How I Flew Free: Flying Into London and Out of Paris Using Chase Ultimate Rewards

Jan 18, 2019

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This hardworking writer and author took his first real vacation in years with his wife thanks to the points he earned on his Chase Sapphire Reserve®.

The cardholder

Name: Victor Li Age: 40 Occupation: Assistant managing editor, ABA Journal and author of "Nixon in New York: How Wall Street Helped Richard Nixon Win the White House" Residence: Chicago Credit card: The Chase Sapphire Reserve®

The trip

Route: Depart from O’Hare International Airport - Chicago to Heathrow Airport - London, return from Charles de Gaulle Airport - Paris to O’Hare Dates of travel: Sept. 12 - 22, 2018 Airlines: United Airlines (departure), Swiss Air (return) Class of service: Economy

Q: Did you visit a lounge at the airport?

A: No.

Q: Did you travel alone or with someone?

A: I traveled with my wife for our first real vacation in several years.

The credit card

Q: What card did you use to get a free trip?

A: The Chase Sapphire Reserve®.

Q: How long were you a cardholder/member at that time?

A: Five years.

Q: How long were you planning/saving for this trip?

A: Four months.

Q: What's your favorite perk of this card?

A: The points.


Q: Did you take advantage of promotions while earning points for this trip?

A: No.

Q: How did you book?

A: I booked through the Chase travel portal.

Q: How many points/miles/rewards did this cost?

A: 85,148 points [for both Li and his wife].

Q: Did you book in conjunction with a promotion or deal?

A: No.

Q: Any surprises?

A: No.

What's your next travel rewards goal?

We have to build up our reserve a bit, but we'd love to go to Taiwan, Hong Kong, Tokyo or Singapore next.

Photo via Victor Li.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2022, including those best for:

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