Category

Sapphire Preferred

How To Earn Even More Bonus Points On Your Hotel Stays

REMINDER: If you haven’t already signed up for the SPG 2 free night certificates. Only 90 people have entered so far, so you have a more than 1% chance of winning! Contest ends on Friday! You can enter here.

I’m in the process of booking a few Hotels for an upcoming trip, so over the coming weeks I will be sharing all my little tips and tricks that I have been using to get some steep discounts on 4 – 5 Star Hotels. 

While making my bookings, I of course had to use my favorite hotel trick that I wrote about a while ago, which allows you to knock over 25% off a Marriott stay.

Anyways, as I was booking my upcoming stay at Marriott, I was of course thinking about which Credit Card to book with to get the most Miles and if there were any other ways to earn even more Marriott Points.

Out of habit, I visited Evreward & TopCashBack to see if there was anything I was forgetting.

To my surprise (ie. I totally forgot), you can get Bonus Points for Hotel Bookings by clicking thru Chase’s Ultimate Rewards Shopping Mall.

Now to be able to access Chase’s Ultimate Rewards Shopping Mall, you do need a Card that earns Ultimate Rewards. Those Cards can all be found here.

Below are all the Hotels and Websites that qualify to earn Bonus Points via Chase. 

Expcet for Hyatt, almost all major Hotel Brands are listed which is pretty amazing!

Marriott

In the case of Marriott, you can get 3 extra UR Points per $1 spent.

The reason that this is significant, is that depending on what Chase Card you have, you can almost get a better return than if you had the Marriott Credit Card.

I have the Chase INK Bold which gets 2 UR Points per $1 spent on Hotels.

So by clicking thru Ultimate Rewards to Marriott, I will be getting 5 UR Points per $1 that I spend at Marriott.

This is on top of any points I earn separately at Marriott for actually staying there!

This is pretty huge in my opinion since the Chase Marriott Card gets you 5 Marriott Points per $1 spent at Marriott.

With my Chase INK Bold or Chase Sapphire Preferred, because they both earn 2x on Hotels, I can earn 5 UR Points per $1 spent, which can then be transferred to Marriott at a 1:1 ratio.

Westin & Starwood

The real kicker here though is Westin, and by extension Starwood since on Westin.com you can book any Starwood Property.

Again using your Chase Sapphire or Chase INK Bold, you can get 2 UR Points per $1 spent on Hotels.

By clicking thru the Ultimate Rewards Shopping Mall to Westin.com, you can get another 2 Points per $1 spent at Starwood Properties for a total of 4 UR Points per $1 spent at Starwood Properties.

Since the SPG program and SPG AMEX are 2 separate things, regardless of how you pay for your hotel, as a SPG Member, you would receive 2 Starpoints per $1 spent at SPG Properties.

So in total by doing this, you would earn 4 UR Points per $1 spent at Starwood Properties and then also 2 Starpoints per $1 spent at Starwood Properties as a SPG Member.

If you were to only use your SPG AMEX to book at Westin.com without going thru Chase, you would receive 2 Starpoints per $1 spent at SPG Properties.

When you combine that with being a SPG Member, you would get and additional 2 Starpoints per $1 spent at SPG Properties so 4 Starpoints per $1 spent in total.

Although the SPG AMEX is awesome and I highly recommend you get it, the numbers do not lie.

Instead of only 4 Starpoints per $1 spent with the SPG AMEX, by clicking thru Ultimate Rewards and using your Chase Card you can earn 4 UR Points per $1 spent AND 2 Starpoints per $1 spent!

Therefore I am going to make the startling announcement that it is actually better to use either your Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase INK BOLD to book stays at Starwood Properties, than use your SPG AMEX!

This is doubly true if the SPG Property you are staying at is located outside the U.S, since the SPG AMEX has Foreign Transaction Fees while the Sapphire Preferred and INK Bold do not!

Using Your SPG AMEX Via Ultimate Rewards

Now I am not 100% sure about this, but from what I have heard, people have received Ultimate Rewards Points for clicking thru the Ultimate Rewards Shopping Mall but then paying with either Gift Cards or non Chase Credit Cards.

I just bought some Bose In-Ear iPhone Headphones via Ultimate Rewards and used a Gift Card to pay half the bill.

I am currently waiting to see if I got the full amount of Ultimate Rewards Points or if I only got Points for the part that I paid with my Chase INK Bold.

If any Readers have any experience or know the answer, feel free to comment.

