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How I used Chase Ultimate Rewards points to vacation in Hawaii

As anyone at TPG will tell you, one of the best ways to maximize your rewards travel is to use an earned credit card Points are transferable. You can usually get the most value from these points when turning them over hotel and airline transfer partners.

That’s what I did in 2022 when I made my first award redemption, using 105,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points to spend a week at Hyatt’s Lahaina Shores Beach Resort on Maui — completely free. Here’s how I did it and how you can plan a similar trip.

Related: How to book air tickets to Hawaii with points and miles

Why did I choose to open a Chase credit card?

When I first planned this trip in late 2021, I was new to the world of points and miles. I recently received my first travel card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Cardbecause of its value and versatility Chase the ultimate bonus score.

At the time, Sapphire Preferred was offering a welcome bonus, and now it’s offering a higher bonus: You can earn 75,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 in the first three months open card. After a few months of using the card, I had accumulated about 107,000 Chase points. My partner and I decided to use them for a week-long beach vacation to celebrate our anniversary.

So, armed with a brand new Chase points inventory and a basic grasp of points and miles, I had to research how to best maximize my points to book my dream vacation.

Related: Best credit card welcome offers

Why Hyatt is my favorite hotel chain

Beautiful stretch of golden sand beach at Lahaina Shores. BOOKING.COM

While you can book and redeem Ultimate Rewards points for hotel stays through Chase Travel℠, my points will only have a flat value of 1.25 cents each. So using one of Chase’s transfer partners is the best way to maximize points.

I started by researching Chase’s hotel transfer partners: Marriott Bonvoy, IHG One Rewards And World of Hyatt. I quickly became interested in World of Hyatt, which is famous for its high-value redemptions. Unlike its competitors, Hyatt still operates using prize table (in contrast dynamic pricing), which could lead to some great redemption opportunities.

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The only downside is that Hyatt’s footprint is significantly smaller than its competitors (IHG and Marriott), which means my hotel choices are limited.

When researching Hyatt properties in Hawaii, I found some decent options, including Lahaina Shores Beach Resort in Maui. Rooms cost $330 or 15,000 points per night in February, for a solid value of 2.2 cents per point. (TPG value Chase points are at 2.05 cents each.) Seven nights would cost me a total of 105,000 points — which is right on my budget. Plus, because Hyatt offers resort fees for award stays, I didn’t have to pay a dime.

Well, I still had to pay for the flights, but since I’d just saved over $2,000 on hotel stays, I didn’t mind booking the flights with cash.

Related: Hyatt’s new partnership with Mr & Mrs Smith

Transfer Chase points to Hyatt

From what I have read, transfer final bonus points to travel partner seems easy. However, the first time I did it I was a little nervous.

First, I had to set up a World of Hyatt account (since I had never stayed at a Hyatt) and link it to my Chase account. Then I transferred 105,000 Chase points. I anxiously watched as they disappeared from my Chase account and waited for them to appear in my Hyatt account, worried that the Internet would somehow swallow my points in the process. Additionally, grade transfers are almost always irreversible.

Luckily, the points were in my Hyatt account in just a few minutes, so I booked a seven-night stay at Lahaina Shores for free.

Related: Everything you need to know about Chase’s transfer partners

It’s worth it?

View from my balcony. RACHEL CRAFT/POINTER

A small part of me still wondered if it was too good to be true and if my free hotel would become a dump. However, Lahaina Shores Beach Resort did not disappoint.

Although you can get more value out of your points at Hyatt luxury hotel, Lahaina Shores was the perfect fit for me and my partner. It is located on the edge of downtown Lahaina, Maui’s historic district, within easy walking distance of shops, restaurants, and Banyan Tree Park. It’s located right on the beach and in a great area for snorkeling (complete with friendly sea turtles). Plus, each room has a fully equipped kitchen so we saved even more money by buying groceries and eating on our private balcony.

Related: 8 great beach hotels in the US you can book with points

Book Hyatt hotels in Hawaii with points

Private beach at Lahaina Shores. RACHEL CRAFT/POINTER

After my experience, I would personally recommend Lahaina Shores Beach Resort to other travelers. Sadly, this gem has closed due to destruction Maui fire in 2023. Lahaina Shores survived the fire but suffered severe smoke damage so it may take months or years to reopen.

Until then, here are some other Hyatt hotels worth considering for a similar Hawaii vacation:

  • Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach (Oahu): from $263 or 15,000 points per night
  • Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach (Oahu): from $331 or 20,000 points per night
  • Hana Maui Resort: from $674 or 25,000 points per night
  • Hyatt Vacation Club at Ka’anapali Beach (Maui): from $723 or 30,000 points per night

Related: Best hotel in Hawaii

How to earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points

Credit card welcome bonuses are a great place to start if you want to earn Chase points. The Chase Sapphire preferred And Reserve Chase Sapphire® both are offering a welcome bonus of up to 75,000 Ultimate Rewards points right now.

There are plenty of other ways to build your points balance, such as booking travel through Chase Travel℠, Shop through Chase portal and refer friends to your Chase card.

Related: Who is eligible for the Chase Sapphire Preferred bonus?

Bottom line

Chase Points are famous for being one of the most transferable currencies, and now I know why. Chase has 14 transfer partners, including airlines and hotels, so you can find a transfer that suits your goals. Other TPG employees have recently used Chase points to Last minute trip to Greece and a Mexican getaway for two.

There’s no need to worry about the transfer process — but remember that when you Transfer credit card points to travel partners, it cannot be changed. Make sure you have some redemption points ready before transferring your hard-earned points.

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