In the words of one of my favorite guys, Marshawn Lynch, "You know why I'm here." Or maybe rather, I know why you are here. Can't really pretend that the title of this article does not elicit all kinds of tingly sensations, and at the same time, skepticism. I hear you. So now that I have your attention, allow me to explain.
First off, it is true that I paid zero dollars at time of booking. That's $0.00 for the folks in the back. I booked this trip using Chase UR. If you do not know what those are and want a more detailed write up about their value, check THIS article out available in our "Guides" section. To summarize, these are the points earned from spending on most of Chase Bank's credit cards which can be redeemed for travel and other goods.
At this point, you are probably either thinking "Well, I have a stash of Chase points, HOW MANY DO I NEED?" or "Well, I don't have any Chase points so this post probably won't help me." Well I am sure the following will please both parties. Here are the details.
Air China is currently running an INSANE promotion from New York to Bangkok for travel between now and April 2018. Whether you have Chase points or not, you can book fares for as LOW as $564 roundtrip! Also, with Air China, you get 2 checked bags free on international flights and a free meal. This is not a low cost carrier upsell! This is a bonafide travel STEAL.
Now for the ansty folks who are already logged into their Chase UR portals by now, time to address the real elephant in the room. How many UR is this going to cost you? Some of you may be aware that we spend a total of 160k UR for the two of us to fly from Boston to Bangkok using United's award program. Well hold onto your seats if that blew you away because we crushed that deal.
This itinerary cost us just over 76k UR. Less that HALF what we spent on our redemption last year. Now don't get me wrong, that itinerary had perks that this one does not as we were able to take advantage of United's stopover and open jaw rules on award travel which can be very lucrative. BUT, you simply can not deny that spending 76k UR, which has a cash value of $760 on not one but TWO rt tickets to Thailand can rarely be beat. We are talking a cash value $380 per ticket. That's usually barely enough to get you to LA!
HOW TO BOOK
If you will be using cash, Simply use Google Flights to search flight dates and prices. When selecting your departure destination, choose NYC (All nearby airports) as this will give you options of flying out of JFK, EWR or LGA. When you find the dates you like, simply follow the link provided that will take you through booking on Air China's site.
For my fellow points connoisseurs, you must first be holding a premium chase card which is needed to have access to and book from the Chase Travel Portal. These cards are the Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Reserve, Ink Business Preferred and the Ink Business Plus. This means if you are carrying an annual fee free card such as the Freedom, you are out of luck this time around.
Now, log into your chase account and under your credit card click "Go to Ultimate Rewards". Once there, you should see a drop down menu on the top left labeled "Use Points". In the drop down you should find "Explore and Book Travel". Now once here, you will find a search engine where you can input your destination and dates much like in google flights.
Once populated, hit enter and you will be brought to another page with flight information. The Air China flights should be at the top as they are listed from least to most expensive. Select your flights, continue through booking as you would through any other booking site except here, you will have the option of using points for a portion or all of your trip. So if you wanted, you could save some points and use some excess cash to combine with the points or you can use your points to pay the entire balance. We used points to book the entirety of the trip which is why this trip was "free".
You can also call the Chase Travel line at 1-855-234-2542 and have an agent book it for you in a step by step process once you have found the flights you want. You may have to do this as I had issues booking through the portal but was successful over the phone. Chase will email you the itinerary and it will also be available to you in your portal under "Trips". Hope you all found this useful! We are really excited to return to Thailand and we REALLY hope some of you can take advantage of this deal. Please shout us out if you do! Happy travels!