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7 Step Guide to Flight Rewards with Chase Sapphire Preferred® points

by on Sat May 14, 2016 • 115 Comments
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We like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card because it offers great flexibility for using its Ultimate Rewards points toward air travel. But with that flexibility comes choices, and not every choice will give you the best value for your points. With our guide, though, you’ll be able to get the maximum value for your points every time.

First, remember there are two ways to use your points for air travel. How many points you will need for a flight depends on which method you use:

  • Points as cash via UltimateRewards.com. You can book most flights at any time, and use your points as cash toward all or part of the purchase. The flight search is just like you’d find at Expedia or Travelocity, though you won’t find some low cost carriers like Easyjet and Ryanair. Each one of your points is with 1.25 cents toward the airfare in all cases. So, a $500 ticket will require 40,000 points, $100 ticket requires 8,000 points. A bonus is the airlines often treat tickets redeemed this way as if they were purchased in cash, so could earn miles on the flights.
  • Transferring your points into real airline miles with United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, British Airways, or Korean Airlines. The cost in points will vary based on mileage reward availability. Many times it will cost fewer points to book an award ticket directly via the airline mile program than using the points as cash on UltimateRewards.com. This is usually the case when the cash price of a ticket is very expensive.

So, to make sure you get the best deal follow these basic steps to check how many points you’ll need for a flight quickly.

1. Login here to UltimateRewards.com, and enter the info for the day and destination you’re considering.

ultrewardssearch

2. Review the price in points

In this example, the flight costs $277 or 22,168 points.

ultrew1

3. Check United miles to see if you can find a better deal

Since you can transfer Chase points to United miles anytime, it’s a good idea to check and see if United charges fewer miles for similar flights. Go to United.com, input the destination and day you’re looking for and select ‘Search for award travel’ to get prices in miles.

unitedsearch

4. See the results…yes, there is a better deal

There is a flight available booking directly using United miles for only 12,500 miles. That’s a lot less than the 22,168 point cost to book via Chase. Since you can transfer your Chase points into United MileagePlus miles instantly, you can get this flight for 12,500 miles instead.

unitedsaverawardprice

So how do you get the points to United?

It’s actually pretty easy….

5. Go to the ‘transfer points to travel partners’ page

You’ll see the link under the ‘Use Points’ menu when you’re logged into UltimateRewards.com.

chasetransferfirstscreen

6. Select the point transfer partner, in this case United MileagePlus

unitedpartner

7. Input your information for the transfer, and the miles will show up in your partner account

transferamount

That’s it. The transfer is generally instant. Just keep in mind that you CANNOT REVERSE a transfer of points to a mile partner.

Once the points are transferred to your United or other partner account, they cannot be sent back to your Chase Ultimate Rewards account.

So make sure you really want to use the points there before making the transfer. Once in the partner account, the partner’s rules will apply, including expiration dates if any.

What about other airlines?

If your’e really into maximizing the value of your Sapphire Preferred® Card points you may want to include other airline partners in your search.

  • For example, go to Southwest.com to see how many points your trip would cost on Southwest. It’s just as simple as the search on United.com. If it’s cheaper, you can transfer your points to Southwest Rapid Rewards.
  • The Sapphire Preferred® Card also lets you transfer to British Airways Avios, Korean Skypass, Air France Flying Blue, Singapore Krisflyer, and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club. There are lots of details on how to use and search each transfer partner here.

 

 

 

 

The following two tabs change content below.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Miles dont expireas long as card is open
Learn more

Partner Offer

50,000 bonus points

Intro Offer

$0 introductory annual fee, then $95

Annual Fee

$0

Foreign Transaction Fee Waived

Yes

Points Can Transfer to Airline Miles ?

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"These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered."

115 thoughts on 7 Step Guide to Flight Rewards with Chase Sapphire Preferred® points

  1. Traveler

    Can I purchase three plane tickets through Chase Rewards but only use my points for two of the three and pay cash for the other one? While still retaining the remaining points that I have earned?

    Reply
  2. Keric

    Just signed ip for the CSP card. I am looking to book three round trips via United. Since this is my first purchase on the card. Is it beneficail for me to book it via the Chase website vs United Air website directly?

    Will i acrue more rewards via the Chase site and still get the entitled United air miles through their United flyer program?
    Or does booking directly through United using the new Chase card come out exactly the same benificially wise?

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Keric – You get the same 2x points per dollar whether you book on the United site or the Chase site. Probably better to book directly with United for convenience.

