Top five uses of 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points

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If you live in the US and have good credit, there’s no reason you shouldn’t have over 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points — 40,000 points from signing up for Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, and 60,000 points from signing up for the Ink Plus® Business Credit Card, once you’ve completed the minimum spends on both cards.

Given the above, I figured I’d share what I consider to be (among) the five best uses of 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points, in no particular order.

1. Three nights in a suite at the Park Hyatt Sydney. Hyatt charges 33,000 points per night for a suite at a category six hotel, so if you transfer your points to Hyatt Gold Passport you can get three nights in a Cove Suite at the Park Hyatt Sydney for 99,000 points. Retail cost? ~$5,200

2. Virgin Atlantic Upper Class to Europe. I really, really like Virgin Atlantic. Especially their Clubhouse lounge in London. If you transfer 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points to Continental OnePass, you can book a roundtrip Upper Class ticket from the US to anywhere in Europe for only 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points. Retail cost? ~$5,000

 3. Four nights at the Park Hyatt Paris with points to spare. The Park Hyatt Paris is a category six Hyatt Gold Passport hotel, so goes for 22,000 points per night. So you can transfer 88,000 Ultimate Rewards points to Gold Passport and spend four nights at the Park Hyatt for only 88,000 points, with 12,000 points to spare. Retail cost? ~$3,200

4. A one-way Airbus 380 first class ticket to Asia. Sick of your husband/wife/girlfriend/boyfriend/partner/significant other, and can’t bear the thought of spending one more holiday with them? Nothing says “buh-bye” quite like a one-way first class Airbus A380 ticket to Singapore via Europe. Best of all, it’ll only cost you 70,000 Ultimate Rewards points transferred to Continental OnePass, leaving you 30,000 Ultimate Rewards points to spend on flights around Asia. Retail cost? $15,830

5. Jet all around Asia in Cathay Pacific business class. Building off the last point, one of the few bright spots in British Airways’ recent award chart devaluation is that shorthaul awards are now inexpensive. When business class between Hong Kong and Bangkok, for example, only costs you 15,000 miles one-way, you can do plenty of jetting around Asia in business class for 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points. Retail cost? ~$3,500

You can learn more about the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and learn more about theInk Plus® Business Credit Card here.

Anyone else have any fun uses for 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points?

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Comments

  1. Is there any way to check online at hyattcom for award night availability at the Park Hyatt Paris without actually having the points in my Hyatt account? I would rather not transfer the points from my UR account if the dates are not available, but Hyatt will not let me check online for availability… darnit!

  2. Speaking of VS using CO miles, have you ever seen availability for the SFO-LHR nonstop on the CO website? I haven’t seen it…despite availability on the VS website.

    Will calling in and requesting specific VS flights with CO give better results?

  3. @ carwag25 — As long as a standard room is available you can book with points. 🙂

    @ David — That’s a good question, because I’ve noticed the same. Continental actually doesn’t have “perfect” access to Virgin Atlantic’s award space for travel between the US and London. They actually typically have two fewer award seats than Virgin Atlantic directly is offering. So in theory if you see a Virgin Atlantic flight with three award seats, there should be at least one seat available for a redemption through Continental. Though I suspect it’s just limited availability as opposed to a Continental glitch.

  4. I heard of people getting grilled with questions about a business when applying for an Ink Bold card. Since I do not have a business that is why I haven’t applied yet.

  5. Lucky, generic question – what do you/I get if I sign up through your link? I appreciate all the good info I get from your blogs so I don’t mind signing up through you links if it gets you some benefits. Just curious if there are any differences vs signing up with the regular link.

  6. @ Maury — You really don’t have to come up with that elaborate of a lie. When I got my first business credit card I simply explained that I wanted to keep my business expenses separate from my personal expenses for accounting purposes. Nowadays everyone has a business, be it selling stuff on Ebay, “consulting,” etc. So if you’re prepared I really can’t imagine it’ll be that to convince an agent to be approved. At least that has been my experience.

    @ Papa Smurf — Thanks for asking! When you sign up through my link you get the best available sign-up bonus there is, and I get a referral commission for having referred you. The only difference in the link is that Chase is able to track who referred you, vs. just finding the link out of the blue.

