Posted by Chuck on October 25, 2018
Credit Cards

Published on October 25th, 2018 | by Chuck

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Chase Shifts their Online Travel Portal to Run through Expedia (Now Live)

Update 10/25/18: This should now be live on the majority of Chase cards, including the Chase Sapphire Reserve (50% bonus) and Chase Ink Preferred/Sapphire Preferred (25% bonus). So far it seems to be mixed reactions, some are seeing a lot more hotel options. Others are saying the car rental rates are significantly worse. Disney hotels are still not showing up. Share your thoughts on the change in the comments below. Hat tip to blueeyes_austin

Chase Ultimate Rewards points can be redeemed for travel via their online booking portal at a rate of $.01 per point on the Freedom cards, $.0125 per point on the Sapphire Preferred, and $.015 per point on the Sapphire Reserve.

CNBC reports that Chase is now shifting over the backing of their online booking portal to Expedia Group, which owns sites including Travelocity, Orbitz, and Hotwire.com. Previously, the Chase portal was run through a partnership with a company called Connexions Loyalty.

Chase Freedom cards have already switched over to the new provider today, August 12th, with other cards phasing in over the next few months. The change is being touted as an “upgrade” with double the the travel inventory available.

No one really cares about the travel portal on the Freedom card since you can easily redeem for $.01 per point as cash. It’s the premium Sapphire cards which get 1.25 cents or 1.5 cents per point where some people take advantage of the online booking portal. Hopefully, the change lands up being positive, as suggested.



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Rose
Rose

Will this change what airlines can be booked with points? Could it possibly add new airlines for Sapphire card holders?

William Charles

Shouldn’t have any affect on transfer partners if that’s what you mean?

Gene
Gene

I think he means Spirit, Frontier, Allegiant, Southwest

Lrdx
Lrdx

Weren’t they already going through Expedia?

Ray
Ray

No

Tim
Tim

Who were they going through then?

Billy Bob
Billy Bob

Read the article!

Big D
Big D

last hotel I booked through Chase definitely showed up as being booked through Expedia on the hotel’s end. Anyway I think this must be the “upgrades to the travel portal” that were hinted at awhile back.

fll
fll

Connexion books thru ANY OTA that offers the cheapest price – it can be booking.com, Priceline or Expedia.

Many bookings for European properties are booked thru booking.com which has a lot more offerings than Expedia.

Lrdx
Lrdx

At least 3 random (non-chain) hotel clerks asked me if I booked through Expedia when I did through Chase, so I assumed they are providing the backend for the travel portal.

Andrew James
Andrew James

I was straight out told by a clerk I booked through Expedia when using Chase

Deb
Deb

Yep, me too…3x since I booked hotels through the Reserve card.

MoreSun
MoreSun

Multiple reports of that. And wasn’t a way around the portal issues to check for availability on Expedia and if it was there you could call & have it booked? I didn’t do that myself but I’ve seen it mentioned. Connexions runs the cruise & tour dept I think, idk what else they ran. Tbh I’m questioning this CNBC article a bit…

Lrdx
Lrdx

All these bookings were done online at Chase portal. And not just recently, I did book one 2 years ago (through my Freedom when they got 10% extra cashback on their portal), and that one also was referred by the clerk as an Expedia booking.

MoreSun
MoreSun

FT says Connexions used Expedia for the bookings. Looks like Chase is slimming down & cutting out the middleman.

Theresa
Theresa

For at least the past 18 months my portal bookings with CSR have been going through Expedia.

Josh
Josh

For airfare, will it still count as a direct booking via cash or will it be considered an Expedia booking? If there is an issue, do we no longer reach out to Chase, will they refer us to Expedia? Will they be getting rid of Chase Travel and referring everyone to Expedia or is it just the booking platform that is changing?

gloobnib
gloobnib

This is the $64k question. If this books as a “consolidator fare”, that means it wont be eligible for elite benefits. It also means that you cant use things like Global Upgrade Certificates on Delta international itineraries like you could if it was an eligible cash fare.

So this could basically make the ‘redeem for travel’ worthless to me, as I’d get much better value long term by just transferring UR points to Hyatt.

Yoni
Yoni

This could make the CIti Expedia®+ Voyager Card interesting as it gives you Expedia Gold+ and 2X spending on VIP Hotels on Expedia ( Card AF is $95 but $100 Airline incidentals). The Signup bonus (Earn 25,000 Expedia+ bonus points after $2,000 in purchases within 3 months of account opening, redeemable for $350 towards your stay at a +VIP Access™ hotel.)

Possibly a good Combo – CSR + Expedia +

This explains why I couldn’t check flights on the UR portal last night.

