This redemption is so easy, and one of my favorites. I’ve used it five times in the last 18 months and is one of the main reasons why I love the points and miles game. Here’s how to do it:

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred – 50,000 point sign up bonus after spending $4,000 in three months
  • Chase Ink Business Preferred – 80,000 point sign up bonus after spending $5,000 in three months

The best part is that the annual fee is waived for the first year – ON BOTH CARDS.

When you factor in the 5,000 extra points you’ll get for adding an authorized user to the Sapphire Preferred card, as well as the 9,000 points from your actual spending to meet the requirements – you’ll have collected 144,000 Ultimate Rewards points. These can be transferred on a 1:1 ratio to United Mileage Plus.

The trick is to redeem for travel on Star Alliance partners (I like Lufthansa and Air Canada) since United’s business class can be very, very bad if you get a plane 8 business class seats per row. Star Alliance redemptions are 70,000 miles each way, or 140,000 miles round trip – plus taxes which vary between $95 and $195 depending on where you’re flying back from in Europe. If booking with United, there’s no fuel surcharges on award redemptions.