Advertiser Disclosure

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

Jan. 18, 2019
Loyalty Programs, Travel, Travel Credit Cards
Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

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®.

» Learn more: Chase 5/24 rule explained

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 2020, 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