  7. lucky,

    As one who is well on his way to collecting 100,000 chase points (and the others coming from whopping groupon and stamps/pitney bowes bonuses this year)…

    1. Are you sure you can book the suite at the Park Hyatt Sydney? When I look at the awards calculator at hyatt.com, it has these pearls of wisdom: “Suite awards are not valid at Hyatt Regency Kyoto, Hyatt Regency Paris-Madeleine, Park Hyatt Sydney, Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort, Hyatt Vacation Club Resorts and Hyatt Place hotels.”

    2. I assume that if you like the VS J award to Europe at 100k, you’d like the J award to DEL at 120k?

    3. If you like the PH Paris for 4 nights, then I also assume you would like the PH Maldives for the same amount of points? At the later property, I would posit that the pasport escapes are of reasonable value.

  8. @ Dan — Darnit, darnit, darnit. Didn’t see that restriction in the past, though I suppose this has to do with the rebranding (or was it there in the past)? Grrr, sorry about that.

    Indeed, 120K to India is a better deal than 100K to Europe, though for the purposes of this example I was sticking to 100K points.

    And yes, PH Maldives is in theory more interesting, though getting to Paris is a lot more attainable for most than the Maldives.

  9. The $8,000 in spending required in three months could be a barrier, beyond being in the US and good credit.

  10. Lucky,

    One question:

    For a trip to India or MLE, which do you like better? VS Upper Class at 120k points r/t to DEL, you haul your own butt to MLE (which could be easier to do than an award straight to MLE) or 180 points r/t for EY F straight to MLE?

    In this case, it would be a stretch (or costly) to buy the extra miles needed for an NA-India F award on AA/partners.

    We’d also be spending time in DEL/BOM/KTM, so we could work itineraries around our flight schedules.

  11. @ Andrew — With a bit of creativity you can really make money on that $8,000 worth of spend, by recycling Sears gift cards through the Ultimate Rewards mall. Assuming you value Ultimate Rewards points at a minimum of 1.5 cents each, you should be able to make money on reselling those cards. So I really don’t think the spend barrier should be an issue for anyone that’s willing to put a bit of effort into it.

  12. @ Dan — All things being equal I would definitely go with the Etihad option, though you say buying the miles needed is a stretch. So in that instance I would go with Virgin Atlantic for sure. They have a fantastic business class product and I love their lounges, so you really can’t go wrong, especially if you also intended to visit India on the same trip, where you’d need to buy a separate ticket anyway.

  13. If you’ve always wanted to go to Nepal but backpacking isn’t really your thing, how about 20 nights at the Hyatt Regency Kathmandu? That’s a value of $4551, depending on your dates. 😉

  14. Have you been able to book and confirm the Lufthansa A380 through continental.com? I’ve seen the space, but it never confirmed the ticket

  15. @ gba — While there are many cases of “phantom” availability, that was actually legitimately there. Select flights to Beijing, Tokyo, and Singapore have first class award space in Starnet on the A380 in the coming weeks.

  16. I guess I have a problem with applying for a business card when I don’t have a business, any way you want to cut it, no matter how liberally or dubious your use of the word “business” is. It seems borderline/possibly more than borderline unethical to be signing up for business cards because you call something a business that really isn’t. Selling something on eBay isn’t a business; paying your neighbor’s kid $50 to mow the lawn isn’t a business related expense; so on and so forth.

    Not that it has a high likelihood of happening, but what would occur if the IRS audited your “sell my crap on eBay business”? Would that fly with them?

  17. @lucky – Is there anyway to tell the real flights from the phantom ones? Have you booked one for yourself? I’m already looking forward to the trip report… 🙂

  18. @ gba — The phantom ones only show up on continental.com. The “real” ones show up through the ANA tool as well. Do I have one booked? Maybe I do, maybe I don’t… stay tuned. 😉

  19. @ Andrew2 — First of all, to remove myself from this just a bit, I actually do have a business, so when I apply for a business credit card it’s with my federal tax ID. That being said, I don’t see what the IRS has to do with anything? If you worked for a company that didn’t give you a separate business credit card but instead retroactively reimbursed you for spend put on your private card, don’t you think it would be appropriate to apply for a business credit card to separate your personal and business expenses?

  20. @Andrew2

    My “business” credit is backed by my personal SSN, presumably meaning that if I default on the card, my personal credit takes a hit. If I could take out a “business” line of credit, file bk, and walk away with no adverse impact to myself, then I would have a problem with *everybody else* getting “business” cards for personal use. (And by extension, I should have a problem with myself doing that, but I wouldn’t default.)

