Travel Freedom Tips

Chase Transfer Partners: Maximize the Value of Your Ultimate Rewards

chase transfer partners

You probably know by now that Chase Ultimate Rewards are the most valuable loyalty or reward point system of them all. The reason that they’re so valuable is that they’re the most flexible. When redeeming Ultimate Rewards, there are three options. The best redemption option is to convert points to the Chase transfer partners. There are 9 Chase airline partners and 3 Chase hotel partners. Ultimate Rewards can be redeemed for more than 2 cents per point with many of the Chase travel rewards partners.

 

Only 3 Chase Ultimate Rewards Credit Cards can use Chase Transfer Partners

Only three of the seven Ultimate Rewards credit cards come with the ability to use Chase transfer partners as a redemption option. While all seven of the Chase Ultimate Rewards credit cards are valuable in their own right, they’re not all created equal. There are two different styles of Ultimate Rewards cards. We like to call them primary cards and secondary cards. The main difference between primary Chase cards and secondary cards is the redemption value of points.

 

Because the primary Chase cards have the distinct advantage of having Ultimate Rewards transfer partners, they’re much more valuable for redemptions. The good news is that if you have both a primary card and a secondary card, you can transfer your Ultimate Rewards between the two. That means you can earn Ultimate Rewards with your secondary Chase card and then transfer them to your primary card account to redeem the Ultimate Rewards. If you already have a secondary card, it pays off to also get a primary Chase Ultimate Rewards credit card.

 

Primary Chase Cards have Ultimate Rewards Transfer Partners

  • Chase Transfer Partners are Available
  • Enhanced Redemption Values through the Chase Travel Portal (1.25-1.5 Cents per Point)

 

As mentioned above, primary Chase Ultimate Rewards cards have better redemption options. With a primary card, points can be redeemed in three ways. For cashback-like purchases including on Amazon, Apple, gift cards, or for experiences. These options get a points redemption value of 1 cent per point.

 

Ultimate Rewards can also be redeemed for travel in two ways. Through the Ultimate Rewards travel portal to book flights, hotels, cruises, and rental cars at a points redemption value of 1.25-1.5 cents per point.

 

The third way Ultimate Rewards can be redeemed with a primary Chase card is by transferring points to any of the 12 Ultimate Rewards travel partners. Redeeming points through the Chase travel partners gives a points redemption rate of up to 2 cents per point or more.

Sapphire Preferred 100k

 

Secondary Ultimate Rewards Credit Cards Don’t have Chase Travel Partners

  • Chase Transfer Partners are Not Available
  • Points Can be Transferred to a Primary Ultimate Rewards Card Account
  • 1 Cent per Point Redemption Value through the Chase Travel Portal

 

Secondary Ultimate Rewards credit cards aren’t quite as valuable when they’re by themselves. They only have the option to redeem points for the cashback-like purchases and through the Chase travel portal, both at a flat points redemption rate of just 1 cent per point.

 

They can, although, be paired with a primary card for redemptions at the elevated rates mentioned above by transferring points between cards. Remember that Ultimate Rewards can be transferred from your secondary card to your primary card account if you have both.

 

How About Chase Freedom Ultimate Rewards?

Any points you earn with a Chase Freedom card are secondary Ultimate Rewards. You’ll need to transfer them to a primary card account to be able to redeem with Chase transfer partners.

 

Let’s take a look at all of the Chase Ultimate Rewards credit cards to see which ones have Chase transfer partners and which ones don’t.

 Transfer Partners Available?
Chase Sapphire PreferredYes
Ink Business PreferredYes
Sapphire ReserveYes
Chase FreedomOnly by transferring points to a primary card
Freedom UnlimitedOnly by transferring points to a primary card
Ink Business CashOnly by transferring points to a primary card
Ink Business UnlimitedOnly by transferring points to a primary card

 

The three primary Ultimate Rewards credit cards that have the ability to use Chase transfer partners are the Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Reserve, and Ink Business Preferred. They all have higher redemption rates in the travel portal as well. Again, if you have both a secondary card and a primary card, you should always transfer points to the primary card for a better redemption.

 

Chase Transfer Partners

(Redeem at up to 2 cents per point or more)

We’ve learned that the best way to redeem Ultimate Rewards for travel is by transferring your points to the Chase rewards partner airlines and hotels. As mentioned previously, there are 12 Chase transfer partners. 9 are airlines and 4 are hotels. All Chase transfer partners have an exchange rate of 1:1 with Ultimate Rewards and most of them transfer instantly.

 

With this redemption method, you can get the most bang for your buck. This is why most frequent travelers regularly transfer their Ultimate Rewards to partners like Hyatt, British Airways, and Southwest Airlines to redeem their points for well over 2 cents per point.

 

For instance, my sister and brother-in-law used 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points that they earned from the Chase Sapphire Preferred signup bonus (now offers 60k), to fly round trip to Hawaii for their honeymoon (saving them $1,254). Their points redemption value for those Ultimate Rewards was over 2.5 cents per point! That’s 2.5X the value of alternatively redeeming them for cash back or gift cards.

 

Now that you know that using Chase transfer partners is the best way to get the most value out of your Ultimate Rewards, let’s find out what airlines and hotels are Chase transfer partners.

chase ultimate rewards airline partners

 

Chase Ultimate Rewards Airline Partners

 

 Transfer RatioTransfer Time
Aer Lingus1:1Instant
British Airways1:1Instant
Air France1:1Instant
Iberia1:1Instant
JetBlue1:1Instant
Singapore Airlines1:1Up to 2 days
Southwest1:1Instant
United1:1Instant
Virgin Atlantic1:1Instant

 

Transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards: Aer Lingus – AerClub Avios

  • Average Point Value: 1.5 cents per point
  • Example Redemption: Boston, Chicago, Newark, or New York City to Dublin, Ireland round trip: 26,000 Avios

Transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards: British Airways – Executive Club Avios

  • Average Point Value: 1.5 cents per point
  • Example Redemption: West Coast US to Hawaii round trip: 25,000 Avios

Transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards: Air France – Flying Blue

  • Average Point Value: 1.2 cents per point
  • Example Redemption: Continental US to Mexico round trip: 25,000 Flying Blue miles

Transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards: Iberia – Plus Avios

  • Average Point Value: 1.5 cents per point
  • Example Redemption: New York City to Casablanca, Morocco round trip: 46,000 Avios

Transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards: JetBlue – TrueBlue

  • Average Point Value: 1.3 cents per point
  • Example Redemption: New York City to Havana, Cuba round trip: 11,000 TrueBlue miles

Transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards: Singapore Airlines – Krisflyer

  • Average Point Value: 1.4 cents per point
  • Example Redemption: Continental US to Hawaii round trip: 35,000 KrisFlyer miles

Transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards: Southwest – Rapid Rewards

  • Average Point Value: 1.5 cents per point
  • Example Redemption: Anywhere in the US, Carribean, Mexico, and Hawaii (soon): Variable miles

Transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards: United – MileagePlus

  • Average Point Value: 1.4 cents per point
  • Example Redemption: Continental US to San Jose, Costa Rica round trip: 35,000 MileagePlus Miles

Transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards: Virgin Atlantic – Flying Club

  • Average Point Value: 1.5 cents per point
  • Example Redemption: Miami, Orlando, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, or San Francisco to Europe round trip: 42,500 Flying Club miles

 

The Best Chase Airline Partners

  • British Airways
  • United
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Southwest

 

There are a few airlines that stand out as the best Chase airline partners. British Airways is excellent for short-haul flights as they have a distance based award chart. They’re also great for flights from the West Coast to Hawaii or from the East Coast to Europe. United Airline has a ton of options for flights using miles with good redemption rates. Singapore Airlines has great luxury class flight options or other airline partner flights with good redemption rates. Southwest is on the list because if you have a Southwest Companion Pass, your points will be worth double on Southwest flights with your companion.

chase ultimate rewards hotel partners

 

Chase Ultimate Rewards Hotel Partners

 

 Transfer RatioTransfer Time
Hyatt1:1Instant
IHG1:11 day
Marriott1:12 days
Ritz-Carlton1:12 days

 

Transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards: Hyatt – World of Hyatt 

  • Average Point Value: 1.7 cents per point
  • Example Redemption: Andaz Costa Rica Resort at Peninsula Papagayo: 15,000 points per night

Transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards: IHG – Rewards Club

  • Average Point Value: 0.6 cents per point
  • Example Redemption: PointsBreaks hotel specials: 5,000, 10,000, or 15,000 points per night

Transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards: Marriott – Bonvoy (Marriott, SPG, Ritz-Carlton)

  • Average Point Value: 0.8 cents per point
  • Example Redemption:  JW Marriott Hotel Hanoi, Vietnam: 15,000 points per night (off-peak)

 

The Best Chase Hotel Partner

Hyatt is by far the best Chase hotel partner to transfer Ultimate Rewards into. Ultimate Rewards through Hyatt have an average points redemption rate more than double that of the other two hotel chains. They also have points + cash redemptions, suite redemptions, all-inclusive resort redemptions, and suite upgrades using points. Whenever we use points for a hotel, we try to use Hyatt because the points go much further.

 

Our go-to hotel brand is Hyatt Place, which can typically be found for 12,000 points per night. We like them because their properties are very clean, modern, comfortable, and most important – consistent.

 

How to Transfer Ultimate Rewards to Chase Travel Partners

It’s very simple to transfer your Ultimate Rewards points to any of the Chase travel partners. First, find your desired redemption flight or hotel with the travel partner, making sure it is available with points before transferring. Once you transfer Ultimate Rewards to a travel partner, they can’t be transferred back to Ultimate Rewards. Below is a step by step guide through transferring Ultimate Rewards to the Chase transfer partners.

  1. Sign in to your Ultimate Rewards account.
  2. Click “Transfer to Travel Partners” in the upper menu.
  3. Find your airline or hotel and click “Transfer Points”.
  4. Enter the recipient and membership number.
  5. Then select the number of Ultimate Rewards you’d like to transfer and click continue.
  6. Your transfer is complete! Most points transfer instantly but check the table above for each programs timeline.

chase transfer partners

 

Sapphire vs Ink vs Freedom: Which Chase Ultimate Rewards Cards are Best for What?

So, you want as many Ultimate Rewards as possible but aren’t sure which credit card is the best. Luckily for you, they’re all great cards in their own right. Each one has its own qualities that make it a good credit card. We’ve listed all seven Chase Ultimate Rewards cards and listed what each is best at. Surprisingly, all seven cards have features worthy of an award.

 

Ink Business Preferred: Best signup bonus at 80,000 points!

Chase Sapphire Preferred: Best first travel credit card (60,000 signup bonus)

Chase Sapphire Reserve: Best luxury travel card loaded with benefits for frequent travelers (50,000 signup bonus)

Ink Business Cash: Best business card for earning bonus Ultimate Rewards on purchases (50,000 signup bonus)

Chase Freedom: Best personal card for earning bonus Ultimate Rewards on purchases (15,000 signup bonus)

Ink Business Unlimited: Best simple to use business credit card for spending with 1.5 points on all purchases (50,000 signup bonus)

Chase Freedom Unlimited: Best simple to use personal credit card for spending with 1.5 points on all purchases (15,000 signup bonus)

 

Chase transfer partners are the way to maximize your Ultimate Rewards redemptions. Transferring can more than double the value of your points compared to cash back or the Chase travel portal. Once you get some Chase Ultimate Rewards, where will you redeem yours?

Chase Freedom Calendar 2019: How to 5X Your Ultimate Rewards

chase freedom calendar 2019

Are you looking for the current Chase Freedom Calendar?  We have the current Chase Freedom rewards calendar as well as all the old calendars dating back to 2013.  The Chase Freedom is a great credit card for earning Chase Ultimate Rewards points on purchases. It earns 5X points on quarterly rotating category bonuses. Over the years these bonuses have ranged from grocery stores to gas stations. From movie theaters to Amazon. And, from restaurants to warehouse stores.

 

Not only does the Chase Freedom credit card have great category bonuses, but it also has no annual fee. Remember to activate your card each quarter. You’ll be reminded through email so it shouldn’t be too hard to remember. Here is the current Chase Freedom cash back calendar: (Remember to activate each quarter)

 

Chase Freedom Calendar 2019

The 2019 Chase Freedom Calendar offers a couple of popular quarterly category bonuses in quarter 1. Drugstores and gas stations should be easy to utilize. Tolls really depend on where you live. Not seeing Chase Pay on the list is a bit surprising. It should be possible to maximize the bonuses each quarter. I’ve marked categories that sell gift cards to other stores (*):

  1. Gas Stations*, Tolls, Drugstores*
  2. Expected Announcement in March
  3. Not Announced Yet
  4. Not Announced Yet

 

Here’s What the Chase Freedom Card Offers

Chase Freedom

Introductory Offer:

You'll earn $150 (in the form of 15,000 Ultimate Rewards points) after spending $500 in the first 3 months.

Rewards:

You'll earn 5% on rotating quarterly categories. (up to $1500 in purchases per quarter)

Benefits:

Points can be transferred to primary Chase cards for better redemptions.

Free credit score.

Annual Fee:

No annual fee

Our Thoughts:

This is one of the best "cash back" cards for earning rewards. You can earn up to 5X per dollar and those points can be transferred to a primary Chase card for better redemptions. It's a perfect card to pair with either of the Sapphire cards or the Ink Business Preferred.
LEARN MORE >>

 

Did You Know: You Can Multiply the Value of Your Ultimate Rewards?

