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17 Best & Worst Ways to Use Your Amex Points in 2022

American Express Membership Rewards points are some of the best rewards you can earn because they're flexible - you can use them for travel, gift cards, or statement credits, among other things.

Amex cards that earn Membership Rewards include:

  • The Platinum Card® from American Express
  • The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
  • The American Express® Gold Card
  • American Express® Business Gold Card
  • American Express® Green Card 
  •  Business Green Rewards Card from American Express
  • The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express

Each card offers a unique set of bonuses and benefits depending on how you spend and travel.

While Amex's rewards program has a lot of flexibility, that doesn't mean all redemption options get the same cents per point value.

This post will cover some of the best and worst ways to use your Amex points. The data points here are calculated from the American Express Rewards calculator: 

The Worst Ways to Redeem Your Amex Membership Rewards

Let's start with the worst ways to use your Amex points.

1. Shop With Points

Amex has a shopping portal with many products you can buy with Membership Rewards points. While this is a versatile way to use your points, it doesn't have a high redemption value.

For 10,000 points, you'll only get a value of 0.5 CPP— which is not the best value for Amex points.

If you're set on using points for merchandise, you might be better off buying a gift card or going through a shopping partner like Amazon.

2. Transferring Points to Partners

Amex has a ton of airline transfer partners that you can transfer your points straight to. 

Most partners offer a 1-to-1 transfer rate, so if you transfer 1,000 points to them, they will give you 1,000 points back. Sometimes, American Express runs promotions for transfer partners where you can get a better rate.

One thing to keep in mind here is the Excise Tax Offset Fee.

In most cases, American Express charges an excise fee of 0.06 cents per point (capped at $99 for any single transfer) when you transfer points to U.S. airlines with a card such as The Platinum Card®. 

American Express's U.S. airline partners that charge an excise fee include:

  • Delta
  • JetBlue
  • Hawaiian

On a 100,000-point transfer, that fee equates to $60. In addition to these charges, the airline may also charge taxes and fees.

However, not all partners charge this fee. Some of the airline programs where you can transfer Membership Rewards points without paying any fees include:

  • Are Lingus Aeroclub
  • Aeromexico Club Premier
  • Air Canada Aeroplan
  • Air France / KLM Flying Blue
  • ANA Mileage Club
  • Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
  • Avianca LifeMiles
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Etihad Guest Miles
  • Iberia Plus Miles
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer
  • Singapore KrisFlyer Miles
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

Since these are points from airlines outside the United States, American Express won't charge you the Excise Tax Offset fee to transfer points into these programs, although you need to evaluate their value (Note: some of them are hard to redeem points from). Transferring points to their hotel partners will also be free of charge.

Unfortunately, the only way to transfer points to your Delta SkyMiles account is through AMEX, so be prepared to pay the fee to utilize them.

To get the best redemption rates, you need to do a lot of research before you transfer your points.

3. Redeeming for Statement Credit

If you don't want to pay your card bill, you can redeem your points for statement credits, effectively wiping out any purchases you made with the card. While this option is handy, it also isn't recommended.

However, if you're in a pinch, this can help.

It's best used as a last resort if you need some last-minute funds to cover your balance. But each point will only be worth 0.6 CPP. So the low value makes it not a great option.

We'll talk about other setups later in this post if you're after cash.

4. Donate Your Points to Charity

With JustGiving, you can donate your points to over 1.5 million charities. Unless you can redeem your points for travel, you'll likely get no more than 0.7 cents per point from this redemption option.

The points aren't the greatest value for your money, but if you don't need your points, this is a decent option.

Beware of the value change, though. Depending on the organization, the value of your points may vary, so pay attention.

Doing the math can help you make a bigger impact.

5. Booking Travel via

With American Express Travel, you can book all kinds of travel, including hotels, vacation packages, and cruises.

If you book travel through the American Express Travel portal (excluding airfare), you will only earn 0.7 CPP. In addition, considering other companies will give you 1 CPP, booking your travel using the Amex Travel portal may not be the best way to spend your Amex points.

Keep in mind that using the Amex Travel Portal is NOT the same as using a transfer partner.

6. Merchandise

Similar to option 1, you can use your points to spend with certain merchants.

The cents per point come out to 0.7 mostly, except for NYC Taxis and Those have different point-to-cent ratios, so check the redemption rate before redeeming, as redemption rates may vary from retailer to retailer.

You also need to be careful because some platforms like Amazon can automatically fill in that you're using M.R. points when you check out.

If you want to use your points for shopping, there are probably better options in this list.

7. Redeem for Business Checking

This option is new for 2022.

If you have a business checking account with Amex, you can redeem your points for cash. You'll get 0.8 CPP, so 10,000 points would come out to $800. These points are considered rebates instead of income, so you're not taxed on them. 

So if you have a lot of points, cashing out your business checking account through your Business Platinum might be a better option. (More about this below)

8. Gift Cards

Gift cards come in different types, and your redemption value varies. Then again, there are many 1 CPP options with less variance, which is not too bad.

It may not be the best redemption method for your Amex points because it has additional hoops to jump through.

The Best Amex Membership Rewards Redemption Methods

9. Upgrade Your Seat

With Upgrade with Points, you can bid on seat upgrades at over 20 participating airlines using your Membership Rewards points. This is a convenient option if you are worried about cramped seats on long flights. 

It might make more sense to upgrade your seat with the actual card and earn more points because there are higher-value options to redeem your points. However, membership rewards here are worth at least 1 CPP depending on how you use them.

If you value your seat on the plane, you might like this option.

10. Book Flights Via Amex Portal and Hotels Via Amex FHR

This is a great option for the avid traveler.

Compared to other companies, you can get a decent rate on your points. You can expect to redeem 1 CPP with flights and hotels if you book it through the Amex Portal.

But if you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve, you could get 1.5 CPP when you book through their own portal.

With this option, you can get an elevated value for your points, whether it is flights, and pay yourself back.

11. Business Checking Account with Business Platinum

This is a better option than the 7th option mentioned above. 

Instead of $800 per 100,000 points, you can get a better rate of 1 CPP. That comes out to $1,000 per 100,000 points. You must have the Amex Business Platinum card, though.

If you run a large business, that might be enough to offset the annual fee, but you still need to do the math.

12. Morgan Stanley Cash Out

If you own a Morgan Stanley brokerage account, this might be useful.

It's similar to a business checking account using your business platinum but on a more personal card side.

If you own the Platinum Card from American Express Morgan Stanley edition, you can cash out your points to your brokerage account at 1 CPP.

The points can be cashed out anywhere once they reach your brokerage account. 

