I talk about transferring credit card points a lot. But you should also consider booking through credit card portals too. Here’s why.
Now, I only have Chase Ultimate Rewards and American Express Membership Rewards cards. So, I won’t be covering other portals like Citi ThankYou, etc.
The best values are often gotten by transferring your credit card points to airline loyalty programs and redeeming directly. But, sometimes, you can find decent deals via credit card portals. For example, to get an award flight between Honolulu and Vegas on Hawaiian, you’ll pay 45,000 HawaiianMiles (35,000 if you have their co-brand credit card).
Of course, to fly non-stop on Hawaiian, you could also redeem 40 to 60,000 miles with JetBlue or Virgin Atlantic. But, another option is to redeem directly through Chase Ultimate Rewards. Doing so, you’ll get a roundtrip flight for as little as 38,480 points. On Hawaiian.
That’s not always going to be the case, though. If we look at other routes, booking direct or through other partners is going to cost less.
It’s no better with American Express, either.
Benefits of Booking Through Credit Card Portals
If you do book your ticket via Chase’s Ultimate Rewards portal, Amex’s Membership Rewards portal, etc., to the airline, it’s as if you paid cash. Even if you redeem your credit card points for the flight, you’ll still earn miles with the airlines’ program and elite qualifying miles. So even if you decide to redeem via the credit card portal at a higher points cost, you still get some benefit from it.
Consider Booking Through Credit Card Portals, Final Thoughts
Booking award flights directly through credit card portals isn’t my first choice option. But, it is a viable option under the right conditions. In Hawaiian’s case, if you’re not a Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard cardholder, booking via Chase offers one of the best values around. Especially when you have to fly a specific airline, like flying Honolulu to Las Vegas directly.