heartwood wrote: ↑
Wed Aug 28, 2019 8:13 am
I'm becoming very dissatisfied with the Chase Sapphire Reserve Travel bookings. More than once in the past year Chase has no flights that are readily available on United. If available, they're usually the same price as directly with United.
But this last week was a doozy. I looked at Chase and found flights for $1588/ticket. That's without applying reward points. We need two tix, so $3176 at Chase.
Coincidentally my wife was looking at the same flights directly with United. She was quoted $2287 for two tix, or $889 less than Chase. We booked with United.
My CSR coverage runs into January. I'm considering dropping it then. I've been about breaking even with the membership fee, but Costco Visa gives me the same 3x on travel. I like the free primary car insurance (31? days),but I can buy AMEX Preferred Car Insurance for $19.99/42(?) day coverage. So if I can't book the flights I want or their price is significantly higher, I'm asking myself why keep the card that I'm essentially breaking even on now? Your mileage may vary.
I'm pretty new to the Chase UR world, just got the CSR recently. I have seen examples of what you're talking about, but have come to a (tentative) different conclusion / solution. My current guesstimate is that sometimes --- maybe a lot of time (TBD) --- I can get a hotel or a flight or whatever on the Chase travel portal where the price IS the same as I can find elsewhere, or within a dollar or two anyway. And sometimes I cannot, either cannot find the flight/hotel/etc at all, or the price isn't competitive. But I travel enough that I don't think it's a problem to sometimes
not be able to use my points effectively. I just figure that I'll always check the Chase Portal and book with points at 1.5x whenever I can, and thus get pretty good value out of my two Chase cards ("di-fecta?"
). If over the long term I find that I'm building up points faster than I think I can ever use, I'll re-think, but just last week I booked a hotel stay for Thanksgiving travel using URs, and fully expect to use more going forward for some trips to come.
FWIW, other dynamics can throw me off from using UR points for travel too. For example, we decided to go with a VRBO property for an upcoming trip (VRBO is similar to airbnb). I didn't check, but am pretty sure that Chase travel portal doesn't include them. For another trip, we're going with friends, and they picked out the hotels and booked reservations for both couples. That sort of thing. But I still do expect to use these points, and find the simplicity of having just the CSR and the CFU (Freedom Unlimited) to be nice.
We're all different on this stuff. The Chase system is very attractive to me because after digging into it, reading a lot of articles on FlyerTalk.com, etc, I've come to the conclusion that I don't want to make my life more complicated by setting up frequent flyer programs with various airlines and transferring points at the last minute to airline miles that I then book for flights on these various sites --- I might change my mind down the road and give this a try for particular trips (?) but in general I like how easy it is to just check the Chase Portal and book the points at 1.5x when availability and price are right for that.