 to 0.8 cents per point. I don't bother with MR and focus on UR.

However, YMMV. You need to look at the redemption options you can leverage and how that impacts point value.

Guest9876
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Re: Best Use of Ultimate Rewards Points

Post by Guest9876 » Tue Nov 24, 2015 10:10 am

I use the points for travel redemption, preferably on off-peak domestic travel, where I get the most bang for my buck.

I travel for work a lot, and am also able to get reimbursed for the book value of the flight when I use points. So it's basically "cash back" but requires some finagling and liquidity.

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Re: Best Use of Ultimate Rewards Points

Post by surfstar » Tue Nov 24, 2015 11:12 am

Leesbro63 wrote:I am the OP. I agree with this. I generally use a 2% Fidelity cash back Visa (1.5% on the first $15,000 then 2%...amounts to a $75 annual fee). I got the Chase Sapphire card for 45,000 free points and no fee the first year. For me it was more about playing the bonus game than about using it for ongoing charges. I may even drop it before the annual fee is due. The one feature worth the annual fee is primary rental car coverage. So I might keep it.
You can do this with many cards (we've been doing it the past 18 months or so) and you'll come out way ahead of a 2% cashback card. Just cancel before the AF hits. Use the points for travel, hotels or cashback. Can't beat getting 45k (did you add an authorized user for another 5k?) for not much effort.

If you don't travel, just get the cashback or maybe make some holiday purchases with points. If you like the free rewards, then move on to another bonus card program. (It doesn't really hit your credit score much either)

:sharebeer

auggiedoggies
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Re: Best Use of Ultimate Rewards Points

Post by auggiedoggies » Tue Nov 24, 2015 3:47 pm

I'm so confused on why someone would get a card like this if they don't travel.

Sure, you can just redeem it for cash back, but why not put your spend on a card that gets you more cash back, like a Discover IT or one of the man 2% CB cards?

For travel, these points are extremely valuable. Just using them for cashback is such a waste.

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