Home Points & Miles How I Used Ultimate Rewards To Save On Our Hawaii Trip

How I Used Ultimate Rewards To Save On Our Hawaii Trip

by joeheg

Ultimate Rewards is Chase’s transferrable points currency. You earn points when using the Chase Freedom, Chase Sapphire and Ink Business credit cards. If you have a no-annual-fee card, you can use your points for cash back, purchase gift cards, buy things from Amazon.com or Apple, or make travel plans through the Chase portal.

If you have one of the premium Chase cards like the Ink Preferred or the Sapphire Preferred or Reserve, you can also transfer points to one of Chase’s partners. This is how I usually use our points. I’ve transferred points to United, Hyatt and Singapore Airlines.

However, I have plenty of Ultimate Rewards in my account and no use for them until 2023. If I put my mind to it, I can earn plenty of points in the upcoming year so it’s time to spend them. I could always use the Pay Yourself Back feature to redeem points against purchases in specific categories.

I’d instead use them for travel, and we have a big trip to Hawaii coming up. I’ve already said we’re looking at which luau to visit and I quickly noticed how expensive they are. If we’re going, I want to go to a nicer one and have decent seats. Instead of paying over $300 for the two of us, I remembered that you could book activities through the Chase travel portal.

I logged into Ultimate Rewards with my Chase Sapphire Reserve account information.

On the dropdown menu, I clicked on travel.

On the next page, there were several tabs; I clicked on “Things to Do.”

From there, I entered the city and the dates I wanted to search.

There were several luau options in the Honolulu area. For example, here’s Chief’s Luau.

Tickets go for $155 per adult. Because I have a Sapphire Reserve, my Ultimate Rewards points are worth 1.5 cents each for bookings through the portal. That means I’d only have to spend 10,333 points per person for our tickets.

There are activities available in almost every tourist location. If you’re visiting Orlando, you can get tickets to some of the major attractions (but not Disney.)

I know some will cringe about redeeming Ultimate Rewards points for a luau at 1.5 cents each. However, I’ve learned that you need to use your points where they serve you best. I’d rather save $300 and spend the points at this moment. That’s money I can use somewhere else on the trip to make it extra special.

Not all traveling is about which plane you fly on or what luxury hotel you stay at. The things you do while traveling are just as, or even more important. Why not use points to upgrade the experiences at your location the same way we use them to book first-class seats or over-water bungalows?

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patrick December 28, 2021 - 4:27 pm

What are you expecting from this “tourist luau” you are paying for? Do some research as a lot of them are just so hokey. If you have any connections in HI see if someone can recommend an authentic one or one that is at least less crowded.

island miler December 28, 2021 - 4:34 pm

Here here. I wholly agree with this, which is why I’ve been using UR points to redeem for inter-island travel on Southwest from time to time – especially when I can’t find the lower fares. That said, I’m having trouble pulling the trigger on transferring points for a potential stay at the Hyatt Carmel Highland Inn late next year (25k per night) and/or burning Marriott points at the Monterey Marriott (Cat 7!!!!). Then again, I don’t have all that many UR points… only a few 100k haha.


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