      Reply
  3. Benjamin Crosky

    Hello,

    If I book through Ultimate Rewards on United per say. Will I still get the miles from my United flight?
    I know when I book through my United Rewards account I don’t get the miles that I earn on my reward flight.

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Benjamin- If you use the Chase site to book your flight with points (and don’t transfer points to United MileagePlus) you may earn miles based on the cash price of the ticket. Unfortunately, some fares shown on the Chase site are ‘bulk’ or ‘consolidator’ fares that don’t earn miles, and there’s no easy way to tell, but generally what you book on the Chase site with points is treated the same as if you booked the fare with cash via United.

      Reply
  4. COWENS

    How do you get Sapphire noted on your boarding pass so that, when they call priority Sapphire boarding, it’s clear you have Sapphire? Was asked for proof of Sapphire and am not sure how to get that on the boarding doc. Thanks

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @COWENS – It’s a little confusing. The Sapphire you’re thinking of is Sapphire status with American Airlines / ONEWorld. That’s totally different from the Chase Sapphire credit cards. Instead, Sapphire status with American requires flying about 50k miles a year.

      Reply
  5. Christine Bell

    What’s the best way to utilize Chase Sapphire points for Virgin Atlantic flights when we only have enough for one and we want two, and we see cheapest flights through Kayak? Do we have to use airline website or can we do it somehow via Kayak? Thanks much!

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Christine – You can use your points to book one ticket through Virgin, and buy the other one with cash anywhere you’d like. Just make sure you are getting the same flights both places unless you plan on flying separately.

      Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Jeff – If you add her as an authorized user to your Chase card account, then yes. No charge and it’s usually instant. You can also book flights in her name from your own United account without needing to transfer to her.

      Reply
    2. Roman

      Question, if I book an economy fare through Expedia on United, can I use the Chase Sapphire points to upgrade to business class? In other words, what is the best approach to book business class in in a transatlantic flight?

      Reply
      1. MileCards.com

        @Roman – If it’s a United flight number on a United ticket, yes. Though why not buy the ticket on United.com?

        If you want to upgrade, you can transfer your Chase points to United and request the upgrade. But you probably want to call United first to get the exact mileage needed, and whether you will be waitlisting or not. If the upgrade isn’t available, they put you on a waitlist that may or may not clear. And if it doesn’t clear you get your miles back. But you can’t move your miles back from United to Chase.

        Upgrades to Europe have fees of up to $550 each way, so keep that in mind as well. Here’s a rundown of upgrading on United.

        http://milecards.com/1588416736/getting-upgrades-on-united-everything-you-need-to-know-from-gpus-to-miles-and-co-pays/

        Reply
  6. Andrew

    If I book a trip through the Travel Portal with Virgin (not apart of the airline loyalty program: British, Airways, Korean Air, Singapore Airlines, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, Virgin Atlantic) will I still earn rewards? Or do I have to book solely with those airlines?

    Thanks in advance!

    Reply
  7. Ag

    If I book a flight using chase ultimate rewards and have to change or cancel the flight, is the free 24 hr period still apllicable for a free change/cancellation of the flight?

    Reply
  8. Nina

    I need to cancel my flights due to the increase violence int he area that we are going too. I was wondering will chase sapphire will issue a credit or will i loose all my points. I bought 3 flights but i am afraid to go and something bad will happen to us.

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Nina – Depends on the situation. If flights aren’t operating at all, then you might be able to use the trip cancellation benefit. But if flights are still going on, probably not. Best to call the number on the back of your card to check your situation.

      Reply
  9. Sharon Olson

    We have a chase confirmation # 19861929. I need details on this flight. I misplaced this information and now need to book my dog also.

    Reply
  10. maria perroud

    I just transferred miles from Chase to United and it said it was successful, but when I wanted to go back to the United site where I booked the flight, it said I had no miles and doesn’t show where or how to continue. I hope I haven’t lost the miles and I don’t know how to hold on to this trip because it is not booked yet. Please help!!

    Reply
  11. Zach

    Thinking of getting CSP, but I’m still confused as to how you can get award travel on the United website using Chase Rewards. I tried doing this by going to the United site, however when I selected the rewards page, it asked me to login with my United Mileage card. Am I getting this right: We need CSP and several cards to use on several airlines? If that is so, the article makes it appear that we only needed the CSP as opposed to both to transfer to United.

    Reply
  12. Win

    Thank you for the post.

