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Chase Sapphire vs. Emirates
A complaint/question/warning of sorts.
Based on several recommendations I decided to apply for a Chase Sapphire Preferred card. Before doing so my OCD made me ensure that they could book flights with Emirates; I did a trial run with their travel service and there didn’t [I]appear [/I]to be any problem.
However, when attempting an actual booking I ran into a few problems:
1. Chase is unable to “automatically” book anything other than standard class fares (i.e. straight economy, business or first; no saver or flex/+ fares.
2. In order to book a non-standard fare, the letter class code must be provided…and Chase cannot provide them. This required terminating my call with Chase (after 30 minutes on hold) and calling Emirates to obtain the code.
3. Again, OCD made me verify the code I received from the first attempt and (guess what) I received a different 3 letter code on the second try. A third attempt “confirmed” the second code, or should I say codes (more on that later).
4. Second time in the 30 minute Chase queue and (miracles do happen) I ended up with the same agent I had before so she knew what I was trying to do, saving another 30 minute intro (note that I already had the flight numbers for my flights). When I gave her the Emirates code she said neither of the codes I received from Emirates were correct; it should be a single letter. To save me the wait, she called Emirates to get the correct code…which may or may not have happened since see #5.
5. The fare was about $500 more ($3,500 vs. $3,000) than I could have obtained by booking the flights myself…and your travel must be booked through Chase in order to obtain any points/miles.
6. Additionally, non-standard fare classes must be entered manually, a process which took well over an hour and then took an additional 30 minutes for a supervisor to approve.
My questions are, does any of this sound normal and does the difference in fares make sense?
My complaint is that this is way too much trouble for not much benefit, unless I’m doing something wrong.
My warning is to other Emirates travelers contemplating the Chase Sapphire: see above.
[USER=535]@UNISOL[/USER] I’m not sure what your needs are but most people collecting miles and points do not use them to book through credit card travel portals. Higher value can be obtained by transferring the points to airline mileage programs and then booking.
While you might get an extra UR point/$ for booking through the Chase portal, it is not required to do so. You will still earn the 2x points for travel if you book directly with the airline or through an online travel agency. As your example shows it is better to do that.
Understood, but unfortunately, that is NOT an option when booking other than “standard” fares on Emirates with the Chase Sapphire: you must call into their travel center to book.
[USER=535]@UNISOL[/USER] – I think what [USER=79]@Gaurav[/USER] is saying is that if you use your CSP card to pay for the flight you’ll earn 2 points per dollar at the lower fare if you’re going to pay cash since it’s classified as a travel expense.
If you’re using URs to pay for the flight then you *may* be better off transferring those points to an airline that is partners with Emirates and booking an award seat that way. That will give you access to premium cabins and you’ll be able to get a better value for your points.
[USER=535]@UNISOL[/USER] can you elaborate on what you are trying to do? Are you trying to use the UR points you earned through your CSP to book an Emirates flight through the UR travel portal? Just want to make sure we are on the same page.
I was attempting to buy (and pay) for a ticket.
I understand that there are differing “exchange rates” depending on which venue in which one chooses to exchange their rewards, but I wasn’t doing so: just buying a ticket on a brand new (0 point/miles/UR) card.
My plan was to put about $15k/year on the card and use the rewards elsewhere (not for Emirates tickets) but if each ticket is going to cost $500 more, I will never recoup the difference in rewards regardless of how I exchange them.
[USER=535]@UNISOL[/USER] again, you do NOT have to book the Emirates ticket through the Chase travel portal if you are just paying cash. You can book it directly with the airline or through a travel portal and still receive 2 points per dollar spent.
But you DO [have to go through Chase] if you want it to count as a travel expense/earn rewards; tickets puchased by one’s self [i.e. not through Chase] DO NOT earn rewards. I just got off the phone with Chase to confirm such is the case. You can book a “standard” [i.e. straight economy or business and not something analagous to Emirates saver or flex fares] yourself but only through their travel portal if you want it to count as a travel expense.
Air fare makes up the vast majority of my $15-20K in annual travel expenses; w/o that on a card I won’t have much else with which to earn rewards.
[USER=535]@UNISOL[/USER] – I promise you if you go to the AA, UA, DL, Emirates or even Travelocity or Orbitz website, buy a ticket and pay for it with your CSP it *will* count as travel.
I pay baggage fees with it and it counts. I pay taxes & fees on award tickets and it counts.
[USER=535]@UNISOL[/USER] [USER=184]@MidSouth Skier[/USER] and I both speak from experience. Your airfares, hotel charges, etc will ALL earn you 2x points.
[USER=535]@UNISOL[/USER] — That sounds like a very poorly informed rep. As [USER=79]@Gaurav[/USER] and [USER=184]@MidSouth Skier[/USER] have mentioned, you will absolutely earn 2x points on your own travel transactions. That’s the entire point of the bonus category.
However, you can sometimes earn and [I]additional[/I] point by booking through the travel portal. As you’ve noted, the prices make it not really worth it in some cases.
I defer to your experience, this [I]is[/I] my first time using the card, but why would three different reps (not just one) and a supervisor tell me otherwise especially when I was calling to cancel my card?
Perhaps I’ll roll the dice on my next trip and see what happens.
Thanks for your replies/advice.
[USER=535]@UNISOL[/USER] — If call center representatives were always properly informed, I literally wouldn’t have a job.
Don’t wait for your next trip, and don’t just trust us — the CSP offers double points on travel and dining. Buy dinner, an Uber ride, etc., and then look in your account to see how the purchase coded, and how many points you’re getting.