Though, you might want to consider these things first before you use this option:

  1. To get the Morgan Stanley Platinum Card, you need to be approved.
  2. You must have a Morgan Stanley brokerage account to apply for this card. Among the easiest ones to go for is Morgan Stanley Access Investing, which only requires $5,000 to open and charges 0.35% per year on investments.
  3. The Morgan Stanley Platinum Card has an annual fee of $695.

I made a blog post about this before and how to waive the annual fee. You can learn more about it here: 

13. Charles Schwab Cash Out

You can transfer M.R. points at 1.1 CPP to your brokerage account with the Platinum Card from American Express Charles Schwab. So if you're looking to redeem for cash, this might be the best option. 

However, as with any other Amex Platinum cards, there are a few things you need to consider:

  • Again, you need to be approved to qualify for the Schwab Platinum Card.
  • A Schwab brokerage account (either your own or a trust you oversee) or an IRA at Schwab (not managed by an independent investment advisor) is required to apply for the card. The eligibility rules can change at any time.
  • Amex reserves the right to cancel your American Express Platinum Card® for Schwab if you do not maintain a Schwab account.
  • Currently, the Schwab Platinum Card annual fee is $695.

14. Using Amex Business Gold Card's Rebate Feature

If you have a Business Gold, you can get a 25% rebate when you book an eligible flight.

So, if you use 100,000 points to cover a $1,000 flight, you'll get 25,000 points back. That means you used only 75,000 points for a $1,000 purchase, which works out to a rate of 1.33 CPP.

The maximum rebate is 250,000 points, so you wouldn't want to redeem more than 1 million.

15. Using Amex Business Platinum Card's Rebate Feature

Platinum Business cardholders can redeem M.R. points for travel and get a 35% rebate when they use their card for either first class or business class travel or flights with the airline of their choice (via the travel incidental credit).

That means if you spend 100,000 points for a $1,000 flight, you'll get 35,000 points back. Considering the 35% points rebate, the effective value is 1.54 CPP.

This is your best bet if you're looking for a simple travel redemption. The maximum rebate here is 1 million points per year, so you wouldn't want to redeem more than 2.85 million.

16. Using Amex Business Centurion Card's Rebate Feature

This is the same for the two previous options, but even better!

You can redeem your points with Business Centurion for a 50% rebate. As you know, spending 100,000 points for a $1,000 flight would get you 50,000 points back. 

With the rebate, you can effectively get 2 CPP, the highest rate we've discussed.

On top of that, there is no maximum rebate. However, the personal Centurion card does not offer flight rebates.

17. Transferring Points to Amex's Airline or Hotel Partners

Finally, you can transfer your points to American Express airline and hotel partners.

The rate here can be up to 10 CPP, but it can generally fluctuate or come out to about 2 or 3 CPP when you get through all the transferring. There are a lot of nuances to this one. 

But for avid travelers, this might be a decent option for you.

Overall Thoughts

American Express points can be redeemed in many ways, so it's important to know which one gives you the most value.

While you can use them for merchandise or shopping with Amazon, they don't provide good value.

Most people will get the best value from their points by transferring them to airline or hotel partners or using your Amex business card.

Ultimately, it all depends on what kind of travel you're looking for and how much work you're willing to put in. Spend some time comparing the cash cost via Amex Travel to the points cost if you transfer to a partner to see which one will save you the most money.

YouTube Video

Watch this video to find out how to get the most out of your Amex points:


How to Use Chase Pay Yourself Back Feature: Step-by-Step Guide

Starting May 31, 2020, Chase added a new temporary benefit for Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card  and Chase Sapphire Reserve® members to “Pay Yourself Back.”

Note: The “Pay Yourself Back” feature is not available to the no annual fee Chase Sapphire card.

How Pay Yourself Back Works

The Pay Yourself Back Program lets Chase Sapphire Preferred and Sapphire Reserve cardholders redeem Ultimate Rewards to offset select category purchases at a favorable rate.

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred: 1.25 cents per point
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve: 1.50 cents per point

Pay Yourself Back Categories:

  • Restaurants
  • Grocery stores (including take out and eligible delivery services)
  • Home improvement stores
  • Select charitable organizations
  • The following charitable organizations are currently eligible for Pay Yourself Back: American Red Cross, Equal Justice Initiative, Feeding America, Habitat for Humanity, International Medical Corporation, Leadership Conference Education Fund, NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, National Urban League, Thurgood Marshall College Fund, United  Negro College Fund, United Way, and World Central Kitchen.

The current promotion is valid through September 30, 2020, but it’s possible that it may be extended due to uncertain times.

[ March 30 Update ] Pay Yourself Back is extended until Sept 30, 2021.

How to Use Pay Yourself Back: Step-by-Step Guide

1. Log in to your online Chase account

Sign into your online Chase account and navigate to the Ultimate Rewards tab located on the bottom of the left column.

2. Select your Chase Sapphire Preferred or Sapphire Reserve card

Select the card you’d like to access. If you have multiple Ultimate Reward earning cards, you can choose to pool points to the Sapphire card to redeem.

In our example, we choose the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

3. Select the “Pay Yourself Back” menu option located in the left menu column

Navigate to the left hand column and select the “Pay Yourself Back” menu item. Clicking the main promotional banner also works, as seen in the screenshot below.

4. Pay Yourself Back

The current categories for pay yourself back are: restaurant and grocery stores (including take out and eligible delivery services), home improvement stores, and select charitable organizations.

5. Choose the purchases to Pay Yourself Back

After each purChase posts, you have 90 days to pay yourself back. Check the respective box to select the purChase.

6. Set your amount

Enter the dollar amount you’d like to receive as a statement credit by using some or all of your available Ultimate Rewards points. The Chase Sapphire Preferred redemption rate is 1.25 cents per point, and the Sapphire Reserve is 1.50 cents per point.

After setting the cash value, click “Confirm & Submit” to redeem!


Best Chase Ultimate Rewards Transfer Partners

One of the main benefits of Chase Ultimate Rewards points is that you can transfer them out to partners if you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve, or the Chase Ink Preferred.

You can view credit card offers by going to the "Credit Card Offers" tab. Find offers for the respective cards in "Travel Rewards Credit Cards" and "Business Credit Cards." You don't have to use our links, but we're grateful when you do. Thank you for supporting AskSebby!

Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer at a rate of 1:1. On average, you can get up to two cents per point when you use transfer partners.

If you're looking for the most value possible, then airline partners are the way to go for first class redemption. This also works well for last minute flights.


The way I redeem points for "best value" is hotels because everyone in your travel group can benefit.

For example, if I transfer my Ultimate Rewards points to United:

  • United Polaris (US to Asia) is 70k one-way, per person
  • 70k Chase points => 70k United points

On the other hand, if I transferred my Ultimate Rewards points to Hyatt:

  • Hyatt Category 7 (top tier) is 30k, per night.
  • 30k Chase points => 30k Hyatt points.

