Hi Navigators! I use two major credit cards to book my flights, accommodations and rental cars. These two cards offer me the most value, but your situation may be different.
Updated: September 2020
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you book or buy something through these links, I earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you).
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
The first travel credit card I use is the Chase Sapphire Preferred. The Chase card is great for beginners and travel-hacking seasoned veterans. If you apply for the card at the right time, you can earn up to 60,000 bonus miles. However, the spending is higher than most cards at $4,000 in the first three months to be eligible. Chase requires a $99 per year fee to hold the power of the Sapphire Preferred card and its benefits. If $4,000 seems like too much, how about using the card to pay for utility or re-occurring monthly bills. Other ideas include car maintenance/repair, birthday gifts or my favorite, Christmas spending spree’s.
So, what I do is, I usually apply for a card in mid-November, before my Christmas shopping spree. That way, all of my purchases go towards earning those important travel miles for the following year.
Anyways, on to the Chase Ultimate Rewards Portal!
Chase rewards are great because they are incredibly flexible for award travel. You can transfer Chase point to 13 different airline and hotel travel partners. Those options make it easy to book everything from beach-side resorts to lie-flat business-class seats. But did you know you can use your Chase Ultimate Rewards points for more than just fancy hotels and expensive flights with travel partners?
The Chase travel portal is a powerful tool you can use to book rental cars, tours, event tickets, and more with Chase Ultimate Rewards points. It’s super easy to book travel on the Chase Ultimate Rewards site and in many cases it can cost fewer points to book through the travel portal instead of transferring your Chase points to travel partners.
Want insurance covered on your rental car insurance? Chase has your back.
Chase Ultimate Rewards points are our favorite transferable points for a lot of reasons. They transfer to lots of great travel partners and they’re easy to earn.
The bottom line is that Chase Reward points are useful for more than just airfare and hotels. You can use the Chase travel portal to book everything from rental cars to boat tours to vacation rentals. This makes it easy to use your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to save on the other travel expenses besides just flights and hotels.
A quick note, all these third-party resources are great, but sometimes booking directly through the airlines can get you the best deal. I’ve had luck booking directly with AA.com and also Southwest Airlines for some of the best deals to local destinations.
Travel Hack: Airlines are more likely to upgrade your seat or flight if you book directly through them instead of 3rd party sites like Expedia or Travelocity.
Whatever your preference; Bed and Breakfast, Hotels, Apartments, Campsites or a new friend’s couch, I can help you! Below you will find some of the best sites to book any of these accommodations. Use the links below!
Hotels.com is my preferred hotel partner for travelers looking for hotel accommodations. Pair this with the Capital One Venture card below and the more you book, the closer you are to a free nights stay.
Capital One Venture Card
The second card I always have in my wallet is the Capital One Venture card. Believe it or not, this was my second travel rewards card (2016) I ever used and I’m still using it today! With Capital One + hotels.com, I can earn free hotel nights and 10x the miles for each hotel I book. This is great value in my mind and I’ve earned over two free nights in the last year alone.
Now, that means I’ve been traveling a lot. So, pick your poison, but that’s the reason we are all here! Basically, the way it works is, after you stay at a hotels.com property 10 times, you get a free night for the average value of your 10 nights.
For all purchases with the Capital One Venture card, you are earning 2x the points for every dollar you spend. Like the Chase card, there is a $95 fee after the first year of ownership.
In addition to the hotels.com benefit, like my Chase card, I’m also covered for car rental insurance and trip protection. For those who travel internationally, Capital One offers a $!00 credit on Global Entry and TSA Pre-check.
If you can’t find a good use for your Capital One miles, feel free to transfer them to 10+ travel partners in the Capital One network. Talk about perks!
What other questions do you have about these two cards or travel rewards in general?