My Take on the New Chase Portal through Expedia So Far

Recently, the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal switched over to a new system where all travel booked goes through Expedia.com. While many people were initially scared about the change, I am happy to report that, in my eyes, the program is pretty much the same as before with only a few issues to report.

Excellent Hotel Options through Chase Ultimate Rewards

So far, it seems like there are more hotel options available now through Expedia than there were before. Many options also seem to cost less. In fact, one hotel I booked in Venice, Italy cost over 11,000 points per night before the change to Expedia but only 9,500 points after.

Also note that you can get even more value when you book travel through Chase with the right rewards card. While the Chase Sapphire Preferred card offers 25% more travel when you book through the portal with points, the Reserve card offers 50% more.

Fewer Excursion Options in Some Cities

When Chase made the switch over to Expedia for all their credit cards, I was diligently planning trips to Italy, Norway, and Croatia. As a result, there were a bunch of excursions I was considering after doing some research.

Unfortunately, several trips I was thinking of booking in Italy and Croatia disappeared altogether when the portal switched to Expedia. And for many destinations, I am finding far fewer options than before.

Great Excursion Prices

While I almost always use points to book excursions through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, I occasionally pay for them outright. Fortunately, I checked the Chase portal for pricing on an Amalfi Coast boat trip in April of 2019 that I’m booking for my best friend’s birthday. While the excursion runs at over $235 per person when you book directly through Walks of Italy, the same excursion was only $205 per person through Chase Ultimate Rewards. As a result, I booked and paid with cash through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal so I could get the exact excursion I wanted at a discount.

Airfare Seems About the Same

While I don’t typically use the Chase portal to book airfare directly since it is almost always a better deal to transfer points to airline partners, I believe the Chase portal is operating about the same as it was before now that it has partnered with Expedia. It was a big disappointment before, and I think it still is.

Case in point: Recently, I have been looking for a good airfare deal for the end of July next year. One destination we have been considering is Budapest with a few days spent in Vienna and Prague as well.

I found flights on Expedia.com that were only $761 per person, yet the same flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards are priced at $854 with the discount rewards rate of 56,996 points per person. This is disappointing for sure but it’s not that surprising. I rarely find good airfare deals through Chase, so I mostly avoid using my points this way.

The Bottom Line

If you were worried about big changes to the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, you can rest assured that everything is operating mostly the same it did before. Excellent travel deals still abound, and you may even find more hotel options at better prices.

If you love Chase Ultimate Rewards like I do, this is nothing but good news.

Have you noticed any big changes with the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal? If so, what are they?

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