During the month of March you can earn 10% cash back on hotel bookings of up to $2,500 when you book through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In order to access this promotion just log into your Ultimate Rewards account, and you should see it on the homepage.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited® ordinarily offers 1.5x points per dollar spent, while the Chase Freedom® Card ordinarily offers 1x points per dollar spent, meaning you’re earning 8.5 and 9 bonus points per dollar spent, respectively. The bonus points should post within a week of the transaction posting.
Keep in mind that you can earn way more than the value of 10% cash back, though. With the Freedom products, you can ordinarily earn points that can be redeemed for one cent cashback.
However, if you have either card in addition to one of the cards that accrue Ultimate Rewards points, you can transfer these points to Ultimate Rewards. Cards that accrue Ultimate Rewards include the:
So 10% cashback converts into 10x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar. Personally, I value Ultimate Rewards points at 1.7 cents each, meaning this is the equivalent of 17% back on hotel stays.
What’s the catch? Hotel bookings made through Ultimate Rewards typically won’t earn points with your preferred hotel loyalty program, and with most programs you also won’t receive elite benefits on third party bookings.
This means you’ll basically have to decide whether you want 10x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent, or if you want elite benefits and points with the hotel group you’re staying with.
In general, I’d say that:
- There’s still value booking independent hotels using this promotion, since they often don’t have a loyalty program, and there’s not much incentive to book directly
- For those who aren’t typically loyal to a hotel group, earning 10x Ultimate Rewards points can in many cases surpass the value you’d get from participating in the hotel loyalty program
So this promotion isn’t for everyone, but it’s still worth being aware of. For example, if I’m booking an independent, non-luxury (by that I mean a hotel not participating in Virtuoso) hotel during the promotion period, I’ll take advantage of this. Otherwise, I probably won’t.
Does anyone plan on taking advantage of this promotion to earn bonus points on hotel stays?