Tuesday, April 28, 2015

My Poor Use of Chase Ultimate Reward Points

I just made a mistake using my Chase Ultimate Rewards (UR) points. One of the best features of this currency is its flexibility. Usually the best value from these points is to transfer to one of their many travel partners at a one-to-one ratio, then use those transferred points from within that partner system. That’s exactly what I did. I transferred 25K UR points to United for a flight from Chicago to Anchorage. 

There were no saver awards left, and there were no saver awards for +/- one day of this date. So I decided to book with the standard award of 25K United miles. 

What I should have done was to call UR travel services and used my points at a value of 1.25 cents per point to book this flight. That would have cost me 24,680 UR points. Yes, that is only a savings of 320 UR points, and even valued at 2 cpm (cents per mile), that would have only saved me the equivalent of $6.40. But the bigger loss was that by booking through UR travel, I would have been onboard as a revenue ticket, and I would have earned close to 4K United miles, or about $80 of value. In total, I could have come out about $87 ahead if I had used my UR points more wisely on this occasion. 

I'll have to remember this lesson for the future. I count this as a cheap lesson in use of my miles. 

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