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

Jan. 18, 2019
Loyalty Programs, Travel, Travel Credit Cards
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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.

Redemption/Booking

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 2019, including those best for:

Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice:
How I flew for free: Miles to the rescue for a family emergency
How I flew for free: Round trip NYC to India using Chase Ultimate Rewards
How I flew business class to Bangkok with my family for free

About the author