For the cost of a round trip United Polaris flight to Asia, I can get four nights at a top tier Hyatt property.


  • Park Hyatt: NYC, Paris-Vendome, Tokyo, Sydney
  • Hyatt Residence: Maui, Big Sur, Lake Tahoe, Aspen

IHG is not an ideal transfer partner because of the cost of the points, and you typically need more points for a redemption.

In my experience, Hyatt has the best redemption value for transfer partners. The Category 1 Hyatt properties start at 5,000 Hyatt points.

Category 1 = 5,000 Hyatt points / 5,000 Chase UR points

  • $100 a night / 5k points = 2 cents per point
  • $200 a night / 5k points = 4 CPP

Check out the video below for more redemption ideas.


Featured Articles

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How to Book the Waldorf Astoria Maldives on Points

One of the best redemptions for the Hilton Weekend Night Reward certificate from the American Express Aspire and Surpass cards is the Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi.

Important Notes & Costs

A few important notes to consider before jumping to book the property:

  • The $700/person (round trip) yacht transfer to get to the resort, which is subject to 23.2% tax and service charge per adult, is NOT included. You can choose to charter a third party boat, but the cost will still be hefty.  There’s not a way to avoid a transfer fee.
  • The cost of food is 2-4x what you would expect to pay in the U.S. since everything is imported onto the island. As a point of reference, a personal pizza costs $40+, not including the 23% tax and service charge.
  • If you plan to dine at any of the fine dining restaurants, be prepared to spend $200+ per person.

Even if your room rate is covered, a stay at the Waldorf Astoria Maldives is expensive. Now that the sticker shock warning is out of the way, let’s dive into how we booked the room.

Using Weekend Night Rewards and Points

The retail rate for an overwater villa is ~$3,000/night. We booked our four-night stay using three free weekend night certificates, and 120,000 Hilton Honors points for the fourth night.

For each Weekend Night Reward, you’ll need to create a separate reservation. The hotel can combine them afterward. We created four consecutive day bookings.

We didn’t end up booking a fifth night since the booking doesn’t qualify for the 5th night free promotion. To qualify for 5th night free, you must book your entire stay using points. Weekend Night Rewards do not qualify.

Beach Villa vs. Overwater Villa

If you want to increase your chances of getting an overwater villa, I recommend visiting during off-season or shoulder season.

We booked the standard base beach room villa and received a complimentary upgrade due to having Diamond status. Upgrades are NOT guaranteed.

If you want to guarantee an overwater villa, I suggest booking one directly or inquiring to pay out of pocket for the upgrade.

It’s worth mentioning that the beach villas are also huge (2,500 square feet) with the same standard room layouts.

Hilton Honors Gold or Diamond Status

Before your stay at the Waldorf Astoria Maldives, I highly recommend having Hilton Honors Gold or Diamond status to get complimentary access to the breakfast buffet. Without Gold or Diamond status, you’ll end up paying a hefty price tag for the a la carte menu. To put things in perspective, a basic plate of eggs costs $30 + tax and tip.  

The easiest way to earn automatic Hilton Honors elite status is via credit cards.

Hilton Gold

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

  • Earn 12x on Hilton purchases
  • 6x at U.S. restaurants
  • 6x at U.S. supermarkets
  • 6x at  U.S. gas stations
  • 3x on everything else
  • Earn a free weekend night after spending $15,000 in a calendar year
  • Complimentary Hilton Gold status
  • Priority Pass: 10 free visits
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Rates and fees

The Platinum Card® from American Express

  • Point Multipliers:
  • Earn 5X points points per $1 spent on flights booked directly with airlines or American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
  • Earn 5X points on prepaid hotels booked on
  • Earn 1X points on all other purchases
  • Complimentary Hilton Gold and Marriott Bonvoy Gold status
  • Credits:
  • $200 annual airline fee credit per calendar year to use for incidental fees like baggage fees
  • Up to $200 Uber credit, distributed $15/month and $35 in December
  • Up to $100 Saks Fifth Avenue credit, issued in $50 increments every 6 months per calendar year
  • $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® credit once every 4 years
  • Annual fee: $695
  • Rates and fees
  • Terms apply and enrollment required for select American Express benefits and offers.

Hilton Diamond

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

  • Annual fee: $450
  • Point Multipliers:
  • Earn 14x on Hilton purchases
  • 7x on flights booked directly with airlines or
  • 7x on car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies
  • 7x at U.S. restaurants
  • 3x on all other purchases
  • One weekend night reward and every year after renewal
  • Complimentary Hilton Diamond  status
  • up to $250 Hilton resort statement credit
  • Priority Pass Select membership

All information about the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card has been collected independently by Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card is no longer available through

YouTube Video

How to Book Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa

Al Maha is one of the best Marriott Bonvoy redemptions if you plan to visit Dubai. The all-inclusive resort is located one hour away from Dubai, and it’s an amazing escape from the city.

The resort is also a conservation reserve where they have on-site field guides and wildlife.

How to Book Al Maha

Al Maha is a Category 8 hotel, and the price ranges from 63,000-100,000 points depending on the season.

  • Peak season = Winter months
  • Off-peak = Summer months

Search for availability on Marriott’s site:

Be sure to check the box that says “Use Points/Certificates.”

Booking 1.JPG

Example of peak season pricing:

Booking 4a.JPG

Off-peak season pricing:

Booking 4c.JPG
Booking 4e.JPG

What’s Included in the Price?

The room-rate includes:

  • 3 meals each day: breakfast, lunch, dinner (does not include alcohol)
  • 2 Selected Desert Activities tickets

Desert Activities to choose from:

  • Camel trekkiing
  • Desert safari
  • Falconry
  • Archery
  • Nature walk
  • Dune drive (supplement charge)
  • Horse riding (supplement charge)

YouTube Video Review

How to Use Chase Ultimate Rewards Transfer Partners (a Step-by-Step Guide)

How to use transfer partners is one of the most requested guides because there are so many steps to take. To get the maximum value from points, you'll have to put in the work and research which airline partners are best for you.

Here's a step-by-step guide on how to use transfer partners. Before we dive in, be sure to transfer all your Ultimate Rewards Points to the card that has access to transfer partners: the  Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, the  Chase Sapphire Reserve®, or the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card.

How to Transfer Points

1. Login to your  Chase account and find the Ultimate Rewards Portal.

Ultimate Rewards

2. Click on a card that has access to transfer partners like the  Chase Sapphire Preferred, the  Chase Ink Business Preferred, or the  Chase Sapphire Reserve.

