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We recently did a video on How to Redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards Points where I reviewed the two main ways that I use points to book my travel. One of the ways that we covered was the Chase Travel Portal. A couple of folks reached out to us wanting more clarifications on how to use the Chase Travel Portal. Also, people were wondering when to use it over transferring points to a travel partner.
So in this review, I’m going to share some instances where it makes more sense for you to use the Chase Travel Portal over transferring points.
When to Use the Chase Travel Portal?
For me, the most common use-case for using the Chase Travel Portal is with independent hotels and tours. Most boutique hotels and bed-and-breakfast establishments do not belong to a hotel chain or have a loyalty program. This means that you likely will not have the option of transferring points to complete the booking.
For example, if I wanted to book a hotel in Sedona, Arizona, I could actually reserve it via the Chase Travel Portal. I can use the points to pay for part of or the entire booking. With this option, you can redeem at either 1.25 or 1.5 cents per point. This makes the card function almost like a flat rate rewards card, similar to the way you might redeem rewards on the Capital One Venture or Barclaycard Arrival cards.
The same holds true for activities and tours. You can book them via the Chase Travel Portal and use your points in the same way. A quick search on Cancun shows that you can purchase tickets to most of the attractions in advance using points. This also includes shuttle rides and private transportation to and from the airport.
I actually wished I had searched for some of the places we visited on our European trip during the holidays. We could have avoided the ticket lines at some of the places we visited and used points to pay for the admission.
I hope this gives you some additional ideas on how you can use your Chase Ultimate Rewards points. I think it highlights why this program is one of the most popular travel rewards programs. It gives you so much flexibility when redeeming points for travel.
If you do decide to use the Chase Travel Portal for these booking, here are a couple of things to keep in mind.
Additional Tips and Considerations
1. Portal bookings can earn you bonus points and miles:
If you decided not to use points and pay the rate instead, you’ll earn the 3x or 2x bonus depending on your card. This can useful for categories that are bookable through the site, but generally are listed in non-travel categories, like tours and attractions. For example, when we paid for our admission to visit the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, we paid using our Sapphire Reserve. However, we did not receive any bonus points. Had we booked the tickets via the Chase Travel Portal, we would have earned the extra points.
2. Portal bookings can be more difficult to cancel or change:
One of the drawbacks of using the Chase Travel Portal is that your booking is handled by Chase rather than directly with the hotel or airline. This can make it difficult to change itineraries or reserve seats.
3. Redemption rates depend on your premium Chase card:
Just a reminder that the redemption rate on the Chase Travel Portal is dependent on the type of premium card that you have. So, if you have Sapphire Preferred, you will redeem 1.25 cents per point, and if you have the Sapphire Reserve, you’ll redeem at 1.5 cents.
Have you used the Chase Travel Portal to book an independent hotel or tour? If so, please share your experience in the comment section below. Also, let us know if you have any questions.
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