Not everyone knows about it, but there’s a secret trick that can double the value of your Chase Ultimate Rewards. Chase Ultimate Rewards are worth just 1 cent each when redeemed using the Chase Freedom card.  Even though Chase doesn’t announce it, your Ultimate Rewards points are transferable between different Chase card accounts. They’re even transferable between different peoples’ accounts (household members). This is important because, with some of the premium Chase credit cards, it’s possible to redeem points at a higher value.

 

Double Your Ultimate Rewards Value

If you redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards through the travel portal. Only certain Chase credit cards have access to the travel portal though. The Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Ink Preferred offers 1.25 cents per points (25% more value) while the Chase Sapphire Reserve offers a whopping 1.5 cents per point (50% more value) by redeeming points through the travel portal!

Chase Freedom Rewards Calendar

 

Credit Cards with Chase Travel Portal Bonuses:

 

All three of these credit cards also come with the ability to use Chase’s travel transfer partners. You can transfer Ultimate Rewards to these travel partners at a 1:1 ratio. By using your points with airlines or hotels it’s possible to redeem points for well over 2 cents each. Pairing these premium Chase credit cards with your Freedom card multiplies your redemption value by double more.

 

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Introductory Offer:

You'll earn 60,000 points after spending $4000 in the first 3 months.

Rewards:

You'll earn 2X points on travel and dining.

Benefits:

Points are worth 25% more when used in the Chase travel portal.

No foreign transaction fees.

1:1 point transfer partner hotels and airlines.

Annual Fee:

$95

Our Thoughts:

This is the best first travel credit card to get. It has a valuable signup bonus with easy to redeem points. You also get a boost to your points value in the Chase travel portal.
LEARN MORE >>

 

Chase Sapphire Reserve

Introductory Offer:

You'll earn 50,000 points after spending $4000 in the first 3 months.

Rewards:

You'll earn 3X points on travel and dining.

Benefits:

$300 annual travel credit.

Priority Pass Select airport lounge access.

TSA PreCheck or Global Entry.

Points are worth 50% more when used in the Chase travel portal.

No foreign transaction fees.

1:1 point transfers to partner hotels and airlines.

Annual Fee:

$450

Our Thoughts:

This is one of the best premium travel credit cards if you want some luxury. It has a valuable signup bonus with easy to redeem points. You also get a boost to your points value in the Chase travel portal. The biggest key to this card is the airport lounge access. If you travel a lot, it's extremely valuable.
LEARN MORE >>

 

Ink Business Preferred

Introductory Offer:

You'll earn 80,000 points after spending $5000 in the first 3 months.

Rewards:

You'll earn 3X points on travel and select business expenses (including online social media ads).
*Limited to first $150k per year.

Benefits:

Points are worth 25% more when used in the Chase travel portal.
No foreign transaction fees.
Employee cards at no additional cost.

Annual Fee:

$95

Our Thoughts:

The signup bonus alone for this card is amazing. Pair that with some great rewards earning for your business and this card is great. If you have a business, we find the Ink Preferred to be the best offer available.
LEARN MORE >>

 

Past Chase Freedom 5% Calendars

If you’re interested, here’s what was offered in the past. The Chase Freedom calendar’s category bonuses have evolved over the years. For the most part, the offers have become better and better. Having the Chase Freedom in your wallet has been quite the benefit over the past few years if you were able to maximize it’s category bonuses.  Each year it’s possible to earn up to 30,000 points, which is more than enough to take a round-trip flight.

 

Chase Freedom Calendar 2018

2018  was the year of Chase Pay as it was a bonus category three out of four quarters.

  1. Gas Stations, Internet/Cable/Phone Services, Chase Pay/Google Pay/Apple Pay/Samsung Pay
  2. Grocery Stores (not including Walmart & Target), Paypal, Chase Pay
  3. Gas Stations, Lyft, Walgreens
  4. Department Stores, Wholesale Clubs, Chase Pay

Chase Freedom Calendar wide

 

Chase Freedom Calendar 2017

2017 was a good year for maximizing the bonus categories each quarter. It also introduced Walmart as a category bonus in quarter 4:

  1. Gas Stations, Transportation
  2. Grocery Stores, Drugstores
  3. Restaurants, Movie Theaters
  4. Walmart, Department Stores

Chase Freedom Calendar 2017

 

Chase Freedom Calendar 2016

2016 was very similar to the previous year.  It gave a decent shot at reaching the maximum bonus rewards each quarter.  Wholesale clubs were very popular:

  1. Gas Stations, Transportation
  2. Grocery Stores, Wholesale Clubs
  3. Restaurants, Wholesale Clubs
  4. Department Stores, Wholesale Clubs, Drug Stores

Chase Freedom Calendar 2016

 

Chase Freedom Calendar 2015

In 2015 the categories got a little bit better.  There was a real chance of maximizing the category bonuses:

  1. Grocery Stores, Movie Theaters, Starbucks
  2. Restaurants, Bed Bath & Beyond, H&M, Overstock.com
  3. Gas Stations, etc
  4. Amazon.com, etc

Chase Freedom Calendar 2015

 

Chase Freedom Calendar 2014

2014 was a little more useful than 2013, giving customers a better chance of maximizing their bonuses each quarter:

  1. Gas Stations, Movie Theaters, Starbucks
  2. Restaurants, Lowe’s
  3. Gas Stations, Kohl’s
  4. Amazon.com, Zappos.com, Select Department Stores

Chase Freedom Calendar 2014

 

Chase Freedom Calendar 2013

2013 brought us a selection of category bonuses, but some of them were difficult to maximize.

  1. Gas Stations, Drugstores, Starbucks
  2. Restaurants, Movie Theaters
  3. Gas Stations, Theme Parks, Kohl’s
  4. Select Department Stores, Amazon.com

Chase Freedom Calendar 2013

 

As you can see, having a Chase Freedom credit card can pay off. Earning 5X points on many purchases can earn you a free round-trip flight each year or more. When you bundle your Freedom card with other premier Chase credit cards, you can redeem those points for even more. The Chase Ultimate Rewards system is the best in the market. The Chase Freedom is one of the easiest ways to earn Ultimate Rewards. If you don’t have one yet, you should think about adding it to your wallet.

What is a Chase Ultimate Rewards Promo Code? (2019)

chase ultimate rewards promo code

Have you ever been on the checkout page of the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal and noticed a box to enter a Chase Ultimate Rewards Promo Code? When I see promo code boxes of any online checkout, it makes me wonder if I’m missing out on a discount of some sort.

 

Well, when it comes to Chase Ultimate Rewards Promo codes, you’re probably not missing out on anything. There have only been a few times in recent years that there was actually a live Ultimate Rewards promotion code, and they were all targeted.

 

Past Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Promo Codes

Most likely you won’t find a current Chase Ultimate Rewards promo code because they don’t offer them very often. As mentioned, over the past few years, there have only been a handful of Chase Ultimate Rewards travel promo codes. Here are some of the previous offers.

  • $100 off a hotel stay of $300 or more
  • $30 off a hotel or flight booking

 

Chase Ultimate Rewards Promo Code on Amazon Purchases

LIVE OFFER: (You may need to link your accounts before the offer is activated)

Amazon Chase Ultimate Rewards Promo Code Price: 15 OFF ($60 purchase) Use 1 Ultimate Reward point to get $15 Off your $60 Amazon purchase. (Targeted Offer) Amazon Chase Ultimate Rewards Promo Code Last Updated: 01/15/2019

 

PS: There is also a LIVE OFFER for Amex Membership Rewards. ($30 off $60 purchase)

 

There have also been a few promos in the past that give a discount on Amazon when you redeem at least one Ultimate Rewards point towards the purchase. These Chase Ultimate Rewards promo codes are typically found within your Amazon account if you’ve linked your accounts. At checkout or on the product page, you’ll typically see an offer saying something like “Use Chase Ultimate Rewards to get $15 off your purchase of $60 or more”.

 

These Amazon offers, like the other Chase Travel Rewards promo codes, are also targeted. They will not be offered to everyone. A good place to find out if there’s a current offer is on Slick Deals where you can search for “Ultimate Rewards Promo Code”.

 

How to Get Targeted for a Chase Rewards Promo Code

There’s a chance that Chase has had other targeted Ultimate Rewards promo codes on occasion. If you were a targeted Chase customer, they would email to you directly with an Ultimate Rewards promo code. To see if you’ve been targeted for any of these promotions in the past, do a simple search within your email for something like “Chase Promo Code” or “Ultimate Rewards Promo Code”. Any emails that contain those words will show in the results.

chase ultimate rewards promotion code

 

Which Credit Cards Earn Ultimate Rewards?

If you want more Chase Ultimate Rewards, there are seven credit cards that earn them. There are four personal credit cards and three business cards that offer Ultimate Rewards signup bonuses. The signup bonuses range from 15,000 points all the way up to 80,000 Ultimate Rewards. Here are each of those cards and their signup bonus offers.

 

The Personal Cards that Earn Chase Ultimate Rewards

 Sapphire Preferred
Sapphire Reserve
Chase Freedom
Freedom Unlimited
Signup Bonus60,00050,000$150 (15,000 pts)$150 (15,000 pts)
Bonus Spending Categories2X on travel and dining3X on travel and dining5X on select rotating quarterly categories1.5X on all purchases
Annual Fee$95$450$0$0
Extra PerksBaggage insurance, trip insurance, rental car insurance$300 annual travel credit, TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, Priority Pass SelectIntroductory APR offerPurchase protection, extended warranty
Best for People Who...Want a large introductory bonus

Like to Travel
Want a large introductory bonus

Want luxury travel benefits

Travel often
Want no annual fee

Also have a Sapphire card

Want to earn bonus points on spend
Want no annual fee

Also have a Sapphire card

Want simplicity in earning points
Learn More >>Learn More >>Learn More >>Learn More >>

 

The Business Cards that Earn Chase Ultimate Rewards

 Ink Bus. Preferred
Ink Business Cash
Ink Bus. Unlimited
Signup Bonus80,000$500 (50,000 pts)$500 (50,000 pts)
Bonus Spending Categories3X on travel, shipping, internet, cable, phone, and online ads5X on office supply stores, phone, internet, and cable, 2X on gas and dining.1.5X on all purchases
Annual Fee$95$0$0
Extra PerksCell phone protection
Primary Car Rental Insurance
Travel Insurances
Introductory APR OfferPurchase protection, extended warranty, free employee cards
Best for People Who...Want a huge introductory bonus

Spend money advertising online

Want cell phone accident coverage
Want a large introductory bonus

Want no annual fee

Spend money at office supply stores
Want a large introductory bonus

Want no annual fee

Want simplicity in earning through spend
Learn More >>Learn More >>Learn More >>

 

Credit card signup bonuses are by far the easiest way to earn Chase Ultimate Rewards. Some of the signup bonuses are worth more than $1000 in travel if you redeem them with Chase travel partners. For example, you can book a roundtrip flight from the west coast to Hawaii for just 25,000 Ultimate Rewards.

 

Why Ultimate Rewards are the Best Travel Points

Chase Ultimate Rewards is the best loyalty program of all travel points systems. Ultimate Rewards are so valuable because they’re easy to earn and are so flexible to redeem. There are four ways to earn Ultimate Rewards and three ways to redeem them. Chase Ultimate Rewards are just easy to use.

 

Earning Ultimate Rewards

There are four ways to earn Ultimate Rewards. They can be earned through travel credit card signup bonuses, credit card spending, the online Chase shopping portal, and through referring friends to Chase Ultimate Rewards credit cards. After earning Ultimate Rewards, there are three different ways to redeem them.

  1. Credit Card Signup Bonuses
  2. Credit Card Spending
  3. Chase Shopping Portal
  4. Refer a Friend

 

Earning Ultimate Rewards is done most simply by signing up for Chase Ultimate Rewards travel credit cards. There are primary Ultimate Rewards credit cards and secondary Ultimate Rewards cards. The difference is that the primary cards have more options for redeeming points. They are the only cards that offer Chase transfer partners and they have elevated redemption rates in the Chase travel portal.

 

Redeeming Ultimate Rewards

There are three ways to redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards. The two options that involve travel will earn great point redemption rates of 1-2+ cents per point and one option that is essentially cash back will give an average redemption rate of just 1 cent per point. Redeeming Chase Ultimate Rewards for travel is by far the best option if you’re looking to get the most value out of your points.

  1. Chase Travel Portal
  2. Chase Transfer Partners
  3. Cashback-Like Redemptions

 

By far, the most valuable way to redeem Ultimate Rewards is to transfer them to travel partners. There are 13 partner airline and hotel loyalty programs to choose from. They all transfer at a ratio of 1:1 with Ultimate Rewards. You can also book travel through Chase directly, or use your points for cash back, but these redemption options aren’t as valuable as transferring to partners.

chase rewards promo code

 

Learn More about Chase Ultimate Rewards

As you’ve seen, Chase Ultimate Rewards are very valuable. They are easy to earn and also easy to redeem, making them the most flexible travel points around. If you want to learn how to earn and redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards like a pro, check out our epic guide that covers everything “Ultimate Rewards”. If you’ve already heard enough and are ready to start earning Ultimate Rewards, go ahead and apply for one or more of the credit cards mentioned above.

Chase Sapphire Preferred 100k Signup Bonus is Gone Forever

Chase Sapphire Preferred 100k

While there is no Chase Sapphire Preferred 100k offer anymore, it’s still a very valuable card with a signup bonus of 60k Ultimate Rewards. The Chase Sapphire Preferred is known as the best first travel credit card to get. This is due to the high signup bonus, the ability to redeem its points at a high value, and the lower annual fee at $95. At Travel Freedom, we absolutely see it as the best first travel credit card in the travel industry. If you’re looking to travel more and want to do it for free, listen up. The Chase Sapphire Preferred might just be the card you’ve been looking for.