Choose a card

3. Transfer all your points to the respective card. i.e., transfer  Chase Freedom points to a Sapphire card.

Combine points

In the example below, we're transferring points from the  Chase Freedom to the  Chase Sapphire Reserve.

Transfer points

Transfer all the points.

4. To use transfer partners, hover over the use points and click one of the airlines.

5. Choose the airline partner you want to use.

6. Enter your frequent flyer information.

7. That's it! The good thing about  Chase is that transfers are instantaneous, unlike Amex where it may take a few days.

Important: Once you transfer Ultimate Rewards points to an airline, you cannot revert the points back to Ultimate Rewards. Only transfer the amount you need.

Since there are a lot of different options, you need to sit down and research which programs are the best use of points. There are a few sweet spots available for redemption, but supply is limited and hard to find.

For example, a viewer messaged me asking if I was lying about the IHG Bora Bora free certificate redemption because they tried once or twice and failed. I spent one week looking once or twice a day and booked my certificate nights.


How to Book a Flight

Since there are a lot of options, let's run through a real example. Let's say I'm trying to go from SF to Seoul.

Download the Trip Planning Template here:


To use the trip planning template, you want to run down the whole list of transfer partners and see how many points it would cost for each one (info can be found on each carrier's website). Yes, this is going to take work on your end.

For United, the travel awards redemption is straight forward. Let's assume we're flying economy to Seoul, which costs 80,000 award miles per way. An economy roundtrip ticket costs 160,000 award miles.


The next step is to see if there is any award or saver availability on United's website. Be sure to check the box for "Search for award travel."




In addition to the 35,000 miles, you'll still have to pay $5.60 for taxes and fees.

If you don't have flexibility, then you're going to have to take the Economy tickets for 80,000 points.


In our example, we're assuming you do have flexibility so the spreadsheet reflects the 70,000 points and $11.20 in fees.

How to use the  Chase Travel Portal

Beyond transfer partners, be sure to compare the rates to the  Chase Travel Portal. Since the prices in the Travel Portal are similar to Google Flights, it's easier to use Google to find the best flight route. It's hard to compare dates and different airline carriers with the  Chase Travel Portal user interface.

Keep in mind that just because the route is cheap, it may not be the fastest nor the most efficient route. Choose the route that makes the most sense for you.

To filter the search, select your desired airlines.


Flights might not be available on your desired dates, so it helps to be flexible.

We altered our search to Dec. 10-Dec. 18.

Found a decent flight on Air Canada, but the layover seems excessive. Let's alter the dates.

If we move the date to Dec. 11, then the layover is more reasonable.

After you locate the desired airline and flight number, login to the  Chase Travel Portal and find the flight. Note down how many points it takes in the spreadsheet to compare it to all the options.


We're not going to run through all the transfer partners or we'll be here all day. Researching can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 10 hours. Transfer partners are optimal for sweet spot redemptions or last minute travel.

Transfer partners are also good to use during peak holiday times to lock in prices. Another good use to transfer partners are for first or business class redemptions.

If you're someone who doesn't want to compare all the transfer options, then go the Google Flights route and book flights using the  Chase Travel Portal.

It helps to have a redemption in mind, but if you need some inspiration, we recommend signing up for Scott's Cheap Flights to get deal alerts.

What is the Hotel Collection by American Express?
American Express

The Hotel Collection from American Express is an underrated benefit that gives you perks to feel like a VIP.  This exclusive program grants you room upgrades and experience credits for dining, spa treatments, and resort activities when you book a stay of two consecutive nights or more at designated hotels; experience credit varies by property.

Terms apply to Amex offers and benefits.

What is the Hotel Collection?

American Express carefully selects each property in The Hotel Collection for its unique style and unwavering quality. Experience stays at remarkable hotels that possess their own distinctive personality.

Brands in the Hotel Collection include Alila, Andaz, Autograph Collection Hotels, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Fairmont, JW Marriott, MGM Resorts, Sofitel, Small Luxury Hotels, Thompson Hotels, W Hotels, and much more.

How to Access The Hotel Collection from American Express

To access the Hotel Collection benefit, you must be a cardmember of one of the following cards:

  • The Platinum Card® from American Express
  • American Express® Gold Card
  • American Express® Business Gold Card
  • The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
  • The Centurion® Card from American Express

Delta SkyMiles® Gold and Platinum Card Members are not eligible to access the Hotel Collection.


The Hotel Collection Benefits

When you stay two consecutive nights or more, you’ll get:

  • A $100 experience credit for qualifying dining, spa, and resort activities. Experience credit varies by property.
  • Complimentary room upgrade upon arrival, when available. Certain room categories are not eligible for an upgrade.

What You Need to Know: The Fine Print

Terms apply to utilize the Hotel Collection benefit:

  • The Hotel Collection is available for new bookings of two consecutive nights or more made through American Express Travel with participating properties.
  • Bookings must be made using an eligible Card and paid using that Card or another American Express® Card in the eligible Card Member's name.
  • The Card Member must be traveling on the booked itinerary.
  • Room upgrade is subject to availability and provided at check-in; certain room categories are not eligible for upgrade.
  • The type of experience credit varies by property, and it will be applied to eligible charges up to $100.
  • Advance reservations are recommended for certain experience credits.
  • Benefit restrictions vary by property.
  • Benefits are applied per room, per stay (with a three-room limit per stay).
  • Back-to-back stays by a single Card Member, Card Members staying in the same room, or Card Members traveling in the same party within a 24-hour period at the same property are considered one stay and are ineligible for additional THC benefits ("Prohibited Action").
  • American Express and the Property reserve the right to modify or revoke the THC benefits at any time without notice if a Prohibited Action or abuse, misuse, or gaming is detected.
  • Benefits cannot be redeemed for cash and are not combinable with other offers unless indicated.
  • Benefits must be used during the booked stay.
  • Any applicable credits are applied at check-out in USD or the local currency equivalent.
  • Benefits, participating properties, availability, and amenities are subject to change.

The Platinum Card® from American Express: $200 Hotel Credit

Members with the Consumer Platinum Card receive an annual benefit of $200 in statement credits when making prepaid bookings for Fine Hotels + Resorts or The Hotel Collection through American Express Travel, and using their Platinum Card for payment.

How to receive the $200 Hotel Credit

  1. Login to your American Express account
  2. Navigate to “Rewards and Benefits”
  3. Under Benefits, find the Hotel Collection and click “Learn More”
  4. Click Book Here and search for a destination
  5. Choose the one that’s right for you and book a prepaid stay through American Express Travel with your eligible Platinum Card.
  6. You’ll automatically receive a $200 in statement credits each year after you book an eligible stay with your Platinum Card.

