Relative newbie - best way to use Ultimate Rewards points

Discussion in 'Other Credit Card Programs' started by nelsoji, Jan 6, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. nelsoji
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    nelsoji Silver Member

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    So I apologize in advance if this has already been asked (I did search the forum prior to posting......), but I recently signed up for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card as it seemed like that was the card most people said I should at least have. So I will definitely get at least the 50k points from that, plus my normal spend, so my question is, what is the best way to use those points? Are there partners that allow you to transfer points at more than 1 to 1? Any good "tricks" to know about what is and isn't good value?

    I saw on some other sites that people get flamed for the cash back option as that isn't as valuable as XYZ, so thought I would reach out to the experts here and see how you guys are using your points! If this is off topic or something that has been discussed before - any help pointing me to that thread would be greatly appreciated!!

    Thanks in advance and happy new years to all!!
     
  2. TAHKUCT
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    TAHKUCT Gold Member

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    Transfer to CO/UA 1:1
     
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  3. fewtreezy

    fewtreezy Active Member

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    Or Southwest for domestic travel - though the southwest haters have been strong as of late ;)
     
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  4. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    I will likely eventually transfer mine to my Hyatt account. I have tons of *A miles with UA, US and BD and limited opportunity to use them, since maintaining elite status drives me towards revenue tickets. On the hotel front, I have Diamond Status, but don't plan on renewing that, so "free" stays will be useful. I might also use some points to top off my BA account for an award.
     
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  5. TAHKUCT
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    TAHKUCT Gold Member

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    Completely forgot about their new partner: Southwest
     
  6. jaw_24
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    jaw_24 Silver Member

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    If you want the highest fixed point value, then Southwest might be the answer - 1:1 transfer and 1 pt = 1.67 cents for wanna get away fares. Below that is the 25% bonus on purchased airfare through UR using points, so 1.25 cents.

    Otherwise, the 'value' will depend on what you redeem the target points/miles for.
     
  7. Efilon87

    Efilon87 Silver Member

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    Nothing wrong with SW. Great airline, I fly them all the time, never had a problem. And the flight attendants are so much happier and pleasant while in flight. The last SW flight I was on, the FA said: "For those of you seated in first class, rows 1-23, you will receive complimentary drinks and pretzels...."
     
  8. misterbwong

    misterbwong Silver Member

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    Welcome to MP! The answer is that it depends on what you want to use them for. Personally, I'm saving them for international business/first class flights so I'll probably be utilizing the CO/UA/KE/BA transfers. Decide what your priority is and transfer accordingly. The flexibility is one of the main benefits of the Sapphire :)
     
  9. Toula
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    Toula Gold Member

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    I transferred some of mine to Hyatt. I find it easier to get airline points than it is to get hotel points. When programs are selling points on special it seems easy to top up for flights that way.
     
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  10. deant
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    deant Milepoint Guide

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    Transfer them to whichever program you feel will give you the best bang for the buck. For example, I transferred some of mine to Hyatt because I was looking for a Hyatt reward that I didn't have enough points for. Will probably transfer some to UA / CO to put me over the top for an international F ticket. As you can see, I use the points as a "slush fund" to put where it does the most for me.

    Look at your programs and see where the points will do the most for you.
     
  11. Lufthansa Flyer
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    Lufthansa Flyer Gold Member

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    The actual points once transferred to an FF plan like United's mileage plus are probably most "effective" to use on international business or first class tickets....IMHO....

    For example on UA, you can usually get a biz class ticket from the US to europe for 100k, or most of the time you can get a first class ticket for 135k and fly UA or LH metal. Though LH has reduced some of the F availability, you can still find F seats for travel one month out or closer.
     
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  12. nelsoji
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    nelsoji Silver Member

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    Awesome - thank you for all the help!! That was exactly what I was looking for!!!
     
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  13. infamousdx

    infamousdx Silver Member

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    I'm definitely in the camp of redeeming miles for premium cabins. Generally, I can afford ticket prices in Economy. I made a hobby out of collecting miles so I want a great prize/goal to shoot for. International Business/First Class is that goal!
     
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  14. deant
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    deant Milepoint Guide

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    Agree about flying International F whenever possible. However, if you have the airline miles, then a very good use of UR points is a transfer to Hyatt.
     
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  15. MDDCFlyer

    MDDCFlyer Silver Member

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    As always the answer will depend on your personal preference. As a rule of thumb you should always use redemption that will give you more than 1% cash-back value - so for example a domestic ticket should cost more than $250 to be even considered a valuable redemption for 25,000 miles (or UR points). Considering that you could buy a ticket through UR at 1.25%, that would bring the price minimum to $312.5.

    Of course, many people, and I among them will view redemption for economy ticket something that is not worth doing. The differential between the points (miles) needed for premium cabin is much lower than the differential in price. Usually the number of miles required will double between economy to business while the price will be 4 times or more.

    Now, of course there are exceptions to that rule - short distance awards (with mileage requirement reduced) can be extremely good value. For example New York to Montreal prices are usually around $500 - $700, while economy class redemption will be 20,000 miles (on UA). That is something I will consider doing. For this approach transferring to BA Avios will be even a better value as the whole trip will be 9,000 miles.

    In short, there is no right answer that would be universally correct. Set forth your (travel) desires. Once you will know what you want to do it would be much easier to tell you what would be the optimal redemption plan for your points.
     
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