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United Mileage Plus vs Chase Sapphire

*I am posting this also in the 'transportation' forum since I wasn't sure which one would be more appropriate.

I've used my Mileage Plus Chase card to travel economy, business, and first class over the last 5+ years. My mom has a Chase Sapphire and I'm debating whether to switch. I've looked at a few websites that compare the two cards. My understanding is that with the Chase card you build up points and then when you decide to travel, you buy your ticket from a travel agency and Chase credits your account the amount of miles you have as a dollar figure towards the price of the ticket. So if you're purchasing a business class ticket at $6000 and you have 6000 points, it's credited back to your account.

My question is when you use your Sapphire card, do you get 1=1 or dollar for dollar in 'points'? If so, I'm thinking it's a better deal than with my Chase Mileage Plus, where I get 1=1 for most purchases but it costs me 25K for a domestic flight and (at times) 150,000 points for a business round trip flight. And I can't always get the flight I want. Any help or suggestions or corrections as to how I'm viewing the two cards would be appreciated.

Posted by
220 posts

I have a Sapphire card and don't think the part about the travel agent is correct.

When you book flights through the Chase Rewards site ( a link on you get a discount on the number of miles required for a flight.

The ratio is 1=1 for most purchases, for hotels and restaurants (all kinds, fast food or fine dining) you get 2 points per dollar spent. Also their is some bonus like 40,000 points if you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months.

Give them a call I spoke to a representative at Chase and she went through all their options with me and was very helpful.

Posted by
250 posts

With my Chase Sapphire I just request they send me a check and apply the money where I want. The ratio is not 6000 points = $6000 ticket, more like 600,000 points. There is an annual fee, but there are no international fees. Capitol One offers a similar card with no annual fee.

Posted by
478 posts

The Sapphire card then seems very similar to my Mileage Explorer card; no international transaction fees and although I get 1=1 and even 2=1 (food and gas, I think), it doesn't convert to equal amount of $$ that I can use. I guess I'm trying to figure out whether the MP or the Sapphire card will get me quicker to the number of points I need to purchase a ticket. Thanks for your response.