 

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Introductory Offer:

You'll earn 60,000 points after spending $4000 in the first 3 months.

Rewards:

You'll earn 2X points on travel and dining.

Benefits:

Points are worth 25% more when used in the Chase travel portal.

No foreign transaction fees.

1:1 point transfer partner hotels and airlines.

Annual Fee:

$95

Our Thoughts:

This is the best first travel credit card to get. It has a valuable signup bonus with easy to redeem points. You also get a boost to your points value in the Chase travel portal.
LEARN MORE >>

 

What Makes the Chase Sapphire Preferred a Good Credit Card?

Redemption versatility is the number one reason that the Chase Sapphire Preferred is the best first travel credit card is that it’s so easy to redeem points. It’s a good card for people who are new to traveling with points because it is so easy to use. Ultimate Rewards points can be redeemed in a few ways. They can be redeemed through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal for a fixed rate of 1.25 cents per point, for cash-back and gift cards, or by converting points to Chases transfer partners. Transferring to the travel partners can net an average redemption of over 2 cents per point. Both non-cash-back options give an elevated redemption value over 1 cent per point. If you’re willing to put in a little bit of effort to research airline award charts, you’ll get the most out of your points by using transfer partners.

Chase Sapphire Preferred 100k signup bonus

 

Redeem Ultimate Rewards in the Travel Portal (1.25 cents/pt value)

At an elevated rate of 1.25 cents per point, redeeming through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal is a good option. Through the travel portal, you can book flights, hotels, car rentals, and more. It allows you to use your points for travel while keeping things very simple. You won’t have to understand how hotel and airline reward systems work to book travel with points.

 

Ultimate Rewards Travel Transfer Partners (~2 cents/pt value)

By transferring your points into an Ultimate Rewards Transfer Partner, you’ll have the opportunity to redeem your points for 2 cents per point. There are currently 13 different travel transfer partners, including 9 airlines and 4 hotel chains. Ultimate Rewards points transfer to all of the partners at a 1:1 ratio. Regularly, my wife and I transfer our points to the Ultimate Rewards travel partners. We most often transfer them to British Airways (to use their US travel partners for flights) and Hyatt Hotels (to get free nights). We’ve found that by using these two transfer partners, we often get more than 2 cents of value per point.

 

Chase Airline Transfer Partners

chase ultimate rewards transfer partner airlines

Chase Hotel Transfer Partners

chase ultimate reward transfer partner hotels

 

 

Other Ultimate Rewards Redemption Options (1 cent/pt value)

There are a few other redemption options that don’t involve travel. They also aren’t redeemable for as much value as the travel options. Points can be redeemed for cash back, to spend on Amazon, to spend on exclusive experiences, or to purchase gift cards. All of these options have a fixed redemption value of just 1 cent per point. I wouldn’t recommend using your points this way unless you don’t like to travel, because it’s not as valuable.

 

Earn Spending Bonuses on Travel and Dining

This card will give you more than just the Chase Sapphire Reserve 100k 60k signup bonus. It has a couple of valuable spending bonus categories. You’ll earn 2X points on all travel and dining purchases. I’m sure you spend money on these two quite a bit.

  • Travel: The travel bonus counts for flights, trains, taxi’s, other transportation, hotels, and much more.
  • Dining: Dining is considered anything purchased from restaurants, bars, cafes, fast food restaurants, restaurant delivery services like (Caviar, Eat24, GrubHub, Postmates, Seamless), and even from vending machines.

I’m going to guess that you spend some money on both travel and dining occasionally. Spending bonuses are a great way to earn some extra Ultimate Rewards without really doing anything. By earning 2X points on these purchases and then redeeming Ultimate Rewards at a value of 2 cents each, you’re essentially earning 6% back on those purchases. 4% value back on a credit card is unheard of!

Chase Sapphire Preferred 100k bonus

 

Combine Other Chase Credit Cards with the Sapphire Preferred

One more reason that the Chase Sapphire Preferred is one of the best travel credit cards is that there are many other Chase credit cards that pair very nicely with the Sapphire Preferred. There are six other Chase credit cards that also earn Ultimate Rewards. There are three other personal cards and three business cards. They all have their own set of great features and earning potential. Between my wife and I, we have at least one of each of these cards. This allows us to earn category bonuses on almost every purchase we make. We also earned over 350,000 Ultimate Rewards just from signup bonuses!

6 More Credit Cards that Earn Chase Ultimate Rewards

 

Ultimate Rewards Can Be Transferred Between Card Accounts

The best part of pairing up multiple Chase credit cards, is that the Ultimate Rewards from one card account can be transferred and combined with the points in another card account. For instance, you can earn Ultimate Rewards with the Chase Freedom (which normally doesn’t have transfer partners available) and transfer them over to your Chase Sapphire Preferred account to redeem them (either with the 25% portal bonus or with transfer partners).

Three of the Chase Ultimate Rewards credit cards have higher redemption rates in the travel portal. The Chase Sapphire Preferred and Ink Business Preferred both give a value of 1.25 cents per point when redeemed through the travel portal, while the Sapphire Reserve gives an even higher 1.5 cents per point value. While four of these credit cards are technically listed as cash back cards, you’ll still earn Ultimate Rewards. These “cash back” Ultimate Rewards can be transferred to any of the three premium card accounts to get the full Ultimate Rewards experience.

 

Other Ultimate Rewards Credit Card Offers

Chase Freedom

Introductory Offer:

You'll earn $150 (in the form of 15,000 Ultimate Rewards points) after spending $500 in the first 3 months.

Rewards:

You'll earn 5% on rotating quarterly categories. (up to $1500 in purchases per quarter)

Benefits:

Points can be transferred to primary Chase cards for better redemptions.

Free credit score.

Annual Fee:

No annual fee

Our Thoughts:

This is one of the best "cash back" cards for earning rewards. You can earn up to 5X per dollar and those points can be transferred to a primary Chase card for better redemptions. It's a perfect card to pair with either of the Sapphire cards or the Ink Business Preferred.
LEARN MORE >>

This rewards card pairs well with the Chase Sapphire Preferred 100k 60k Offer. Learn more about this card and find out how to apply HERE.

Chase Freedom Unlimited

Introductory Offer:

You'll earn $150 (in the form of 15,000 Ultimate Rewards points) after spending $500 in the first 3 months.

Rewards:

You'll earn 1.5% back on all purchases. No limit.

Benefits:

Points can be transferred to primary Chase cards for better redemptions.

Free credit score.

Annual Fee:

No annual fee

Our Thoughts:

This is one of the best "cash back" cards for earning rewards. You earn 1.5% per dollar and those points can be transferred to a primary Chase card for better redemptions. It's a perfect card to pair with either of the Sapphire cards or the Ink Business Preferred.
LEARN MORE >>

This rewards card pairs well with the Chase Sapphire Preferred 100k 60k Offer. Learn more about this card and find out how to apply HERE.

 

Chase Sapphire Reserve

Introductory Offer:

You'll earn 50,000 points after spending $4000 in the first 3 months.

Rewards:

You'll earn 3X points on travel and dining.

Benefits:

$300 annual travel credit.

Priority Pass Select airport lounge access.

TSA PreCheck or Global Entry.

Points are worth 50% more when used in the Chase travel portal.

No foreign transaction fees.

1:1 point transfers to partner hotels and airlines.

Annual Fee:

$450

Our Thoughts:

This is one of the best premium travel credit cards if you want some luxury. It has a valuable signup bonus with easy to redeem points. You also get a boost to your points value in the Chase travel portal. The biggest key to this card is the airport lounge access. If you travel a lot, it's extremely valuable.
LEARN MORE >>

This rewards card pairs well with the Chase Sapphire Preferred 100k 60k Offer. Learn more about this card and find out how to apply HERE.

 

Ink Business Preferred

Introductory Offer:

You'll earn 80,000 points after spending $5000 in the first 3 months.

Rewards:

You'll earn 3X points on travel and select business expenses (including online social media ads).
*Limited to first $150k per year.

Benefits:

Points are worth 25% more when used in the Chase travel portal.
No foreign transaction fees.
Employee cards at no additional cost.

Annual Fee:

$95

Our Thoughts:

The signup bonus alone for this card is amazing. Pair that with some great rewards earning for your business and this card is great. If you have a business, we find the Ink Preferred to be the best offer available.
LEARN MORE >>

This rewards card pairs well with the Chase Sapphire Preferred 100k 60k Offer. Learn more about this card and find out how to apply HERE.

 

Ink Business Cash

Introductory Offer:

You'll earn $150 (in the form of 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points) after spending $3000 in the first 3 months.

Rewards:

You'll earn 5X points on internet, cable, phone, and office supply stores.
*Limited to first $25k per year.

Earn 2X at gas stations and restaurants.
*Limited to first $25k per year.

Benefits:

Points can be transferred to primary Chase card accounts for better redemption.

Introductory APR offer.

Employee cards at no additional cost.

Annual Fee:

No annual fee

Our Thoughts:

The signup bonus on this no-fee card is amazing. Pair that with some great 5X reward categories for your business and this card is great. This card pairs well with the Chase Sapphire cards and the Ink Preferred.
LEARN MORE >>

This business rewards card pairs well with the Chase Sapphire Preferred 100k 60k Offer. Learn more about this card and find out how to apply HERE.

 

Ink Business Unlimited

Introductory Offer:

You'll earn $150 (in the form of 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points) after spending $3000 in the first 3 months.

Rewards:

You'll earn 1.5X on all purchases. No limit.

Benefits:

Points can be transferred to primary Chase card accounts for better redemption.

Introductory APR offer.

Employee cards at no additional cost.

Annual Fee:

No annual fee

Our Thoughts:

The signup bonus on this no-fee card is amazing. Pair that with 1.5X rewards on every purchase for your business and this card is great. This card pairs well with the Chase Sapphire cards and the Ink Preferred.
LEARN MORE >>

This rewards card pairs well with the Chase Sapphire Preferred 100k 60k Offer. Learn more about this card and find out how to apply HERE.

 

Keep It Simple with Chase Ultimate Rewards Cards

As you can see, there are many reasons why the Chase Sapphire Preferred is the best first travel credit card to have. It has a great introductory offer with a reasonable minimum spending requirement. The annual fee is moderate. The 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points earned through the signup bonus are very valuable when used for travel. In fact, they are enough points to take multiple trips if spent efficiently.

Because there are so many other Chase credit cards that earn Ultimate Rewards, it makes the Chase Sapphire Preferred a good base card. Just by earning Ultimate Rewards, you’ll be able to earn free travel for a long time to come. Between the signup bonuses mentioned above, there are currently 320,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points available. That only includes the signup bonuses. You can earn even more points on purchases with spending category bonuses. If you want to travel more, start traveling using Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

Sapphire Preferred 100k

 

Don’t Forget About the Chase 5/24 Rule

Chase has an unwritten rule, known as the “Chase 5/24 Rule”, that only allows you to be approved for a Chase-branded credit card if you have less than five new credit cards opened within the last 24 months. The five credit cards opened don’t just include Chase credit cards, it includes nearly all credit cards. Small business credit cards don’t count toward the five card limit, but the Chase 5/24 rule does come into effect when applying for a business card.

Chase 5/24 Rule FAQ’s

Can I apply for 2 Chase credit cards on the same day when I’m 4/24 and get approved for both?

  • Data suggests you can, however, we recommend not pushing the line and only apply for one Chase card at a time. People have reported having their account shut down for applying for too much credit.

Can I apply the day my 5/24 limit drops off?

  • Preferably wait until the first day of the next month to apply.

I’m over the 5/24 rule limit, can I be approved for a card from another bank?

  • Yes. Approvals for credit cards from other banks besides Chase are not impacted by your 5/24 score. Each bank has its own set of rules for approval.

Do Chase business cards count toward my 5/24 score?

  • No. Being approved for a Chase business card will not add to your 5/24 limit. However, to get approved for a Chase business card you must be below the 5/24 limit.

 

The Chase Sapphire Preferred 100k 60k Signup Bonus is Still a Great Offer

While the Chase Preferred 100k signup bonus is no longer available, 60k points is still an excellent offer. At a value of at least $750, it’s well above the average when it comes to credit card signup bonuses. When spent through travel partners, the signup bonus can be worth over $1000.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred was the first travel credit card I ever applied for. It gave me a good amount of free travel and was also a good base card to start earning other Ultimate Rewards and transferring them into my Sapphire Preferred account. Now my wife and I have all of the cards above and have an abundance to Ultimate Rewards to spend on free travel.

If you’re someone who wants to travel more, this will be a great credit card to get you started. It sure was for me. The Chase Sapphire Preferred 100k 60k offer is still well worth the application. It’s the best first travel credit card for people who are looking to start traveling more.

Chase Ink vs Sapphire: The Battle for the Best Ultimate Rewards Card

chase ink vs sapphire

There are five Chase credit cards that earn at least 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points from the signup bonus alone. Two of them are personal Chase Sapphire credit cards and three are business Chase Ink credit cards. All five of these Chase Ultimate Rewards cards earn top ranks when it comes to travel credit cards. Out of the five, we’ll analyze each card and determine which comes out on top in the battle of Chase Ink vs Sapphire.

  • Ink Business Preferred – 80,000 Point Signup Bonus
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred – 60,000 Point Signup Bonus
  • Ink Business Cash – 50,000 Point Signup Bonus
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve – 50,000 Point Signup Bonus
  • Ink Business Unlimited – 50,000 Point Signup Bonus

 

As you can see, the Ink Preferred card has the highest signup bonus. All of these cards have their own benefits. Let’s start comparing them.