Yoni
Yoni

Also kinda of interesting is you can also use AMER MR and Citi TYP with Expedia – (link below)

I did log in to the new Portal but did try booking ( wife has a personal Expedia that she books work travel [allowed] , I never booked with Expedia, but I know that she just booked and used Expedia points for a Vancouver hotel that staying at this coming week. So if you can book through Expedia with 1.5x CSR and also use points from MR/TYP it could make booking easier but not necessarily the big ticket flights with airline miles direct.

https://www.expedia.com/usepartnerpoints?rfrr=Rewards.HIW.PartnerPoints.LearnMore

T
T

This can be a plus since the UR Portal is so finicky to go through. If I can browse via Expedia app and then just switch over when I’m ready to book, that’ll make it easier

veeRob

I sincerely hope that’s the case. Chase Travel Portal has been a nightmare.

Gerald
Gerald

No, it’s not an improvement. I just compared the flights available with Freedom points to those available with CSR points. I looked at NYC-TLV for certain dates in April 2019. CSR has 59 itineraries, Freedom has 31. CSR’s cheapest flights are on Ukrainian, but they’re nowhere to be found on Freedom (or on Expedia). Other airlines missing on Freedom but present on CSR are TAP, American, and Royal Jordanian.

Steven
Steven

Data Point:
3 days ago I booked a Hertz rental car through the old Chase portal for $220.79. Today I booked the same trip through the new Chase portal for $214.56. Both trips are visible in Ultimate Rewards “My Trips” The same trip is $394 on Expedia.com

savemesf
savemesf

Yes, Connexions seems to get great rental car rates. They are still the backend for Citi TYP (and Capital One I think)

Kumar
Kumar

Connexions is also backend of CNB Reward points. I booked rental car using CSR (37k points) vs CNB reward points(39k points) and price equivalent charged by rental car $550

Gerald
Gerald

Car rental rates change day by day in my experience.

Enrico
Enrico

Yep Rental Car is good through Chase and you are cheaper and more flexible even with Freedom where you don’t have a points redemption bonus.

Ian
Ian

great news… the previous one sucked.

MoreSun
MoreSun

Do we know what this means for their Cruise & Tour department?

Jan
Jan

Could we book southwest and frontier now?

MoreSun
MoreSun

I don’t think SW allows booking via 3rd party which is why we have had to call in.

Jim
Jim

Their is a hotel that I book using the Chase travel and the hotel says it is always an Expedia booking.

Vic
Vic

FWIW, My UR hotel booking always showed as Expedia on hotel front desk’s view. I think this change discussed here probably only applies to airlines?

William Charles

I think for hotel bookings they used a number of different agents but moved entirely to Expedia in last year?

Aarvark0
Aarvark0

Ctii ThankYou Travel portal changes for the worse as of yesterday too. At less common locations, like MRE, they had a reasonable selection of lodges, 50+ properties. As of yesterday there are only 9 crumby properties. 4th Night free plus 1.25 points if you have both cards made for reasonable redemption for safari camps which you cant easily book through the concierge. decrease in properties at similar locations – VFA, MUB, MQP, etc. Either they are filtering properties or OTA provider changed. Booked 4 nights, went back to book another 4 and properties are no longer listed, for any dates. The safari camps are similarly missing from the old chase connexions/Ink portal now, but are on the new chase expedia portal/freedom, but not worth it at 1x redemption.

JC
JC

Well this is awesome news in my opinion because Expedia offers the ability to purchase different fares on an airline which may include bags. For instance, SAS, Icelandair among others offer fares that include a bag and ones that don’t and you can upgrade to the one that does with Expedia and also on the new platform while previously this was not an option. Often these fares are cheaper than adding a bag separately so are very worthwhile.

Charlie
Charlie

I never use the portals. I just transfer my UR points to United Airlines or to Air France and book directly with the airlines. I get at least the 1.5x value that the portal gives for CSR.

Jack
Jack

I booked a first class flight thru the portal today, 52000 ur points with CSR. It would have cost me 100000 miles plus $90 going thru united directly.

Yoni
Yoni

Jack – But Chase has’nt changed the CSP/CSR portal over yet -that’s still to come- once that is in place – we will see if CSR still has the same 1.5X thru UR travel portal & new Expedia backend.

Jack
Jack

I know. I was pointing out to Charlie above that it was less points used via the portal than through the airline in miles. Award travel is tough sometimes to get seats. And as Gerald points out as well, the fees on top of it makes it less appealing.

Charlie
Charlie

I use my United miles exclusively for international economy seats. (I would rather take 2 trips in economy than 1 in business class.) Never had a problem getting a seat when I want to travel. And I make my plans well in advance, so I never have to pay close-in award fees. And after 6 trips to Europe since 2015, not a single trip would have been less expensive using the portal.

Gerald
Gerald

That’s assuming there’s award space available. The beauty of using the portal is that you can get tickets when there’s no award space. Also, with United’s $75 close-in fee, I suspect that it’s often cheaper to book through the portal even when there is award space.

Charlie
Charlie

If you also have the Chase United Explorer credit card, there will always be award space available.

Big Nog
Big Nog

Every chase hotel booking that ive made for the past few years have all been via expedia per front desk check in staff.

phil
phil

That’s because Connexions always shops for the lowest rates for you. They can use any OTA. Always been that way.

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