kyle1125 wrote:My wife and me are planning our Asia trip this Fall from October 18-November 9th to Seoul, Tokyo and Okinawa. We currently have about 300K combined UR points from Chase between the Freedom, Freedom Unlimited and 2x CSR cards.
What are some recommendations to achieve the most effective use our UR points? i.e. Which airline, US airport to depart from, transfer UR points to airline or use UR portal to book, etc.
Kyle, I think you are going to have the most luck transferring your points to United and booking from there for a couple of reasons:
1) I suspect that the 1.5 cents value from the CSR won't get you as far as you'd like. That's essentially $4,500 worth of plane tickets. Maybe OK for economy but no way for business class.
2) ANA is one of United's Star Alliance partners. I took their business class service between Chicago and Tokyo and it's INCREDIBLE. Really top end stuff.
OK, so I looked online a bit and there is availability on your departure date 10/18 for 2 passengers business class from Seattle to Tokyo @ 1:20 pm on NH177. That would be your second leg....your first leg would presumably be the United flight that gets you to Seattle. That first leg can be first class or economy (see what award space is available), but needs to land in Seattle within 24 hours of the ANA flight departing. As long as award space is available, this will be part of your ticket to Japan and included in that award price.
OK, so then your 3rd leg would be to Okinawa. Jetstar flies it for $68. They're only showing availability through 10/28 right now but I imagine that more will open up for later dates.
4th leg would be Okinawa to Seoul. Jin Air has cheap nonstop flights for under $100, but again, only up through late October right now.
5th leg would be Seoul back to the USA. You need to fly on 11/8 to get back on 11/9. There's lots of biz class award space for 2. You could fly on Asiana Air to Seattle or LA or Chicago...maybe more I didn't look much deeper!
6th leg would be to your final destination within the US. This leg will be included in your award ticket price from Seoul to USA...you just have to find award space.
Alright so all in you guys each need 75K miles to fly to Tokyo and 80K miles to fly back from Seoul, so 155K a person. Sounds like right now you've got 150K a person so you're almost there. On top of that you'd have a few hundred dollars in tickets you'd have to buy yourselves to get to Okinawa and Seoul, but that's pretty minimal given what you're pulling off here.
If this interest you, I'd book the leg from the USA to Tokyo NOW. Availability is limited and it's kind of a miracle that those flights from Seattle are available on the dates you want. LOCK THOSE IN. Just make sure you include your flight to Seattle as part of the award ticket.
The flights back from Seoul, you've got time. As I said, there's availability on Asiana to a number of different locations. So you can wait on those flights until you've built up enough Ultimate Rewards to pay for it.