Overall Thoughts

The Hotel Collection by American Express is a great option for extra perks for hotel stays you plan to book. If you have a Platinum Card, get up to $200 in Hotel Credits each year when you book through the Fine Hotels + Resorts or The Hotel Collection via American Express Travel. The Hotel Collection requires a two-night stay to qualify.

World of Hyatt and MGM Rewards End Partnership

Effective September 30, 2023, the partnership between World of Hyatt and MGM Rewards will come to a close, resulting in changes to the benefits available to World of Hyatt and MGM Rewards members for stays occurring on or after that date.

This is HUGE news since people usually match their Hyatt status to MGM Rewards. 

Status Match Deadline

Act fast: you have until July 14, 2023, to status match Hyatt to MGM. It's closed off after that.

Status match at the bottom the page:

MGM Hyatt status match

If you're a World of Hyatt member who matched your tier into MGM Rewards between February 1, 2023, and July 14, 2023, you'll keep your MGM Rewards tier status until January 31, 2024. However, starting from February 1, 2024, you'll need to meet the MGM Rewards program requirements to maintain your tier and enjoy the associated benefits.

MGM Resorts will honor all existing reservations at MGM Resorts destinations in Las Vegas made through Hyatt channels.

Why Does MGM Status Matter?

The savings can add up if you visit Las Vegas often.

By having MGM Pearl, you get free self-parking. MGM Gold will waive resort fees, which can add up quickly.

We have MGM Gold status, which has resulted in some nice upgrades to renovated rooms, better views, and occasionally suites.

How This Impacts You


Existing Reservations

  • For stays with checkout prior to or on September 30, 2023: Eligible paid and award stays at MGM Rewards destinations will be honored and benefits will be earned.
  • For stays with a checkout date after September 30, 2023: The stay will be honored as booked, but World of Hyatt members will no longer be able to earn World of Hyatt points and World of Hyatt Tier-Qualifying Nights at MGM Resorts.

New Reservations

  • For stays with a checkout prior to or on September 30, 2023: Reservations will enjoy the Hyatt and MGM relationship benefits.
  • For stays with a checkout date after September 30, 2023: Reservations will not be accepted via Hyatt booking channels for stays at MGM Rewards destinations.

Reservation Modifications or Cancellations

  • For stays with a checkout date after September 30, 2023: Contact the Hyatt Global Care Center at 800.233.1234 to help you modify or cancel an existing reservation made through Hyatt for stays at MGM Rewards destinations. New rates may apply (and certain benefits may no longer be available and/or earned) when making a modification to an existing reservation.

World of Hyatt Program and Benefits:

  • While tier matching into MGM Rewards is ending July 14, 2023; rest assured any existing matched status will remain in place through the date that status expires. 
  • For any stays with a checkout date after September 30, 2023, World of Hyatt members will no longer be able to earn and redeem World of Hyatt points at any MGM Rewards destinations, earn World of Hyatt Tier-Qualifying Nights or other benefits for stays at MGM Rewards destinations.
  • For any stays with a checkout date after September 30, 2023, MGM Rewards members can no longer elect to earn MGM Rewards Tier Credits in lieu of World of Hyatt Base Points for qualifying nights at Hyatt hotels.
  • For any stays with a checkout date after September 30, 2023, World of Hyatt Credit Cardmembers will no longer be eligible to earn four (4) World of Hyatt Bonus Points per $1 spent at participating MGM destinations through the use of the World of Hyatt credit card.

See more FAQ on the official site:

How to Book JAL First Class

Japan Airlines First is one of the best first-class products in the air for 2023, especially if you factor in both the soft (experience/service) and hard (seat/food) products.

This easily falls into my Top 5 First Class products, especially when you consider the number of points/miles needed, ease of earning, and “points/$ per hour in First” (especially compared to alternatives like Singapore Suites, which requires a LOT more miles).

How to Fly JAL First Class Using Points

There are four primary points currencies to consider:

  1. JL — Japan Airlines Mileage Bank
  2. AS — Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
  3. AA — American Airlines AAdvantage®
  4. CX — Cathay Pacific Asia Miles

What Would Sebby Do

In terms of value and points required, I would prioritize AA > AS > CX > JL.

Earn American Airlines AAdvantage® miles with Citi cards.


Earn flexible points with American Express cards.


JL — Japan Airlines Mileage Bank

Although you would think the namesake frequent flyer program would be the best, it doesn’t really work for our purpose.

Points Needed

Japan Airlines uses a distance-based award chart. From the US West Coast, you’re looking at 90,000 JL miles for First Class.


There is a JAL Card, but the intro bonus floats around 15,000 miles. This means that you would need 6 intro bonuses to do First Class; not really conducive to our purposes.

Transfer Partners

Marriott Bonvoy transfers at a 3:1 rate, and you receive an extra 5,000 miles bonus for every 60,000 Bonvoy transferred.

This means:

60,000 Bonvoy ⇒ 20,000 JAL + 5,000 bonus = 25,000 JAL

You would need to transfer 225,000 Bonvoy to book this flight.

 What Would Sebby Do

Skip JL as an option unless you live in Japan and have a ton of JL miles accrued from JAL flights.

AA — American Airlines AAdvantage®

In 2023, this is the go-to option to book Japan Airlines First Class, given the value you’re receiving and the ease of earning AA miles.

Points Needed

American Airlines uses a location-based award chart for their partner airlines.

Japan is considered “Asia Region 1” in their chart, meaning that you would need 80,000 AA miles for First Class.

AA redemption chart

Credit Cards

Luckily, there are tons of cards that offer AA miles from both Citi as well as Barclays. In many cases, you might be able to have enough miles for First Class with just one intro bonus, depending on if there's an elevated offer or not.


Transfer Partners

Marriott Bonvoy transfers at a 3:1 rate and you receive an extra 5,000 miles bonus for every 60,000 Bonvoy transferred.

For the same reasons as mentioned under the Japan Airlines program, this doesn’t make sense in my book.

What Would Sebby Do

This is one of the best ways to book Japan Airlines First Class, especially given the number of AA cards and their typical intro bonuses.

I would avoid transferring Bonvoy since that seems overly prohibitive.

AS — Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

They increased the number of points you need to make this booking but I think it’s still one of the better use cases for AS miles.

Points Needed

Booking with Alaska miles is based on region and whether you’re flying to/from the East or West Coast of the US.

West Coast to Japan: 85,000 Alaska

East Coast to Japan: 100,000 Alaska

Credit Cards

There are two Alaska cards from Bank of America, and from the West Coast, this is still one of the more affordable ways to book JAL First Class.

Transfer Partners

Marriott Bonvoy transfers at a 3:1 rate and you receive an extra 5,000 miles bonus for every 60,000 Bonvoy transferred.

