Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Using Chase Ultimate Rewards points to book a free Southwest flight

My favorite credit card rewards point currency is still the Chase Ultimate Rewards point.  They are extremely flexible and easy to work with.  Points don’t expire and can be easily shared with a spouse or domestic partner. 

Chase points transfer to the following airlines: Southwest, United, British Airways, Korean Air, Singapore, and Virgin Atlantic.  Chase points transfer to the following hotels: Hyatt, IHG, Marriott, and Ritz Carlton.  Chase points also transfer to Amtrak.  While I don’t recommend cashing them out, you can do so at a 1 point = 1 cent rate. 

I like to keep a healthy stash of different credit card point currencies to have on hand for future trips, emergencies or last minute travel plans.  I utilize these points as a travel fund.  Just like we diversify our investments, we diversify our point currencies.      

Free flight from Los Angeles to Portland for my wife
I just booked a last minute flight for my wife to fly from Los Angeles (LAX) to Portland (PDX) so that she can attend her friend’s wedding.  At first she wasn’t planning on going since she wanted to stay home with our son.  Now that he is 2 months old and slightly easier to take care of, I feel comfortable watching the little guy while my wife gets away for a day. 

The first thing I did was log into my Southwest Rapid Rewards account to see how many miles I would need to redeem for my wife’s flight preference:

The flight my wife chose required 14,208 Rapid Rewards points and a $5.60 security fee. 

The cash price for the same flight was $225.  Using points for this flight provides a value of 1 point = 1.58 cents.

The next thing I did was to check how many points I already had available:

I had 5,867 points, not enough to book a flight but a good starting point.  These are leftover points from previous bookings as well as deposits from e-rewards surveys and e-miles offers. 

In order to book the flight, I needed 8,341 more Rapid Rewards points (14,208 – 5,867).  Since Chase only allows you to transfer points in 1,000-point increments, I needed to transfer 9,000 points from my Ultimate Rewards account into my Southwest Rapid Rewards account.  I logged into www.UltimateRewards.com to transfer the points.  The process was extremely easy and the points were immediately available for use in my Southwest account.

Once I had enough Rapid Rewards points in my account, I was able to book the flight for free (minus the $5.60 security fee)!  

I’m glad that we keep points on hand for last minute travel situations like this.  Otherwise, we would have to spend $225 for the flight!  Taking into account the $5.60 travel fees, we saved $219.40 on this flight!

For my wife’s return flight, I took advantage of the American Express Premier Rewards Gold card’s $100 airline credit (x2) to make the booking.  I’ll write more about this once I get my statement credit.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments? Questions?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...