2 times you shouldn't transfer Chase points: Pay Yourself Back, hotels - Business Insider - Business Insider

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2 times you shouldn't transfer Chase points: Pay Yourself Back, hotels - Business Insider - Business Insider


2 times you shouldn't transfer Chase points: Pay Yourself Back, hotels - Business Insider - Business Insider

Posted: 30 Sep 2020 11:24 AM PDT

This article is brought to you by the Personal Finance Insider team. It has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of the issuers listed. Some of the offers you see on the page are from our partners like Citi and American Express, but our coverage is always independent. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page.

  • If you have a premium Chase credit card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you can transfer your points to airline and hotel programs.
  • This option gets you great value for travel, especially for first-class flights, but it's not always the right move.
  • If you want to save money on everyday purchases like groceries, you're better off redeeming points directly through Chase using the Pay Yourself Back tool.
  • Additionally, hotels are often cheaper when you use points to book through Chase's travel website rather than transferring to Chase's hotel partners. 
  • See Business Insider's list of the best rewards credit cards »

Chase Ultimate Rewards are one of the most versatile and valuable types of credit card points out there. Chase has several different credit cards that earn Ultimate Rewards, making it easy to get a large amount of them quickly.

On the redemption side, Chase provides maximum flexibility. If you have a premium Chase card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you can transfer your Ultimate Rewards to Chase's 13 hotel and airline travel partners. Or, you can choose to use your Ultimate Rewards at a fixed rate toward airfare, hotel, or other travel through Chase's Ultimate Rewards travel website.  

Usually, you'll get the most value from your points when you transfer them to airline and hotel partners — especially for first-class flights that would cost thousands of dollars if you booked with cash. However, there are a few scenarios where you're better off redeeming your Ultimate Rewards directly with Chase: if you want to save money on purchases eligible for Pay Yourself Back, and if you're booking a travel reservation that's cheaper to book through Chase than through its travel partners.

Chase's cash-back cards are more versatile than you might think

Some of Chase's no-annual-fee credit cards market their rewards as earning cash back. For example, the marketing copy for the Chase Freedom Flex℠ says it earns 5% cash back on up to $1,500 (then 1%) in purchases in rotating quarterly bonus categories after activation.

But the cards actually earn Ultimate Rewards points, not actual cash back. However, if you only have the Freedom Flex or Freedom Unlimited card, your Ultimate Rewards points come with restrictions. You can't transfer them to travel partners, and you can only redeem them for 1 cent per point (including as a statement credit).

But if you also have a premium card like the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, or Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, you can use the Ultimate Rewards you earn on the Freedom Flex or Freedom Unlimited in a couple of different ways.

Combine your Ultimate Rewards on your card with the highest payback

The biggest and most immediate advantage of applying for a premium Chase card if you already have Ultimate Rewards points with the Chase Freedom or Chase Freedom Unlimited is the ability to redeem your Ultimate Rewards at a higher level.

As an example, let's say you already have a Chase Freedom Unlimited® and you've already put a lot of spending on it. You have 55,000 Ultimate Rewards, which Chase markets and displays to you as $550 cash back.

Now you apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. In addition to the 80,000 points from the initial sign-up bonus after you spend $4,000 in the first three months, you'll get the ability to transfer your existing Ultimate Rewards to your Sapphire Reserve account.

Your 55,000 existing Ultimate Rewards combine with the 80,000 Ultimate Rewards from the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card bonus, giving you a new total of 135,000 Ultimate Rewards. But even better, instead of redeeming your points at a value of only 1 cent per point, because you have the Sapphire Reserve you can redeem your points for 1.25 cents per point. Now you could use your Ultimate Rewards for $2,025 in travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal.

Annual Fee

$95

Regular APR

15.99%-22.99% Variable
Credit Score
Good to Excellent
Editor's Rating
Featured Reward
80,000 points
Chevron iconIt indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.
  • Details
  • Pros & Cons
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That's 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
Pros
  • High sign-up bonus starts you off with lots of points
  • Strong travel coverage
Cons
  • Doesn't offer a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit or any other statement credit benefits
Read Our Review Read Our ReviewA looong arrow, pointing right

Take advantage of Chase's new "Pay Yourself Back" feature

With the current COVID-19 pandemic curtailing travel, many credit card issuers are introducing new features that let you use your rewards here at home.

One example of this is is Chase's recently introduced Pay Yourself Back feature. Pay Yourself Back feature available to holders of the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, and as of October 1 it will also be available to anyone who has the Chase Freedom Flex℠, Chase Freedom Unlimited®, Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card or Ink Business Plus Card.

