Chase Travel Portal Review: (Airlines, Hotels, Car Rentals, Cruises) [2018]

Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. 

The Chase Travel Portal can be one of the best ways to utilize your hard-earned reward points.

But how exactly does the Chase Travel Portal work and is it worth using?

This review article will walk you through step-by-step on how to use the portal for all forms of travel (airlines, hotels, rental cars, cruises) and I’ll look at if travel through the portal is more expensive. 

I’ll also discuss things like promo codes, price matches, and some other helpful details about the portal.

Update: The portal has been updated and changed. 


What is the Chase Travel Portal?

The Chase Travel Portal is an exclusive online travel agency (OTA) powered by Expedia that allows Chase cardholders to book travel with their Ultimate Rewards or by paying via a credit card.

You can log-in to the travel portal here.


Chase card point values

As stated, this travel portal is only offered to Chase cardholders.

When you use your Ultimate Rewards points to book travel you’ll get different levels of value from your Chase credit cards, depending on the type of card that is used.

Take a look at each point is valued based on the card you are using.

  • Chase Freedom: 1 cent per point
  • Chase Freedom Unlimited: 1 cent per point
  • Chase Ink Cash: 1 cent per point
  • Chase Ink Unlimited: 1 cent per point
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred: 1.25 cents per point
  • Chase Ink Preferred: 1.25 cents per point
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve: 1.5 cents per point

Keep in mind that you can transfer Ultimate Rewards between spouses and household members so you can also use the card that has the best redemption rates for your travels.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve

The Sapphire Reserve with the 1.5 cents per point redemption rate is one of the top benefits of the Sapphire Reserve. It makes it much more tempting (and worthwhile) to use your points for travel redemptions when using the portal.

But the Sapphire Reserve comes with a number of other stout perks including:

  • 50,000 Ultimate Rewards after spending $4,000 within the first 3 months
  • $300 travel credit
  • 3X on dining and travel
  • Priority Pass with unlimited guests
  • TSA Pre-Check/Global Entry $100 credit
  • Primary rental car insurance
  • Annual fee: $450 (not waived first year)

Point values compared to to other programs (Citi and Amex)

You can get a sense of how great the value is with the Sapphire Reserve’s portal redemption rate by comparing its rate to other programs.

With the Citi Prestige, you can redeem points through the Citi Travel Center for airfare at a rate of 1.25 cents per point and at a rate of 1 cent per point for hotels, car rentals and cruises.

American Express can redeem points through the Amex travel portal at different rates.

For airfare you can redeem Membership Rewards at a rate of 1 cent per point but things aren’t as good for other travel redemptions. For hotels, vacations, and cruises you’ll be redeeming at 0.7 cent per point.

So as you can see, redeeming points through the Chase Travel Portal with the Sapphire Reserve is much more lucrative than utilizing points with other travel portals. 


Booking Chase Travel Portal vs transferring points to partner?

Chase allows you to use your points to travel in different ways. You can either use the Chase Travel Portal or you can transfer your points out to transfer partners.

Chase travel partners

Chase has a great line-up of airlines and also has the best hotel selection out of any other major transferrable points program, in my opinion.

Here are all of the current Chase transfer partners:

Chase Ultimate Rewards Airlines

  • Aer Lingus
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Flying Blue (Air France/KLM)
  • Iberia Airways
  • Korean Air SKYPASS
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
  • United MileagePlus
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

Chase Ultimate Rewards Hotels

  • World of Hyatt
  • IHG Rewards Club
  • Marriott Rewards
  • The Ritz-Carlton Rewards

When to NOT use the Chase Travel Portal

There are a number of reasons why you might not want to use the portal.

Outsized value

One of the biggest reasons to NOT use the Chase Travel Portal is because you can get so much more value when transferring points to travel partners.

When you book through the Chase Travel Portal you are limited to the point value of the credit card account that you are using for the portal.

So if you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve, you’re only going to get 1.5 cents per point out of your redemptions. That sounds impressive until you realize that if you transfer your points out to travel partners you could be getting redemptions at well over 10 cents per point.

So the benefit of transferring points is that you can receive amazing outsized value for your points that’s just not possible with the Chase Travel Portal.

Unforgettable travel experiences

And it’s just not about the monetary value, transferring points out to airlines allows you to experience some truly unforgettable flying experiences.

That’s because you’re able to fly in business class and first class cabins in some of the top airlines. You can experience your own private suites and live the high life rather than being stuck in economy.

These tickets can also get you access into some of the top airline lounges in the world for a unforgettable luxury experience.

I’ve had some of my most memorable flights because of Chase Ultimate Rewards and some of the experiences that stick out are:

If I would have used my points to book travel through the Chase Travel Portal, I would have never gotten a chance to experience those amazing flights.

