That’s right, I am going after the high priest ! Next up, Randy Petersen. Well, actually this time its not so much of a challenge, but rather a different perspective. First, I really like his blog “View from the wing”. Its one of the best if not the best for a reason.
The energy of that guy is unreal. He has a full-time job, a side business and writes 10 posts per day. And all of them are good! Its beyond me. Even though I don’t relate to his business traveler perspective, I still enjoy reading his take on things.
Anyway, back to my point. In his post he claimed how its wrong to redeem Ultimate Rewards for travel expenses. LINK to post. Chase has an option where you can get 1.25 cents per point towards a purchase of airfare, hotels and cruises.
He said it would be better to focus on cash back cards, if that is your goal. I don’t disagree with that part. I have long maintained, that for a middle class family it makes more sense, when it comes to non-bonus spending. Read more about it HERE
But what if you got a Chase Sapphire Preferred or one of the business cards, like Ink plus or Ink bold just for bonus? That is indeed the case with me, since I got CSP card in January solely for the points. In fact I plan to cancel it very soon. And I won’t have any Ultimate Rewards earning cards from now on, maybe ever.
Yes, they are extremely valuable and all and the program has some very lucrative transfer partners. But like it goes in the song by Jose Gonzalez, called “Heartbeats”: “Wouldn’t be good enough? For me, no!” I focus on sign-up bonuses at this time and will not pay a fee of 95 dollars just for the privilege of an occasional transfer.
But back to my point. Lets say you have 40000 Ultimate Rewards points and not sure what to do with them. You can transfer to United or Hyatt, the holy duo. If you are looking for a business class seat or a fancy hotel, that may be what you should do. United provides some fantastic opportunities for redemption on Star partners. And Hyatt has some really impressive hotels, that “only” cost 22000 Ultimate Rewards per night through transfer. Those places retail for 800-1000 dollars per night.
But would you ever pay that much to begin with? Who cares, what the rates are. You can rent a condo for a week in many places for that amount of money. Lets say, like me you are looking to decide what to do with your Ultimate Rewards. You have to transfer or spend the points, before canceling the card. Here are the options I am considering at this time : Rapid Rewards, British Airways Avios, or spend on travel at a rate of 1.25 per point.
I have a good stash of Avios at the moment so I will pass on that one. Besides, I like to get them through transfer from Membership Rewards, when there is a bonus. So its a toss up between Rapid Rewards and just cashing out for travel. I need to book some paid flights for my parents in December just before canceling the card, so I will use part of the stash for that. It makes no sense to redeem miles for that particular situation. I probably will transfer the rest to Southwest, unless something else comes up.
So if I have firm plans, whether cruise or airfare, I absolutely will not hesitate to use them at a rate of 1.25 cents per point. Especially with the upcoming Rapid Rewards devaluation, where 1 point will be worth 1.4 cents toward flights after March 31st 2014. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. If you are like me, your savings are somewhat low. So instead of making a speculative transfer, perhaps its worth it to just go for the sure thing.
I suggest you read the blogs, take the advice, but then make your own decisions, when it comes to your points. Its like some guy tweeted the other day: they are YOUR miles and points, do what YOU want with them. I think I have heard that one before. So what I’m really trying to say is, read “View from the wing”, then come back and apply through my site! Don’t worry, he will still be staying at Hyatt.
Photo credit goes to adrenalist.com