If you hold one of those cards, then you can use your Ultimate Rewards points to erase certain purchases at a rate of 1.25 cents per point or 1.5 cents per point (for the Sapphire Reserve only). You can use Pay Yourself Back on purchases up to 90 days after the purchase was made, in the following categories:

  • Grocery stores
  • Dining, including restaurants, takeout, and eligible delivery service.

  • Home-improvement stores
  • Eligible charities

One cardholder was able to use Chase's Pay Yourself Back feature to save $597.92 on her grocery and dining bill recently.

If you want to save money on grocery-store trips, delivery meals, and more, the Pay Yourself Back feature provides a valuable option. It lets you redeem Chase points for everyday purchases without missing out on the value you can expect for travel redemptions.

If you're traveling, make sure to check the Chase travel portal before transferring points

In addition to being able to combine your Ultimate Rewards and redeem at a higher rate, having a premium Chase card allows you to transfer points to Chase's travel partners. These 13 hotel and airline travel partners include United Airlines, Marriott Bonvoy, and Southwest Airlines.

While transferring your Ultimate Rewards points to travel partners can often be the best way to maximize the value of your points, that's not always the case.

If you want to use your points to fly in business or first class, it's hard to top the value you can get from transferring your points. But, especially if you have the ability to use your points for 1.5 cents apiece for travel with the Sapphire Reserve, you'll want to check the Chase travel portal before transferring your points.

As an example, consider this one-night stay at the Salt Lake City Marriott University Park. Even at the lowest Pointsavers rate, it costs 32,500 Marriott Bonvoy points per night.

Marriott stay
Marriott Bonvoy

That same night only costs $117.23 per night if you use cash.

Marriott stay
Marriott Bonvoy

If you have the Sapphire Reserve, your stay would only cost you 7,816 points — a 76% savings — if you book through the Chase travel portal rather than transferring your points to Marriott. So in that case, rather than transferring 32,500 Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Marriott, you'd want to book your hotel stay via the Chase travel portal.

It's not always the case that you'll save points by using the travel portal, but it pays to do a quick check both ways and see which way costs you the fewest of your hard-earned Ultimate Rewards.

Alaska Airlines Visa Business Credit Card 2020 Review - Forbes

Posted: 31 Aug 2020 12:00 AM PDT

Earning Rewards

The Alaska Airlines Visa business credit card earns Mileage Plan miles. You earn 3 miles per dollar spent on purchases with Alaska Airlines. For all other eligible purchases, this card earns 1 mile per dollar spent.

Redeeming Rewards

Mileage Plan miles can be redeemed towards flights with Alaska Airlines and its network of partner airlines.

A valuable and rare feature of Mileage Plan flight awards is the ability to book a free stopover even on one-way award tickets. No other domestic airline offers this benefit anymore. A stopover can be as little as a day, up to nearly a year. For instance, you can book Seattle to San Francisco, stopover for several days, then continue San Francisco to Los Angeles, all for the same price as Seattle to Los Angeles. Other airlines will charge the price of two awards for this.

Free stopovers apply to Mileage Plan partner airlines. How about flying Fiji Airways Los Angeles to Fiji, spend a week on the beach, then continue to New Zealand for hiking?

Alaska Airlines does not belong to an airline alliance, rather it has assembled a network of partner airlines that include alliance and non-alliance airlines. Mileage Plan determines award eligible routes and award pricing by partner. Some partners offer better value than others.

A limitation of an Alaska Airlines award is that partners cannot be mixed on the same ticket, with the exception that any partner can be combined with Alaska Airlines flights. You can book a Singapore Airlines plus Alaska Airlines award ticket, but not a Singapore Airlines plus Qantas award ticket. Sometimes you can work around this limitation by booking two one-way tickets instead of a round-trip ticket.

Rewards Potential

To determine the rewards potential of the Alaska Airlines Business card we have to look at the bonus categories and calculate what an example American household might spend in those areas. Forbes uses data from various government agencies in order to determine both baseline income and spending averages across various categories. The 70th percentile of wage-earning households bring in $100,172 annually and we base spending on that number. Forbes bases expenses on a freelancer or sole proprietor.

The Alaska Airlines Business earns the following:

  • 3 Delta SkyMiles per dollar spent on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases
  • 1 mile per dollar spent on all other purchases.

Forbes estimates that our sample cardholder spends $1,755 on airfare, for a total of 5,265 MileagePlan miles assuming all airfare bookings are made through Alaska Airlines. Assuming $24,655 of additional expenses that could reasonably be spent on a credit card, the cardholder would earn 24,655 more Alaska miles each year.  That adds up to a total of 29,920 Alaska Airlines MilePlan miles in addition to the first-year welcome bonus.

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