    I just booked a reservation (last night) via the Chase Ultimate rewards. The transaction is pending on my credit card statement however I never got a e-mail confirmation from them. I called them this morning to re-confirm and their travel department has no record showing the trip. I looked under “my trips” as well and it doesn’t show up either. Should I be concerned since they charged my card? or should I wait a couple days and see what happens. This is my first time booking travel via the portal so any feedback would help!

    Thank you in advance.

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Win – Very strange. If you look at your card statement there might be a ticket number listed next to the charge (it’s a long number – around 13 digits. If there is, contact the airline to get the details, but a ticket number is a sign the reservation is confirmed).

      If not, it probably wasn’t confirmed. Best to call both Chase and the airline to double check.

      Reply
  13. Kelly

    I am trying to use my points to fly in December. When I look on American, United, and Delta directly to use points, they’re roughly 100,000 points for the trip! But when I look directly through Ultimate Rewards, it looks to be only about 25,000 points. Does that seem possible? It’s basically the opposite of what you said above, so I wanted to double check.

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Kelly – Definitely possible, that’s why it’s good to check them all. Though make sure you’re counting the number of passengers correctly. The Chase site displays a ‘per person’ price. And you might be seeing a total price on the other sites that counts all passengers.

      Reply
  14. Kathleen

    If I book a flight using UR points and have to cancel due to a medical reason (hospital stay), are the points still lost? I plan to file a claim with Sapphire’s trip cancellation insurance policy so I’m wondering what they will actually refund.

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @sally – Yes you’ll need to keep your card open until you use your points. Though if you transfer your points out to a partner program like United MileagePlus, you don’t need to keep the card open. At that point they are subject to the rules of United MileagePlus, and independent of your card.

      Reply
      1. Jade

        What bout booking flights through other sites? For example, just bought flight to Germany through Wow Airlines. Does Chase count that as 2x points? Also are Southwest, United, Virgin air, Korean, British Air and french airline the only ones that Chase is partnered with to redeem points for miles?

        Reply
        1. MileCards.com

          @Jade – Yes you will get 2x points on flights purchased anywhere.

          As for redeeming miles, those are the only ones partnered where you can convert your points into real miles.

          But you can also use your points to book flights on other airlines by using the Chase website. The price will be different than when you convert to airline miles (sometimes more, sometimes less) because the price you pay is based on the cash price of a ticket. Every $125 in flight cost requires 10,000 points.

          http://milecards.com/1588430496/how-to-book-travel-on-the-chase-ultimate-rewards-website/

          Reply
  15. Tbr

    I want to use my 200k chase points for tickets on SAS to Sweden. The chase site only shows their SAS go (economy) or SAS business classes. I know there is a middle ground of SAS plus. Is it worth calling to try to book that class as they don’t show when I search? Can they find classes not shown on the normal search?

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Tbr – Yes you will need to call. They will want the booking class code that SAS uses for the premium economy fare you want. Best way to do that is call SAS, get a quote for the cheapest fare on the flight you want, and ask the agent what the booking class code is. It’s a letter like ‘W,’ ‘S’, ‘O’, etc.

      Reply
  16. Pete

    Just to clarify, since I’m new…. I can book a Delta flight, at their mileage ‘price’, through Korean Air’s website, thereby using my UR points? Or do the flights ‘cost’ Korean Air’s price?

    Reply
  17. Jessy DiDio

    this will literally be my first credit card i will be using as I normally pay everything in cash. But I wanted to make sure the points that receive, Can I use it on any airline? I keep reading about if I wanted to transfer it to another airline I need a certain type of card? Please help

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Jessy – There are 3 ways you can use your points with this card:

      1) Book using the Chase website. This gives you access to book flights on most airlines – though for some like Southwest you need to call on the phone. Here your points are worth 1.25 cents each so 10,000 points = $125 in flight value.

      2) Transfer points to airline programs. This is if you want to use the mile programs of partner airlines. Only the mile programs that partner with Chase are eligible for this, like United MileagePlus and Southwest RapidRewards. You’ll probably use this if you have some airline miles already and want to add to them.

      3) Statement credit. You can request a statement credit like cash anytime – so you could use that to pay off a ticket on any airline. In this case your points are worth one cent each, so 10,000 points gets you $100 erased from your monthly bill.

      So yes it’s possible to get value out of your points for any airline. Let us know if you have more questions – don’t rush into anything with a first card.

      Reply
  18. CJ

    I currently have an AA advantage card, problem is that AA is the hub carrier at my local airport. Can I transfer miles/rewards from Chase to AA for tickets ?

