Hi Travel Junkies,
Those of you who have joined my Insider’s mailing list know that the very first task I ask you to complete is to pick a dream destination and write it down.
Those of you who haven’t joined yet are missing out on some of my best material. No worries, you can join here:
I also ask my new readers to share their dream destination with me so that I can provide a few tips to help make it happen.
Their most popular choice?
Hawaii, and it’s not even close.
Hanging out in Maui
At any given time there are at least a dozen 10xT readers in America’s 50th state.
(Keep an eye out next time you’re there. They’ll be the ones asking the hotel to split their bill across 4 different cards to maximize their points haul)
For many people, Hawaii is the ideal vacation destination.
Unfortunately, Hawaii can feel more like a dream then an attainable vacation spot (cue coins clinking into a piggy bank).
Which is why I am going to take some time over the next few weeks to bring Hawaii back on the map for you.
No, I’m not going to go into detail about what volcano to visit, what sunscreen to use, or even what hotel I recommend (though I am a big fan of the Andaz Maui)… we can get into all of that later.
Hanging at the Andaz Maui
But I am going to provide complete overviews of how to use some of the most common types of points/miles to book a flight there.
So, put on your silky Hawaiian shirt, grab your lei, and get ready to explore some of the many options to use points/miles to fly to Hawaii.
Today we are going to focus on one of the most popular rewards programs, Chase Ultimate Rewards.
How to Earn Chase Ultimate Rewards
Chase Ultimate Rewards are points are one of the most valuable reward currencies on the market because of their flexibility to transfer to travel partners, book travel through the Ultimate Rewards Portal, or even be used to get cash back.
Chase Ultimate Rewards can be earned with the following credit cards:
Chase Sapphire Preferred – Sapphire Preferred earns 2x points on all dining and travel purchases, has no foreign transaction fees, and is currently offering a signup bonus of 50,000 Ultimate Points after $4,000 spend in the first 3 months.
Sapphire Preferred is arguably the best travel rewards card in the market and one of my go-to cards for day-to-day spending.
Chase Sapphire Preferred = A 10xT Favorite
Chase Freedom – Chase Freedom is a basic cash back card but it technically earns Ultimate Reward Points. If you have a Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Ink you can “unlock” your Freedom points to be used for more than just cash back.
Chase Freedom Unlimited – Freedom Unlimited is a brand new card from Chase that earns 1.5 points per $1 spend on all purchases and has no annual fee. This is the newest addition to the Chase Ultimate Reward family.
Chase Ink Plus – Chase Ink Plus is a business credit card that earns 5x points (on the first $50,000 spend) at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV services. Ink Plus is currently offering a signup bonus of 60,000 points after $5,000 spend in the first 3 months.
Sailing in Maui thanks to Chase Ultimate Rewards Points
How to Redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards
Chase Ultimate Rewards can be redeemed to book travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Portal (1.2 cents per point), receive cash back (1 cent per point, don’t do this unless you hate traveling), or transferred to any of Chase’s travel partners.
Here is a list of Chase’s Airline Transfer Partners.
Chase Ultimate Rewards Airline Transfer Partners
The first two redemption options are pretty simple so we will jump right to the transfer options for today’s overview.
Best Ultimate Reward Redemptions for Hawaii
1) Transfer to Korean Air to Book Flights on Delta:
One of the many transfer partners for Chase Ultimate Rewards is Korean Airlines, who is a member of the SkyTeam Alliance along with Delta airlines.
You can book a Delta economy saver award from anywhere in the US to any of the major Hawaiian islands for just 25,000 Korean miles round-trip.
This is by far the best use of Ultimate Rewards points if you want to fly to Hawaii.
To do this simply Search Delta.com to find saver availability before transferring your points to Korean Airlines and calling to book.
You can book Delta saver awards to Hawaii for just 25,000 Korean Miles Round-Trip
2) Transfer to British Airways to Book Flights on American Airlines/OneWorld Partners:
You can transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards points 1:1 to British Airways Avios and use them to book travel on American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, and other OneWorld Partners.
You can use British Airways Avios to book AA flights to Hawaii
British Airways uses a distanced-based award chart so this is really only practical for anyone flying from West Coast cities.
Flights should be ~12,500 Avios each way, depending on where you are flying from, and availability has to be found on AA.com (for OneWorld availability) and AlaskaAir.com (Alaska Airlines availability).
You’ll have to call British Airways to complete the booking. Don’t forget to ask them to waive the phone booking fee because the flights could not be booked online.
3) Transfer to Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer to Book on United Airlines:
You can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points 1:1 to Singapore Airlines Krisflyer Program and use them to book United Saver Award tickets to Hawaii for just 35,000 miles round-trip.
Use Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Miles to book United flights to Hawaii
Singapore KrisFlyer miles can be used to book any United Airlines Saver award seats other than those that are specifically being specifically set aside for United Elite Members.
(Note that transfers to Singapore Airlines can take more than 24 hours to complete, so there is a risk that the award availability disappears during that time)
Once the transfer is complete you’ll need to call Singapore Airlines to complete the booking. Have the specific flight numbers ready to read to the booking agent.
4) Transfer to United Airlines (Don’t Do This):
I wanted to omit this option but decided to include it to avoid the inevitable onslaught of “you forgot to include United Airlines!” emails.
Yes, Chase Ultimate Rewards Transfer to United Airlines 1:1 to book a flight to Hawaii for 45,000 points round-trip.
You never want to do this because you can book the exact same United flights for just 35,000 miles when you transfer your points to Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer (covered above).
So don’t do it. Ever.
Sunsets in Hawaii = Cool.
Transferring UR Points to United = Not cool
And there you have it! A complete overview of how to use your Chase Ultimate Rewards Points to fly to Hawaii.
So, dust off your straw hat, make a plan, and start earning the points/miles you need to make that Hawaiian dream vacation a reality!
Images: aa.com, usatoday.com