For the same reasons as mentioned under the Japan Airlines program, this doesn’t make sense in my book.

What Would Sebby Do

You can open an Alaska card and meet the intro bonus requirements to get pretty close to the number of points needed. Many people go for both the personal and business cards for this reason.

There is a case to use your other currencies but it might make sense to save those points for other trips and use Alaska where you’re getting outsized value.

CX — Cathay Pacific Asia Miles

Asia Miles is a more expensive option but might be worthwhile if you just want to transfer points from core cards (Citi, Amex) rather than sign up for dedicated airline cards from Alaska and American Airlines.

Points Needed

Cathay prices partner redemptions off their calculator.

Pricing out a flight from San Francisco (SFO) to Tokyo (HND), you’re looking at 120,000 Asia Miles.

Credit Cards

Cathay Pacific does have a Visa card but the intro bonus hovers around 35,000 miles. This means you would need 4 intro bonuses to do this flight which isn’t really viable.

Instead, I would look into American Express and Citi cards since both transfer to Asia Miles.


Transfer Partners

Both Amex Membership Rewards (MR) and Citi ThankYou (TY) transfer at a 1:1 rate outside of any limited-time promotions.

The benefit is that these can be pooled easily. If you need 120,000 Asia Miles, 80,000 can come from Amex and 40,000 from Citi, and that’s perfectly fine.

JAL First Class Review Video

Check out the video below to see what it's like flying JAL F.

Fast Track to Hyatt Elite Status via Bilt Rewards for Rent Day

Historically, Hyatt has the most valuable status because it's generally hard to get.

Between March 28 and April 1, you can unlock World of Hyatt's midlevel status for free and the opportunity to extend it OR earn the top-level status.

Note that you don't need to have a Bilt Mastercard to join the challenge. You can just download the app. 

However, if you want to earn points while paying rent, you can learn more about the Bilt Mastercard here:


How to Get Hyatt Elite Status via Bilt Rewards

  1. Download the free Bilt Rewards app
  2. Enroll in Hyatt if you don't have an account.
  3.  Link Bilt and Hyatt in their app (under the Travel tab)
  4. Click "Unlock World of Hyatt Elite Status" before April 1 on the rent day tab

Once you do this, you'll receive Explorist status by April 17, and it'll last until July 16, 2023.

How to Extend Hyatt Status

  • If you do 10 stays during that period (April 17-July 16, 2023), you keep Explorist until Feb 2025.
  • If you do 20 stays in that period, you get Globalist until Feb 2025

Hyatt Bonus Journeys Promo

To make things even sweeter, Hyatt is currently running a Bonus Journeys promo to earn 3,000 bonus points every two qualifying nights, up to 30 nights. If you're a World of Hyatt credit card holder, you'll earn an additional 500 bonus points. Learn more about the Hyatt promo and enroll here:

As someone with Hyatt Globalist, I'm super jealous that you have the opportunity to do a challenge.

Hyatt to MGM Rewards Status Match

Even if you don't care about Hyatt, this is the best move to get MGM status for Las Vegas by status matching.

Note that the temporary Hyatt status does not match over. You must do one of the extended status challenges to qualify.

Hyatt Discoverist → MGM Pearl

Hyatt Explorist → MGM Gold

Hyatt Globalist → MGM Gold

You can status match here:

The main benefits of MGM Gold are:

  • Waived resort fees
  • Free enhanced room upgrade (high floor, view, etc.)
  • Priority check-in line at the front desk 
  • Dedicated line at participating restaurants
  • Free self-parking
  • Free valet parking at participating MGM Rewards destinations
  • $100 Tier status dining credit (75k Tier credits required)

The fact you can get MGM Gold with no gambling is crazy to me and an incredible value.


How to Get a Business Credit Card
Business Credit Cards

If you own a business, you know how important it is to have access to credit when needed. A business credit card can be a great way to manage your company's finances and build your credit score over time. But getting one isn't as easy as applying for a personal credit card. 

Here's what you need to know about getting a business credit card, how you can apply, and what issuers are looking for.

Disclaimer: I'm not an accountant or financial advisor. Consult a professional if you have questions related to your specific business entity.

What Counts as a Business?

Generally, any activity that offers goods or services to customers generates income from its operations and runs to make a profit is defined as a business. Businesses are all around us – from the corner store in your neighborhood to online marketplaces selling unique products worldwide.

Though many people have preconceived notions about what constitutes a business, almost anything can qualify as long as it meets these simple criteria:

  • Create goods or services.
  • Charge for them in some way (whether through sales or subscriptions).
  • Make an effort to turn a profit by producing more revenue than expenses. 

Do You Really Need a Business Card?

The answer is no. The reason for this is that issuers use your personal credit report and your personal credit score to make a decision. Business credit can be helpful if you're doing giant lines of credit. 

Eligible Business Entities

Let's start by figuring out what kind of business you are in. You can find companies of all sizes and shapes, but here are some eligible ones.

  • C-Corps: Owned by shareholders. The business structure is taxed separately from the owner(s).
  • S-Corps: Under the tax code, S-corporations can pass their taxable income, credits, deductions, and losses directly to their shareholders. 
  • LLC (Limited Liability Company): LLCs are U.S. legal entities that own, operate, and protect businesses. 
  • Partnership: Partnerships are businesses where two or more people own and manage the company and share the profits and losses.
  • Sole Proprietorship: A sole proprietorship is a business with just one owner who pays personal income taxes on the business's profits. Most sole proprietors do business under their own names because having a separate business name or trade name is not necessary.
  • Gig Economy: Gig economies are labor markets where independent contractors and freelancers fill temporary and part-time jobs rather than full-time permanent workers.

Note that all of these are eligible for business cards from most U.S. issuers. Some are only for C-corps or larger ones, but for the most part, the main ones are for everyone.

What You Need to Apply for a Business Credit Card

This is what most major credit issuers are looking for when getting a business card:

  1. Business name: Your company's name. Your first name and last name should be entered if you are a freelancer or sole proprietor.
  2. Industry type and company structure: What industry your business is in, whether it's a corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship, etc. Almost everyone can get a business card as a sole prop.
  3. Your Business Income: Ideally, $5,000 to $10,000+ in projected income. For freelancers, your total income can be your business income.
  4. Tax identification number: It's either your social security number (SSN) or employer identification number (EIN), or both.
  5. Years in business: How long you've been in business. Ideally, it should be two or three years.
  6. Has a Good Credit History: No defaults, missed payments, or unusual information on your personal credit report.

