How to use 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points – Staycation Edition – Forbes Advisor
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After six months of quarantine with no end in sight, you’ll be forgiven for feeling like the walls are closing in on you. We are limited by circumstances, but what we can do is only limited by the imagination. You can escape your routine in just a few hours by changing the routine and taking a Staycation.
It’s even better when you can use your ultimate rewards to fund your respite. With an increased Welcome Bonus that allows new cardholders to earn 100,000 bonus points after spending $ 4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of opening the account, now is the time to consider upgrading. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card if you don’t have it yet.
The traditional way to use Chase Ultimate Rewards is to either transfer to travel partners or use the travel portal. Chase’s Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal is powered by Expedia, so almost anything you can buy on Expedia you can buy with Ultimate Rewards points. Note the “almost” in this sentence. A few items available on Expedia (including those owned by Disney) are currently not available through the Ultimate Rewards portal.
The benefit of redeeming Ultimate Rewards for travel is the increase: you’ll get 1.25 cents per point with the Ink Business Preferred® credit card or Chase Sapphire Preferred® card and 1.5 cents with the card Chase Sapphire Reserve®, for just 1 cent per point when you redeem for cash back.
Even though trading for cash isn’t as valuable, it can still make sense in some cases. With the cash on hand, there is no limit to what you can do. Here are my favorite vacation ideas that will help you get away from it all without going too far.
Feel the wind in your hair
I always thought I wanted a convertible. You might have shared the same vision of a carefree, carefree Beach Boys trip to sunset. Then I actually envisioned the practical impossibility of a mother of two trying to get a week’s worth of groceries and two car seats occupied at home in a car intended for appearance, not to function.
Fortunately, you can make your dreams come true on the Ultimate Rewards travel portal. It offers a plethora of car rental options including convertibles, with the industry standard being a convertible Ford Mustang.
There is no reason why you should take your own car during a stay. Why not trade in your minivan for a Mustang? Rates in many cities average $ 450, or 35,000 Ultimate Rewards points at 1.25 cents, for a week’s rental. You might not even need a hotel: a day trip with the hair in the wind, which would cost only around 6,000 Ultimate Rewards points on a $ 75 rental, may be enough to get your rhythm back. .
To be afraid
Fall means looking at the leaves and going back to school, but Halloween is also high in the mix. With the Ultimate Rewards portal, you can book spooky night tours to cities such as New Orleans, Charleston and Savannah for around 2,000 Ultimate Rewards points per person.
While long-distance travel may be limited due to COVID issues at both your origin and destination, look nearby for a hotel that matches the Halloween theme. Many states limit interstate travel from COVID hotspots, but travel within the state or regional travel is permitted. Be sure to check the regulations for your hometown and where you want to go before proceeding.
For example, if you are in Texas, head to San Antonio where you can not only walk in the footsteps of ghosts, but also sleep in a historic prison. The Holiday Inn Express North Riverwalk is a popular stop on the San Antonio Ghost Tour, and I admit this one is now on my list. Dating from 1879, the building shows many scars from its time in prison. You can even stay in rooms 108 or 218, which used hatches to form a gallows (!).
Rooms at the Holiday Inn Express North Riverwalk cost approximately $ 100 or 8,000 Ultimate Rewards points per night. Normally, I hesitate to use Chase Ultimate Rewards in hotel chains because booking through a third party would deprive you of the status benefits. However, IHG can be an exception as even the highest level of status in the chain offers very little.
The hotel normally manages 20,000 IHG points per night, but IHG has cut back many hotels for last minute rewards bookings. Even at the reduced rate for October 2020 of 12,500 points per night, you are better off using Ultimate Rewards through the portal than transferring your Ultimate Rewards to IHG. However, if you already have IHG points, you should consider using them and saving your Ultimate Rewards for the next trip.
Or if you’re in New England, take a look at the Liberty Hotel in Boston. Boston has made our list of ideas for a socially remote getaway and the Liberty would take your Staycation to a dreadful level. Housed in the Charles Street Jail building dating from 1851, the Liberty delves into its heritage with a bar called Clink. The prison theme extends to the bedrooms, which have safes as nightstands and rugs with a lock and key pattern.
At 55,000 Bonvoy points per night compared to rates of around $ 250, transferring from Ultimate Rewards to Bonvoy is not a good idea. However, you can reserve the Liberty on the Chase portal for approximately 20,000 Ultimate Rewards points per night if you have a Sapphire Preferred or Ink Preferred card.
Camp in your garden
We’ve covered many unique accommodation options, including cottages and yurts, but you can get creative with your sleeping arrangements without leaving home. Use 80,000 Ultimate Rewards for cash back and you get $ 800 for a luxury tent setup that would excite even a reluctant camper. You might get a camping convert once they realize they can rush inside for a beer from the fridge or a pot break. Make sure you keep cell phones indoors – you’re camping after all.
For $ 400 you can easily buy a 4 yard tent that will fit a queen air mattress like this one that brings Outside of Africa in mind. Plan $ 100 for an air mattress and add $ 100 for an outdoor fireplace to enhance the atmosphere of the campsite. Everything you would need to decorate, you probably already have it, leaving $ 200 for s’mores.
Once you’ve had a taste of backyard camping, you might have the confidence to cast your net a little wider. The good thing is that you can use your Ultimate Rewards redemption over and over again, enjoying your free loot every time you step out into the wild.
Hunt in your hometown
We mentioned geocaching in our home schooling ideas article, but there’s a more organized way out of your rut. A scavenger hunt can immerse you in your hometown and take you to secret places, even a place you’ve lived your whole life.
The Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel portal offers scavenger hunt options for all major cities and more than a few small ones. Best of all, they only cost around 1,000 Ultimate Rewards points for a whole day of fun.
Bring the world to you
I admit I have a soft spot for the fun stuff that comes in the mail and Forbes Advisor even has a list of recommended subscription boxes. One way I have broadened my family’s horizons while being stuck at home has been internationally based joy boxes. By redeeming ultimate rewards for cash, I can collect any number of annual visits from the Fedex treat fairy.
My family favorite is Japan Crate, which is a bright red box of chaos that makes us smile every time it arrives. The cash register is chock-full of indecipherable technical-color goodies and we spend the first few minutes with the boxes asking ourselves “what is this?” “. Fortunately, the box comes with a guide so you can match the product to the catalog description. The 12 month membership is $ 380, or 38,000 Ultimate Rewards points.
If you want more variety in your overall exploration, try the Universal Yums Box. Introducing a new country each month, Universal Yums delves deep into culture through food. From Colombia to Thailand to Greece, you can discover culinary delights and information about every global community. The Super Yum Box, which also includes a guide with interactive games, costs $ 429 per year or 42,900 Ultimate Rewards points.
I’m not going to sugarcoat it: 2020 is a year we would all rather forget. All the rays of the sun that you can bring to life are all the more appreciated because of the darkness we live in. Hopefully Ultimate Rewards can help fund your escape from reality, whatever form it takes.