Earn 10x Points On Hotels & Car Rentals This Month

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Two of my favorite no annual fee cards are the Chase Freedom® Card and Chase Freedom Unlimited®. These are both no annual fee cards that can help you boost the Ultimate Rewards points you earn, in conjunction with cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card.

The Chase Freedom already offers 5x points in rotating quarterly categories, which is a great way to super charge the Ultimate Rewards points you earn. For example, this quarter the card is offering 5x points on Uber rides, which I can maximize quite easily.

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Earn 10x points on car rentals and hotels

There’s an added promotion for both the Chase Freedom and Chase Freedom Unlimited this month.

You can earn 10x points on up to $2,500 of hotel and car rental purchases made through Chase Ultimate Rewards. The promotion is valid for travel booked through March 31, 2017, though there’s no need to travel by then — you can book the hotel or car rental for as far out as you’d like.

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You need to pay with either the Freedom or Freedom Unlimited to be eligible for the offer.

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Maximizing the value of points earned through this promotion

The Chase Freedom and Chase Freedom Unlimited are both cash back cards, and each point can be redeemed for one cent cash back.

However, if you have this card in addition to one of the cards that accrues “premium” Ultimate Rewards points, you can transfer these points to Ultimate Rewards. Cards that accrue “premium” Ultimate Rewards Cards include the:

So 5% cashback converts into 5x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar with one of the above cards.

I value Ultimate Rewards points at ~1.7 cents each so to me that’s the equivalent of a ~17% return on car rentals and hotels booked through this promotion.

Is it worth it?

The catch with the above promotion is that typically car rentals and hotels booked through the Ultimate Rewards portal aren’t eligible for points accrual. In other words, if you book a hotel through this, you wouldn’t be eligible for points with the hotel loyalty program. The same is true of rental cars.

So, when does it make sense to take advantage of this offer?

  • Generally I think a return of 17% is better than whatever rewards you’ll be offered through a car rental program
  • A 17% return on hotels is great if you book an independent hotel without a loyalty program, and for the occasional hotel guest, I think a 17% return might be better than what’s offered directly through a hotel program

So this promotion won’t be for everyone, but I do think there’s a lot of value to be had for some.

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Comments

  1. I’ve never booked a hotel through the UR portal, but the numerous times I’ve rented a car through them I’ve always got all benefits associated with the car rental program and got all the points I was due.

  2. I already booked this and got a way cheaper price through the portal too. Important to note that primary insurance coverage isn’t included with these cards though, like the CSP and CSR offer.

  3. Problem is you’ll be paying 5% cash rate more on Chase UR website vs. booking directly as a member on Hilton.com. Please disclose that too. Combined with hilton card at 15x HH point gain…well you got to figure out what’s best.

  4. I agree with your assessment. I have a few Hilton stays coming up and 3 nights at a non-chain hotel. Rebooking the non-chain hotel through Chase made total sense. But I was able to get a ~5% lower rate directly through Hilton than I was in the Chase Portal and I’m still getting 3x UR from Sapphire Reserve + all Honors Points.

  5. Looking at chase portal rates for travel to Zanzibar (an area with a lot of Non-chain hotels) and the rates seem CHEAPER than on those respective hotel sites. Has anyone else noticed this for non-chain hotels? I’m wondering if the room types and amenities are all the same.

  6. I was only seeing non-refundable rates when I tried it for a Homewood Suites stay coming up. The general statement from Chase said they were usually refundable but need to check. Then when I went to pay I saw it was non-refundable and it wasn’t very clear.

  7. Does the transaction (payment to hotel / rental car company) have to happen before 3/31/17 to get offer? If I booked thru this offer but does not stay / pay at hotel until July (for example), will it honor 10% since I made the reservation before 3/31/17? Doe anyone know? Thank you 🙂

  8. @Erie, speculating here, but since the Chase travel portal requires pre-payment in full (and most bookings are non-refundable), I assume you’d be good to go. The points would post within a few days of you making the purchase, not completing the stay (but would be clawed back if the charge were reversed).

  9. My two cents on “is it worth it”… Yes, but you have to spend a LOT of time sifting through the choices. In my experience, going through the Chase travel portal, you’re almost guaranteed a higher price and less favorable booking terms than going via any chain hotels’ loyalty programs. As Lucky points out, this is a much sweeter deal for booking independent hotels, but that too is a mixed bag. I’ve seen Chase asking a lot more than the hotel for the same room, and sometimes a little less.

  10. @Rick, Thank you so much! “Chase travel portal requires pre-payment in full”… then it make sense, since the charge to Freedom card will occur at the time of booking. Thank you ~

  11. I’m going to Belfast, Northern Ireland in a few weeks. Two of the chains I get elite benefits with (SPG & Marriott) aren’t in Belfast, and one (Hilton) is out of my budget at 119 pounds plus VAT. I get on Airbnb and see a nice looking 1-bedroom apartment (entire place, not shared) in the Queen’s Quarter for US$50/night, but that jumps to $85/night with service and cleaning fees. So I decide on an Ibis in the same area for US$77 nett. Decide to check the Chase Travel portal to compare to Ibis.com and… score! Same price. Since I couldn’t care less about Ibis perks vs the 770 Ultimate Rewards points, this promo aced out any other options for Belfast.

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