Expedia To Power Chase Travel Portal

Chase has announced that starting from today with some of their cards, Expedia will be powering their travel portal.

Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal

The news came via CNBC, which reported that Chase Freedom cards were upgraded to the new system today, with their other Ultimate Rewards-earning cards being moved over in the coming months.

Seeing as you can only redeem points for 1c with Freedom cards, this isn’t too exciting for now. Once the Sapphire cards have been upgraded – particularly the Sapphire Reserve seeing as points can be redeemed for 1.5c through the travel portal – it could be more interesting.

Per the article:

They’ll also get access to Expedia’s travel deals and can choose among 272,000 hotels and 250 airlines.

Unfortunately the article doesn’t detail how that compares to how many hotels and airlines were/are available via Connexions, the old/current travel portal provider.

It’s been years since I last used Expedia, so I’m not too familiar with what benefits this change will bring. One frustrating aspect when using Ultimate Rewards to pay for Southwest flights (rather than transferring them to Rapid Rewards) has been that it can only be done over the phone rather than online through the portal. It doesn’t look like Expedia displays Southwest flights on their site either, so this is unlikely to change.

Question

For those of you that are more familiar with Expedia, is there anything you’re aware of that should make us be excited about this news?

About Stephen Pepper

Stephen Pepper is on a 5 year, 50 state road trip with his wife Shae and their dog Truffles. Finding opportunities to earn miles and points is one of the ways they can afford to do this, so he'll try to help you do the same for your own travels.

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Jeff
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Jeff

So no more elite credit or recognition when booking with UR for hotels?

Lrdx
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Lrdx

You didn’t normally get that before either.

Adam
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Adam

Yes. Expedia sometimes has insane-awesome package deals that include business class flights. 🙂

Though unsure we’ll be able to book packages with UR. Also, I’m a bit scared re whether Chase will keep the UR = 1.5 cents towards travel for the Reserve. Given all the devaluations we’ve been seeing recently across the majors, I worry that we’ll see “An improvement in your benefits!” that headlines the Expedia relationship and more choices… with the “Points will now be worth 1.25 cents each towards travel…” in fine print at the bottom 🙁

Waylo
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Waylo

Now you can book WOW air and other discount carriers with UR.

huey judy
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huey judy

I don’t like online booking services much. Got into a flap with Expedia several years ago that took six months to straighten out. Their idea of customer service is a call center with agents who are clueless and difficult to understand on the phone … once you finally reach a real person of course. I’d much rather deal direct with airlines and hotels. But, I have lots of Ultimate Rewards, so I guess I’ll find out soon how Expedia will add value. I thought the CSR cards were aimed at more sophisticated travelers, and am surprised at this “partnership”. My experiences with Chase customer service have been wonderful; this news is troublesome. Not looking forward to my next booking with URs.

nbsandiego
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nbsandiego

A benefit I have found by transferring the Chase points to Rapid Rewards for Southwest flights is that the flights then become totally refundable (points-wise) and they are non-refundable with UR points or with Expedia. Also, I have found better deals booking directly with SW than with UR, at least for SW flights.

Danielle
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Danielle

.

Adam
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Adam

So really, you need to read between the lines. Expedia is currently how chase ALREADY books most (if not all) of their Ultimate Rewards bookings. Something you can do is try to pull up the UR portal pricing for things and hold it side by side to expedia. Usually they come up exactly the same.

A few months back I had made a hotel booking with chase UR portal, and forgot to add my rewards number, when I called the hotel, they said the reservation in their system was made via Expedia. (Even though I did it through Chase UR). I think I had 2 other bookings with a similar experience and response from the hotel folks….not a surprise, since AmEx travel goes through something similar (Orbitz I think?).

Anyhoo, this has a potential downside as it could mean that instead of dealing with an excellent Chase rep over the phone, you just get forwarded to a shitty Expedia rep 🙁