    With the IRS, here’s the way it works if you have a “real” business: You have to pay taxes on it. For most “sell my crap on ebay” types of businesses, this typically means a 15.3% self-employment tax. So, in this regard, I think you have it backward: If you’re selling your crap on ebay and not reporting it as any sort of income, then that’s a problem. The IRS would also have a problem if that “business” continually took losses every year (reduces the amount of taxes paid.) But if you sold your crap on ebay, structured it as a business, and paid taxes on your legitimate profits, the IRS would absolutely love you.

  21. Lucky–I know you have a legitimate business, I wasn’t saying that you don’t. But your statement: “If you worked for a company that didn’t give you a separate business credit card but instead retroactively reimbursed you for spend put on your private card, don’t you think it would be appropriate to apply for a business credit card to separate your personal and business expenses?”

    First of all, I don’t think that’s the case with the vast majority of folks who are applying for business cards to get miles/points. But regardless, my answer to your statement is that I don’t agree, based on how I read and understand the cardmember agreement of a business credit card. A business credit card is meant for someone who owns a business, not someone who is merely employed by one. The very first question on the Chase Ink Bold application page says “Before completing the application, you should be able to answer “Yes” to the following statements…” and #1 is: “Yes, I am an owner or Authorizing Officer of the company.” If I’m just a rank and file employee of XYZ corporation, my honest answer to that question is no, which should disqualify me from getting a business card.

    Everything else on the application points to that as well. “Add additional cards for your employees”–again, you’re the owner of the business. “Years under current owner”: I work for a publicly traded company–how would you answer that question (again, in the scenario that they didn’t give you a card for business expenses)? Again, it’s clearly intended for someone who owns a business. Another statement you agree to when you submit the application is “I agree this is a business account and shall only be used for business purposes and not for personal, family or household use.” Do you honestly think that many of the folks who are signing up for business cards because they read this blog are hitting those minimum spend requirements with honest-to-goodness spending on the business they imply that they own based on the application they submitted?

    My point with the IRS was to say what would happen if someone’s “business” was audited (maybe the IRS was a bad example…let’s say you (again, not you specifically, Lucky) get audited by Deloitte)–would that auditor say “Sure, that $5000 in Sears gift cards you churned on the rewards mall were totally legitimate business expenses”? Because if the answer is that the auditor would not say that, then I don’t think you should be applying for a business credit card.

    The bottom line is that unless you own a business that you report on your tax return, pay taxes on, and every dollar you put on that business card is a legitimate expenditure directly related to that business, I believe it is dishonest and unethical (and possibly illegal?) to apply for a business credit card.

  22. @Andrew2

    Bravo, you’ve outlined very well something that I have been thinking. I have recently taken on this hobby of collecting miles/points and while I have no problem with churning cards, going after cards purely for sign up bonuses, closing cards after 11.5 months that give the first year annual fee waived, etc etc etc… I also always drew the line by bloggers and advanced commenters who applied for business cards that aren’t business owners. I feel like those former things are all within the rules outlined by credit card companies in their disclosures, we are part of the risk they are taking on when they make these offerings to acquire the vast majority of accounts who are less savvy and more profitable. We are playing within the rules and taking advantage of something they decided to offer. But an individual signing up for a business card, is clearly not factored in by these companies and is simply not “fair” in my opinion.

  23. You sure its 50k each way for VS upperclass? On the continental site it lists 50k as business class or bus/first on 2 class service. Isnt upperclass the 3rd highest VS class after economy and premium economy?

  24. @ Jh811 — Absolutely, it’s 50,000 miles each way for Upper Class between the US and Europe. There’s no way to use Continental miles for Virgin Atlantic Premium Economy.

  25. This is one of the most fun postings I’ve read anywhere online! Just out of curiousness… what’s the best thing you can come up with for 500,000 points? If it matters at all to you, I’m a broke college student, and should have 500,000 points by the end of the year =P

  26. I’m fairly new at this, and I can’t figure something out. We have 100K miles through UR and want to go to Paris. We’d take London though, if we can get there for free. Anyway, how do I actually make that transfer? And looking at Virgin’s reward structure, it looks like I can fly economy for 38,500 miles? Wow, that’s a lot cheaper than booking it through UR’s website! So I find it hard to believe. But then I saw that there were over $500 in taxes and fees. 🙁 Anyway, thanks for any help/ideas.

  27. @ Nichole — If the goal is to travel to Europe you’re best off transferring your points to United. If there’s saver award availability they charge 30,000 miles in coach or 50,000 miles in business class one-way, and there are no fuel surcharges.

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