How I Pay for Last-Minute Hotel Bookings

A few days ago, I was working on the itinerary for our upcoming trip to Northern Europe when I realized I had overlooked an important detail. We won’t arrive in Chicago until almost 11:00 p.m. on the day we fly home from Copenhagen, Denmark, and we still have three hours to drive home after we land.

We were going to need a hotel — and fast — since the trip was fast approaching and I know my husband won’t want to drive overnight. (Side note: I am definitely not driving overnight) Fortunately, I have a stash of points I always use for surprise hotel stays just like this one.

Yes, I’m talking about Chase Ultimate Rewards. In this case, I wound up booking a free night at the Four Points by Sheraton Chicago O’Hare Airport hotel with free breakfast for 12,840 Chase Ultimate Rewards points. That’s actually more than I wanted to pay for an airport hotel, but we’ve stayed here a few times so I like the fact that I know what I’m getting.

Here’s why I think Chase Ultimate Rewards points are ideal for last-minute hotel stays almost anywhere:

  • No worries over last-minute award availability: One thing I love about booking hotels through Chase Ultimate Rewards is the fact that I don’t have to worry about award availability like I would if I were using hotel points. You can book at the last minute — and even the day before — and you’ll never worry about not finding award availability provided you’re flexible with where you stay.
  • Book any hotel you want: The Chase travel portal works with Expedia, so you can book many different hotel brands in destinations around the globe. This feature is great when your favorite hotel brand doesn’t have a property in your destination, or even when you prefer to stay in a smaller boutique property instead of with a larger hotel chain.
  • Get more free travel when you book with points: The Chase Sapphire Reserve gives you 50% more travel for free when you use points to book through the portal, and the Chase Sapphire Preferred gives you 25% more travel for free. In both cases, you can usually book inexpensive hotels at a low rate. I have personally booked cheap airport hotels for as little as 4,500 points per night!

The Bottom Line

Chase Ultimate Rewards is by far my favorite travel currency, which is why my husband and I make it a point to use Chase cards for most of our spending throughout the year. Not only do I love transferring Chase points to popular transfer partners like Southwest, United MileagePlus, and Air France/Flying Blue, but I love to use them for activities like day trips and museum tours.

Chase Ultimate Rewards points are also great for last-minute hotel stays since they’re so incredibly flexible. With all these options available, it’s no wonder Chase Ultimate Rewards is the most popular rewards currency available today.

What is your favorite way to book last-minute hotel stays? Why?


[Featured Image: Wikimedia]

Source: frugal travel guy

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