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We all love earning points and miles, but if you don’t know what to do with them, there isn’t much point in getting them! Since the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is one of the most popular choices for folks just starting their points journey, we wanted to share how 10xTravel team members would utilize the sign-up bonus.
Before we get to that, let’s review the sign-up bonus and some of the benefits of the Chase Sapphire Preferred:
- Sign-up bonus: 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points if you spend $4,000 within 3 months
- 2x points per dollar on travel and dining purchases
- 1x point per dollar on all other purchases
- Annual fee: $95
Now, let’s check out how the team would use these 60,000 points!
With 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points, I’m looking at one destination that pretty much the rest of the 10xTravel staff has been to and raves about – the Park Hyatt Mallorca.
Located on the Spanish Island of Mallorca, this Hyatt property just recently dropped from a Category 6 property to a Category 5, meaning it costs just 20,000 World of Hyatt Points per night to stay here. With cash rates routinely costing $400+ per night, and upwards of $700+ during some of the desirable travel dates, this makes for an excellent redemption, and arguably one of the best Category 5 properties in the entire World of Hyatt award chart.
Now, I’m willing to bet that the 3 nights at the Park Hyatt Mallorca that the Chase Sapphire Preferred bonus can cover won’t be enough, but it’s certainly a sizable portion that will cover part of our stay here that is a part of a bigger European adventure!
The resort is secluded, remote and quiet, meaning it’s a great place to unwind and relax in this gorgeous setting. Its architecture makes it feel less like a hotel, and more like its own sprawling compound as it’s made up of 2 and 3 story Mediterranean villas that are built into the rocky hillside.
All of the rooms are very big and spacious, especially for European standards, including the most basic room. And most rooms also include a massive covered balcony, giving you beautiful views of the expansive Mallorca countryside right from your room.
And as can be expected by almost all of the hotels under the Park Hyatt umbrella, the food and beverages here are incredible, as are the amenities and service. I can’t help but wonder why World of Hyatt only categorizes this as a Category 5 property when it could easily justify being a Category 7.
All of this is according to what I’ve read and heard from the reviews other 10xT staffers have shared upon returning from this magical place – I wouldn’t know since I’ve not been just yet. But the 60,000 Ultimate Rewards from the Chase Sapphire Preferred will cover 3 nights of a stay I plan to take very soon and be able to recommend for myself.
Oh, there are so many things I could do with 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points! But the first thing I did do was to check Hyatt’s presence in Italy. Hyatt is a transfer partner of Ultimate Rewards and after the recent merger with Small Luxury Hotels, a lot more options popped up all over Europe.
SLH hotels are unique, one of a kind properties that can be booked with Hyatt points. They offer World of Hyatt members various perks, including free breakfast and room upgrades. One of SLH properties, Park Hotel ai Cappuccini has been on my radar for a while.
I love everything about Italy and I can’t wait to go back! I’ve never been to Umbria and what better way to explore this gorgeous region than by spending four nights at a 17th century monastery converted into a luxury hotel? It is located in the beautiful Italian countryside, just 45 minutes away from one of Italy’s most enchanting towns, Perugia. The town of Gubbia, the nearest town, is a postcard-perfect tiny charming Italian hillside town.
You can’t talk about Italy and not mention food. There are so many delicious local specialties, and the region of Umbria is known for its truffles, Pecorino cheese and cured meats. What better way to spend your vacation than by sampling local delicacies?
A night at Park Hotel ai Cappuccini cost 15,000 Hyatt points, and spending four nights there seems like a perfect amount of time to explore the region.
Because Ultimate Rewards are so versatile, I constantly find myself in short supply of these points. Since I opened the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card for the first time, I patiently waited for four years, downgraded the card and became eligible for another welcome bonus. As a proud owner of a recently posted 60,000 points, boy do I have ideas for how to spend them!
I’m a big fan of the Air France-KLM Flying Blue program. It’s a SkyTeam partner and offers some great flight options to Europe. I live in Salt Lake City, and KLM services a daily nonstop flight to Amsterdam, which means I can wake up across the Atlantic after just about nine hours of flying. From there, it’s a hop, skip and a jump to any European city where KLM flies.
Flying Blue no longer publishes an award chart, but it still offers base-level redemptions on award flights. I recommend using the Miles Price Estimator to determine a flight’s cost in miles.
For example, a one-way nonstop flight to Amsterdam starts at 29,000 Flying Blue miles in economy class from my departure city. However, a flight with a connection to Vienna starts at 21,500 miles. The award rates aren’t the most logical, but whatever floats the boat, right?
What I’m getting at is I can fly round-trip to Europe in peak summer (next year, perhaps, after the madness is over), when flight prices are high even in economy class, with just one welcome bonus earned with the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card. No doubt that I’ll be missing Europe by then, and 60,000 Chase points can take me there in a flash.
Not to overdo it on Hyatt, here, but two nights at the Park Hyatt Sydney would definitely be up there for me on ways to use 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points.
As others have mentioned, transferring Chase points to World of Hyatt can get you excellent value. Rooms at the Park Hyatt Sydney can easily go for more than $1,000 a night, but since the hotel is a Category 7 property, it’s only 30,000 points per night.