Recommended Business Cards

Generally, I recommend Chase cards because there are a lot of no-annual-fee options and they've got pretty good bonuses. Easy examples of this will be the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card and Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card. There are tons of other good cards as well outside of Chase, but if you are someone at 4/24, you generally can get Ink Cards, and it doesn't affect 5/24


Overall Thoughts 

Getting a business credit card is important in managing your company's finances and building its financial health over time. Remember to do your research before choosing the best option for your needs—but when used responsibly, having access to extra funds can make all the difference between success and failure in today's competitive marketplace. 

How to Get the Delta TakeOff 15 Discount
American Express

Delta and American Express co-branded SkyMiles credit cards have a sweet new offer that makes travel more affordable. 

The TakeOff 15 benefit for Delta credit cardholders saves 15% off Award Travel. To quality, existing cardholders simply use the “Shop with Miles” option when booking travel using or the Fly Delta app.

The discount is automatically applied to the transaction when you redeem your reward points this way. Just keep in mind that taxes and that only eligible partner flights qualify for the promotion. 

What’s There to Love About the TakeOff 15 Offer?

 This discount makes the SkyMiles program worthwhile, so if you’re a frequent Delta traveler looking to save on economy trips, this is worth considering.

With the TakeOff 15 offer, there are now two ways to redeem Delta points. You can use the “Pay with Miles” options. You can use the “Pay with Miles” option, which allows you to pay at a rate of 1 CPP (cent per point) in increments of 5,000 miles. 

Or you can use the “Shop with Miles” option with a value of around 1.2 CPP to 1.5 CPP usually, but with the TakeOff 15 discount, it’s around a base of 1.4 CPP.

Thus, the Delta 15 discount offers a substantial value for frequent Delta travelers, making SkyMiles an even more attractive option for those seeking savings on airline domestic travel.

How to Get the Delta TakeOff 15 Discount

Getting a 15% discount on your eligible flight as a Delta credit card holder is simple. This offer is available to American Express cardholders with the following credit cards:

The Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card does not qualify for the discount.

How to Get the Delta TakeOff 15 Discount

  1. Use Delta’s website or app to find Award Travel options. Be sure to login to your SkyMiles account.
  2. Select the “Shop with Miles” option to find an eligible flight.
  3. The 15% discount will automatically be applied when you use this redemption option. 
  4. Use your Delta SkyMiles® American Express Card to earn additional miles on taxes and fees.

Will Delta Raise Award Ticket Prices in Response?

A popular question about the TakeOff 15 promotion is whether Delta will raise award ticket prices in response.

While it’s impossible to know for sure, there are no current plans to do so. Many people have been able to rebook the same flight, redeem their rewards points, and save a flat 15%.

There were no differences in price for rebooking a flight itinerary using points other than the 15% discount.

Although things could change at any time, we’re hopeful that Delta will continue to honor the TakeOff 15 promotion without changing reward point redemption. 

Do You Need Delta SkyMiles Rewards? Here Are The Common Complaints.

If you’re looking to get from Point A to Point B for a low price, Delta SkyMiles is an option worth considering. However, if you’re trying to get from Point A to Point B in lavish business and first-class options, Delta SkyMiles may not be the best option. 

That’s because Delta has one of the least redemption rates for premium cabins, so if you’re looking for luxury travel, your miles will go further with other rewards programs. Consider American Airlines and Alaska Airlines credit cards if you want more domestic travel rewards with higher upside. 

Delta is an economy option with a flat value reward system and another with a flat 15% price reduction, while other cards have higher upside potential.

Final Thoughts About Securing the Delta 15 Discount

Overall, the Delta SkyMiles TakeOff 15 program is a good fit for someone who plans to travel domestically and save money. However, if you’re looking for more rewards and higher upside potential, consider other credit cards that offer greater flexibility and value in their rewards program. 

That’s not to say that you cannot transfer your SkyMiles to other airlines or use them for luxury travel if you have a high-end card, but the value of those points might be better spent elsewhere. If you’re searching for a card to help meet your aspiration travel goals, this isn’t the right program for you.

Regardless, the TakeOff 15 promotion is a great way to save money and increase your travel budget. As long as Delta maintains its current reward redemption values, you can take advantage of the 15% discount on eligible flights without worrying about higher prices or devaluation. 

YouTube Video

The Ultimate Guide to Using Chase Ultimate Rewards Points

The Chase Ultimate Rewards® ecosystem may be one of your best options if you like to travel. Besides being versatile, Chase points are valuable if you know how to optimize them.

One massive benefit of the Chase system is that you can stack Chase points easily with Chase's Ultimate Rewards-earning credit cards.

The Chase Ultimate Rewards program has plenty of redemptions for any budget, whether you're looking for luxury experiences or a low-cost flight.

This blog post looks at the best and worst ways to use your Chase Ultimate Rewards points. But before we get started, let's talk about the basics.

What are Chase Ultimate Rewards Points?

Chase Ultimate Rewards® is a points program where you can earn and redeem points. The cards that earn UR points include:

  • Chase Freedom Unlimited®
  • Chase Freedom Flex℠
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve®
  • Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card
  • Ink Business Cash® Credit Card
  • Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

Although the Chase Freedom Flex, Chase Freedom Unlimited, Ink Cash, and Ink Unlimited cards are marketed as cash back, they earn Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Throughout this guide, you'll also notice the term cents-per-point (CPP), which is what each point would cost if we paid cash for the redemption.

So if 1.5 CPP means each point is worth $0.015, then: 10,000 UR points = 10,000 * 0.015 = $150

Chase Ultimate Rewards Exception: Ink Business Premier

One major exception to transferring Ultimate Rewards between UR earning card accounts is the Ink Business Premier credit card.

Although the Ink Business Premier earns cash back in the form of Ultimate Rewards, you cannot transfer or combine points to other UR accounts.

Do Chase Ultimate Rewards Points Expire?

As long as you have a Chase Ultimate Rewards earning credit card open, your Ultimate Rewards points won't expire. Any points you have left will be lost if you close the card. You shouldn't cancel your credit card before redeeming or transferring your rewards.

You'll also lose your points if Chase closes your account. Even though credit card companies can close an account anytime, it rarely happens. You're most likely to get your card canceled if:

  • You don't pay your minimum for 90 days
  • You filed for bankruptcy
  • Use your Chase card or rewards program to commit fraud

How to Combine Chase Ultimate Rewards Between Cards

Here's a simple step-by-step process to combine your points:

1. Log in to your account and click on the "Earn/Use" tab.

2. Select one of the cards that earn Ultimate Rewards points (refer to the card list above).

3. Hover over your points balance and hit "Redeem."


4. Once you're in the portal, click the top bar again to reveal the "Combine Points" icon in the menu.

5. Click the Combine Points option. From there, follow the prompts to combine points with your card.

How to Maximize Chase Ultimate Rewards Points?