 

Chase Sapphire: Personal Credit Cards

There are two versions of the Chase Sapphire credit card. The all-around good credit card in the Sapphire Preferred, and the ultra-premium credit card in the Sapphire Reserve. They’re both excellent travel credit cards in their own ways. It just depends on what you, the consumer, prefer. Let’s see what they have to offer.

 

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Introductory Offer:

You'll earn 60,000 points after spending $4000 in the first 3 months.

Rewards:

You'll earn 2X points on travel and dining.

Benefits:

Points are worth 25% more when used in the Chase travel portal.

No foreign transaction fees.

1:1 point transfer partner hotels and airlines.

Annual Fee:

$95

Our Thoughts:

This is the best first travel credit card to get. It has a valuable signup bonus with easy to redeem points. You also get a boost to your points value in the Chase travel portal.
LEARN MORE >>

 

Chase Sapphire Reserve

Introductory Offer:

You'll earn 50,000 points after spending $4000 in the first 3 months.

Rewards:

You'll earn 3X points on travel and dining.

Benefits:

$300 annual travel credit.

Priority Pass Select airport lounge access.

TSA PreCheck or Global Entry.

Points are worth 50% more when used in the Chase travel portal.

No foreign transaction fees.

1:1 point transfers to partner hotels and airlines.

Annual Fee:

$450

Our Thoughts:

This is one of the best premium travel credit cards if you want some luxury. It has a valuable signup bonus with easy to redeem points. You also get a boost to your points value in the Chase travel portal. The biggest key to this card is the airport lounge access. If you travel a lot, it's extremely valuable.
LEARN MORE >>

 

The Best Chase Sapphire Card

Before examining the Chase Ink vs Sapphire debate, let’s find out which of the Sapphire cards is the best. This will be a tough decision because the differences between the cards are great. The signup bonuses are very similar. The Sapphire Preferred earns 2 points per dollar spent on travel and dining compared to 3 points per dollar on the Sapphire Reserve. Now to compare the benefits and fees. The Sapphire Preferred has minimal travel benefits and has an annual fee of $95. Sapphire Reserve, on the other hand, has extremely valuable benefits but also comes with a high $450 annual fee.

 

Basically, the better Chase Sapphire card depends on what you’re looking for as a cardmember. If you don’t want a high annual fee, the best card is the Sapphire Preferred. But, if you want airport lounge access, TSA PreCheck, and will spend at least $300 on travel to receive the statement credit, the Sapphire Reserve is definitely worth the fee for you.

 

Overall, we’ll say that the Sapphire Preferred is the winner of the Chase Sapphire category because it has no annual fee the first year and has an equal signup bonus. Now let’s check out the Chase Ink business cards so that we can find out which is better in the Chase Ink vs Sapphire contest.

 

chase ink vs chase sapphire

 

Chase Ink: Business Credit Cards

Now that we’ve seen what the Chase Sapphire cards have to offer, let’s dive into the details of the Chase Ink business credit cards. There are three Chase Ink cards with widely differing features. They are all excellent choices. I actually have all three of these credit cards because they work well together. If you have multiple Ultimate Rewards credit cards you can transfer points between accounts to join them together.

 

Ink Business Preferred

Introductory Offer:

You'll earn 80,000 points after spending $5000 in the first 3 months.

Rewards:

You'll earn 3X points on travel and select business expenses (including online social media ads).
*Limited to first $150k per year.

Benefits:

Points are worth 25% more when used in the Chase travel portal.
No foreign transaction fees.
Employee cards at no additional cost.

Annual Fee:

$95

Our Thoughts:

The signup bonus alone for this card is amazing. Pair that with some great rewards earning for your business and this card is great. If you have a business, we find the Ink Preferred to be the best offer available.
LEARN MORE >>

 

Ink Business Cash

Introductory Offer:

You'll earn $150 (in the form of 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points) after spending $3000 in the first 3 months.

Rewards:

You'll earn 5X points on internet, cable, phone, and office supply stores.
*Limited to first $25k per year.

Earn 2X at gas stations and restaurants.
*Limited to first $25k per year.

Benefits:

Points can be transferred to primary Chase card accounts for better redemption.

Introductory APR offer.

Employee cards at no additional cost.

Annual Fee:

No annual fee

Our Thoughts:

The signup bonus on this no-fee card is amazing. Pair that with some great 5X reward categories for your business and this card is great. This card pairs well with the Chase Sapphire cards and the Ink Preferred.
LEARN MORE >>

 

Ink Business Unlimited

Introductory Offer:

You'll earn $150 (in the form of 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points) after spending $3000 in the first 3 months.

Rewards:

You'll earn 1.5X on all purchases. No limit.

Benefits:

Points can be transferred to primary Chase card accounts for better redemption.

Introductory APR offer.

Employee cards at no additional cost.

Annual Fee:

No annual fee

Our Thoughts:

The signup bonus on this no-fee card is amazing. Pair that with 1.5X rewards on every purchase for your business and this card is great. This card pairs well with the Chase Sapphire cards and the Ink Preferred.
LEARN MORE >>

 

The Best Chase Ink Card

Hands down, the best Chase Ink card is the Ink Business Preferred. It is honestly the best credit card out there. Period. The signup bonus is nothing less than amazing. My wife and I were able to book both round-trip flights to Hawaii and a resort on the beach for 3 of our nights with just the points from this signup bonus. No other card can get you that kind of value. Plus, the card only has a $95 annual fee. The Ink Preferred can also be converted to a no-fee card at any time if you wish.

 

Here’s why I have all three of these cards for a deadly combination of points earning. The Ink Business Preferred earns 3 points per dollar on certain business expenses and when the points are in this account they’re worth more and you can transfer to partner airlines and hotels (I often get 2 cents per point on redemptions this way). The Ink Business Cash earns 5 points per dollar on common expenses like cable, phone, and office supplies (5X on gift cards at an office supply store – they have a lot of options – wink, wink). Then, the Ink Business Unlimited earns 1.5 points per dollar on everything else. Together, they are a point-earning machine!

chase sapphire vs ink

 

Chase Ink vs Sapphire: Who’s the Winner?

Now we’ve seen the features of each credit card. We’re now ready to discuss which is better between Chase Ink vs Sapphire. This is how we’ll do it. We’ll have a few category winners for the cards that are the best at one particular feature. Then we’ll crown the overall winner of the Chase Ink vs Sapphire battle.

 

Best First Travel Card: Sapphire Preferred

Top Premium Travel Card: Sapphire Reserve

Best Card for Earning Points on Purchases: Ink Cash

Top Card for Simplicity in Earning: Ink Unlimited

CHASE INK vs SAPPHIRE CHAMPION: INK PREFERRED

 

Deciding which cards are best between the Chase Ink vs Sapphire is difficult. They’re all very good travel credit cards in their own right. But we have to choose a winner. The champion of the Chase Ink vs Sapphire debate is the Chase Ink Business Preferred card. It has the best signup bonus, a low annual fee, good earning potential, and great point-redemption value. Not only is it the best card in the Chase Ink vs Sapphire battle, but it’s also the best credit card of ALL cards. The value of the signup bonus can be worth well over $1500 in travel if redeemed through partners.

How to Gain Free Centurion Lounge Access in One Easy Step

Have you ever heard of an American Express Centurion Lounge before? They’re known to be the most elite airport lounge brand of them all. If you travel regularly, you’ve probably at least noticed an airport lounge before. They look like a place where only business travelers and the rich are allowed to set foot in. Looks can be deceiving. There are other ways to gain access to these exclusive lounges where members receive free drinks and food in a more luxurious setting than the airport terminal.

 

The easiest and least expensive way to gain access to airport lounges is through premier travel credit cards. There are a handful of credit cards that offer the benefit of complimentary airport lounge access. Two of those cards offer the elite Centurion Lounge access.

centurion lounge access

 

What is a Centurion Lounge?

A Centurion Lounge is an exclusive room that members can enter while traveling. Inside they will be greeted with comfortable places to sit and lounge, TV’s to watch, newspapers to read, workspaces with computers and printers, and of course, amazing food and drinks that come complimentary.

  • Free high-speed Wi-Fi
  • Lounge pods
  • Computer workspaces
  • Printers
  • Large televisions
  • Premium cocktail bars
  • Showers
  • Buffet style dining at breakfast, lunch, and dinner

 

While most other lounges have just snacky type food, Centurion Lounges have full on cooked buffet’s that are prepared by chefs and have ever-changing menus. An example of a typical meal available in Centurion Lounges is a menu of fried chicken, wild rice, fresh bruschetta, Brussel sprouts, side salads, and vegetables, with chocolate chip cookies for dessert.

centurion lounge

 

Of course, you’ll find typical drink choices like beer, wine, and cocktails available at the bar, but you’ll also find a menu of specially designed mixed drinks from renowned mixologist Jim Meehan. The drinks are designed around the Centurion Lounge location with recipes like the “Tex Mex” (Tito’s Vodka, Cabeza Blanco tequila, corn, honey, lime, and jalapeno) at DFW in Dallas or the “Big Apple” (Zubrowka Bison Grass vodka, Doc’s draft hard apple cider, Yellow Chartreuse, Miracle Mile celery bitters) at LGA in New York City.

 

Food and drinks aren’t the only amenities you’ll find at a Centurion Lounge. Some of the Centurion Lounge locations even offer professional spa treatments like massages, skin treatments, and manicures. Yes, these amenities are included too. Once you’re in a Centurion Lounge, what you see is what you get, included. You are free to tip as you’d like but per American Express, it is not expected.

 

How to Get Centurion Lounge Access

Unfortunately, Centurion membership cannot be bought. Gaining Centurion Lounge access can be had in only one way. By applying for one of two American Express credit cards that exclusively offer Centurion lounge access. These two cards are the Platinum Cards by American Express that are offered in a personal and business version. The cards not only come with Centurion Lounge access but also have an array of great travel benefits.

 

Platinum Card from American Express

american express platinum card

60,000 Points after spending $5000 in the first 3 months

Learn More >>
  • Global Lounge Access (including Centurion lounge access)
  • $200 Yearly Uber Credit
  • $200 Airline Statement Credit with One Airline
  • Hilton and Marriott Elite Status
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
  • $550 Annual Fee

 

Instantly earn Centurion Lounge access plus more. Learn more about this card and find out how to apply HERE.

 

Platinum Business Card from American Express

AMEX Business Platinum Credit Card

Up to 75,000 Points after multiple spending tiers

Learn More >>
  • Global Lounge Access (including Centurion lounge access)
  • $200 Airline Statement Credit with One Airline
  • Hilton and Marriott Hotel Elite Status
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
  • $595 Annual Fee

 

Instantly earn Centurion Lounge access plus more. Learn more about this card and find out how to apply HERE.

 

If you’re a frequent traveler, the Centurion lounge access alone can make up for the annual fee of either Amex Platinum credit card, but they come with a bunch of very valuable benefits. The travel benefits offered by either of these cards are easily worth over $1000 in value.

 

I value the introductory offers at more than $1000 because you can often redeem them for at least two cents per point through Amex travel transfer partners. The statement credits are worth about $500 together. Even though the annual fee can look to be very high and be a mental hurdle to get over, it’s a no-brainer when it comes to the value you’ll receive in return.

 

Centurion Lounge Locations

There are nine Centurion lounges worldwide, with eight of those being in the United States. American Express has three more lounges in the works, all of which should open in 2019. There are also another six international lounge locations and two arena locations that Amex Platinum cardholders have access to.

centurion lounge san francisco

 

Las Vegas Centurion Lounge (LAS)

Location: Concourse D, opposite Gate D1

Hours: 5:00 AM to 12:00 AM

Dallas-Fort Worth Centurion Lounge (DFW)

Location: Terminal D, opposite Gate D17 on the upper level
Hours: 5:30 AM to 10:00 PM

San Francisco Centurion Lounge (SFO)

Location: Terminal 3, Boarding Area F, opposite Gate 75 on the mezzanine level
Hours: 5:00 AM to 11:00 PM

New York-La Guardia Centurion Lounge (LGA)

Location: Terminal B, pre-security, third level
Hours: 6:00 am to 8:00 pm

Miami Centurion Lounge (MIA)

Location: North Terminal, Concourse B, 4th floor, across from Gate D14
Hours: 5:00 AM to 11:00 PM

Houston Centurion Lounge (IAH)

Location: Terminal D, near Gate D6
Hours: 5:30 AM to 9:00 PM

Seattle Centurion Lounge (SEA)

Location: Concourse B, near Gate B3
Hours: 5:00 AM to 10:00 PM

Hong Kong Centurion Lounge (HKG)

Location: Just before Gate 60, take the escalators or lift up to the 7th Floor, follow the signs to the lounge entrance
Hours: 5:30 AM to 12:30 AM

Philadelphia Centurion Lounge (PHL)

Location: Near Gate A14
Hours: 5:00 AM to 9:00 PM

 

Centurion Lounge Future Locations

As mentioned above, there are three Centurion Lounges being worked on for future locations. Denver, Los Angeles, and New York will be getting the newest and likely most lavish Centurion lounges in the near future. All three lounges will be very large and all three will likely include a spa inside.

 

Denver Centurion Lounge (DEN)

The DEN Centurion lounge is expected to be 14,650 square feet and will include all of the Centurion lounge basics, plus even more. It will feature a premium cocktail bar, high-speed internet, hot food buffet, showers, a family room, phone rooms, and a tranquility area for sleeping. On top of those amenities, the Denver Centurion lounge will have a spa (like DFW and MIA). It will also offer local beer and wine tastings within the lounge.