    Reply
  19. Kristen

    Will I still get reward points using my Chase Sapphire if I book flights on Expedia rather than the Chase website? The prices are a bit lower on Expedia.

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Kristen – You will earn the 2x points for the purchase on Expedia. But you can’t use your points to book on Expedia.

      Though if you really want to, you could request statement credit with your points, though the conversion rate for that isn’t as good as using your points for travel on the Chase website.

      Reply
  20. Trina

    Hi, if I use my Chase Sapphire points to book a Delta flight, will I still be earning Delta MQMs and skymiles for that particular flight?

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Trina – If the fare your purchase with the points is eligible to earn them, yes. Some of the very cheapest Delta fares don’t (even if you use regular cash to purchase them on Delta’s own site).

      Reply
  21. Samantha

    Are the points transferred at a 1 to 1 ratio for Southwest? I ask because southwest points don’t work the same as other airlines. Ex – I’m looking at a flight that costs $180, which on most airlines would translate to 18,000 points, but in Southwest points it’s only 10,000 points. If it is a 1 to 1 ratio then flights will be significantly cheaper (in terms of points) on Southwest.

    Reply
  22. Marton

    Hi!

    Maybe someone has asked this, and I apologize if they have. If I book with ultimate rewards directly, will I receive miles for the flight? If I remember correctly, I do not receive miles for flights booked with miles, but I would guess this is not the case for flights booked with ultimate rewards? On a transatlantic round trip flight this could mean 5-10K miles, which is a substantial difference (at least $50). Also, because I switched to Chase Saphire, I need to make sure I earn miles occasionally so that my miles do not expire.

    Thanks,

    Marton

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Marton – There isn’t a great answer. It depends on the individual mileage program you’re trying to credit to, and the kind of fare you end up buying. Sometimes the fare you get might be a ‘bulk’ discounted fare which might not be eligible for earning miles. Other times, it will be a normal fare that is eligible. No great way to tell in advance, but many fares you find are indeed ‘normal’ fares.

      Reply
  23. Lisa

    Can I book a flight on any airline with this credit card, or do they have certain carriers that I must fly on?

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Lisa – You can use the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel website or phone center to book flights on almost any airline. If you do that, every point is worth 1.25 cents toward airfare, so 10,000 points = $125 in value.

      Reply
  24. Angelica

    Thank you so much for running this wonderful forum. I have a quick question, I am debating between getting the Gold Delta Skymlies Amex card or the Chase Sapphire? Can I redeem miles in DELTA with the Chase card? is it a hassle? I travel to Colombia via Delta once a year and want to make the best choice. I am not very knowledgeable since I have only had a credit card from College with no rewards. Any insight would be greatly appreciated. I truly need help deciding!

    Thank you!

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Angelica – Yes you can use miles for Delta flights. You can either use the miles to book a ticket on the Chase website (each point is worth 1.25 cents toward a flight, so 10,000 points = $125 – and you can pay part in cash, and part in points, getting to choose any flight without award restrictions). Or you can transfer to some of the airline mile partners to book Delta flights if there is space available:

      http://milecards.com/1588427364/chase-points-delta-flights/

      But if you are very new to this and are sure you only want to fly Delta the simplest thing would be to get the Gold Delta card.

      Reply
  25. Wes

    Can I redeem travel points for just paying for a hotel room using the Sapphire card without booking through Chase?

    Reply
  26. Leslie

    My husband and I both have the chase preferred card and have the business ink card. We are wanting to fly from Texas to Seychelles, and want to combine all of the miles. Is this possible? And, how can we use the miles to upgrade to first or business class? If we pay for our ticket, can you use miles strictly for the upgrade?

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Leslie – Yes you can combine your points since you both live at the same address. When you login to UltimateRewards.com, hover over your point balance on the top right of the screen. You’ll see an option to Combine Points.

      As for your trip to Seychelles – best to use our form here to get some personalized advice on your award:

      http://milecards.com/award-booking-help/

      Reply
  27. salvatrice lima

    What if I want to redeem reward points with a non partnered company? For example JetBlue airlines? or a different hotel? Am I able to do that and if so, how?

    Reply
  28. jo

    1) are the prices for flights on the chase travel website generally similar to what you would see on a site like expedia ?
    2) if i were to transfer my ur points to an airline( assuming its cheaper than going thru travel sites) and pay for my trip with those transferred ur points, would i still qualify for the benefits of the chase sapphire card ( ie: trip cancellation/ interruption/ lost luggage/ trip delay, etc)?