Hotels can offer cases outsized value, too. I recently finished a stay at the Park Hyatt Paris-Vedome and received over 3 cents per point in value. 

I would have been limited to 1.5 cents per point with the Chase Travel Portal so transferring points would have made a lot more sense.

Hotel perks

One of the main reasons why you’d want to avoid the travel portal is when booking hotel stays.

That’s because when you use an OTA, there’s a chance that you won’t receive all of your elite benefits/credits and you won’t earn hotel points for the stay.

So if you’re a Hilton Gold member for example you might not receive your free breakfast and potential upgrade that you would have had. Some programs won’t even allow you to get complimentary wifi unless you book directly.

The good news is that sometimes you can still get these perks.

You just need to call into the hotel beforehand and give them your elite information. If you do that and work a little charm at check-in you might be surprised to receive your elite benefits.

Korean Air First Class on the A380 courtesy of Chase Ultimate Rewards.

When to use the Chase Travel Portal

There are sometimes when it really makes sense to use the Chase Travel Portal.

Cheap domestic flights

Sometimes flights are pretty cheap and it makes way more sense to just use the portal to book them.

For example, if you wanted to fly on United Airlines from Houston to Orland, you’d have to transfer 25,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards for a roundtrip flight in economy.

But if you used the travel portal, you’d be able to book that Orlando flight for much cheaper during many times of the year and potentially save thousands of dollars.

You will still earn your frequent flyer miles, too, so there’s no loss in value there.

Cheaper hotels

The same principle applies to hotel stays as well. Sometimes it will just be cheaper to book through the portal than to transfer your reward points.

The major exception to this is Hyatt which often has point redemptions worth over 1.5 cents per point.

You’ve also got to really think about the value you might be losing out on if you don’t receive your elite benefits. It’s not hard for two free breakfasts to add up quick on a trip and if you’re giving that up, it might be more worthwhile to ditch the portal for that booking.

Not good with points

The thing about transferring points is that you need to aware of how the process works. You need to know how to transfer your points and how to use those points efficiently once you have them.

Then you’ve got to deal with finding award inventory, black-out dates, and the actual booking process which can be tricky with some foreign airlines.

Not everybody has the time to learn how to do that (or even the desire to do it). And for those people, the Chase Travel Portal is often a much better suited option.

First class on the Singapore A380.

What travel can be booked?

You can book several forms of travel through the Chase Travel Portal.

  • Flights 
  • Hotels
  • Cars
  • Cruises 
  • Things to do
  • Vacation rentals


Chase Travel Portal Flights

The Chase Travel Portal allows you to easily search for flights.

Simply input your departure location and your destination, along with dates and passengers. You can also choose to search with your preferred airline or preferred class by using the “Advanced options.”

It pulled prices listed from the cheapest (which was on directly on par with the lowest prices found in Google Flights).

I should note that many people complain about the pricing found on the portal and claim that many flights are also missing. So I would always double check the pricing with Google flights and if I still had questions then I would just call the Chase Travel Portal number at 1-866-418-8872. 

Also, be on the lookout for basic economy fares like the one below which state “Basic Economy” under Select.

You can utilize several filters to narrow dow the results including nonstop flights and also by airlines and preferences for departure time and arrival time.

You can also search the prices with the flexible dates feature. I prefer this search feature as it’s easy to spot the cheapest roundtrip prices and compare them to other websites.

Once you select your flights, you’ll be taken to another screen where you’ll need to confirm or upgrade your fare class. You’ll see the prices for upgrades and be able to confirm the options that your fare has or doesn’t have, such as seat choice.

At the next screen you’ll need to enter the names of the travelers and you’ll have a chance to enter in credentials for things like TSA Pre-Check and frequent flyer information.

You’ll also be able to choose how you want to pay for the travel. You can choose to pay with points, credit card, or a combination of the two. You’ll then confirm your booking on that screen.

Note that all booked flights can be canceled within 24 hours. 

Booking flights on Southwest

Southwest flights do not show up on the Chase Travel Portal. However, you can call in to request a booking with Southwest Airlines if you’d like.

Where can I view my flight booking confirmation?

  • Go to My Trips to view, email, or print your itinerary or receipt.
  • View your confirmation email.

How to change your seat

For most flights, you can choose your seat during booking. Chase should send your seat selection to the airline at the time of booking, but they note that they cannot guarantee your seat assignment.

You can access your seat assignment for most flights in your itinerary, or when you view your flight booking confirmation.

Your seat selection may not be confirmed if you:

  • Booked a fare with an airline that assigns seats at the gate
  • Booked a Basic Economy fare which doesn’t allow seat selection

Chase Travel Portal Hotels

The search feature for hotels is pretty standard as well.