 

Los Angeles Centurion Lounge (LAX)

The LAX Centurion lounge is expected to be 13,900 square feet and will offer the typical luxurious amenities of all Centurion lounges. It will feature a full cocktail bar, a hot food buffet, and showers. The Los Angeles Centurion lounge location will also feature a spa, a family room, and a “tranquility area” with a mix of bright and dimly lit areas specially designed to help travelers adjust to new time zones.

 

New York City Centurion Lounge (JFK)

Coming in at an expected 15,000 square feet, the JFK Centurion lounge will be the biggest Amex lounge in their Global Lounge portfolio. It will occupy two levels in terminal 4 at JFK in New York City. While the exact details have not been officially announced, the New York Centurion Lounge should open in early 2019. The lounge will supposedly have extravagant views of the JFK airfield and extraordinary amenities. The amenities will include a complimentary bar, a food buffet, showers, soundproof workspaces, and likely much more. With that amount of space, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a spa as well.

centurion lounge miami

 

Centurion Clubs & Platinum Lounges at International Airports

American Express also has a few international lounges that are accessible for Amex Platinum cardholders. They include the Centurion Clubs and Platinum Lounges located in the following airports:

  • Mexico City (MEX)
  • Buenos Aires (EZE)
  • Rio De Janeiro (SDU)
  • Sao Paulo (CGH)
  • Mumbai (BOM)
  • Delhi (DEL)

 

Centurion Suite Locations in Arenas

American Express has expanded their lounge locations from exclusively in airports to other arenas. Literally, professional basketball arenas to be exact. There are now lounges, which American Express is calling Centurion Suites, in both the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and the Staples Center in Los Angeles. They also had a Centurion Suite at the 2018 US Open Tennis Championship.

 

At the two arena Centurion Suites, food and drinks are not complimentary but you may have more options than the stadium food. At both locations, there are a limited amount of people who will get access to the lounge and it is on a first come first served basis. You’ll likely need to arrive at the arena when it opens to get access.

 

Amenities in the Centurion Suites

  • Premium Food & Beverages
  • Dedicated Servers
  • Flat-Screen TVs
  • Limited Seating with a View of the Event
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi Access
  • Phone Charging Stations

centurion lounge lga

 

Our Concluding Takeaway: Amex Platinum is Worth Getting for Access to Centurion Lounges

If it’s luxury travel you’re looking for, access to the Centurion lounges is the perfect way to both start and end your vacation the right way. With an American Express Platinum card you’ll be living a life of luxury the minute you walk into the airport. It gives you both lounge access and priority security so forget having to sit in the crowded, dirty, and expensive airport terminal. Say hello to traveling with comfy seating, amazing complimentary food, custom cocktails and sometimes even spa treatments.

 

My wife used to call me a “princess traveler” when I first told her about airport lounge access. Now she complains if we’re at an airport that doesn’t have such lounges. Once you get used to traveling in luxury with things like lounge access, it’s hard to go back to the life of a peasant traveler. Go get an Amex Platinum to try it out for yourself. I’ll bet you won’t ever want it to end!

Chase Sapphire Reserve Lounge Access: How to Get It Instantly

chase sapphire reserve lounge

Chase Sapphire Reserve lounge access is obtained through the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card. The Chase Sapphire Reserve is a premium credit card that comes with an array of travel benefits to allow you to travel in luxury. The card comes with features like 50,000 points as an introductory bonus, a $300 annual travel credit, free Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, and of course access to the Chase Sapphire Reserve lounges.

 

These lounges are also known as Priority Pass Select. Access can be earned by having one of a few different credit cards. While there are a handful of cards that offer Priority Pass Select membership, two of them stand out above the others. The Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Platinum Card from American Express (Learn More). From our reviews, the Chase Sapphire Reserve takes the top spot as the best of the bunch. It offers the most plentiful travel benefits, comes with a great introductory offer, and is good for earning points through purchases.

 

You Can Purchase Priority Pass Access

It’s also possible to buy a Priority Pass membership, but purchased memberships are not nearly as good. Membership through a credit card gives you an exclusive Priority Pass Select, which grants unlimited visits and two free guests included with every visit. If you purchase a Priority Pass membership directly, you are limited on visits and will have to pay $27 per guest.

 

Here are the regular prices for Priority Pass Lounge access:

  • Standard – $99: Includes membership, but each visit costs $27 for the member and $27 per guest.
  • Standard Plus – $249: Includes 10 free member visits ($27 per visit thereafter). $27 per guest.
  • Prestige – $399: Unlimited member visits. $27 per guest.
  • Select – (exclusive credit card benefit): Unlimited member visits. 2 free guests on every visit.

 

How to Easily Gain Chase Sapphire Reserve Lounge Access for Free

The easiest and best way to get Chase Sapphire Reserve lounge access (aka Priority Pass lounges) is by applying for the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card. As mentioned before, it comes with a ton of valuable travel benefits as well as the lounge access. The annual fee is high on this luxury credit card, but for good reason. It comes with enough luxurious benefits to far outweigh the fee.

 

Chase Sapphire Reserve

Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card

50,000 Points after spending $4000 in the first 3 months

  • Introductory Offer: Earn an introductory 50,000 points after spending $4,000 within the first three months.
  • Statement Credits: Receive a $300 in statement credits each year (based on your account anniversary) to cover travel expenses like airfare and hotels.
  • Priority Airport Security: Receive a $100 Statement credit as reimbursement for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck enrollment.
  • Earning Categories: You’ll earn 3 points per $1 spent on dining and on travel that doesn’t qualify for the $300 travel reimbursement each year and one point per $1 on everything else.
  • Travel Point Transfer Partners: 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs.
  • Extra Point Value: Receive 50% more value for your points when you redeem for travel via Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • Airport Lounge Access: Visit more than 1000 airport lounge locations while traveling with a Priority Pass Select membership.
  • Annual Fee: $450

 

Instantly earn Chase Sapphire Reserve lounge access.  Learn more about this card and find out how to apply HERE.

 

Chase Sapphire Reserve Lounge Value

As you can see above, membership to Priority Pass lounges (if purchased directly) will cost $399. With Priority Pass Select through the Chase Sapphire Reserve, you will have an even better membership, which could easily be valued at $500. Chase Sapphire Reserve lounge access alone is worth more than the annual fee of the credit card. On top of lounge access, you’ll receive even more travel value from the rest of the benefits. Together, the benefits are valued well over $2000! Obviously, you will only get as much value out of the lounge access as you can use it. This credit card is for people who travel often.

 

Other Chase Sapphire Reserve Benefits

  • 50,000 Point Introductory Bonus

50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards can go a long way when used for travel. If used in the Ultimate Rewards travel portal, Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders get 50% more value out of their points. This means that points can be redeemed for 1.5 cents per point, valuing the intro offer at $750. If you want to get even more value out of your points, you can transfer them to one of the many travel transfer partners (hotels or airlines). By transferring points and redeeming them for flights or hotels, you can often get a redemption value of more than 2.5 cents per point. Going this route can make the introductory offer points worth a staggering $1250.

 

  • $300 Travel Statement Credit

Obviously, this statement credit is worth a total of $300. It is incredibly easy to use and basically works on anything you can imagine that has to do with travel. I even paid off a parking ticket with my Chase Sapphire Reserve and it went toward the travel credit. I don’t advise getting parking tickets to try it out… It has also been reported that some airline and hotel gift cards can be credited as well. Some purchases that should be reimbursed through the travel statement credit are airlines, hotels, motels, timeshares, campgrounds, car rental agencies, cruise lines, travel agencies, discount travel sites, passenger trains, buses, taxis, limousines, ferries, toll bridges and highways, and parking lots and garages.

 

  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck Membership

When you purchase a membership to either service you will be credited up to $100. This is enough to cover the complete five-year membership. This is one of the best and most affordable perks in the airline industry. Global Entry and TSA PreCheck allow you to go through airport security quickly, without having the empty your bags or take off your shoes. It helps make travel much more relaxing. The longest I’ve ever waited in line to go through security with TSA PreCheck is about five minutes. This Chase Sapphire Reserve benefit is valued at up to $100 (TSA PreCheck is only $85).

 

These three benefits along with the Chase Sapphire Reserve lounge access can make up for what you pay in an annual fee and then some. Together, the benefits of the card can be worth more than $2000, which is an extraordinary offer.

chase sapphire reserve card lounge

 

How to Enroll Your Priority Pass Membership

Never spend your layover uncomfortable in the terminal again. After you’ve been approved for your Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card you’ll have to enroll online before gaining access to any Chase Sapphire Reserve lounge. You’ll only have to enroll once. Your Priority Pass Select membership will renew each year and they will automatically send you a new Priority Pass card as long as you keep your Chase Sapphire Reserve. If you cancel your credit card, your Priority Pass access will immediately end. To enroll for free, follow these simple steps:

  • Go to Chase Ultimate Rewards and log in
  • Click “Earn Points”
  • Then click “Card Benefits”
  • Under the “Airport Lounge Access” tab, click “Activate Now”
  • Wait for your Priority Pass Select card to arrive in the mail. It usually takes about a week.

 

What to Expect in a Chase Sapphire Reserve Lounge (Priority Pass)

You can expect luxury when you enter a Chase Sapphire Reserve Lounge. Even the less luxurious lounges offer free drinks, a comfortable place to sit down away from the hustle and bustle of airport terminals, and usually some snacks at a minimum. Below are the amenities offered at a typical Priority Pass lounge.

 

Most Chase Sapphire Reserve lounges have the following general amenities:

  • Digital Membership Card Option
  • Free Wifi
  • Drinks & Snacks
  • Alcoholic Drinks
  • TV’s
  • Internet Data Ports
  • Newspapers & Magazines
  • Disabled Access

Some lounges even provide:

  • Showers
  • Conference Rooms (subject to a fee)

 

At Priority Pass restaurants, instead of getting lounge access, you’ll receive a credit of $28 for yourself and one guest off your final bill. That means if you and a guest go to a Priority Pass lounge together, your Priority Pass Select will allow you to receive $56 off. At most of the Priority Pass restaurants, that’s enough to cover the complete bill.

chase sapphire reserve lounge access

 

Chase Sapphire Reserve Lounge Locations

With over 1200 loungest worldwide and nearly 80 Priority Pass locations in the United States, it’s likely that you’ll find a lounge in the majority of airports you’ll visit. In recent years, they’ve also added some great restaurants to the list. When visiting a restaurant with your Priority Pass Select, you’ll receive $28 of food/drink in place of lounge “access”. At some of the locations, you really have to splurge to use the full allotted amount. In addition to my meal, I usually have enough left over credit to grab a drink and a snack for my flight when I visit a Priority Pass restaurant.

 

Anchorage, AK (ANC)

Alaska Lounge

Location: Concourse C (near Gate C1)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 5:00am – 1:00am


Atlanta, GA (ATL)

Minute Suites

Location: Concourse B, Airside (near Gate B16)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 24hrs (subject to space constraints)
*Cardholders receive complimentary access to a suite for 1 hr; discounted rates ($28/hr) for each subsequent hour

Minute Suites

Location: Concourse T, Airside (near Gate T8)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 24hrs (subject to space constraints)
*Cardholders receive complimentary access to a suite for 1 hr; discounted rates ($28/hr) for each subsequent hour

The Club at ATL

Location: International Terminal, Concourse F, Airside, Mezzanine Level (next to the Chapel)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 6:00am – 10:30pm


Baltimore, MD (BWI)

The Club BWI

Location: Concourse D, Airside Upper Level (near Dunkin Donuts at Gate D10)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 4:15am – 10:30pm (3hr stay max)


Boston, MA – Logan International (BOS)

Stephanie’s (Restaurant)

Location: Terminal B, Airside After Security, Departures Level (opposite Gate B24)
*Domestic Flights Only
Hours: Mon-Sun, 4:30am – 30min prior to last scheduled flight

The Lounge

Location: Terminal C, Airside First Floor, Concourse Level (across from Gate C19)
*Not accessible from Gates 40-42
Hours: Mon-Sun, 6:00am – 11:00pm (subject to space constraints, in particular 4:00pm – 8:00pm)

Jerry Remy’s Sports Bar And Grill (Restaurant)

Location: Terminal C, Landside Before Security, Departures Level (opposite Alaska Airlines’ check-in counter)
Hours: Mon-Sun,  2:00pm – 8:00pm (cardholders will not be admitted outside of these hours; also subject to space constraints)

Air France Lounge

Location: Terminal E, Airside (turn right after security toward Gate 4; elevator or stairs to lounge)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 11:30am – 11:30pm (3hr stay max)

The Club

Location: Terminal E, after Security (take the elevator down 1 level)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 5:30am – 1:00am


Charlotte, NC (CLT)

Minute Suites

Location: Airside, Main Atrium (next to the Food Court)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 24hrs (subject to space constraints)
*Cardholders receive complimentary access to a suite for 1 hr; discounted rates ($28/hr) for each subsequent hour.