While spending the whole bonus on just two nights may not seem worth it, after having experienced the hotel myself last year, I can tell you—it is. The views of the Sydney Opera House are absolutely unparalleled (I literally screamed when I saw it out my window), and being able to see a world landmark from breakfast, the rooftop pool, etc. is amazing.
Video Credit: Park Hyatt Sydney
And it’s not just the view that’s phenomenal, either. If you’ve been to any other Park Hyatt, you know the hotels are top-notch, and the Park Hyatt Sydney is no exception. It’s well-designed, sleek and comfortable, and rooms are spacious and well-appointed. The hotel is also an easy (and scenic) walk away from so many of Sydney’s main attractions, not to mention the main ferry terminal that can serve as your gateway to pretty much anywhere.
There’s just one thing I should warn you about upfront, you can’t book a harbor view room with points. But don’t worry too much—that doesn’t mean you can’t get one. I got upgraded without any sort of Hyatt status whatsoever, and I went on a summer weekend night when I thought occupancy would have been high. Dreams do come true!
If you’re looking to spend more time in Sydney than just two days (as you should be!), there are tons of other properties around where you can redeem hotel points after checking out of the Park Hyatt. The West Hotel, part of Hilton’s Curio Collection, would be my pick.
Like everyone else, I love Hyatt and personally transfer most of my Chase Ultimate Rewards to Hyatt. However, with the Chase Sapphire Preferred bonus, I wouldn’t do that. The Chase Sapphire Preferred is the best card for beginners, so most people opening it are new to this hobby.
Being new, the best thing you can do is see the benefits. Sure, it is awesome to be able to save up a lot of points for a once in a lifetime trip (that you can repeat again and again thanks to points). But you’re only new once. As soon as you see that this really works, you really start to understand the power that points and miles can have on your life.
That’s why I would use the sign-up bonus from the Chase Sapphire Preferred to go ahead and take a trip! Now, if you’re a big family this may be a bit harder to stretch, but not impossible.
I often see pretty cheap flights between the US and Puerto Rico. This is a great place to go, especially for those who are just getting their first points and miles card. Since Puerto Rico is a United States territory, you won’t need a passport either.
Flying to Puerto Rico can be done for under $200. The points earned with a Chase Sapphire Preferred are worth 1.25 cents each when redeemed in the travel portal. This flight would require only about 15,000 points per person. For a solo traveler, this leaves 45,000 points. Couples will have 30,000 points left to cover hotels.
Your remaining points will be plenty to cover a hotel. You can, of course, transfer to Hyatt and stay somewhere like the Hyatt Place Bayamón for 8,000 points per night. With 30,000-40,000 points remaining, you can stretch your trip from a weekend to 5 days. There are other hotels or hostels that are fairly reasonable, or less than $125 per night which would require 10,000 points per night.
Don’t get me wrong, I love some aspirational trips! Being able to go on a trip with just one bonus right after starting can really show you the power that points and miles can have. It will give you that travel bug to keep going and earning more points and miles to continue your travels far and wide.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card was the first credit card I opened after learning about miles and points, so it will always remind me of the beginning of my points and miles journey. However, I’ve learned a lot since then and the way I’d use those points now is different. If I were using the 60,000 point signup bonus today, I’d plan a weekend trip to Los Cabos, Mexico.
The Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos is an all-inclusive beachfront resort that regularly goes for $300 to $400 per night. When booking this hotel directly through the Chase Travel Portal using the Sapphire Preferred’s 1.25 cents per point redemption benefit, it would cost between 24,000 and 32,000 points per night. But by transferring the Ultimate Rewards points to World of Hyatt, one of Chase’s 1:1 transfer partners, it’s possible to book this hotel for just 20,000 points per night – resulting in between 1.5 and 2 cents per point in value, depending on when you travel. Since this is an all-inclusive resort, those points pay for not just your hotel room but also unlimited food and drinks for up to two adults.
To get there, I’d transfer some Ultimate Rewards points to British Airways Avios and use them to book a flight on American Airlines or Alaska Airlines. With British Airways’ distance-based award chart, it costs just 18,000 points round trip to fly to Los Cabos from Phoenix (PHX), Los Angeles (LAX), Dallas (DFW), or Austin (AUS), and 22,000 points round trip to fly from any other city with direct service to Los Cabos on American or Alaska: Seattle (SEA), Portland (PDX), Sacramento (SMF), San Jose (SJC), Chicago (ORD), or Charlotte (CLT).
Before booking a flight, I’d make sure to check how much a cash ticket would cost – using Avios, I’d still have to pay around $100 in taxes, so if the ticket price is less than $375 (or $325 for the shorter routes), I’ll get better value by booking that flight directly through the Chase Travel Portal – as a bonus, I’ll also earn frequent flier miles on the ticket that way. Or if it’s cheap enough, I might just pay cash for my ticket and use the points for a third night at the Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos.
As you can see, there are tons of ways to use Ultimate Rewards points. Whether you’re looking for economy flights to the Caribbean, within Australia or within the U.S., Chase has you covered. With so many Hyatt properties around the world, hotel stays won’t be too tough to book either. Finally, those who are hoping to try a business class flight can even use 60,000 points to give it a go.
Of course, there are tons of options we haven’t even discussed but these should give you a great idea of what is possible when you get the Chase Sapphire Preferred.
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Editors Note: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.