NOTICE: This deal is now dead. Congratulations to those who got their tickets in time! See Harry Potter Chased Away for more.
Using Chase’s Ultimate Rewards for a great redemption other than airline miles or hotel points
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
My family has plans for a long weekend visit to central Florida in January. My son recently finished reading the entire Harry Potter series, so it’s a natural that we should want to go to Universal’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter while we’re there. I’ve been frustrated, though, by how expensive the Universal Studios tickets are! A one day single park ticket goes for $85 and a two park, one day, ticket goes for $120. Through online searches I’ve been unable to find tickets for more than a few dollars less than retail.
Chase to the rescue
Chase’s Ultimate Rewards points can be incredibly valuable when redeemed for airline miles or hotel points. By transferring Ultimate Rewards points to United Airline miles or Hyatt hotel points, for example, it is possible to redeem awards worth at least 2 cents per point. Another option is to purchase travel using Ultimate Rewards points, and then each point is worth 1.25 cents. Most other redemption options limit the value of Ultimate Rewards points to 1 cent each.
Luckily for me and for anyone else hoping to go to Universal Studios, there is another redemption option in which Ultimate Rewards points are worth more than 2 cents each. The same two-park, one-day tickets that usually cost $120 are available from Ultimate Rewards shopping for only 5000 points each. That’s a value of 2.4 cents per point! I’ve already claimed the three tickets that we need, so hurry and claim yours because sooner or later someone is going to figure out what a great deal this is and re-price it accordingly.
How to get the tickets
- First, you need to have a Chase Ultimate Rewards credit card. I used the Chase Sapphire Preferred, but I believe that certain Chase Freedom and Chase Ink cards can also be used. If you don’t already have one of these cards, I highly recommend getting one. They each have great signup bonuses and other great perks. For example, the Sapphire Preferred comes with 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points after meeting its minimum spend requirements and no annual fee for the first year. Even if you don’t want Universal Studios tickets, I highly recommend this card for both its signup bonus and its day to day benefits. You can sign up for the Sapphire Preferred card here (Full disclosure: if you use this link to apply, you will get the same great deal, but I will also receive a small commission).
- Log into your Chase.com account and click on “Ultimate Rewards”
- From the Ultimate Rewards screen, click on Shopping… Browse Gift cards:
- Scroll to the bottom to find “Universal Orlando Resort… From child for 5,000 points”:
- After clicking on “Universal Orlando Resort”, select whether you want child or adult tickets and the quantity you want. You need to have 5,000 Ultimate Rewards points in your account for each ticket you purchase.
One reader has pointed out that there is a second way to redeem Ultimate Rewards points for Universal Studios tickets, but that is a much worse deal (see comments, below). This makes me think that the 5,000 point offer may be a mistake and it will probably be corrected soon. Good luck!
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Last updated on November 11th, 2011