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Award Redemption Lucky is Redeeming UR for Flights But Not Hotels All Wrong

Discussion in 'questions. answers. conversations.' started by Brad B, Jan 13, 2018.

  1. Brad B

    Brad B Active Member

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    I was going to post this in the comments to Lucky's post from yesterday Why You Should Use Ultimate Rewards Points To Pay For Flights But Not Hotels (http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/2018/01/12/redeem-ultimate-rewards-points-flights-hotels/) , but then it started to be to long so I moved it here.

    I greatly appreciated reading the article and it made a lot of sense, regarding how you should never book hotels though third party agencies, however it may make sense to book flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards ("UR") travel portal when you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve. where the only downside to booking that way is that you loose the 3x points for travel. However was doing some account maintenance on my accounts today and realized that Lucky was thinking about this all wrong, and while it may take a few additional steps, if you have the correct credit cards, you can still redeem your UR points for 1.5 cents per point and earn 3x the points for travel using your Chase Sapphire Reserve. Even if you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred instead you can do this and redeem your UR for 1.5 cents per point and earn 2x the points.

    Most people who read this blog are savvy in using UR points know that you should have the Chase Freedom and/or Chase Freedom Unlimited cards in addition to the Chase Sapphire Reserve, as Lucky has said the Chase Freedom Unlimited may be the best free card as you earn unlimited 1.5% back in UR for all purchases, if you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve you can then transfer your cash back into UR points on that card. However you can do it the other way as well, you can transfer the points attached to your Chase Sapphire Reserve card to you Chase Freedom Unlimited Card and redeem for 1.5 cents per point in cash back. The good thing with this is, you don't have to apply it as a statement credit to your Chase Freedom Unlimited Card, you can transfer it as cash straight into your bank account (I can even transfer into my non-Chase bank account that I use to pay my Chase credit cards).

    So, while I agree with Lucky that you get the best value in points by redeeming for international first and business class, if you are going to book travel through the Chase UR portal (hotels or flights), you should do this instead:

    Lets say you are booking the below round trip flight on United from LAX-ORD for $374.60, I checked these dates and no saver fares are available, so booking with points doesn't make sense

    upload_2018-1-13_14-45-23.png

    -Book your travel where you receive the best value, this may be with the hotel/airline directly or thought an online travel agency (or even with a in person travel agent... those still exist right???), in my example am going to book at united.com, when booking use your Chase Sapphire Reserve, this will earn you 3x the points for your travel. In this example I will earn 1123 UR points, in addition you will earn United MP miles, if you have no status it will be 1609 MileagePlus Miles.
    -Go to Chase UR and transfer the correct number of points to your Chase Freedom Unlimited from your Chase Sapphire Reserve UR Account (fare divided by 0.015), so for the above I will need to transfer 24,974 points.
    -Then redeem that 24,974 points for cash back to my bank account, then use those funds to pay my Sapphire Reserve bill.
    -So the actual number of points it costs me to book this ticket is 23,851, I just redeemed my UR points for 1.57 cents per point instead of the usual 1.5 (and when you take into account the UA points earned, you are only out 22,242 points where you earned 1.68 points per cent).

    While a little more complicated, this way still allows you to earn 3x the points when redeeming your points for 1.5 cents per point on travel.
     
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  2. Gaurav

    Gaurav Well-Known Member

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    @Brad B, I might be mistaken but I think the Chase Freedom Unlimited only earns at 1.5x. Redemption is still 1cpp.
     
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  3. MidSouth Skier

    MidSouth Skier Well-Known Member

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    @Gaurav, I *think* Brad is saying that if you transfer the Unlimited points to your Reserve account you'll be able to redeem at 1.5. I'm not 100% sure I followed that but that's what I think I read.
     
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  4. Brad B

    Brad B Active Member

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    What I was saying is you transfer your CSR points to Freedom Unlimited, then redeem for cash back and use that to pay your CSR bill.
     
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  5. MidSouth Skier

    MidSouth Skier Well-Known Member

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    But what Gaurav is saying is that you can only redeem at 1 cpp, not 1.5 cents.
     
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  6. Lucky

    Lucky One Mile At A Time

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    Brad, I might be misunderstanding something here, but it seems you're losing value by doing this. If you redeem your points through the Chase Sapphire Reserve for travel then you get a return of 1.5 cents per point (or a 2.25% return on Chase Freedom Unlimited spend, since 1.5 points times a 1.5% return is 2.25%). However, if you redeem the points through the Chase Freedom Unlimited then you only get one cent of value per point, meaning you're getting a return of 1.5% per dollar spent on the Chase Freedom Unlimited (rather than 2.25%).

    Am I misunderstanding what you're saying?
     
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