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @jo – For 1) generally, but always double check before booking and if you see a discrepancy call the Chase travel center to make note of it. For 2) generally yes, as long as you charge whatever taxes or fees are associated with the trip to the card. But always best to call the number on the back of your card for your specific situation before relying on it.

      Reply
  29. Cheryl

    My husband and I each have a Sapphire card. Is there a way to book flights together using both cards in one transaction?

    Reply
  30. Ben

    Question on ancillary benefits from Co Branded Airline Cards when booking through the Ultimate Rewards portal. If I , for example, have an AA card that gets me priority boarding and free checked bags, how can I use these benefits if booking through the Ultimate Rewards Portal and using UR points? Doe it get applied automatically or would it be best to leave a small amount as cash and then use the card to insure the benefits get applied to the ticket?

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Ben – AA doesn’t require you to buy tickets in a certain way to get the benefits. Just add your AAdvantage number to the reservation and that will link everything up.

      Reply
  31. Chris

    If I used my points to reserve a seat on a flight, but never finished booking the flight to confirm the seats, am I able to retract and still use those points towards a different destination?

    Reply
  32. rickatagf

    Just applied to Chase Sapphire Platinum and wondering what all constitutes a ‘travel’ charge. Booking a golf trip through Legends resorts in Myrtle beach and wondering specifically if that counts as the 2x points or not?

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @rickatagf – Hard to say 100% until the charge posts, but since they do list themselves as a hotel that’s bookable through many sites, sounds like there’s a decent chance it will appear as a travel expense.

      Reply
  33. Vinh

    I understand the method but is there some way to search flights via points instead of going to each individual airline and searching? I am trying to book a flight from nyc to florida and the avg price is about $270 across the airlines. I spent about an hour going to each individual airline and searching how much it will cost via points just to find they all want about 30,000 points. Any tips are much appreciated.

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Vinh – Unfortunately the airlines don’t share their points availability data with outside companies, so it’s hard right now to do a central search. There was a site that tried that, but airlines cut them off. You may want to try AwardNexus.com (not free) – but it isn’t great about displaying point prices – it just shows whether an award seat is open.

      Reply
  34. richard e. schmidt

    I previously had a Chase Sapphire credit card, of which I have since canceled. In my account I had 9.780 miles since my final statement. I would like to transfer those miles to my United Airlines Mileage Plus account.
    Thank you.

    Richard E. Schmidt
    P.S. Kindly send me confirmation of the completed transfer. Thanks again.

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Richard – Unfortunately once you close the account your points disappear, unless you have another Chase Ultimate Rewards card account like an Ink or Freedom card.

      Reply
  35. Mag

    Hello! I have a question. I have 60K points with Chase Saphire Preffered Card. I am trying to get 2 free tickets from Dallas to Munich. AA needs 60K points for 2 free tickets. British Airways needs 110 K points for 2 free tickets. I understand that I can not transfer Chase points to AA, but I can transfer to British Airways. So if I transfer to British Airways how do I book with AA using their point system if I have British points? I am confused on how it is done. Can you please help? Thank you

    Reply
    1. Gary

      @Mag, You cannot book AA flights directly on AA’s website with Chase Sapphire Preferred points. What you would have to do is transfer the points to British Airways Executive Club. You need to create a free username & password with British Airways Executive Club in order to login. Anyways, once you have transferred your points to BA, you can book these AA flights directly on BA’s website since AA is a One World alliance partner.

      However, there is a HUGE drawback to this. British Airways is notorious for charging exorbitant fees (i.e. fuel surcharges) on flights from North America that cross the Atlantic. That is why it is typically a poor choice to use British Airways Avios miles on AA flights to Europe. Before you actually transfer the Chase points to British, I’d recommend logging into British Airways Executive Club and putting in your dates of travel to see what the fees would be.

      On the flip side, British Airways Avios are very valuable for booking AA flights domestically (especially short haul flights) because British Airways’ mileage structure is distance based. For example, if you book an AA flight from DFW to St. Louis directly on AA’s website, AA will require 12,500 each way. However, if you book the exact same AA flight using British Airways Avios points, it will cost you only 4,500 miles each way. This is why I only reserve my British Airways miles for AA flights domestically or some international routes where the British Airways imposed fuel surcharges typically do not apply (i.e. some South American routes).

      Also, you can book these domestic AA flights on BA’s website at the last minute and not have to pay the additional fees AA tacks on for bookings made less than 21 days in advance.