Chicago, IL (ORD)

Air France/KLM Lounge

Location: International Terminal 5, Airside (between Gates M8 & M7 on the left)
*T5 passengers only; smart-casual dress at all times (no shorts, vests, baseball caps, or football shirts)
Hours: Tue-Fri & Sun: 8:15am – 12am, Mon & Sat: 8:15am – 9:30pm (3hr stay max)
(subject to space constraints, in particular 10:30am – 3:00pm & 5:00pm – 7:30pm)

Swissport Lounge

Location: International Terminal 5, Airside (between Gates M8 & M7 on the right)
*T5 passengers only
Hours: Mon-Sun, 12:00pm – 9:30pm


Cincinnati, OH (CVG)

The Club at CVG

Location: Concourse A (between Gates A8 & A10)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 6:00am – 8:00pm


Cleveland, OH (CLE)

Bar Symon (Bar/Restaurant)

Location: Concourse C, Airside (between Gates C4 & C6)
Hours: Sun-Fri: 4:00am – 8:00pm, Saturday: 4:00am – 7:30pm


Colorado Springs, CO (COS)

Mortgage Solutions Financial Premier Lounge

Location: Airside (adjacent to Gate 6)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 4:30am – last scheduled flight departure


Dallas, TX (DFW)

Minute Suites

Location: Terminal A (near Gate A38)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 24hrs (subject to space constraints)
*Cardholders receive complimentary access to a suite for 1 hr; discounted rates ($28/hr) for each subsequent hour

Minute Suites

Location: Terminal D, Airside (near gate D23)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 24hrs (subject to space constraints)
*Cardholders receive complimentary access to a suite for 1 hr; discounted rates ($28/hr) for each subsequent hour

The Club at DFW

Location: Terminal D, Airside (adjacent to Gate D22, through “Airline Clubs” double doors, take elevator to 5th floor)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 4:00am – 10:30pm (subject to space constraints, in particular after 1:00pm)


Denver, CO (DEN)

Timberline Steaks & Grille (Restaurant)

Location: Concourse C, Airside, Center Core on the Left
Hours: Mon-Sun, 6:00am – 9:00pm


Detroit, MI – Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW)

Lufthansa Business Lounge

Location: North Terminal, Airside (next to Gate D8)
Hours: Mon-Sat: 5:00am – 6:30pm*, Sunday:   11:00am – 6:30pm*


Greenville-Spartanburg (GSC)

RJ Rockers Flight Room (Restaurant)

Location: Airside, After Security (near Gate B3)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 3:30am – last scheduled flight departure


Honolulu, HI (HNL)

The Plumeria Lounge

Location: Inter-Island Terminal, Airside, 3rd Floor (near Wiki Wiki shuttle pick up)
*Not accessible for Arrivals
Hours: Mon, Weds, Fri, Sat: 9:00am – 6:00pm; Tues, Thurs, Sun: 9:00am – 9:30pm
(subject to space constraints)

IASS Hawaii Lounge

Location: Overseas Terminal, Airside, Proceed to Garden Court (towards Gates 14-23, elevator to ground level & follow signs)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 7:30am – 1:30pm & 2:00pm – 6:00pm


Houston, TX (IAH)

Cadillac Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Bar (Restaurant)

Location: Terminal A, Airside (near Gate A17)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 6:00am – 10:00pm (subject to space constraints)

Landry’s Seafood (PP Restaurant)

Location: Terminal C, Airside (near Gate C42)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 6:00am – 10:00pm (subject to space constraints)

Air France Lounge

Location: Terminal D, Airside (opposite Gate D12)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 12:00pm – 5:00pm (3hr stay max; subject to space constraints)

KLM Crown Lounge

Location: Terminal D, Airside (near Gate D8)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 6:00am – 9:00pm (subject to space constraints; 3hr stay max)


Indianapolis, IN (IND)

The Fan Zone (Bar/Restaurant)

Location: Airside, After Security (Near Gate B17)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 8:00am – last scheduled flight departure


Las Vegas, NV (LAS)

The Club at LAS

Location: Terminal 1, Concourse D, Airside, 2nd Level (above Red Line train station, left behind Sugar Factory & Jamba Juice)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 5:00am – 12:30am

The Club at LAS

Location: Terminal 3, Airside (across from Gate E2)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 5:00am – 12:00am


Lexington, KY (LEX)

Kentucky Ale Taproom (Bar/Restaurant)

Location: Airside, After Security, Near Concourse D Entrance
Hours: Mon-Sun, 5:00am – last scheduled flight departure


Los Angeles, CA (LAX)

Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse

Location: Terminal 2, Airside, Level 4 (above departure gates)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 5:30am – 10:45am (no cardholders admitted into the lounge outside of these hours; 3hr stay max)

Alaska Lounge

Location: Terminal 6, Airside, Mezzanine Level (near Gate 64)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 5:00am – 11:00pm

KAL Lounge

Location: Tom Bradley Intl Terminal, Airside (follow signs to All Gates, turn left before Duty-Free, elevator to 5th floor)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 12:00pm – 8:00pm (hours may vary according to KAL international flight schedules; subject to space constraints)

P.F.Chang’s (Restaurant)

Location: Tom Bradley Intl Terminal, Airside (Mezzanine Level)
*International flights only.
Hours: Mon-Sun, 11:00am – 11:00pm


McAllen, TX (MFE)

Salon Aeromar

Location: Landside – behind the Aeromar Check-in counters
Hours: Sun, Mon, Wed-Fri: 9:00am – 5:00pm, Tue closed (3hr stay max)


Miami, FL (MIA)

Air Margaritaville

Location: Central Terminal, Concourse E, Landside (departures level by door 11)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 6:00am – 11:00pm (subject to space constraints)

Viena (Restaurant)

Location: Central Terminal, Concourse E, Landside (Level 2, Miami Intl Airport Hotel elevator to 7th floor, follow signs)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 11:00am – 12:00am (subject to space constraints)

Club America F

Location: Central Terminal, Concourse F, Airside (follow signs to lounge, 3rd floor)
*Customers on international flights only
Hours: Mon-Sun, 7:30am – 9:00pm (hours may vary according to flight schedules)

Corona Beach House (Restaurant)

Location: North Terminal, Concourse D, Airside (Between Gates D23 & D24)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 6:30am – 10:00pm

Avianca VIP Lounge

Location: South Terminal, Concourse J, Airside (Gate J4, escalator to 3rd floor, turn left & left, end of the hall)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 24hrs (subject to space constraints)

VIP Lounge Miami

Location: South Terminal, Concourse J, Airside (near gate J5)
*Dress code applicable (no shorts or sandals)
Hours: Mon & Tues: 12:00pm – 3:00pm; Weds – Sun: 4:00am – 3:00pm


Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN (MSP)

PGA MSP Lounge

Location: Terminal 1, Airside, North End of Airport Mall (stairs btwn Ike’s & French Meadow to Mezzanine Level; can also take elevator inside Ike’s)
Hours: Mon-Fri: 7:00am – 8:00pm, Sat & Sun: 8:00am – 7:00pm (3hr stay max)


New York/Newark, NJ (EWR)

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge

Location: Terminal A, Airside (after security checks, near Air Canada departure gates)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 5:00am – 3:00pm

Art & Lounge

Location: Terminal B, Landside, Gate Level before Security (between Gates B2 & B3 or Gates 50 & 60)
Hours: Sun-Fri, 9:00am – 11:30pm (may be subject to space constraints btwn 3:00pm – 7:00pm; 3hr stay max)

Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse

Location: Terminal B, Airside, After Security (Gates B51 – B57, Elevator on Right to Airline Lounges)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 2:00pm – 6:00pm (cardholders will not be admitted outside of these hours; max stay 3 hrs, also subject to space constraints)


New York, NY (JFK)

Air France Lounge

Location: Terminal 1, airside (near Air France boarding area by Gate 1)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 6:00am – 1:30pm & 11:00pm – 1:30am (3hr stay max)

KAL Business Class Lounge

Location: Terminal 1, Airside after security (right-hand side across from Gate 3)
*Passengers with Terminal 1 boarding pass only
Hours: Mon-Sun, 2:00pm – 8:30pm (subject to space constraints)

Wingtips Lounge

Location: Terminal 4, Airside, turn right after security (lounge on the left ~100 meters down)
*Dress code applicable (shoes & shirts required; no baseball caps)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 24 hrs (may be restricted btwn 5:00pm – 1:00am due to space constraints; 4hr stay max )

Alaska Lounge

Location: Terminal 7, Airside after security (mezzanine level)
Hours: Sun-Fri: 5:00am – 10:00pm; Sat 5:00am – 5:00pm
(3hrs prior to scheduled departure, subject to space constraints)

Bobby Van’s Steakhouse (Restaurant)

Location: Terminal 8, Airside after security (opposite Gate 14)
Mon-Sun: 6:00am – 10:00pm


Orlando, FL (MCO)

The Club MCO

Location: Airside, from Gates 1-29 (adjacent to XpresSpa)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 5:00am – 11:00pm

The Club MCO

Location: Airside, from Gates 70-99 (next to InMotion store, near Gate 91)
Hours: Mon 6:00am – 10:30pm, Tue-Sun 6:00am – 9:00pm


Orlando, FL (SFB)

The Royal Palm Lounge

Location: Terminal A, Airside, Intl Departure Lounge (adjacent to Budweiser Tap Room)
Hours: Lounge opens 3 hrs prior to first scheduled flight departure; closes after last scheduled departure or 11:00pm, whichever comes first.


Philadelphia, PA (PHL)

Minute Suites

Location: Terminal B, Airside, between Concourses A & B (in AB connector)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 24hrs (subject to space constraints)
*Cardholders receive complimentary access to a suite for 1 hr; discounted rates ($28/hr) for each subsequent hour


Phoenix, AZ (PHX)

The Club at PHX

Location: Terminal 4, Airside, end of N4 Concourse (Gates B15-B28)
*Only passengers on international & domestic flights arriving/departing from T4
Hours: Mon-Sun, 5:00am – 11:30pm (3hr stay max)


Pittsburgh, PA (PIT)

The Club

Location: Concourse C, Airside (across from Gate C52)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 4:00am – 9:00pm


Portland, OR (PDX)

Alaska Lounge

Location: Concourse C, Airside (across from Gate C5)
Hours: Sun-Fri: 4:30am – 10:30pm, Sat: 4:30 – 9:00pm (subject to space constraints)

Capers Cafe Le Bar (Bar/Restaurant)

Location: Concourse C, Airside (immediately after security on L)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 4:00am – 10:30pm

House Spirits Distillery (Bar/Restaurant)

Location: Concourse C, Airside (near Gate 6)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 5:00am – 10:00pm

Capers Market (Restaurant)

Location: Concourse D, Airside (immediately after security)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 4:00am – 10:30pm


San Francisco, CA (SFO)

Air France/KLM Lounge

Location: International Terminal, Concourse A, Airside (first left after TSA)
*Only passengers on flights departing Concourse A
Hours: Mon-Sun, 6:45am – 12:15am (3hr stay max)

San Francisco Giants Clubhouse (Restaurant)

Location: Airside, Concourse F (near Gate 82)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 5:00am – 11:00pm (subject to space constraints)

Yankee Pier (Restaurant)

Location: Airside, Concourse F (near Gate 72)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 5:00am – 11:00pm (subject to space constraints)


San Jose, CA (SJC)

The Club at SJC

Location: Terminal A, Airside, 3rd Level (across from Gate 15)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 5:00am – 10:00pm


Seattle, WA (SEA)

The Club at SEA

Location: Concourse A, Airside (across from Gate A11)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 7:00am – 12:00am

The Club at SEA

Location: South Satellite, Airside (next to Gate S9)
Hours: Mon: 5:30am – 6:00pm, Tue-Sun: 6:00am – 5:30pm
(access may be restricted between 10:00am – 2:00pm; subject to space constraints)


St. Louis, MO (STL)

The Pasta House (Restaurant)

Location: Terminal 1, Lower Level, Pre-Security (close to Baggage Claim)
Hours: Sun-Fri: 10:00am – 8:00pm, Saturday: 10:00am – 6:00pm

The Pasta House & Schlafly Beer (Restaurant)

Location: Terminal 2, Airside, Upper Level (right side, opposite Gate E6)
Hours: Sun-Fri: 6:00am – 10:00pm, Saturday: 6:00am – 6:00pm


Syracuse, NY (SYR)

Johnny Rockets (Restaurant)

Location: Airside Connector, after Security (turn left, towards North Concourse B)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 10:30am – 7:00pm (subject to space constraints)


Tampa, FL (TPA)

The Café by Mise en Place (Restaurant)

Location: Airside F (directly in front of security checkpoint by gate F85)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 4:30am – last flight departure daily


Tucson, AZ (TUS)

Noble Hops (Restaurant)

Location: Landside, 2nd Floor (opposite the “Arroyo Trading Post”)
*Domestic Flights Only
Hours: Mon-Sun, 5:00am – 8:00pm (subject to space constraints)


Washington, DC (IAD)

Air France/KLM Lounge

Location: Concourse A, Airside (opposite Gate A22)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 7:00am – 3:00pm & 7:00pm – 8:30pm (subject to space constraints; 3hr stay max)

Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse

Location: Between Concourses A & B, Airside (in front of Gate A32)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 6:00am – 1:30pm (no cardholders admitted outside of these hours; 3hr stay max)

British Airways Galleries Lounge

Location: Concourse B, Airside, Concourse Level
Hours: Mon-Sun, 7:00am – 2:00pm

Turkish Airlines Lounge Washington

Location: Concourse B, Airside (near Gate B43)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 6:00am – 11:00pm (4hr stay max)

Chef Geoff’s (Restaurant)

Location: Concourse C, Airside (near gate C14)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 6:00am – 10:00pm
(subject to space constraints)


Washington, DC (DCA)

Bracket Room (Restaurant)

Location: Terminal B, Airside (opposite Gate 12)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 5:00am – 9:00pm (subject to space constraints)

American Tap Room (Restaurant)

Location: Terminal C, Airside (near Gates 35-45)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 5:00am – 10:00pm (subject to space constraints)

 

An easy way to find a Chase Sapphire Reserve lounge while traveling through airports is to download the LoungeBuddy app (enter code JnSjMo28aP “Credit” to get a $10 credit to purchase lounge access) to your phone. It’s easy to use. When you arrive at your airport, just open the app and it will tell you what lounges are available and whether you have access through Priority Pass Select. If there is no Chase Sapphire Reserve Lounge at that airport, you may be able to purchase access using the app (and that $10 credit).

chase sapphire reserve lounges

 

Other Credit Cards Offering the Same Lounge Access

The Chase Sapphire Reserve isn’t the only credit card that offers chase sapphire reserve lounge access through Priority Pass Select. The most popular other credit cards that offer this type of lounge access are the Platinum Cards from American Express and the Citi Prestige card. The Amex Platinum cards also come with Global Lounge access, which adds even more airport lounge opportunity. Note that the other benefits of these cards don’t quite match those of the Chase Sapphire Reserve. They’re very close though.

