You've probably noticed that at the end of every email I ask you all to respond to various questions. No, that's not just for show, I've actually responded to a ton of you who have written in, and it's been fun getting to chat with you and hear what you want to see in the newsletter.
With that in mind, I wanted to take a specific reader question and answer it in the newsletter.
I'm calling it Mailbox Monday today, but I already feel like that's pretty cringy, so the name might be a one-time thing… 😬
Anyway, Brandon wrote in last week asking about the best ways to use Delta miles, United miles, and Chase points so I thought it would be helpful to give my recommendations on how I would personally use all of these types of points. There are many ways to use all of these points, but each of them has unique "sweet spots" that the others don't have, and that's what I'll focus on.
Chase Ultimate Rewards
Short answer: Chase travel portal or Hyatt
Long Answer: Chase points are valuable because you can use them to purchase travel in the Chase travel portal for 1.25-1.5 cents each. Other bank points like American Express typically top out around 1 cent per point, so this is already a decent value.
Another use for these points that you can't do with other points currencies is transferring them to World of Hyatt, which is an excellent loyalty program that is difficult to earn points with.
Hyatt has some of the best hotels out there and some of the best value for points. Given that there are so many ways to earn Hilton and Marriott points through other transfers and a variety of credit cards, I think using Chase points for Hyatt is the best value you can get.
Short answer: Delta, KLM, Air France
Long answer: Delta, KLM, Air France, Korean Air, Aeromexico, and more belong to an alliance called SkyTeam. Basically, you can use points with any of these airlines to book flights on any of the other airlines (exactly what we talked about last week with the Star Alliance).
Because Delta has multiple East Coast hubs and KLM and Air France are both based in Western Europe, I think using Delta points to get to, from, and around Europe is always a good bet.
Short answer: South America
Long answer: United belongs to the Star Alliance, which is made up of many airlines all around the world. However, Star Alliance has something that other alliances don’t have - multiple airlines with a massive presence in central and South America. Specifically, I'm talking about Copa Airlines and Avianca based in Panama and Colombia, respectively. These airlines both have tons of destinations in North America and are perfect geographic hubs to connect North Americans to the rest of the Americas.
As I said, there are TONS of ways you could use any of these points, this is just my quick advice on some of the unique use cases for each of them.
Please feel free to write in any time with questions like this (I promise I won't bite). I hope this was helpful to you, Brandon!