From international travels to coastal destinations, Chase Ultimate Rewards flyers are using their points now more than ever to get some rest and relaxation for the holiday season.
Chase Ultimate Rewards are best known among frequent flyers as one of the best programs for points transfers to airline and hotel partners. However, the bank says travelers are using them more this holiday season to get away from it all.
The new data comes from Chase just in time for the holiday season to get into full swing with less than two months to go before Christmas.
International Travel and Warm Destination Tops Travelers Holiday Wishes
While points are often best used for international travel, more Chase Ultimate Rewards points are going directly towards that cause. The hot new destination this season is Christchurch, New Zealand, experiencing growth over 200% year-over-year. Other international destinations getting new visitors include El Calafate, Argentina, and Chiang Mai, Thailand.
That doesn’t mean everyone is traveling abroad for the season. For travel between October 2023 and January 2024, Ultimate Rewards members have spent the equivalent of $199.1 million in points for trips to California alone. New York came in second place with the points spending equivalent of $113.2 million, while Florida came in third with $77.8 million equivalent spend.
Bigger cities are also seeing more travelers use their points for airfare as they get away this season. Flyers in Houston, Seattle, Boston, and Washington, D.C. are up at least 15% compared to 2022 on using points for airfare.
Although Chase didn’t say what the most expensive trip booked with Ultimate Rewards was, they did note that a mix of traditional “White Christmas” destinations and white beaches made up the most popular destinations. Among the top five were Vail, Colorado; Palm Springs, San Jose Cabo in Mexico, Calgary, and Antigua.
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