 

Platinum Card from American Express

american express platinum card

60,000 Points after spending $5000 in the first 3 months

Learn More >>
  • Lounge Access
  • $200 Yearly Uber Credit
  • $200 Airline Statement Credit with One Airline
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
  • $550 Annual Fee

 

Instantly earn Chase Sapphire Reserve lounge access plus more. Learn more about this card and find out how to apply HERE.

 

Platinum Business Card from American Express

AMEX Business Platinum Credit Card

Up to 75,000 Points after multiple spending tiers

Learn More >>
  • Lounge Access
  • $200 Airline Statement Credit with One Airline
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
  • $450 Annual Fee

 

Instantly earn Chase Sapphire Reserve lounge access plus more. Learn more about this card and find out how to apply HERE.

 

Citi Prestige – Not Currently Taking New Applications (until January 2019)

 

Our Concluding Takeaways: Chase Sapphire Reserve Lounge Access is Worth It

If you want to travel more luxuriously, having Chase Sapphire Reserve lounge access is one of the best ways to do it. The easiest ways to gain access to Priority Pass lounges are by getting the Chase Sapphire Reserve or American Express Platinum credit cards. Both have excellent premium benefits, but the Sapphire Reserve is slightly better and has a lower annual fee. Once you start traveling luxuriously with things like lounge access and priority security, you’ll never want to travel without them.

Capital One Savor: Who’s the King of Cash Back Cards?

Is the Capital One Savor card the best cash back credit card? With a popular 4% cash back category it’s definitely worth looking into. We’ll go through all the details of the card and dissect whether it competes for the King of cash back credit cards or not.

 

Capital One Savor Features & Benefits

 

capital one savor

$500 Cash Bonus after spending $3000 in the first 3 months

Learn More >>
  • Introductory Offer: You’ll earn $500 cash bonus after you spend $3000 in the first 3 months.
  • Earning: You’ll earn unlimited 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases.
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards.
  • No Points Expiration: Cashback won’t expire for the life of the account and there’s no limit to how much you can earn.
  • Fees: No foreign transaction fees
  • Benefits: Capital One cardholders get access to premium experiences in dining, entertainment and more
  • Annual Fee: $95 (waived in year 1)

 

Learn more about this card and find out how to apply HERE.

 

The Capital One Savor Introductory Offer: Cashback vs Travel Points

$500 is a very good introductory offer, especially from a cashback credit card. You will not get as much value as you would with travel points, but travel is not always for everyone. With cash back, every point is essentially worth one cent. It makes redemption a brainless process. It doesn’t matter how you use the points, they’ll still be worth one cent.

 

The other good part about this introductory offer is the fact that the annual fee is waived in year one. That means that you get at least $500 of value without having to pay any sort of fee in year one. I personally think that the introductory offer is the only part of this credit card offer that is good. I’ll explain more about why below when we discuss the annual fee.

Capital One Savor Cash Rewards

 

Earning with the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Card

The Capital One Savor has a couple very good bonus earning categories. Savor means to taste food or drinks and enjoy them completely, so it makes sense that the Capital One Savor earns 4% on dining (an industry leader). The card also earns 4% on entertainment and 2% on groceries.

 

For this reason and this reason only, the Capital One Savor is a good option only if you are someone who spends a lot on dining and entertainment. Your food might even taste better, knowing that you’ll be earning 4% back on your meal. If you spend hundreds of dollars dining out each month this is a great credit card for you. If you never eat out, it’s not such a great option.

SAVOR – To taste and enjoy completely.

 

Here is what Capital One considers to be included in the three bonus earning categories:

Dining: (4X Rewards)

  • Restaurants
  • Fast Food
  • Cafe’s
  • Bars
  • Bakeries
  • Lounges

Entertainment: (4X Rewards)

  • Movies
  • Concerts
  • Plays
  • Sporting Events
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Theme Parks
  • Aquariums & Zoos
  • Pool Halls
  • Dance Clubs
  • Bowling Alleys
  • Record/Video Rental Stores (ummm, do these still exist?!?)

Grocery Stores: (2X Rewards)

  • Supermarkets
  • Dairy Product Stores
  • Specialty Markets
  • Meat Lockers

 

Benefits of the Capital One Savor

Obviously, the dining and entertainment category bonus of 4% is the biggest benefit of the card. Other than the spending bonuses, this card doesn’t offer much in terms of valuable benefits. Especially when compared to other credit cards that come with an annual fee of around $100.

 

The biggest other benefits are no foreign transaction fees, secondary car rental insurance, roadside assistance, purchase protection and extended warranty, and concierge services. Honestly, I wouldn’t use any of these. When I purchase something, I’m typically OK with the price I paid. I don’t shop much outside of the United States. As far as rental car insurance, I have other Chase credit cards that give me primary car rental coverage.

 

Capital One Savor Rewards Card does not bring much to the table (besides dinner). Outside of the introductory offer and the earning bonuses on dining and entertainment, there are no benefits that fit having an annual fee.

capital one savor cash

 

Competitors to the Capital One Savor

There are a few competitors to the Capital One Savor card that I want to bring up. They compete in two different ways. First, if you are interested in travel you should look into the Chase Sapphire Preferred. It touts the same annual fee but comes with much more value if used towards travel. If it’s cashback that you’re truly interested in, there are no fee cards that are very similar and will save you nearly $100 per year.

 

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Introductory Offer:

You'll earn 60,000 points after spending $4000 in the first 3 months.

Rewards:

You'll earn 2X points on travel and dining.

Benefits:

Points are worth 25% more when used in the Chase travel portal.

No foreign transaction fees.

1:1 point transfer partner hotels and airlines.

Annual Fee:

$95

Our Thoughts:

This is the best first travel credit card to get. It has a valuable signup bonus with easy to redeem points. You also get a boost to your points value in the Chase travel portal.
LEARN MORE >>

 

Chase Freedom

Introductory Offer:

You'll earn $150 (in the form of 15,000 Ultimate Rewards points) after spending $500 in the first 3 months.

Rewards:

You'll earn 5% on rotating quarterly categories. (up to $1500 in purchases per quarter)

Benefits:

Points can be transferred to primary Chase cards for better redemptions.

Free credit score.

Annual Fee:

No annual fee

Our Thoughts:

This is one of the best "cash back" cards for earning rewards. You can earn up to 5X per dollar and those points can be transferred to a primary Chase card for better redemptions. It's a perfect card to pair with either of the Sapphire cards or the Ink Business Preferred.
LEARN MORE >>

 

As I mentioned above, the benefits of the Capital One Savor card don’t seem to fit the annual fee, but it may still be worth applying for. That’s because it is possible to convert the Capital One Savor into a Capital One SavorOne card before your annual fee is due in the second year.

capital one savor credit card

 

Is it Worth Paying the Annual Fee?

No. Paying the annual fee for the Capital One Savor is not worth it. I’ll tell you why, and I’ll also tell you why it’s still worth applying for the card. Get the $500 introductory offer and then enjoy almost as good spending bonuses, but without an annual fee. How? Convert your card over to the Capital One SavorOne card before your annual fee is due.

 

The only major difference between the Savor and the SavorOne is 1%. The Capital One SavorOne card earns all the same cash back except it earns 3% on dining and entertainment instead of 4%. Does that 1% make the Capital One Savor worth the extra $95 expense each year? Well, unless you spend $9500 on dining and entertainment on the card, NO!

 

That’s how much spending it would take on dining and entertainment to make up the difference of the $95 annual fee. I doubt you spend that much on dining and entertainment, so it might make sense to consider converting your Capital One Savor into the no-fee version.

Citi ThankYou Premier: How Does this Card Compare to the Best?

citi thankyou premier

The Citi ThankYou Premier card is one of Citibank’s top credit card offers. It comes with a substantial introductory offer, has good earning potential, and it’s points are very redeemable. With all these great features, how does it stand up next to it’s biggest competitor? The Chase Sapphire Preferred is known as the best first travel credit card for people to get. It boasts many of the same benefits as the Citi ThankYou Premier and is going after the same market of customers. We’ll dive more into the details of the Citi Premier card and also compare it to the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

 

Citi ThankYou Premier: What it Offers

50,000 ThankYou Points after spending $4000 in the first 3 months

Citi ThankYou Premier Card

  • Introductory Offer: You’ll earn 50,000 ThankYou points after spending $4,000 in purchases in the first 3 months.
  • Bonus Earning: You’ll earn 3X points on travel (including some gas stations). 2X points on dining & entertainment.
  • Point Redemption: Points are redeemable for airfare on any airline, booked through the ThankYou Travel Center, on gift cards at thankyou.com or by transferring points to participating airlines.
  • Fees: No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • Annual Fee: $95 Annual fee (waived in year 1)

Credit Score Needed for Approval: Excellent

 

Citi ThankYou Premier Review

What We Like:

At 50,000 points, the introductory offer for the Citi ThankYou Premier card is very good. Those points are worth at least $500, but by redeeming them for travel using the ThankYou Travel Center you’ll guarantee a value of $625. With available airline transfer partners, you can also convert your ThankYou points into airline miles to get even better redemption rates.

 

The earning potential is also very good on this credit card. You’ll earn extra points on some common expenses like gas stations, dining, and entertainment. Instead of earning 1 point per dollar, you’ll get two or three points.

 

What We Dislike:

The Citi ThankYou Premier does come with an annual fee of $95. For most people, the card will not warrant paying this fee every year. Fortunately, the annual fee is waived in the first year. Also, you can potentially downgrade to the Citi ThankYou Preferred which has no annual fee.

 

Earning Citi ThankYou Points with the Premier Card

What Counts Towards Travel Spending: (3X)

If you travel frequently, this is a great credit card for you to earn points on. Here are some travel purchases that will earn you the 3X points per dollar:

  • Airlines
  • Hotels
  • Gas Stations (except at warehouse clubs, discount stores, department stores, and convenience stores)
  • Car Rentals
  • Travel Agencies
  • Tour Operators
  • Commuter Transportation
  • Buses
  • Taxis/Limos/Car Services
  • Cruises
  • Bridge/Road Tolls

 

There are a few travel-related expenses that are excluded including auto clubs, fuel used for non-automobile purposes, recreational camps, and insurances.

 

What Counts for Dining Spending: (2X)

Dining is another spending category bonus. Dining purchases will earn 2X points per dollar spent including these:

  • Restaurants
  • Fast Food
  • Cafe’s
  • Bars
  • Lounges

 

Excluded from the dining spend bonus are bakeries and restaurants and cafes that reside within department stores, grocery stores, or warehouse stores.

citi thankyou premier bonus

 

What Counts for Entertainment Spending: (2X)

Entertainment as a category is kind of a broad term. It’s nice to know what will actually earn bonus points when purchased. Here are the types of entertainment that will earn 2X points per dollar spent:

  • Movie Theaters
  • Sporting Events
  • Concerts
  • On-demand Streaming Media
  • Amusement Parks
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Live Entertainment
  • Theatrical Productions
  • Record/Video Rental Stores (do these still exist somewhere?!?)

 

As with the other two categories above, there are a few entertainment purchases that are excluded from earning the bonus points, including sporting camps, sports complexes, golf courses, country clubs, bowling alleys, musical instrument stores, video game stores/arcades, bookstores, and charitable organizations.

 

Redeeming Citi ThankYou Points

There are three main ways to redeem your Citi ThankYou Premier points. Depending on how you decide to redeem your points, you’ll get a point value from one cent up to many cents per point. ThankYou points can be redeemed for travel, merchandise, gift cards, Amazon purchases or by transferring them to partner airlines.

 

Book Travel through ThankYou Travel Center (1.25 cents per point)

One of the best options for redeeming ThankYou points is through Citi’s Travel Center on ThankYou.com. When you book travel using your points you will get an increased rate of redemption at 1.25 cents per point. The 25% increase in value makes it well worth redeeming your points for travel. Through the travel center, you’re able to book flights, hotels, cars, activities, and cruises.

 

Buy Merchandise or Gift Cards at ThankYou.com (1 cent per point)

While buying merchandise or gift cards is not usually the most valuable redemption, it can make sense for some people. Each point will be worth one cent when redeemed in this fashion. If you’re unable to travel or simply don’t like traveling, it might make sense to use your points to buy things you’ve been wanting or needing. Maybe a new big screen TV gets you a little more excited than a trip across the world. This redemption method is for you.

 

Use ThankYou Points for Amazon Purchases

The merchandise and gift cards over at ThankYou.com might be a bit obsolete when you can just use your points on Amazon. Points will again be worth just one cent per point, but if you’re looking to buy products instead of travel Amazon is probably the place. It’s easy to link your accounts within Amazon to start using points.

