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Chase credit cards such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred have long been held in high esteem with travelers. The cards themselves offer great perks like 2x points on travel and dining, 1:1 point transfer to participating airlines, and no foreign transaction fees along with some stellar sign-up bonuses. But rewards are about to get even better because Chase Ultimate Rewards is now powered by Expedia.
What Does This Mean for Chase Cardholders?
The Chase Sapphire Preferred offers 50,000 bonus points in the first three months after $4,000 in spending. The Ink Business Preferred card offers 80,000 points in the first three months after $5,000 in spending. Add that to the streamlined and rewarding Ultimate Rewards portal with Expedia, and you have yourself a pretty good setup for earning and redeeming points for free travel.
That means cardholders will have all the tools and search options of Expedia available to them when booking travel. Since Expedia strives to make travel easier, more enjoyable, more attainable, and more accessible, this could be a win for Chase cardholders. After all, Expedia’s mission is to bring the world within reach to travelers across the globe. But what does this new partnership really mean for Chase Ultimate Rewards members?
What’s New Now That Chase Ultimate Rewards is Now Powered by Expedia
The new portal lets you search specifically for vacation rentals or flights based on preferred airlines. That’s moderately handy if you happen to be loyal to one particular airline. You can also sort hotels by more specific factors than before, including distance from downtown and whether accommodations are vacation properties.
The old version only allowed members to sort by star rating, recommendations, and price. Chase also said the new partnership will offer more options and flexibility than before.
Expedia owns Travelocity, Hotwire, Orbitz, and HomeAway, to name a few. It puts all the travel options you would find at just about any of their sites within reach of Ultimate Rewards members. Some have claimed the travel inventory will double from what it was. You can search for flights several months earlier than you could with the old system (11+ months compared to 9). That’s a plus for those who love to plan ahead.
Chase already has some of the best credit cards for travel miles, but Here’s what Chase cardholders can expect since Chase Ultimate Rewards is now powered by Expedia. According to Chase, you’ll be able to:
- The ability to search and redeem for travel across 272,000 lodging options around the world, more than 250 airlines, and dozens of car rental options.
- The opportunity to search and book more than 25,000 activities and tours, attractions, nightlife and more.
- Access to special discounts and seasonal offers from thousands of hotels and activities.
- Improved self-service options to cancel a hotel or car rental booking online. Plus, Ultimate Rewards travel within the Chase mobile app will be backed by Expedia Group’s leading technology.
- Increased flight fare and seat selection transparency with total trip cost displayed at check-out, making it easy to see the points and cash needed to redeem for travel. Plus, more flight search options by class, and opportunities to upgrade throughout the booking process, as well as integrated seat review content powered by SeatGuru.
- Enhanced self-help portal for basic travel questions, and 24/7 customer service phone support.
What Hasn’t Changed
Not enough points to pay for your whole trip? Even though Chase Ultimate Rewards is now powered by Expedia, you can still pay for travel with a combination of points and your Chase credit card. And you’ll still log into Chase Ultimate Rewards the same way you always have.
The bonus redemption points will also stay the same. Chase Sapphire Preferred points are still worth 1.25 cents in the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. For Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders, that bonus comes to 1.5 cents.
The Bottom Line
There will be more changes to come in the coming months. Also, the enhanced Expedia-powered experience is currently only available to Chase Freedom and Freedom Unlimited cardmembers. Chase Sapphire and Ink cardmembers will get access sometime in the next few months.
The major difference between the old and the new portal is the look and feel. However, the increased options will be evident as users really start searching. Take your time looking around as you get used to the new system and where to find information. If it’s everything Chase promises it will be, it should be an upgrade indeed.
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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.