Anna Zaks

Ultimate Rewards is one of my favorite transferable currencies because the points are so easy to use for flights and hotel stays. If 80,000 points suddenly fell in my lap, I know exactly what I’d do with this windfall.

My first thought was more beach time! My husband and I love Hyatt Zilara Punta Cana, an all-inclusive resort in the Dominican Republic, and Hyatt is a transfer partner of Ultimate Rewards. Eighty thousand points would be enough to cover a few nights at this gorgeous property. You can book an award night here with 21,000 to 29,000 World of Hyatt points, depending on the season.

Hyatt recently acquired more all-inclusive properties, but only a small number of these are currently bookable with points. So maybe by next winter there will be more great all-inclusive options where we can use Hyatt points.

If not the beach, then I’d use the points to visit Europe again. Both United MileagePlus and Air Canada Aeroplan are transfer partners and offer quite a few options to get to Europe in business class.

I can book a number of flights operated by Star Alliance carriers via one of these programs for 60,000 to 70,000 miles per direction in business class. A flight in economy will set me back just 30,000 miles, so I’ll have enough for a round trip and have some points left over.

Visiting Buenos Aires, Argentina, is also on my travel wish list, so I can transfer 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points to United and book a one-way ticket in business class for 60,000 United miles. Flights to Argentina are long, so I would definitely want to be in a lie-flat seat when I fly to South America.

Chase Ultimate Rewards Points

Anya Kartashova

I agree with Anna about taking advantage of the Ultimate Rewards partnership with the World of Hyatt. The program can provide tremendous value when booking otherwise-pricey properties around the world.

Recently, a flight deal to Puerto Rico was posted on one of my go-to sites. Although I didn’t book it in the end, I added the destination to my list of future trips.

While I was considering whether to book or not to book the flight (it was about $250 for a round-trip journey, by the way), I did a little bit of research for where to stay and found a pretty good option in the Hyatt portfolio.

The Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve Puerto Rico is a Category 4 property, meaning you can find a standard room here from 12,000 to 18,000 World of Hyatt points per night, depending on the travel season. A room at this hotel was going for 15,000 points on the dates I was considering, which is a standard redemption rate.

Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve Puerto Rico - using Chase Ultimate Rewards

Meanwhile, the same dates are listed for $394 per night (plus taxes and fees), so it would have been a great use of points. Well, this is certainly worth remembering. If redemption rates at this Hyatt Regency hotel in Puerto Rico stay the same, 80,000 Chase points can get me five free nights in the future.

This property charges an 18% resort fee as well, which is tacked on to any paid reservation. However, booking an award stay at any Hyatt hotel waives those pesky resort fees, increasing the value of Ultimate Rewards points even more.

Price Summary

So, after it’s said and done, a five-night stay at the Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve Puerto Rico would have cost $2,528 or 75,000 Ultimate Rewards points transferred to World of Hyatt. I’m going to make a mental note of this and file this tidbit of information for a future plan.

Bryce Conway

Hyatt seems to be the popular choice for this writing prompt—and for good reason. I find that I’m redeeming a large portion of my Chase Ultimate Rewards points via a transfer to Hyatt these days. The value simply can’t be beat.

I would cash in 75,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points to book three nights at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa.

Grand Hyatt Kauai typically goes for about $1,000 per night, meaning I’d be getting a value of about 4 cents per point on this redemption.

Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa

This wouldn’t be my first visit to this property. Which should say something because I rarely return to places I’ve already visited, but this hotel is nice enough (and has a points value that is high enough) to make an exception.

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Grand Hyatt Kauai is particularly great if you’re traveling with kids. There is plenty for families to do on and around the property, and the hotel even has a kids club, which my daughter begged to visit every day.

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Jeffrey Lucas Jr.

While points and miles enthusiasts often scoff at travel portal redemptions, Ultimate Rewards can be a powerful tool for completing a trip with almost no money out of pocket.

As a family of seven, we rack up Ultimate Rewards points across all of our household cards, especially when the Chase Freedom’s rotating bonus category is groceries. Combining the Ultimate Rewards points I earn across all of our cards and then redeeming them at 1.5 cents apiece with my Chase Sapphire Reserve® is my go-to move.

This isn’t going to excite anyone, but if I had an influx of 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points, I’d use them for a rental van via the Ultimate Rewards travel portal. Renting a minivan is essential for my large family wherever we travel.

Although this travel expense was never cheap, rental van prices have nearly doubled since the automobile industry has experienced a supply crunch. The last time I priced a weeklong minivan rental in Florida, it was over $1,000!

Because I carry the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, I could use 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points to pay for a $1,000 van rental during my next family vacation, which is a road trip along the coast of Maine this year.

Not to be left out of the Hyatt theme, I could transfer the remaining 20,000 Ultimate Rewards points to my Hyatt account and use just 4,000 more Hyatt points to book a night at the Hyatt Place near the airport in Portland, Maine, on either side of my trip.

This is another frequent use of Chase points as our family often finds itself taking afternoon flights to our destination or early morning flights home. Being able to let the kids get some rest before or after a flight and relying on the shuttle to drop us off or pick us up is a lifesaver.

While there are more extravagant redemptions, the best redemption is the one that gets your family where it wants to go, properly rested and without stress, for as little as possible.

Travis Cormier

About 75% of my Ultimate Rewards points end up being transferred to Hyatt. While that might make you think, “Oh great, another Hyatt post,” there’s actually a pretty unique redemption I’ve been wanting to take for a while.

The United Island Hopper is a flight operated by United Airlines that flies between Honolulu and Guam with five stops in the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia.

Honolulu-Guam using Chase Ultimate Rewards

For 27,500 MileagePlus miles each way, you can take this route starting in Honolulu. Naturally, I’d want to stop at a few islands along the way, so I’d utilize the United Excursionist Perk on a round-trip itinerary to book stops in Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands and Chuuk in Micronesia.

I mean, who doesn’t have Kwajalein and Chuuk on their “must visit” destinations?

I’m an avid scuba diver, and if you also dive, you might be a bit familiar with these spots. Kwajalein is the starting point for any dive trip to Bikini Atoll, infamous for its use as a U.S. test site for nuclear missiles. It’s a wreck diver’s dream, but it’s inconvenient to reach.

If that isn’t enough wreck diving, after spending some time at Bikini Atoll, I’d then fly to Chuuk. The island group hosted Japan’s naval fleet during World War II in the South West Pacific theatre.

During operation Hailstone, the United States attacked the Japanese fleet and many more merchant supply ships, resulting in many of them sinking. Similar to Bikini Atoll, the shipwrecks in Chuuk offer some of the best wreck diving in the world.

Chuuk

Chuuk | Image Courtesy of Southern Adventist University

Getting to these remote islands can be tricky, but even if you’re not a diver, they can be worth putting on your radar for a taste of paradise. You won’t find accommodations like you will in Maldives or Bora Bora, but you’ll find nature that is more untouched than many places on earth.

The United Island Hopper itinerary starts in Honolulu and costs 27,500 miles each way. The Excursionist Perk means I can visit both spots for no additional miles, so a round-trip costs 55,000 miles. That leaves me with an additional 25,000 miles that I could use to work on booking my flights to Hawaii.

A three-island paradise for 80,000 points? Count me in.