 

Also, occasionally Amazon will give heavy discounts on certain products when you use at least one ThankYou point toward your purchase. Recently, I bought some Amazon Fire HD’s to give away because I received $40 off each tablet simply by using 1 ThankYou point on my purchase. I guess that means I got $40 per point on that redemption! Too bad we can’t always get a value like that…

 

Transfer Points to Airlines (variable point values)

Transferring Citi ThankYou Premier points to airline partners can often be the most valuable redemption. If you transfer your points into an airline and use those points for a free flight that would have been very expensive, you will have saved a lot of money. Therefore, you can get redemption rates well above 2 cents per point. For instance, if you use 30,000 points to book a flight that would otherwise cost $600 out of pocket, you have redeemed your points for 2 cents per point.

 

ThankYou Points Airline Partners

All of the following airlines are transfer partners of Citi ThankYou points at a 1:1 ratio except JetBlue which has a 10:8 transfer ratio. Sometimes, certain airlines will have a promotion that will give you a better redemption rate such as 25% extra miles.

  • Air France/KLM Flying Blue
  • Avianca LifeMiles
  • Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
  • Etihad Guest
  • EVA Air Infinity MileageLands
  • Garuda Indonesia Miles
  • Jet Airways JetPrivilege
  • JetBlue TrueBlue
  • Malaysia Airlines Enrich
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer
  • Qatar Airways Privilege Club
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Thai Royal Orchid Plus
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

 

Other Useful Benefits of the Citi ThankYou Premier Card

Besides earning points, the Citi ThankYou Premier credit card has some other beneficial perks. The non-points benefits of the Citi ThankYou Premier are that it has no foreign transaction fees and it comes with valuable travel and purchase protections.

 

Purchase Protections Include:

  • Price Rewind – get a refund if the item you purchased has a lower price within 60 days.
  • Extended Warranty Protection – adds 24 months onto manufacturers warranties.
  • Damage and Theft Protection – repairs or replaces items that are damaged or stolen within 90 days.
  • Return Protection – refunds purchase price if the merchant won’t accept a return within 90 days.

 

Travel Protections Include:

  • Trip Delay Protection – If your trip is delayed at least 12 hours you may be reimbursed for expenses incurred.
  • Lost Baggage Protection – If baggage is lost, stolen or damaged you may be reimbursed for repair or replacement.
  • Baggage Delay Protection – If baggage is delayed more than 6 hours you may be reimbursed for necessary purchases.
  • Trip Cancellation & Interruption Protection – you may be reimbursed up to $5,000 for non-refundable trip expenses.
  • Auto Rental Insurance – covering up to $50,000 on most vehicle types. You receive secondary insurance in the US and primary abroad.

citi thankyou premier benefits

 

Citi ThankYou Premier vs Chase Sapphire Preferred

Now we’ll compare the Citi ThankYou Premier to its competitors. Is the ThankYou Premier as good as the Chase Sapphire Preferred card? Let’s find out.

 

 CITI THANKYOU PREMIERCHASE SAPPHIRE PREFERRED
WINNER
Introductory Offer:50,000 points after spending $4000 in the first 3 months60,000 points after spending $4000 in the first 3 months
Earning Points:3X on Travel
2X on Dining & Entertainment
2X on Travel & Dining
Redeeming Points:1.25 cents per point on Travel

Airline Transfer Partners
1.25 cents per point on Travel

Airline & Hotel Transfer Partners
Other Benefits:Purchase Protection

Travel Protection

Secondary Rental Car Insurance
Purchase Protection

Travel Protection

Primary Rental Car Insurance

 

Although these two credit cards are very similar in their features, the Chase Sapphire Preferred comes out victorious from this comparison. The Citi ThankYou Premier does have a better earning potential but falls short to the Chase Sapphire Preferred in point redemption value and extra benefits. The Sapphire Preferred has more and better transfer partners, including a few hotels. It also comes with primary car rental insurance, while the Citi ThankYou Premier only comes with secondary insurance.

 

Overall, the Citi ThankYou Premier is a very good travel credit card and comes with a significant introductory offer. To even be able to compete with the Chase Sapphire Preferred means that it can hold it’s own. If I had to choose between the two cards, I would choose the Chase Sapphire Preferred. But, if you’ve already applied for the Sapphire Preferred or are over the 5/24 Chase rule, the Citi ThankYou Premier card is a great alternative.

SPG Amex Review: Is This Credit Card Still Any Good?

spg amex card

The SPG Amex credit card used to be touted as one of the best travel credit cards. Is it still as good as it used to be? We’ll find out. Since the merger of Marriott and SPG (Starwood Preferred Guest) hotels, the co-branded credit cards have changed. Especially the SPG Amex credit cards due to the changes in their point structure.

 

During the merger, SPG points were converted at a 1:3 ratio into Marriott Rewards points. Because of this, the SPG Amex introductory offer changed from a typical 25,000 points to the now 75,000 points. The introductory offer was not the only thing that changed with the SPG Amex. We’ll review the Amex SPG card in more detail to figure out if it’s still a good credit card or not.

 

Changes to the New SPG Amex Card: Features & Benefits

The SPG Amex credit cards made it through the merger still intact, but they had some changes in the process. Some of them are good and some of them are bad. We’ll try to decide whether the card is still good overall.

 

New Earning Potential with the SPG Amex Cards

The earning potential from the cards changed. Purchases used to earn 1X on all non-bonus spending. Now those purchases earn 2X points which may sound better but it’s not. SPG points were converted into Marriott points during the merger at a 3:1 ratio. This means that points are now a third as valuable. Because your purchases now earn 2 points, that means you’re getting a final value of 2/3 what you used to.

 

One positive change to how points are earned is the addition of bonus spending categories for the Amex SPG business card. It now earns 4X points on US restaurants, gas stations, on cell phone services from US providers and on US shipping purchases.

Free Night Awards on Your Cardmember Anniversary

The huge positive change to the cards is the addition of a free anniversary night at hotels up to Marriott category 5 (up to 35,000 points). Having a free night award each year more than offsets the annual fee that the cards hold. Marriott has 8 categories, but there are some amazing properties in category 5. Check out our review of the best Marriott category 5 resorts in the United States to get an idea of what you can use your free night on.

 

Elite Status with Marriott

With the Amex SPG business Card, you’ll earn automatic silver elite status and gold status if you spend over $35,000 on your card in a year. Silver Elite status within Marriott Rewards gives you a 10% earning bonus when you book a Marriott room and priority late checkout. These benefits aren’t worth much, but they’re better than nothing I suppose. Gold status gives you enhanced room upgrades, but spending $35,000 on this card might not be worth it.

 

Between the status upgrade and the extra spending benefits, it’s obvious that the business SPG Amex is the clear-cut winner between the two cards. If you’re able to get the business card, it’s a no-brainer over the personal card considering they have the same annual fee and the business card has more benefits. It’s mind-boggling why the two cards aren’t exactly the same as far as benefits.

amex spg card

 

Amex SPG Card

75,000 Points After Spending $3,000 in the First 3 Months

spg card art marriott category 5

Learn More >>

  • Introductory Offer: You’ll earn 75,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months.
  • Anniversary Free Night: Earn 1 free award night at a category 1-5 Marriott property after your cardmember anniversary.
  • Boingo Wi-Fi: Enjoy complimentary, unlimited Boingo Wi-Fi on up to four devices after enrolling.
  • Bonus Earning Categories: You’ll earn 6X per $1 spent at Marriott Rewards and SPG hotels. Earn 2X points on all other qualifying purchases.
  • Annual Fee: $95 (waived in year 1)
  • Terms Apply

 

Learn more about this card and find out how to apply HERE.

 

Amex SPG Business Card

75,000 Points After Spending $3,000 in the First 3 Months

spg business card art marriott category 5

Learn More >>

  • Introductory Offer: You’ll earn 75,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months.
  • Anniversary Free Night: Earn 1 free award night at a category 1-5 Marriott property after your cardmember anniversary.
  • Boingo Wi-Fi: Enjoy complimentary, unlimited Boingo Wi-Fi on up to four devices after enrolling.
  • Bonus Earning Categories: You’ll earn 6X per $1 spent at Marriott Rewards and SPG hotels. Earn 4X points at US restaurants, US gas stations, cell phone services from US service providers, and on US shipping purchases. 2X points on all other qualifying purchases.
  • Elite Status: Complimentary Silver Status with your Card. Earn Gold Elite status after spending $30,000 or more in eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Note: starting January 1, 2019, the spend threshold will increase to $35,000.
  • Annual Fee: $95 (waived in year 1)
  • Terms Apply

 

Learn more about this card and find out how to apply HERE.

 

Marriott Rewards Points FAQ

  • Does Marriott Have Transfer Partners?

Yes, since the merger Marriott Rewards now has the most transfer partners of any points system. Marriott points can be transferred to airline miles at a 3:1 ratio (plus 5k bonus points for every 60k Marriott Rewards points transferred). The best airline options are Alaska Airlines, Japan Airlines, United Airlines, American Airlines, All Nippon Airways, and Korean Air.

  • How much are Marriott Rewards points worth?

Marriott Rewards Points are worth approximately 0.8 cents per point when redeemed for hotel stays and 0.7 cents when transferred to partner airlines.

  • Do Marriott Rewards points expire?

Yes, they only expire if you don’t earn or spend any Marriott Rewards points in a 24 month period. As long as you earn or spend at least 1 point, the expiration date will extend another 24 months. Because points are stored in your Marriott account and not in your credit card account, points will not expire if you cancel your card.

 

Booking Free Nights with Marriott Rewards Points

Marriott Rewards has eight different redemption categories, ranging from 7,500 points all the way up to 85,000 points per night. These point levels are for booking a standard room (not including peak and off-peak dates). As seen in our review of the category 5 resorts in the US, there are some great properties to stay at for a reasonable amount of points. Personally, I prefer the award chart of Hyatt to this as their points are much more valuable.

 

You can also transfer points from Chase Ultimate Rewards credit cards to Marriott just like you can with Hyatt. The problem is you’ll lose a ton of value transferring to Marriott because their points are worth so little compared to their competition.  Here is a chart that shows how many points it will take to book a free night in each Marriott Rewards category.

CategoryOff-PeakStandardPeak
15,0007,50010,000
210,00012,50015,000
315,00017,50020,000
420,00025,00030,000
530,00035,00040,000
640,00050,00060,000
750,00060,00070,000
870,00085,000100,000

*Category 8 will not be used until Feb 1st, 2019

**Only Standard Rates will be used through 2018.

 

Earning Marriott Rewards Points

Marriott Rewards points can be earned in multiple ways. By far the easiest way is by applying for any of the credit cards that earn Marriott Rewards, such as the two SPG Amex cards. You’ll earn enough Marriott Rewards points through the introductory offers to stay up to 10 nights at some of the lower end hotels or one night at their top end properties after a bit of spending.

 

You’ll also earn points by making purchases on the cards, although you could be earning more value by spending on other cards. It seems that with the new Marriott Rewards program, the best value for points is on their high-end luxury properties. They used to cost hundreds of thousands of points per night, but now can be had with 70,000 points if you book during the “Off-Peak” season.

 

Marriott Rewards’ 5th Award Night Free

One thing that is great about the Marriott Rewards program is their 5th Night Free perk on award nights. If you book a stay of 5 nights using your points, you’ll only pay the number of points for 4 nights. When booking a room at a Marriott category 8 hotel you would pay 340,000 points instead of 445,000 which is a pretty big chunk of points saved. With that said, keep in mind on your next Marriott stay that if you’re booking 4 nights, you might as well add an extra night considering it’s complimentary.

amex spg business card

 

Understanding Your Annual Free Night Award

After your cardmember anniversary with the SPG Amex credit cards, a free night award will appear in your Marriott Rewards account. You’ll find the award night on the “Activity” page. To use your free night award, you’ll log in to your account and search for a hotel night selecting the “Use reward points” checkbox. On the “Reservation Details” page, you’ll have the option to use your free night award. Continue booking your stay as you normally would. Your Free Award Night credit will be applied to the reservation giving you a free night.

 

Note, that at some hotels you will still have to pay a “Resort Fee”, which is a made up worthless fee charged by many hotels to get extra money out of you for basically nothing extra in return.

 

You’ll be able to use your free night award on any category 1-5 hotels, but be aware that only Marriott category 5 hotels with standard or off-peak pricing will be bookable. Category 5 peak pricing is above the 35,000 point limit that comes with your free night award.

 

Are you just short of having enough points for the room you want? When booking a stay with Marriott Rewards, you have the option to use both points and cash. This is pretty handy for those straggling points you can’t seem to figure out how to use. Also, if you have any other questions about booking a stay using Marriott Rewards you can check out Marriotts official FAQ page.

 

Redeeming at Category 5 Hotels will get the Best Value

As mentioned above, you can use your free night awards at any Marriott category 1-5 hotels, but you’ll usually get the most value if you stay at a category 5 resort. With the addition of Starwood hotels, there are now a total of 1138 Marriott category 5 hotels worldwide and 695 in the United States alone, so you’ll have many to choose from.

 

Free night awards at category 1-5 Marriott hotels can be worth a high value. The value of your stay ultimately depends on where you stay. Some Marriott category 5 resorts can save you upwards of $700 for a single night!

 

Yes, you’ll have to pay the $95 annual fee for the SPG Amex cards every year. But, if you use your free night award for a hotel stay costing more than $95, it’s worth it. It’s easy to find a hotel stay that will at least cover the $95 fee you pay. For instance, you could use your free night at the Westin Hapuna Beach Resort. It sometimes costs over $700 per night! By using your award it would be like paying $95 for a $700 room. I’d say that’s a pretty valuable redemption.

 

Remember, the best way to earn Marriott points is by getting an SPG credit card. Plus, you’ll get a free night award every anniversary.