Category Archives: Reward Programs

Chase Ink Plus offer ends in 1 day!

Limited time offer ends soon for the Chase Ink Plus card

RewardsGuy examines the best uses for the 70,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards points you can earn by signing up for the limited-time Chase Ink Plus offer. 

The word on the web is that the 70,000 bonus point Chase Ink Plus offer we wrote about earlier is ending on October 19th. This is currently the best rewards point offer available for any business credit card out there. The rewards possibilities with 70,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points are huge, so don’t kick yourself later for passing up on this limited time offer on the Chase Ink Plus card.

Chase advertises that 70,000 bonus miles equates to $875 dollars in travel awards when used on the Ultimate Rewards portal. You can increase the value to nearly $2000 by my calculations if you transfer those bonus points earned from the Chase Ink Plus offer to one of the Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partners.

Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partner list

Transferring 70,000 Ultimate Rewards points to United MileagePlus

Take a look at the United MileagePlus interactive redemption chart to see where 70,000 MileagePlus miles can take you. One of my favorite awards redemption options, especially if you live on the East Coast, would be the 35,000 miles round trip saver award to Hawaii (Maui in particular). That means you could book 2 round trip tickets for 70,000 miles plus approximately $100 in taxes and fees, which would normally cost you $1000+ each from NYC to Maui. That means your points were worth nearly $2000, a great value of 2.85 cents per miles! As an added bonus, United allows 1 stop-over with round trip award bookings. This means that you could even spend a few days in one of United’s lovely hub cities, such as Chicago, Seattle, or San Francisco.

Makena Beach State Park, Maui

Want to get going international? Use the 70,000 United MileagePlus miles transferred from Chase Ultimate Rewards to fly round trip from the US to Japan to experience one of my favorite countries. And again, make the most of your awards booking by adding a stop-over in Honolulu for no additional miles. A trip to Hawaii and Japan, all from signing up for the Chase Ink Plus card – that is smart traveling!

Transferring 70,000 Ultimate Rewards points to Hyatt Gold Passport

Hyatt recently devalued their Gold Passport program early this year, however I did not think this awards program change was all doom and gloom. In fact I am a HUGE fan of the recently introduced Hyatt Gold Passport Points & Cash award system. So far I have used Points & Cash for bookings at the Andaz Maui and Park Hyatt Melbourne, Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill, and have booked the Hyatt Hong Kong Tsim Sha Tsui for New Years 2015.

Hyatt Gold Passport redemption chart

There exist some excellent redemption options using Hyatt Gold Passport Points & Cash awards. I find that Category 6 redemption offers the best value when you transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Hyatt Gold Passport. Category 6 features some great properties including: Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa, Park Hyatt Vienna, Andaz Maui Wailea, Hyatt Regency Carmel Highlands, and the recently opened Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills. To book Points & Cash you must call the Gold Passport hotline and ask for availability, which is more scarce than if you’re booking using 100% points. For example, I have been unsuccessful in finding Points & Cash availability for Park Hyatt Maldives. The best part about Points & Cash bookings is that you accumulate elite qualifying nights & stays, AND you can use suite upgrade certificates – whereas you do not for 100% award point bookings. This makes Points & Cash preferable to 100% point bookings almost every time!

Sky Suite at the Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills

Some Category 6 hotels – namely the ones mentioned above – cost $420+ per night, not including tax and fees. Using Points & Cash, I can book 5 nights at the Andaz Tokyo for 12,500 points plus $150 per night (Total: 62,500 points plus $750 total plus minimal tax). Those 5 nights would cost me over $2300 if booked for cash. So by using 62,500 Gold Passport points I am saving about $1600 on my stay – which values each point at 2.56 cents.

Most awards travel writers agree that Hyatt Gold Passport is the best hotel transfer partner and United MileagePlus is the best airline transfer partner. However recently a few have pointed out fantastic value in using Chase Ultimate Rewards points with other transfer partners. For example, ThePointsGuy, mentions a few other great redemption options, including:

– Southwest Airlines sale which offers short haul awards for as little as 2,214 points (that means you can book 31 award flights!)

– British Airways Avios award redemption for short haul flights, such as Miami to Grand Cayman. Since British Airways awards are distance based, this ticket which could normally cost $400+ only requires 9,000 Avios points plus $88 in taxes and fees – a great value!

With all of this great value to be unlocked, be sure to act now and apply for the 70,000 point Chase Ink Plus card offer!

JW Marriott Hanoi – Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card Free Night Certificate

A must have hotel credit card!

My recent holiday to Hanoi was the perfect opportunity to use my Marriott Free Night Certificate, which I receive annually as a Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card holder. Since these annual free night certificates can only be used at category 1 to 5 hotels, I always try to find the most expensive hotel within those categories at which to use the certificate (last year I used it at the category 5 Renaissance Seoul Hotel, which goes for about $260 per night including tax). The JW Marriott Hanoi is a category 4 hotel and considerably less expensive, at about $180 per night, but I found several good reasons to use my free night certificate for my stay there.

View from the JW Hanoi

View from the JW Hanoi

First, it is a JW Marriott property – the top tier property for Marriott – and it is ranked on TripAdvisor as the #1 full service hotel in Hanoi. I can attest that the service quality is excellent, definitely deserving of the JW designation.

Second, it is a very new hotel. This is important because many buildings in Hanoi are weathered and older hotels are no exception. Being a new hotel, you can be somewhat certain that the room’s walls, windows, and bathroom are fresh. The styling and build quality of the JW Marriott Hanoi definitely did not disappoint! Additionally, Marriott properties themselves can have varying degrees of freshness. Certainly the Renaissance in Seoul that I stayed in last year was in need of a makeover, with the building exterior and the rooms looking quite aged.

Street chaos Hanoi-style!

Street chaos Hanoi-style!

Finally, since I am a Marriott Gold Elite level member staying at a Marriott property seemed like the most logical option. Surely there are many good cheap options in Hanoi, but I wouldn’t receive executive club lounge access and the possibility of a room upgrade at other hotel properties. So the JW Marriott Hanoi ended up looking like a great option to use my free night certificate.

JW Hanoi Executive Suite

JW Hanoi Executive Suite

To my delight, upon check-in I received a complimentary upgrade to a top floor Executive Club Suite! This room was HUGE. It had a large living room with L-shaped sofa and attached powder room, a business nook, an enormous bedroom with walk-in closet, and a bathroom with 2 sinks and separate bathtub and shower. In total I counted 4 flatscreen TVs, including one in the master bathroom. The decision to use the free night certificate immediately became even more genius!

If you are looking for an excellent hotel rewards credit card, the Marriott Rewards Premier card offered by Chase is one of the best in terms of Visa Signature benefits, sign up bonus – currently 50,000 rewards points, annual free night certificate, chip technology and no foreign transaction fees (both of which are absolutely critical for international travel). Oh, and did I mention the Marriott Rewards Premier credit card is made from matte black metal! It grabs some well-deserved attention in the U.S. and abroad.