Use Ultimate Rewards Points or Transfer to United/Continental?

Not to be outdone by Sheldon’s booking frenzy, I did a little booking of my own last weekend.  I’ve mentioned that we’re planning a Western Carribbean cruise, which we got a screaming deal on at www.vacationstogo.com. I’ve been prowling flight fares from SLC to MSY (New Orleans) with some help from www.kayak.com fare alerts, but, like a lion ready to pounce, I’ve been waiting for the perfect moment.  I hoped to find a Delta flight for less than $400, so I could book them with my US Bank Flexpoints and take advantage of a possible first class upgrade thanks to my Delta Gold Status, but these are spring break dates and it just wasn’t happening.

I’ve also been checking reward fares in hopes of finding some 25k flights that work with my dates, but I haven’t been able to find them on AA, Delta, or United.  I was resigned to use my Ultimate Rewards points (courtesy of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card), which would save me roughly $700 off from two $485 flights. Not optimal, but I’m still working on the spending requirement to get my 50k Ultimate Rewards Points from the Chase Ink Bold Business Card.

I thought I’d try a last ditch effort and see what Continental had out there, though I fully expected it to be no different from United (since they’ve merged).  Yet, to my surprise, like shiny gold coins, there were some perfect 25k flights just waiting to be picked up.  I didn’t have to transfer 50k Ulitmate Reward points to United because I happened to have 50k miles from the United Mileage Plus card (offering a maximum of 40k at the moment) which I could use on Continental as well.

The way I see it, my 50k United miles were worth a total of $950 to me ($485 x 2. less a $20 booking fee) – Not bad for assets I had amassed with no expense.

That’s what’s nice about the flexibility of Chase’s Ultimate Reward Points – you can use them like cash or transfer them to United – either way they equate to free travel, something I just cannot get enough of.

If you’re new to WorldWanderlusting and Travel Hacking, you’re spellbound right now.  If you’re starting to get the hang of things, you’re realizing why we are so damned excited about all of this.  If you’re better at this than we are, you’re already planning your next trip.

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2 Responses to Use Ultimate Rewards Points or Transfer to United/Continental?

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