WhyChase values Ultimate Rewards (UR) points at 2.0 cents each when used towards travel. This is based on an average of transferring to top travel partners and purchasing directly through Chase’s travel portal.
The highest reward values typically come from transferring UR points to the Hyatt Gold Passport program. Some of their high end hotels at $1000/night cost only 30k in points. When you factor in the fees/taxes that don’t get charged when using points, the value goes up even more. The 30k in points cashed out is worth $300, so you can definitely see the value when getting a room that goes for $1,235/night. On top of this, the rates when using points don’t go up when the demand is high (but availability may be low).
Southwest Airlines is another strong travel partner to transfer points. They only charge a small fee ($5.60/trip domestic and $26/trip international). Some of the other airline partners charge huge fuel surcharges or require a high amount of points, so I wouldn’t even consider them.
The exception is when booking through the Chase Travel Portal. Most airlines/hotels are available here, similar to searching sites like Expedia or Kayak. When using the Sapphire Reserved card, your UR points are worth 1.5x in redemption. This means for example, 10,000 points gets you $150 in travel. In cash, this equates to a 33% discount. Rental cars can also be a good way to use points, as they don’t charge the additional fees when paying cash.
Below are some sample hotels and round-trip flights using the methods mentioned above. As you see the points value can vary. If any of your searches give a redemption value below 1.5x, then consider going through the Chase Travel Portal.