Can Chase Ultimate Rewards points be used to pay for only part of a ticket?

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willdude
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Can Chase Ultimate Rewards points be used to pay for only part of a ticket?

Postby willdude » Mon Mar 31, 2014 4:07 pm

I'm considering getting a Chase Sapphire Preferred card in anticipation of a trip to Japan in September. Particularly appealing is the 20% discount when using Ultimate Rewards points to pay for airplane tickets. However, I will surely not have enough points built up to pay for the whole $1500 ticket. So I have two questions:

1) Is it possible to use points to pay for only part of the ticket, and pay the rest with credit card?
2) If so, do you get a 20% discount off the whole ticket, only the part you're paying for using points, or none of it?


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djrez4
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Postby djrez4 » Mon Mar 31, 2014 5:17 pm

1) Yes, you can pay part in points and part in cash/credit.
2) Sort of. You don't get the 20% off the entire ticket. You just pay 20% fewer points for whatever portion you pay in points.

Here's points only for a random search from DEN-ORD:

Image

Here's cash and points:

Image

On a points only redemption, I'm paying 80% of the cash value in points. On the points and cash redemption, I chose 15,000 points at random, but notice that the points are still 80% of the cash difference, $187.50.

Does that answer your question?

As an aside, it only costs 70,000 points to travel from IAD to NRT on United in economy class. If you get the CSP and a Freedom, you're already at 53.5k. CSP and a United Explorer gets you there with enough left over for a domestic ticket. Much better deal to redeem 70,000 points for the ticket than to redeem 40,000 points and pay another $1000.
[RIGHT][size=100]- Sapphire Preferred - Freedom - Ink - Platinum - Everyday Preferred -[/size]
[/RIGHT]

willdude
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Postby willdude » Mon Mar 31, 2014 5:23 pm

Ah, yes, thank you, that's exactly what I was looking for. Much appreciated!

linuxmachine
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Postby linuxmachine » Mon Mar 31, 2014 6:38 pm

Not totally related, but AA has some awesome rewards rates for Asia. For instance, that same US to NRT flight is 50K AA miles. Not the best seats but still quite cheap. Only caveat is no rewards network transfer with them (outside of maybe diners club). You'll have to get a AA branded CC with some bonus miles and spend until you get the rest of the miles.

Another decent option if you live close enough to the west coast is using Avios to fly to a west coast hub (like SFO) and then just buying tickets with points from the portal. If you are flexible with your dates, I've seen economy seats on Singapore Airlines go for under 800 between SFO and OCN (korea). It's one of the best economy seats in the sky. Of course, this really comes down to how far you are from the HUB or how cheap you can get there. Worst case, you can redeem a domestic 25k round trip award + pay 800 for cheaper tickets, which ultimately will cost much less than 1500 for a ticket.



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