The Best Ways To Redeem 80,000 Ultimate Rewards Points

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The way I view it, the single best credit card welcome bonus out there right now is on the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card. The card is offering a welcome bonus of 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first three months. Personally I value Ultimate Rewards points at ~1.7 cents each, so to me those points are worth ~$1,360, which is an incredible credit card sign-up bonus.

There are many things to love about this card beyond the sign-up bonus. The card also offers great bonus categories (triple points on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases per calendar year on travel, shipping, internet, cable, and phone services, and advertising with social media sites and search engines), an incredible cell phone protection plan, and more.

In this post I wanted to share some awesome ways you could redeem the 80,000 Ultimate Rewards point welcome bonus on the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, to give a sense of just how valuable these points can be. Here are some of my favorite ways to redeem 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points (some are more practical than others):

A one-way Korean Air first class ticket from the US to Asia

Korean Air SkyPass is an Ultimate Rewards transfer partner, and one of my all around favorite frequent flyer programs. For just 80,000 miles you can book a first class one-way ticket between the US and many parts of North Asia, including Japan and Korea. This even includes a free stopover in Seoul Incheon.


Korean Air’s 747-8 first class

For example, you could fly from Atlanta to Seoul Incheon in first class, have a stopover for a few days, and then continue from Korea to Japan, all in first class for just 80,000 miles. That’s an incredible value.

3 nights at the Park Hyatt Maldives

World of Hyatt is an Ultimate Rewards transfer partner, and the Park Hyatt Maldives is one of my all around favorite points hotels. A free night redemption costs 25,000 points per night, so you could book three nights here on points and have points to spare.


Park Hyatt Maldives

Paid rates at this hotel are sometimes upwards of $1,000 per night.

16 nights at the Park Hyatt Chennai

Okay, I’m not sure most people would necessarily want to plan a 16 night vacation in Chennai. However, on the other end of the Ultimate Rewards spectrum, the Park Hyatt Chennai is a Category 1 Hyatt property. This means that a free night redemption costs just 5,000 points per night, so 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points would get you 16 nights here.


Park Hyatt Chennai

A roundtrip transatlantic Iberia business class ticket

Ultimate Rewards is transfer partners with British Airways Executive Club, Iberia Plus, and Aer Lingus AerClub. All three of these programs have points that can be transferred between one another, but there are distinct advantages to each program. One of the awesome aspects of the Iberia Plus program is how cheap transatlantic business class redemptions are when traveling on Iberia.

For example, you can fly roundtrip business class between Boston and Madrid on off-peak dates for just 68,000 Avios plus $212.57 in taxes and carrier imposed surcharges.

Sometimes there are sales offering even bigger discounts on transatlantic redemptions, which could get you this ticket for even less.


Iberia’s A340 business class

Singapore Airlines’ new Suites between Singapore and Sydney

This one will require a bit of work, but is potentially really worth it. Singapore Airlines recently introduced their new A380 Suites, each of which features a separate seat and bed. It’s a pretty spectacular product all around.


Singapore Airlines’ new A380 Suites

The saver award cost between Singapore and Sydney for this is just 80,000 KrisFlyer miles one-way, and KrisFlyer is an Ultimate Rewards transfer partner. The catch is that award availability is very tough to come by, and you’ll almost always only see availability on the new A380 if you “waitlist.” The good news is that if you waitlist, your chances of clearing and getting the seat are quite good. So this is a realistic redemption for 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points.

Alternatively you should be able to book onto their A380 with the “old” Suites without issue, which isn’t a shabby ride either.


Singapore Airlines’ old A380 Suites

A one-way Star Alliance business class award to Asia without surcharges

I don’t think this value is quite as good as some of the other ones, but it’s a super easy deal to take advantage of. United MileagePlus is an Ultimate Rewards transfer partner, and charges just 80,000 miles one-way for tickets between the US and many points in Asia. This gives you access to lots of incredible business class products, like EVA Air, which is fantastic.


EVA Air’s 777 business class

Three roundtrip economy tickets from the West Coast to Hawaii

While the flight itself might not be aspirational, here’s a great deal that will get you to a popular vacation destination that can often be pricey. British Airways Executive Club is an Ultimate Rewards transfer partner, and any nonstop Alaska Airlines flight between the mainland and Hawaii costs just 12,500 Avios one-way, plus airport taxes and fees (there are no carrier imposed surcharges).

Most programs charge at least 35,000 miles for roundtrip tickets between the mainland and Hawaii, so those represent some significant savings.


Alaska 737

20 one-way tickets within Europe

Since British Airways Executive Club has a distance based award chart, one of the best values is redeeming just 4,000 Avios for a one-way off-peak economy ticket within Europe. These cost just 4,000 Avios plus minimal taxes and fees, assuming you’re traveling a nonstop distance of under 650 miles one-way. Given how much revenue tickets can otherwise cost, this will get you a ton of travel to/from London.

$1,000-1,200 to spend on travel however you’d like

While I think one of the best ways to get value out of Ultimate Rewards points is to transfer them to an airline or hotel partner, there’s also value to be had in redeeming Ultimate Rewards points as cash towards the cost of a travel purchase. This includes things like flights, hotels, car rentals, and more. The amount of value you get per point varies based on the most premium card you have:

So if you just have the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, those 80,000 points can get you $1,000 worth of travel. However, if you have the card in conjunction with the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card, those points can get you $1,200 worth of travel. That’s a lot to spend on travel however you’d like!