There are a lot of helpful filters that you can apply to help you effeciently search for the right hotel.

Some of these include:

Property Class

This allows you to sort by star ratings.

Price Per Night

Sort properties based on price.

Vacation Rental Bedrooms

  • Studio 1
  • Bedroom 2
  • Bedrooms 3
  • Bedrooms 4+ Bedrooms

Guest Rating

  • Exceptional!
  • Very good!
  • Good!

Neighborhood

Sort through many local neighborhoods.

Amenities

  • High-speed Internet
  • Air conditioning
  • Swimming pool
  • Breakfast Included
  • Babysitting service
  • Business services
  • Childcare Children’s club
  • Fitness equipment
  • Airport Transportation
  • Included Newspaper
  • Included Parking
  • Included Hair dryer
  • Kitchen
  • Kitchenette
  • Laundry facilities
  • Dry cleaning/laundry service
  • Pets allowed(conditions apply)
  • Restaurant in hotel
  • Room service
  • Spa services on site

Property Type

  • Apartment Hotel
  • Private vacation home
  • Guest house
  • Bed & Breakfast Hostel/Backpacker accommodation
  • Cottage
  • Inn
  • Apart-hotel
  • TownHouse
  • Condo
  • Lodge
  • Motel
  • Villa
  • House boat
  • Country House
  • Chalet Hotel resort
  • Hostal (Budget Hotel)

Popular Locations

  • Tower of London
  • University of London
  • London Bridge
  • London Dungeon
  • The Shard
  • South Park
  • Sky Garden
  • Big Ben
  • Buckingham Palace
  • O2 Arena
  • St. Paul’s Cathedral
  • Olympic Stadium
  • University College London
  • East London Mosque
  • Museum of London
  • Natural History Museum
  • Wembley Stadium
  • London Stock Exchange
  • Chessington World of Adventures
  • Hyde Park

Accessibility

Accessible bathroom In-room accessibility roll-in shower.

Hotel pricing might be on the cheaper side sometimes or it may not.

For the most part, I’ve always found competitive prices but I would highly recommend that you check the prices with other OTAs before booking. Just like with airfare, there are plenty of reports of the portal not displaying the best prices for hotels.


Chase Travel Portal Rental Cars

Searching for rental cards is pretty straightforward as well.

There are advanced search options for searching for card by type and by rental company. You can also filter for special equipment for things like infant seats, snow chains, navigation system, etc.


Things to do

You can also find things to do in the Chase Travel Portal. You’ll find many of the major tourist options in the search results but there will be some unique things to like craft beer tours.

What’s cool about these activities is that you can truly travel for free if you use your points. It’s pretty easy to cover hotels and airfare with points but it’s much more difficult to cover an entire trip with points (including activities).

With the Travel Portal, this is a possibility though.

What kind of activities show up?

When I searched for San Francisco, it pulled “154 things to do.”

Some examples of the things to do that popped up were:

  • Golden Gate Bridge Tour
  • Alcatraz Tour 
  • San Francisco Mega Pass
  • Yosemite National Park tour 
  • Napa Valley wine tasting tour 
  • San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

You can then sort the activities based on certain criteria.

Recommendations

  • Local Expert Picks
  • Family Friendly
  • Likely To Sell Out
  • New on Chase Travel

Tours

  • Tours & Sightseeing
  • Walking & Bike Tours
  • Day Trips & Excursions
  • Cruises & Water Tours
  • Air, Balloon & Helicopter Tours
  • Hop-on Hop-off
  • Private Tours

Activities

  • Attractions
  • Food & Drink
  • Sightseeing Passes
  • Nightlife
  • Multi-Day & Extended Tours
  • Adventures
  • Water Activities

Transportation

  • Shared transportation


Vacation rentals

You can also book vacation rentals through the portal.


Chase Travel Portal Cruises

You can book cruises with points, your Chase card, or both.

Here are some examples of cruise lines and cruise ships you can find in the Chase Travel Portal.

  • Celebrity Cruises Celebrity Equinox
  • Norwegian Cruise Line Norwegian Jade
  • Norwegian Cruise Line Norwegian Gem
  • Norwegian Cruise Line Norwegian Pearl
  • Princess Cruises Regal Princess
  • Royal Caribbean International Allure of the Seas
  • Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas
  • Royal Caribbean International Harmony of the Seas
  • Royal Caribbean International Oasis of the Seas

For cruise information, call us at 1-866-951-6592.


Travel profile

Under your Travel profile you can edit your travel details including:

Frequent Flyer Membership

This is where you’ll enter your frequent flyer numbers for various programs like United, Delta, American Airlines, etc.

Personal Info

This is where you can enter your personal contact information.

Flight Preferences

You can set your flight presences for things like window or aisle seats (sorry, no preference available for the middle seat).

