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In mid-April 2022, Chase revived its once record-breaking offer on the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, raising the introductory bonus to 80,000 points. (If you happened to miss that news, here’s a brief recap: Earn up to 80,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first three months with the Chase Sapphire Preferred, a card that carries only a $95 annual fee but delivers excellent earnings rates, such as triple points on dining, streaming services, and online grocery purchases.)
With many new cardholders coming into a windfall of points, it begs the question: What are the best ways to spend 80,000 points? There are many options, but here are our five favorites.
Redeem points as $1,000 toward relief efforts in Ukraine
Chase points can be redeemed at 1.25 cents apiece with select categories under Chase Ultimate Rewards’ “Pay Yourself Back” feature. Categories typically change quarterly (previous ones have included Airbnb, dining, and groceries) but one that is around until December 31, 2022, is “Select Charities.” At that exchange rate, 80,000 Chase points are equivalent to $1,000 toward charitable giving. Donate directly through the national sites of International Medical Corps, International Rescue Committee, UNICEF USA, and World Central Kitchen, all of which are supporting relief efforts in Ukraine, and days later apply for statement credits through the “Pay Yourself Back” feature. Note: You don’t need to spend $1,000 for the credit. Even the smallest contributions can be erased as statement credits.
Redeem points as $1,000 toward the travel of your choice
When points are redeemed through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards online travel portal, they are also valued at 1.25 cents apiece. That means 80,000 Chase points are equivalent to $1,000 toward travel. The Ultimate Rewards travel portal works like such familiar travel portals as Expedia, Orbitz, and Kayak. Simply search for the flights, hotels, car rentals, cruises, or vacation rentals you desire, and when you go to pay, choose the points option. It’s that easy! Again, you don’t need to spend all the points at once.
Transfer points to international airline partners
Chase Ultimate Rewards points are transferable to eight international airline partners at a 1:1 ratio: Aer Lingus AerClub, Air Canada Aeroplan, Air France/KLM Flying Blue, British Airways Executive Club, Emirates Skywards, Iberia Plus, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club.
Though it’s increasingly hard to find great mileage deals using U.S. legacy carriers, it’s typically not as difficult on international legacy airlines. While this may require getting to know a new frequent flier program—and some may find that too advanced at first—it’s well worth the while. Case in point: I recently transferred 88,000 of my own Chase points to Air France/KLM Flying Blue and scored a round-trip business-class ticket between Miami and Paris. How? Capitalizing on a recent promotion of transferring Ultimate Rewards to Flying Blue at 1 to 1.25 ratio, I turned 88,000 points into 110,000 Flying Blue miles. With business-class tickets as low as 55,000 each way between the U.S. and Europe, I found dates that worked with my schedule and voila: I soon had a round-trip business-class ticket between Miami and Paris. Upon booking, the same flight for 110,000 miles was priced at over $4,000. Talk about maximizing those points!
Transfer points to hotel partners
Chase Ultimate Rewards points are transferable to three hotel partners at a 1:1 ratio. These are IHG One, Marriott Bonvoy, and World of Hyatt. The points of each loyalty program can be viewed as different currencies, and the most valuable one here, by far, is World of Hyatt. Point redemptions for the best-of-the-best within Hyatt’s greater portfolio (think: Park Hyatt, Small Leading Hotels, and Alila) max out at 40,000 points per night. Returning to my Paris example, I was able to book two nights at the Park Hyatt Paris at 40,000 points per night. Rooms at this property begin at €1,080 per night. Score!
Transfer points to domestic airline partners
Chase Ultimate Rewards points are transferable to three domestic airline partners at a 1:1 ratio: JetBlue TrueBlue, Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards, and United MileagePlus. Of this trio we find the best value in the programs of JetBlue and Southwest, which are both pegged to approximate cash values of 1.3–1.4 cents apiece. That means that transferring the entirety of an 80,000 bonus (and again you can transfer as much or as little as you want in 1,000-point increments) can yield up to $1,120 in value on JetBlue or Southwest flights. (Advanced tip: Those who took—or take—advantage of Chase’s Southwest credit cards offers and landed—or land—a coveted Companion Pass, can turn this $1,120 into $2,240 as passholders can fly Southwest with a companion for free, besides mandatory taxes.)
Takeaways: Mix and match, stockpile, or spend
It’s important to note that Chase Ultimate Rewards points can be mixed and matched among the options above (sometimes in increments of 1,000 or even less) and that there’s no rush to spend them because they do not expire. These are simply some of our favorite examples of the myriad possibilities available to anyone with 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points (or more). We hope this has opened your eyes to the power of Chase Ultimate Rewards points and the power of the current 80,000-point introductory offer of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.
While the offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication, they are subject to change at any time, and may have changed or may no longer be available.
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