Want to earn more Ultimate Rewards points?

While the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card has a huge sign-up bonus of 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points upon completing minimum spend, there are several other great cards earning Ultimate Rewards points as well. For example, you can use the following cards to complement the Ink Business Preferred and earn tons of Ultimate Rewards points:

Bottom line

One of the great things about Ultimate Rewards points is that they can be converted efficiently into hotel points or airline miles, and can also be redeemed as cash towards the cost of a travel purchase. This gives you so much flexibility. The above are just some examples of the amazing ways you can redeem these points, though it goes without saying that there are plenty of other ways to redeem Ultimate Rewards points as well.

What are your favorite ways to redeem Ultimate Rewards points?

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Comments

  1. Thanks for this post Ben. It’s very helpful since my wife and I have quite a few points saved up and we were not really sure the best way to utilize them.

  2. Why doesn’t anyone ever mention that Korean charges more during High season? I have tried to book in July and August and it was something like a hundred and forty five thousand miles from Bali to SFO in first.

  3. @Abe

    Maybe someone should do some more of their own research. no one said this was the only price.

  4. Does anyone know if the sign up bonus is available if I already have the Ink Business Plus card and upgrade to Ink Business Preferred. I’m guessing not, but you never know. Thanks.

  5. Even better, book DL F mainland – Hawaii using Korean miles, 90k RT gets you two seats up front. I know that’s over the 80k threshold you named but put a little more spend on the card and have a good flight.

  6. @ Mike — You’re eligible for it if you have the Ink Plus and apply outright for the Ink Preferred, but not if you just upgrade. So in your shoes I’d recommend applying for the card outright.

  7. You forgot about a R/T Business Class from USA to Europe with 80K Korean Air SkyPass (+ taxes and fees) on Skyteam airlines, much better than Iberia deal because avios are priced segment by segment.

  8. @ Federico — The problem is that those taxes and fees are typically about $1,000. You’re right, it’s potentially still a good deal, though.

  9. I realize that you have contractual obligations to Chase that limit what you can say about their products, but I hope those don’t prohibit you from (aggressively) covering the rumors that they may be eliminating the transfer of points between cards. That would obviously change the calculus concerning the value of cards that are advertised as cash back and not UR earning.

  10. Wanted to add there is a new unpublicized bonus on sapphire preferred. I just applied the other day clicking via my chase ink home page – I received an offer for 50K points after $4K spend in 3 months PLUS another 30K bonus points after 30K$ spend in first year.

    If readers can get the same offer, you could make several hundred thousand chase points in the next year using ink and preferred without high fees.

  11. Just booked Hyatt Regency HK club floor for 4 nights using 84K UR points. Yep, no longer have upgrade certs or status. Still, it’s otherwise $400/night+tax over Thanksgiving. That’s 2 cents/point. Also, tacked on a Chase annual free night. Hope we don’t have to change rooms.

  12. Got $.03 value on a Grand Hyatt redemption, probably middle of the road but I’ll take it!

  13. Thanks for mentioning the option to redeem for cash back within the UR portal. Why does everyone neglect to mention that using this option is potentially the most valuable method?

    My argument is this: if you are booking mistake/sale fares you are often booking at 50% of the regular price. This would represent a more significant discount than any of the sweet spots you’ve identified in the various award charts.

    As someone who mostly books flight deals in coach. This has always seemed like the best use of points(UR, MR, etc.) to me. Am I missing something?

  14. @Rico

    I did same thing at hyatt regency tsim sha tsui. They said I could stay in club room for my free night but I just couldn’t use the lounge for that day. I’m sure I still could’ve since no one was really checking but I decided to be honest.

  15. @lucky: My wife has a CIP. I was just approved for the CIP over the weekend. Can i add her as an AU if she already has the card? My plan is to add her as an AU to help me meet the minimum spend requirement, this works right? She is currently 3/24(CSR, CIP and Chase Hyatt), if I add her as an AU, she is still 3/24 right since she already has a CIP or would that be 4/24?

    Thanks

  16. @Ben:

    Can you do one of these for AmEx Membership Rewards points, too? I know there’ll be some overlap but I’m sitting on over 100K and am running out of feasible ideas that align with what I’d actually like to do…aside from flying for the sake of flying.

  17. @Rico. I also did the same thing last year and they offered to grant lounge access for USD $100 total (not per person) for the free night. Well worth it and not having to move rooms was great – really nice 5 night stay and great location. Enjoy!

  18. if you are a chase private client the bonus is 100k, 60k on sapphire. simply killer deals

  19. @bill

    Right! I just picked up the 100k Ink Preferred offer. I’m not giving up my Ink Plus but it’s worth the $95 fee to pick up the card and 100k UR!

  20. Re. transferring/using at a Park Hyatt to an ‘aspirational’ property like the Maldives…I believe it’s for two-people, double occupancy (correct?), with additional point supplement for an additional persons such as a child? My only experience using points with Hyatt was for one of their All-Inclusive resorts, which needed an additional 10K for the 3rd person, regardless of age. Is that rule consistent for non-AI properties? Depending on the cash rate, that could alter the ‘value’ of going the redemption route. Just curious.

  21. Any reason for not mentioning transferring to Singapore other than needing more than 80k for a flight? I’m thinking they’re a good use of points.

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