The Chase Freedom has long been a favorite of many thanks to its rotating quarterly bonus categories that earn 5% cash back. The ability to turn this cash back into 5X Chase points if you also have a premium Ultimate Rewards card has made this card even more valuable.
On occasion, we’ve seen promo offers that allow you to earn up to 10X with the Chase Freedom and a new offer just launched yesterday. With this latest promo, you can earn 10X on hotels booking through the Chase Travel Portal.
For those who have been earning 1.5X on all purchases with the Chase Freedom Unlimited, you’ll also have access to this 10X promotion.
If you don’t have elite status at a major hotel chain or if you’re just looking for a boutique hotel stay, this could be huge!
What You Need To Know
Now, to earn 10X with the Chase Freedom, you must book through the Chase Travel Portal. The vast majority of the time, this will mean forgoing any elite status benefits and earning points with a hotel chain. We’re not saying it hasn’t happened, but don’t count on it.
Additionally, you need to make your purchase by March 31, 2019 to earn 10X instead of the usual 1X. The last restriction is that you are restricted to earning 10X on no more than $2,500. That means you can earn up to 25,000 Ultimate Rewards points.
How Does This Compare To Booking Direct?
As mentioned above, if you have elite status, you’ll have to make a calculation. However, if like most people, you don’t have elite status, the only point of comparison is how many points you can earn on these stays.
Let’s assume you have no status and you’ll spend the maximum $2,500 on hotel stays this month and take a look at what you would earn if booking directly with some major hotel chains. Here are the estimated values of the major hotel points:
- World of Hyatt: ~1.4 cents per point
- Marriott Bonvoy: ~0.7 cents per point
- Hilton Honors: ~0.5 cents per point
- IHG Rewards Club: ~0.5 cents per point
You can earn 10X hotel points per dollar at the following chains except for World of Hyatt which offers 5X.
|No Status||Top-Tier Status||Estimated Points Value
|World Of Hyatt||12,500 points||16,250 points||$175-228|
|Marriott Bonvoy*||25,000 points||43,750 points||$175-306|
|Hilton Honors||25,000 points||50,000 points||$125-250|
|IHG Rewards Club*||25,000 points||50,000 points||$125-250|
*These numbers are based on the vast majority of properties that earn 10X points but there are a few that earn fewer points.
How Does This Stack Up Against The Freedoms
If you only have the Chase Freedom or Chase Freedom Unlimited, your points are worth 1 cent each in the Chase Travel Portal which means 25,000 points would get your $250 in travel. From our examples above, only top-tier status with Marriott can top that.
With Marriott, you could actually do better with three status levels. Ambassador Elite (100+ nights AND $20,000 in qualifying spend) and Titanium Elite (75-99 nights) both receive a 75% bonus on top of the 10X points. This gets you to 43,750 points which are worth roughly $306 — this can vary quite a bit depending on the property you book with points.
Platinum Elite (50-74 nights) receives a 50% bonus and would earn 37,500 points on $2,500 in spend which is worth about $262.
As you can see, it’s tough to surpass the value of earning 10X with the Chase Freedom and we haven’t even talked about how these points can easily be worth more than 1 cent each.
How To Make These Fully Functional Ultimate Rewards Points
With the Sapphire Reserve, your Ultimate Rewards points are worth 1.5 cents each in the travel portal which means 25,000 Chase points are worth $375. With the Sapphire Preferred or Ink Preferred, your points are worth 1.25 cents each — $312 in this case. Just by having one of these cards, your points are instantly more valuable in the Chase Travel Portal.
You also have the ability to transfer your Ultimate Rewards points to airline and hotel partners that could even increase the value of your points.
Many value Chase points between 1.7 and 2 cents each because of these transfer partners. At 2 cents each, this 10X promo with the Chase Freedom would get you a return of $500 in travel.
If you use the points you earn for a luxury business or first class award flight, you might even get more than 2 cents per point. For example, I recently transferred 75,000 Ultimate Rewards points to United to book a business class award on United — new Polaris cabin — from Newark to Hong Kong.
I booked a one-way award but a round-trip ticket often goes for about $8,000. If we say the one-way is valued at $4,000, that means I squeezed out 5.3 cents per point.
What If You Book Direct With A Hotel Credit Card
You’re going to have a tough time beating the value of 25,000 Ultimate Rewards points if you book some premium cabin awards across the globe. However, if that’s not your thing, make sure you compare what you could get by booking direct with a hotel credit card.
Here’s a breakdown of total hotel points you could earn if you also paid with a hotel card:
|Hotel Card||No Status||Top-Tier Status||Estimated Value|
|Chase World Of Hyatt Credit Card||22,500 points||26,250 points||$315-367|
|Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card (Learn More)||40,000 points||58,750 points||$280-411|
|Marriott Bonvoy Boundless credit card||40,000 points||58,750 points||$280-411|
|Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card (Learn More)||55,000 points||80,000 points||$275-400|
|Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card (Learn More)||60,000 points||85,000 points||$300-425|
|Chase IHG Premier Card||50,000 points||75,000 points||$250-375|
If you’re looking to earn hotel points toward future stays and have top-tier elite status with one of these hotel chains, it might make sense for you to use a hotel credit card to book.
If like most people, you don’t have hotel elite status, using the Chase Freedom to earn 10X and pairing it with a premium Ultimate Rewards card will be the better option. In fact, even if you do have elite status, you should consider the flexibility of Ultimate Rewards points before making a decision.
Chase Freedom 10X Vs. Capital One Venture 10X
If you have the Capital One Venture Card (Learn More), you need to consider one more option before booking — Hotels.com. Capital One’s partnership with Hotels.com allows you to earn 10X Capital One miles and earn towards a free night with Hotels.com.
If you’re new to Hotels.com, you can earn a free night after you book and stay 10 nights via their website. Well, it’s not exactly a free night. Hotels.com takes the average value of your 10 nights and gives you the equivalent amount to book a night — not including taxes/fees. If the room you book costs more, you just owe the difference.
For those not earning elite status, this is a great 1-2 punch. Earn 10X via the Venture link to Hotels.com and work your way toward a free night. For those wanting to use Capital One miles to book award flights, just remember that your miles will transfer to most airline partners at a 2:1.5 ratio.
With the transfer ratio, you’re looking at 7.5X airline miles on these booking if you have your eye an airline transfer. This isn’t quite as good as the 10X option with the Chase Freedom (or Chase Freedom Unlimited) as Chase transfers are 1:1 and you have the option to transfer to World of Hyatt.
However, each program has some transfer partners the other doesn’t have so it’s important to consider your upcoming award flight needs when making this decision. Honestly, either way, you’re not losing.
Hopefully, you’re seeing an overarching theme to all this and it’s that you should consider your future travel plans when earning points. Rather than earning points just to earn points, a simple plan will ensure you earn what you need to travel how you want.
Now, the opportunity to earn 10X Chase points is going to be amazing for many of you while leveraging elite status and a hotel card will be great for others. Some will find the Capital One Venture option is the way to go.
All three of these options are great in the right situation. Take a two-minute pause before you book and think about what’s best for you. By doing so, you can feel confident that you didn’t leave anything on the table.