If what I said above is true, than hypothetically you could click thru the Ultimate Rewards Shopping Mall to Westin and book using your SPG AMEX.

This way you would get 2 Points per $1 spent via Ultimate Rewards, 2 Points per $1 spent at SPG Properties for being a SPG Member, and then an additional 2 Starpoints per $1 spent on your SPG AMEX.

So 4 Starpoints & 2 UR Points per $1 spent at Starwood Properties.

That is pretty awesome!

Recap

Anyway it just goes to show you that there are always extra ways to boost your earning potential. You just have to know where to look!

I know for me personally, going forward, I will definitely be clicking thru Chase’s Ultimate Rewards Shopping Mall for any upcoming hotel stays that I have.

-Parag

Fake Out: Chase Sapphire Does Not Allow You To Transfer UR Points To Airlines Or Hotels

While I enjoy sharing my knowledge about frequent flyer miles and how to earn them for free, I am the first to admit that I don’t know everything.

Thankfully, FFU has some very astute Readers who caught a crucial mistake in my post from Tuesday when I talked about downgrading my Chase Sapphire Preferred to the fee-free Chase Sapphire.

Thomas left a comment:

“Isn’t there also a difference in transferring your reward points when going from the Preferred to the basic Sapphire? I thought not all of the transfers were available (such as hotels), although I could be wrong.”

Followed by Adam:

On Chase’s own site, they advertise this for the CSP card:
“1:1 point transfer to participating frequent travel programs”

…but this is conspicuously absent on their Chase Sapphire card description page:
https://creditcards.chase.com/sapphire/?CELL=6RRW&MSC=IQ35084719

…and I’m pretty sure I’ve heard from multiple sources in the past that the free card does NOT allow you to transfer points to airlines and hotels. You can only use the points in the Ultimate Rewards Center to buy gift cards, pay for travel (1 point = 1 cent), etc.

From the marketing material I have seen and read for Chase’s Ultimate Rewards program, I was under the impression that the Ultimate Rewards redemption options on the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card were the same across the board for all Chase Cards that earn Ultimate Rewards Points such as the Chase Freedom and fee-free Chase Sapphire.

I was in fact 100% wrong!

Only the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase INK Bold Cards allow you to transfer your hard earned UR Points to Airlines and Hotels!

Although it is extremely annoying that the fee-free Chase Sapphire doesn’t allow you to transfer UR Points to Airlines or Hotels, I grudgingly have to give credit to Chase for figuring out how to encourage their Customers to not downgrade or cancel their Sapphire Preferred Cards.

Well played Chase, well played…

Thankfully for me because I have a Chase INK Bold Card in addition to the MileagePlus Explorer, Chase Freedom, & Chase Sapphire, I can still move all my Sapphire and Freedom Ultimate Rewards Points into the INK Bold account and then transfer them to any Airline or Hotel so crisis averted. 

However I understand that most people don’t have INK Bold Cards, so now before downgrading or canceling your Sapphire Preferred, you really have to look at your options.

When your $95 Annual Fee comes due for the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you now have 3 options:

  • Pay The $95 Annual Fee – This option will ensure that you continue to have all the benefits of the Sapphire Preferred including 7% annual dividend, no foreign transaction fee, and the ability to transfer UR Points to Airlines and Hotels at 1:1 ratio. Yes this option is not favorable, however the annual fee was originally waived for the first year and you did get 50,000 or more Ultimate Rewards Points for free, so $95 isn’t a terrible price to pay. This is probably the best option if you have no immediate travel plans coming up because for $95, you will have the flexibility to hold off transferring your UR Points until you know exactly which Airline or Hotel programs you want to use them for. 
  • Empty Out Your Account – This option would be best if you know you need a certain type of miles or hotel points in the next couple months. For example if you are 100% certain that you need United miles for an upcoming trip, then you might as well transfer all your UR Points to United and then downgrade or cancel your Sapphire Preferred Card.
  • Downgrade or Cancel Without Doing Anything – This option isn’t really recommended since you are losing the ability to transfer your UR Points to any UR Airline or Hotel partners. If you do downgrade to the fee-free version of the Chase Sapphire, you will still get to keep all your UR Points, but you will only be able to redeem them for gift cards, statement credits, vacation packages, etc. This is not recommend because all those redemption offers are worth substantially less than if you transferred your UR Points to Airline Miles or Hotel Points. 

I am curious to hear from Readers what their take on this is and what they plan on doing when their Annual Fee comes due.

Are there any other options I am forgetting?

-Parag