TSA Info

Known Traveler Number and Redress Number. The Known Traveler Number will allow you to receive benefits like TSA Pre-Check or Global Entry if you are signed up for them.


Chase Travel Portal Promo code

Chase will sometimes send out emails with special promo codes for the Chase Travel Portal.

For example, there once was a code for $100 off $300.

However, it’s not clear who exactly gets targeted for these offers and they seem to be pretty rare so I wouldn’t go around expecting them to arrive in your inbox.

I’m not aware of publicly available promo codes.

If you do get a code it can be entered at checkout.


Price match

Others have tried their luck with seeking a price match from Chase but they haven’t been successful.

If you have any luck report back with your data points!


Chase Travel Portal (In the App)

You can use the Chase Mobile App to search and book travel through the Chase Travel Portal.

First, you just need to log-in to your Chase app on your mobile device.

Then select the “…” next to the card that you’d like to use and select “Redeem rewards.”

Next hit the three bars at the top of the screen and then select “”Travel” and that will take you right to the Chase Travel Portal on the mobile app.


Refunds and Cancellations

There are always a lot of non-refundable options when dealing with booking travel through an OTA so you always want to be on the lookout for any bookings that won’t allow you to collect a refund.

Flights

You can cancel most flight bookings online.

Keep in mind that for some airfares, if you cancel within 24 hours, there are no cancellation fees.

If you cancel a non-refundable flight reservation, the airline may issue you a flight credit for a future booking instead of a refund.

But note that some flight reservations are not eligible for a flight credit after cancellation. Canceling one of these will force you to lose the value of your ticket.

To cancel your flight booking online

  1. Go to My Trips to view your bookings.
  2. In Upcoming, select the itinerary you wish to cancel.
  3. Select Cancel Flight under Manage Booking

Hotels

Chase allows you to cancel most hotel bookings online.

If your hotel’s free cancellation deadline has passed, you will have to pay a cancel fee and If you booked a non-refundable hotel, you will have to pay the entire cost of your stay.

To cancel your hotel booking

  • Go to My Trips to view your bookings.
  • In Upcoming, select the itinerary you wish to cancel.
  • In Manage Booking, select Cancel Room and follow the instructions.

Chase Travel Portal Phone Number

To speak to a Chase Travel Specialist, call 1-866-418-8872.

Advisors specializing in flights, hotels, car rentals and activities are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Advisors specializing in cruises are available Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET, and Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET.


Other OTAs

The Chase Travel Portal is just one of the many type of OTAs that you can find online.

Here are some other OTAs and OTA aggregators you might consider trying out:

1. Bonwi
2. Expedia
3. Booking.com
4. Hotels.com
5. Orbitz
6. HotelTonight
7. Priceline
8. Hostelworld
9. Kayak.com
10. Hotwire.com
11. Hotelscombined.com
12. Agoda.com
13. Trivago

You can read more about these OTAs here.

Since the Chase Travel Portal is powered by Expedia you’d expect their results to be identical but I know from experience that things can get tricky on OTAs so I’d always double check the prices elsewhere before booking.


Chase travel notifications/alerts

The Chase Travel Portal will have travel notifications for certain countries if applicable and you should be able to see those when you log-in.

You should obviously do follow-up research with the US State Department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to ensure there are no travel advisories even if the Chase travel portal doesn’t mention these.

Also, if you’re wanting to set Chase travel notifications so that your debit card or credit card won’t have issues abroad, you can read how to do that here


Chase Shopping portal

If you’d like to utilize Ultimate Rewards to shop you can use your points at Amazon or to purchase gift cards.

But if you’d like to earn more Ultimate Rewards via your shopping then consider trying out the Chase Shopping Portal where you can earn points when you shop at retailers including:

  • Apple
  • American Eagle
  • Bose
  • Macy’s
  • WalMart
  • Sam’s Club
  • Samsung
  • Microsoft
  • Nike
  • Old Navy
  • HP
  • Under Armour
  • Neiman Marcus
  • Kohl’s
  • Levi’s
  • Walgreens
  • Staples
  • Sephora
  • And many, many more…

Read more about the portal here. 


Chase Travel Portal not working?

For the longest time I though that the Chase Travel Portal was down but it turns out that there was caching issue with my computer.

All I had to do was clear out my browsing history (or use an Incognito browser) and I was able to log-in and search for travel.

The portal might not be working from time to time but I’d also try to clear your browsing history/cache and see if that works if you ever run into performance issues.


Final word

The Chase Travel Portal is a great way to truly travel for free and in many instances it can be a much more valuable use of points.

The key is to be aware of what benefits you might be missing out on and to always compare prices across OTAs so make sure you’re getting a great deal.