My First Chase Ultimate Rewards Point Redemption

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Over the past few years I’ve accumulated quite a bunch of Chase Ultimate Reward points. Currently I am just shy of 250,000 points and have yet to redeem a point. While this might seem like a lot of points for a program where you can only accrue the points via credit card spend, it came pretty easy by having three Ultimate Rewards credit cards (Sapphire Preferred, Chase Ink Bold, and Chase Ink Plus). I’ve also purchased many Vanilla Reloads with these cards and have done a few what people might call “crazy” things to earn points (i.e., many free after rebate purchases at Staples).

While I realize having many points sitting in one account isn’t doing me such good, I was waiting for a good redemption. Since Hyatt is a partner of the Chase Ultimate Rewards program, I transferred 45,000 UR points to Hyatt Gold Passport. With those points I booked a three night stay at the Hyatt Escala Lodge in Park City Utah during peak ski season. The cheapest paid rate I could find was the AAA rate at $449/night. After taxes and fees I was looking at a total of 1574.06 for the three night stay – quite an expensive stay if you were to pay! This particular hotel is a category 4 so only requires 15,000 points a night (a deal if you ask me!). I’ve stayed at this property before and while I am not sure I’d pay $500/night, I surely think it is worth more than a category 4 hotel. Even though I am paying with points I will still be required to pay the $20/night resort fee, so am only looking at spending $60 out of pocket in total.

With this stay I am getting 3.3 cents per point value out of my redemption. While I’ve done better in the past, this is a pretty good redemption. If I were to redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal I’d only get 1.25 cents per point, meaning I’d need to redeem over 120,000 points for the exact same stay!

Since Chase Ultimate Reward points transfer to all partner hotel programs at a 1:1 ratio, I got a much better value than transferring my points to another program. While Marriott has a hotel in the same location, I would have had to transferred 90,000 UR points to Marriott to redeem for the same three nights – and the hotel isn’t nearly as nice nor slope side! One thing to note though is if I decide to cancel my Hyatt reservation my points go back into my Hyatt account and cannot be reversed back into my Chase Ultimate Rewards account – therefore, I am stuck using those points at another Hyatt hotel and no longer have the flexibility of using my points elsewhere. You can read my post from yesterday to learn more on the flexibility that the Chase Ultimate Rewards program has.

Anyone else have any successful redemption stories with their Chase Ultimate Rewards points? If you are new to the Chase Ultimate Rewards program you can check out my blog series here.

Related credit card to build up your account balance:

  • Chase Ink Plus card: Get 60,000 points after you spend $5,000 within the first 3 months; $95 annual fee waived the first year. Application link.
  • Chase Ink Bold card: Get 60,000 points after you spend $5,000 within the first 3 months; $95 annual fee waived the first year. Application linkThis card is no longer available to new applicants.
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred: Get 40,000 points after $4,000 spend in 3 months plus an additional 5,000 points when adding an authorized user and the user makes a purchase within the first 3 months from account opening; $95 annual fee waived the first year. Application link.

Comments

  1. I’ve been eyeing that Hyatt Escala Lodge with the Cat 4 anniversary night certificate I have from the Chase Hyatt card. Seems like that hotel is a great value as it is currently categorized. I’d wouldn’t be surprised if it goes up to Cat 5 this year.

    • @Matt B – I think it’s a great usage of the cat 4 certificate with the credit card. I really really really hope it doesn’t change categories!

  2. I had a nice redemption in 2012 — took the bonus points I got for getting the card and transferred them to United miles — got my family of 5 to Niagara Falls and back (my son was begging to go, and it actually ended up being one of our favorite family trips). I always feel I get more bang for the buck with miles than points…. but maybe that’s just me.

  3. I just booked 2 rooms 4 nights Park Hyatt Vendome Paris and 2 rooms 2 nights Andaz Amsterdam. So for almost 250,000 points I’ve got a nice trip planned at some very pricey hotels, especially since I needed two rooms. I think Hyatt redemptions blow away Hilton and Marriott.

  4. Although there may be more valuable redemptions, I love using UR points for Southwest flights. The points are worth 1.8 cents each, but the best feature is if you book using Southwest points, and subsequently there is a lower fare, you get the difference in points credited back to your Southwest Rapid Rewards account. Whereas if you pay for a flight with cash, the dollar difference must be used within 12 months of the original reservation.

  5. When I called Hyatt about an upcoming stay at the Park City property (looks great), they told me I didn’t have to pay the resort fees on an award stay. From what I gather, you did pay this fee in the past right?

    Maybe I’ll call back and talk to another agent.

    • @dhammer53 – i did not have to pay a resort fee but now I’m not sure if it was because I was Diamond or because it was an award stay. From prior experience, when staying at Hyatt hotels on an award stay or Hyatt certificate I haven’t had to pay a resort fee even if the hotel thought I’d have to.

  6. 6 nights Vendome using 132k right before going to Normandy for 70th reunion………..I will be doing a Diamond challenge a month or so before the trip so I will compare treatment between London Waldorf with Diamond status vis a vis the Vendome…………..either way I already think it will just be wicked……………

  7. staying at the vendome by paying in cash really makes a hell of a difference- as if i am not just another peasant who is trying to get points any which way to stay there…

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