More flights, more hotels, more deals…
Chase is one credit card company leading the charge in a points revolution. For years, there was no question that it was always better to transfer your credit card points to an airline or hotel to achieve maximum travel value, but recent shifts in airfare, and the way credit card companies value your points has tipped the scales to make things a lot more competitive. The credit card giant has just switched up its Ultimate Rewards travel booking website, partnering with Expedia for the new offering, and the possibilities are exciting…
For now, unless you use the Chase Freedom card, you won’t notice anything at all. But soon, like imminently, all Chase cardmembers who earn Chase Ultimate Rewards Points will notice a subtle difference when they go to book with points or cash: a new travel booking interface. In short, the major change is that Chase has switched from Connexions Loyalty to Expedia as the provider of their travel booking website, which also allows you to use your points or cash to cover the cost of any travel booked.
As the largest travel booking company on earth, Expedia has access to deals, exclusive airfare and hotels which no other travel group does. The Chase Ultimate Rewards website has always been great in terms of usability, and deciding to pay for “some” or “all” of a flight or hotel using points, but if there was a knock on it, it was that many of the best deals didn’t show up. There were many times in the last year, where using points, especially at rates of 1.5 cents per point for Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders, could’ve lead to incredible value during limited time hotel sales or business class deals, but alas they weren’t showing up on the Chase Ultimate Rewards website. We certainly expect that to change.
In certain circumstances, it can make so much more sense to use points via Chase Ultimate Rewards versus transferring to an airline. Why? Because when you spend points directly with Chase, you’ll still earn elite status points and frequent flyer miles, whereas if you redeem miles via the airline, you earn nothing – you just get the “free” flight. Unfortunately, when it comes to hotels, many hotels only award points if you book directly with the hotel, and therefore most bookings made via Ultimate Rewards won’t earn points. However, with the added hotel deals and airfare options included via Expedia, you’ll always want to compare.