Chasing Harry Potter


NOTICE: This deal is now dead.  Congratulations to those who got their tickets in time!  See Harry Potter Chased Away for more.

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Using Chase’s Ultimate Rewards for a great redemption other than airline miles or hotel points

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

My family has plans for a long weekend visit to central Florida in January. My son recently finished reading the entire Harry Potter series, so it’s a natural that we should want to go to Universal’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter while we’re there. I’ve been frustrated, though, by how expensive the Universal Studios tickets are! A one day single park ticket goes for $85 and a two park, one day, ticket goes for $120. Through online searches I’ve been unable to find tickets for more than a few dollars less than retail.

Chase to the rescue

Chase’s Ultimate Rewards points can be incredibly valuable when redeemed for airline miles or hotel points. By transferring Ultimate Rewards points to United Airline miles or Hyatt hotel points, for example, it is possible to redeem awards worth at least 2 cents per point. Another option is to purchase travel using Ultimate Rewards points, and then each point is worth 1.25 cents. Most other redemption options limit the value of Ultimate Rewards points to 1 cent each.

Luckily for me and for anyone else hoping to go to Universal Studios, there is another redemption option in which Ultimate Rewards points are worth more than 2 cents each. The same two-park, one-day tickets that usually cost $120 are available from Ultimate Rewards shopping for only 5000 points each. That’s a value of 2.4 cents per point! I’ve already claimed the three tickets that we need, so hurry and claim yours because sooner or later someone is going to figure out what a great deal this is and re-price it accordingly.

How to get the tickets

  1. First, you need to have a Chase Ultimate Rewards credit card. I used the Chase Sapphire Preferred, but I believe that certain Chase Freedom and Chase Ink cards can also be used. If you don’t already have one of these cards, I highly recommend getting one. They each have great signup bonuses and other great perks. For example, the Sapphire Preferred comes with 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points after meeting its minimum spend requirements and no annual fee for the first year. Even if you don’t want Universal Studios tickets, I highly recommend this card for both its signup bonus and its day to day benefits. You can sign up for the Sapphire Preferred card here (Full disclosure: if you use this link to apply, you will get the same great deal, but I will also receive a small commission).
  2. Log into your account and click on “Ultimate Rewards”
  3. From the Ultimate Rewards screen, click on Shopping… Browse Gift cards:
    a screenshot of a gift card
  4. Scroll to the bottom to find “Universal Orlando Resort… From child for 5,000 points”:
    a logo of a theme park
  5. After clicking on “Universal Orlando Resort”, select whether you want child or adult tickets and the quantity you want. You need to have 5,000 Ultimate Rewards points in your account for each ticket you purchase.

a screenshot of a gift card


One reader has pointed out that there is a second way to redeem Ultimate Rewards points for Universal Studios tickets, but that is a much worse deal (see comments, below). This makes me think that the 5,000 point offer may be a mistake and it will probably be corrected soon. Good luck!

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[…] I did a little digging around and found the following article from Nov. 2011: Chasing Harry Potter. It details how you "used" to be able to get Universal Studios tickets using UR points. […]

[…] Chasing Harry Potter […]

[…] few days ago, in the post titled “Chasing Harry Potter,” I showed an incredibly good deal for those looking for single day Universal Studios […]


Looks like it’s back to regular price….


Tim: You’re right. Thanks for the heads-up. I’ll post something about it.

[…] Miler has a good post up about how to use your Ultimate Reward points at a 2.4 cent per point value (anything over a 2 […]


No expiration date on these? Wow. We don’t have plans to go anytime real soon, but that is a tempting offer if there is no expiration date on these.


Todd: Yep. Also note that on eBay these tickets seem to sell for over $100 each. So, unless the price drops, you could always unload the tickets on eBay and still come out ahead.

Note: if anyone is thinking “great way to make money!” remember that if you flood the market with these things, the price will drop.


Not bad but the problem is the single day pass is the least value to begin with. For a few dollars more you get a 2 or even 3 day pass


Phil, that’s true if you want to go for more than one day. For families, like mine, planning a single day at Universal this is a great deal.


This is a great deal indeed considering it would be $50 if you were to cash in the points!


Interesting because if you go under “tours and activities” and then click on Parks, a Universal one day park-to-park ticket goes for 12,600 pts (*and* you have to specify which date you are going).

I hope you get the right thing in the mail and don’t just get a $50 gift card for Universal!


Jennifer: I received my cards yesterday. They are for park admission and there doesn’t appear to be an expiration date. You can find these tickets by logging into, go to Ultimate Rewards, click on Shopping… Browse Gift Cards, then click on the letter “U” to narrow the results to “Universal Studios”. You’re right that there is another way to purchase Universal Orlando tickets through the mall as you described and that way is much more expensive! This must be a mistake. All, if you’re interested, jump on this fast!


Jennifer, I just updated the post thanks to your information. Thanks!


Wow, this IS a great deal. I went to Universal about a month ago and couldn’t believe how pricey tickets were. For my two day single park + horror nights admission for one night it was $165! Gulp. But the Harry Potter rides are SO worth it and I am trying to get my husband to go with me next year sometime.

Any idea if there is an expiration date on redemption of these tickets?