Chase Ultimate Rewards are flexible and can be redeemed in various ways, including gift cards, statement credits, and travel. Keep in mind that the cents per point valuation vary with each redemption method. Here are the best and worst ways to use Ultimate Rewards.

Worst Ways to Redeem Your Chase UR Points

First, let's look at the worst ways you can use your points.

Method #1: Pay with Points

You can sometimes use your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to purchase items at Amazon and other online merchants rather than using your credit card balance.

Although it's convenient, you lose the overall point value with this option. Furthermore, using points to shop on Amazon or with PayPal will only earn you 0.8 CPP.

Let's say you used 100,000 UR points; that's: 100,000 UR points * 0.8 CPP = $800 in value

Pay with Points

With this value, I'd say this is not worth it in any situation.

Method #2: Gift Cards

Chase also offers gift cards as redemption options. When you take this route, you'll normally receive 1 CPP. That means 100,000 UR = $1,000 in gift cards.

Chase Gift Card Portal

There are even times when Chase offers gift cards with better value for specific retailers, but I would still skip this option.

Method #3: Chase Dining

You can use Chase Dining points for Sapphire Private Dining series events, takeout, outdoor seating reservations, and more.

Here, you're going to get 1 CPP. So: 100,000 UR * 1 CPP = $1,000 in dining

Redeem for Chase Dining

Redeeming points for Chase Dining points gets a similar value as redeeming for gift cards, so it's still not the ideal method.

There is a huge exception to this, though, if you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Chase Sapphire Preferred cards. With these cards in your arsenal, you can technically get more value.

Method #4: Chase Apple Store

You might find getting free Apple products through your credit card points very appealing. But, the same with methods #2 & #3, the 1 CPP redemption value isn't great. 

If you do the math: 100,000 UR * 1 CPP = $1,000 in Apple products

It would be a good idea to wait for a promotion if you're interested in using your Ultimate Rewards points for Apple Store purchases.

Method #5: Chase Travel Portal (no-annual fee cards)

This redemption option will get you 1 CPP, equivalent to $1,000 in travel value. 

If you're looking to book a first-class flight or an expensive luxury hotel, Chase's travel portal usually gives you the best deal, while transferring Ultimate Rewards points typically saves you money.

Best Ways to Redeem Your Chase UR Points

Method #6: Cash Back

I'd say that redeeming your UR points for cash back is a good option. If you want to use your points for cash back, there are two ways to do this:

  1. Redeem as a statement credit to help you cover the charges you make, so you don't have to pay it off. 
  2. Redeem as cash, where it can go directly into your checking or savings account.

Both methods will get you 1 CPP, which means: 100,000 UR points * 1 CPP = $1,000 in cash/statement credit

Redeem for cash back

Cash back is more ideal than buying gift cards since you aren't limited to select stores.

The great thing about Chase is its cash-out rate floor value. While Chase isn't for everyone, there are three reasons I recommend it:

  1. The cards are relatively easy to use.
  2. They work both in cash back and travel, so you're not really forced to travel to get the rewards.
  3. Cards with an annual fee usually have a no-annual fee downgrade path after the first year.

Method #7: Chase Apple Store (10% Promo)

As mentioned earlier, Chase Apple Store promos are a good time to use your Ultimate Rewards points. For Apple enthusiasts, this is good news!

Until Nov. 30, 2022, Chase cardholders can get an extra discount when redeeming points for Apple products through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. This promo will make your points worth 10%, 25%, or 50% more, depending on which card you have.

Limited time promo

For example, if we use the 10% promo, that will be equivalent to 1.1 CPP. This means: 100,000 UR * 1.1 CPP = $1,100 in Apple products

Method #8: Gift Cards (Sale)

This is the same concept as method #7. The best time to redeem gift cards is during a sale. With this, you're going to have a cent per point of 1.11. 

In other words: 100,000 UR * 1.1 CPP = $1,111 in gift cards

Gift card sales

While this sounds great and looks like a good deal, make sure you're using your points for something worthwhile. Don't be tempted to get a gift card just because it's on sale. 

Method #9: Chase Travel Portal at 25% boost (Sapphire Preferred and Ink Preferred)

If you want simplicity or are a rookie with credit cards, Chase has partnered with Expedia to run a search engine where you can book flights, hotels, rentals, cruises, etc., as you would on Expedia.

With a Chase Sapphire Preferred or Ink Preferred card, you can get an extra 25% more, allowing you to redeem at 1.25 CPP.

So: 100,000 UR * 1.25 CPP = $1,250 in travel value

If you have a lot of points, it might make sense to crunch the numbers before applying or upgrading to the Chase Sapphire Reserve to get the most value. 

Chase's most significant selling point is how easy it is to get value from a regular travel booking for that elevated value.

If you use your points for the Chase Travel Portal through this card, do your research and check out the rates online to see if it makes sense.

Method #10: Pay Yourself Back (25% boost)

During the pandemic, travel redemptions were severely limited. As a result, Chase came up with the Pay Yourself Back program, and Chase is allowing you to redeem points for elevated value in everyday categories most people can use.

When you use Pay Yourself Back for eligible purchases, you can "wipe" them off your statement with an additional 25% bonus value, essentially allowing you to redeem it at 1.25 CPP.

As a result, we can say: 100,000 UR * 1.25 CPP = $1,250

Pay Yourself Back

Cards that offer Pay Yourself Back:

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve
  • Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
  • Ink Plus (no longer available)
  • Ink Business Cash Credit Card 
  • Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card

Note that each card above has different Pay Yourself Back categories that may change periodically, so check Chase's site for the most up-to-date redemption categories and rates.

Method #11: Chase Travel Portal at 50% boost (Chase Sapphire Reserve)

If you hold a Chase Sapphire Reserve card and use your UR points to redeem for Chase Travel Portal, you'll get a 50% boost in value. Essentially, this will give you 1.5 CPP, meaning: 

100,000 UR * 1.5 CPP = $1,500

Be sure to compare travel prices to the Chase Travel Portal to see if you're getting the best value.

Method #12: Transfer Partners

Transfer Partners are one of the best ways to redeem your points. Generally, when you transfer your UR points to Chase's partners, you get 2 CPP in value. So that's:

100,000 UR * 2 CPP = $2,000

Related Read: Best Chase Ultimate Rewards Transfer Partners

Depending on the travel partner, this value can increase up to $10,000. If you want to know how to use your UR points to Chase's transfer partners, then check out this blog: How to Use Chase Ultimate Rewards Transfer Partners (a Step-by-Step Guide).

YouTube Video

If you're interested in learning more about the best and worst ways to redeem your Ultimate Rewards points in detail, watch this video:

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