Breaking: Expedia is Taking Over Chase Ultimate Rewards Portal – Doubles Searchable Inventory

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Expedia is Taking Over Chase Ultimate Rewards Portal

Reader Pauline reached out to me with some interesting news today, thanks Pauline. In surprising news Expedia is taking over Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.  This is supposed to double the portal’s searchable inventory.  Chase is also revamping the design of the portal online and via the mobile app to make it a more user friendly experience.

Details

Per the CNBC report Expedia is taking over Chase Ultimate rewards portal and it will be rolling out to all cards within the next few months.  This is a drastic change from how banks usually run their travel systems, preferring to run them in house.  Putting Expedia in charge should double the searchable travel via the portal.  Per CNBC’s source users will now have access to over 272,000 hotels and 250 airlines.

It sounds like with this change Chase will be revamping the Ultimate Rewards portal online and their mobile app as well.  They are trying to make it easier to choose flight and seat options.  There should also be a better breakdown of fees and taxes with the change.

It will be rolled out to Freedom cardholders first (a weird choice in my opinion) and then to other cards over the next few months.  I checked my Freedom account but nothing looked to be different as of yet.  Per the report it said it should be rolled out Sunday.  It is not clear if that meant today or next week.

Conclusion

This should be a good change for Chase Ultimate Rewards customers, especially Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders who get 1.5 cents per point through the portal.  I wonder if this is in response to Chase’s recent report that they lost $330 Million because of bank points last quarter.  This could encourage more people to use the portal versus transferring to partner airlines and hotels.  Which in turn could save Chase money in the long run.

 

Let me know your thoughts in the comments section – do you think it is a good move overall?


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16 COMMENTS

  1. I’m seeing it on my freedom card. When you enter your search criteria it says powered by expedia but otherwise looks the same as usual. You’ll notice the difference when you get to the results and it’s identical to the expedia/orbitz/travelocity UI. There seems to be a drastic price difference as well. I was looking for a car next weekend in HNL with National and on the Sapphire Reserve page it’s $208 for the weekend but on the Freedom page it’s $294.

    • That is surprising to hear about the pricing difference. I wonder if they are still working out kinks etc. If this leads to higher prices overall that would be terrible on Chase’s part.

  2. The portal isn’t already run by Expedia? When I stayed at a Blue Palace in Greece via a points stay booked through the UR portal, it went through to the property as an Expedia booking.

    • As far as I know Chase did it in house before this and according to the report. Maybe they booked it through Expedia on your behalf etc. but Expedia didn’t run the portal.

      • Chase partnered with Connexions Loyalty, a B2B travel provider. Connexions re-sold inventory from a variety of other partners including Priceline, Expedia and number of other wholesalers. Even if you booked a hotel via the Connexions-provided Chase portal, and that hotel was booked through a wholesaler, it could have been from source from Priceline’s inventory originally (it happens all the time), which is why the hotel saw you as a Priceline customer. The hotel industry is very convoluted.

  3. I booked a stay at a Marriott vacation club property using UR and I was greeted that it was booked through Expedia.

  4. I booked an Iceland Air flight (NEVER AGAIN) through Chase UR and they said they go through Expedia as well. When I had a problem and called Iceland Air and was informed I was 58th in the queue (not kidding) I called Chase Ultimate Rewards. They were much more helpful. I did not even learn until after the flight that Chase UR goes through Expedia.

  5. Isn’t the problem with this that you won’t get the benefit of your status with chains since they despise third party bookings?

      • If I have status, I call the property & give them my number to add to the res. I am then treated the same as if I had booked direct but also don’t receive elite points for extra charges.

        Availability is sometimes different thru Chase than the hotel’s website making it necessary/preferential to book thru Chase for a room.

  6. I booked two rooms at Manchester airport a couple of weeks ago. When I checked in at the hotel they said it was a prepaid reservation via Expedia. They were paid with my CSR card UR points.

  7. I’ve used CUR 25 to 30 times throughout Europe and United States and often shows as an Expedia reservation. What I am hoping is that this relationship will drastically change chases unwieldy rewards website.

    • Everyone seems to be stuck on the fact of who it was booked through. I look at this as the big change is going to be that the search will be performed by Expedia which should open up options. It doesn’t really matter who it was or will be booked through. I am guessing the old 3rd party travel agent booked through Expedia often in the past. The important thing is that this should open up new options for booking going forward. We will have to wait and see if they mess with the pricing of everything etc. though.

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