      And finally, most flights you book using BA Avios can be canceled online and miles reinstated without a cancellation fee if done at least 24 hours before the flight. For domestic bookings, typically only thing you would loose would be the $5.60 in taxes.

      Reply
  36. Kyle

    We have the Chase Sapphire card now. Could we move our points over and join the Sapphire Preferred? We are trying to get the best deal with air travel using our points and I don’t think we can redeem our miles the same way and with different airlines partners with just the normal Sapphire? Help. Thanks

    Reply
  37. Ryan

    We have a delta skymiles card. We want to go to a chase preferred or capital one venture. Would the miles transfer?

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Ryan – No they wouldn’t. Though you could say buy one way of your flight with SkyMiles and the other direction with your other points on a different airline, or Delta if you’re using the points like cash to buy a flight.

      Reply
  38. Matt Treinish

    I am seeing that there are a bunch of flights available on multiple airlines but when I try and find flights using the Chase Sapphire website for the same flights it is very limited. I thought I was able to purchase any flight at any time using my Sapphire points? Does Sapphire limit what they offer? Thanks

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Matt – Call them using the number listed under ‘Help’ when you’re on the travel site – sometimes they can see more flights.

      Reply
      1. Greg

        I tried to book a Miami Osaka Tokyo Miami trip on UR chase site and even after calling, I could not find the cheap flight that I found on aa.com

        Reply
  39. Laura

    I booked round-trip from JFK to Paris on Delta through Chase Ultimate Rewards, two weeks ago. I used points and still paid some cash. Since then, the price of airfare has dropped. Can I get a credit for the difference?

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Laura – Depends on the fare difference. If it’s more than the change fee Delta imposes then you can get Delta credit for the remainder. Give Delta a call to check.

      Reply
  40. Beth

    If I book a flight through the Rewards website using my Sapphire points, will it let me pick seat assignments at the time of purchase?

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Beth – Yes but if you want special seats like extra legroom, just go to your airline’s website and enter your confirmation number.

      Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Ally – You do lose the points. But if there is any residual flight value the airline will give you credit to use for a future flight. The change / penalty fee depends on the rules of the individual flight ticket you buy, and is determined by the airline. Basically when you buy with UR points it’s like buying in cash.

      If you buy a fully refundable ticket and cancel it, you’ll get a statement credit (cash) on your account.

      Reply
  41. Meg

    here is what I still do not understand; if I want to transfer saphire points to SWAir points, is it still 1:1 for points?

    Reply
  42. Shellbe

    I find Flight + Hotel deal from expedia that seems pay less for the hotel if I book together. In that case, if I pay expedia with Chase Sapphire card, will I earn 2X points from Chase Sapphire? No sure payment to expedia counted as travel or not?

    Reply
  43. brady

    Thanks for writing this! Just what I was looking for (booking flights today with my Chase Rewards points). Read a bunch of posts trying to find info on this and this one was the most straightforward.

    Reply
  44. edward carducci

    Sounds so simple to book a flight, but very confusing so much information. I want to book a flight on us air, perhaps economy and use points to upgrade to 1st class

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @edward – You can book a flight on US Air with the points – just use the Chase travel website to book. To upgrade though you will need to have some actual US Airways miles to use.

      Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Dale – If you use the Ultimate Rewards travel site to buy your tickets, yes you can pay part in cash and part in points. Any mix you’d like.

      Reply
  45. Zeta

    Very nice post.

    In your example, the 12,500 miles needed from United website (saver award) is just for the outbound. Round trip will be 25,000 miles on a Saver Award (minimum). When you click Select, it will then show the choices and miles needed for the return. This means, for any trip that costs less than $312 to purchase on United, it is cheaper to use UltimateRewards points.

    United tiers awards at 25K miles for Saver and 50K for “Standard Awards”. The latter is when seats are in short supply and prices are probably higher. If only Standard Awards are available for a flight, it would be better to use UR points for tickets up to $624 in value.

    Some times Saver Awards may be only available on one leg, so round trip may cost 37,500 miles. Since united has 2 tiers and UltimateRewards is based on $ value, it is necessary to check both website each time to determine which is better. I have both a Mileage Explorer card that earns United miles and the Chase Preferred, but using the latter more often because of this flexibility.

    Reply
  46. Eduardo

    Hi, nice post, but you should note that in the first case the traveller gets more miles (and EQM) after flying. You can also apply for upgrades since FWIW from United’s POV it’s a purchased fare.

    Reply
      1. Mimi

        Can you please elaborate on this? When is it better to use UR as oppose to just charging the flight using the chase preferred credit card?

        Reply

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