Chase teams with Expedia to beef up travel card perks

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Cardholders will get extra booking options through Expedia's network

Chase is teaming up with Expedia to add new features and capabilities to the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel card.

The companies say Chase cardmembers will get access to a higher level of travel booking features using Expedia Group’s network of flights, hotels, vacation rentals, and car rentals -- along with thousands of travel experiences and activities.

The upgrade is available immediately to Chase Freedom and Freedom Unlimited cardmembers. It will be rolled out to Chase Sapphire and Ink cardmembers over the next few months.

Natural move for Chase

Lorraine Hansen, Head of Ultimate Rewards and Loyalty Solutions at Chase, says consumers are using online travel features more than ever, so teaming up with Expedia was a natural.

“Whether on desktop or mobile, we are providing simpler and smarter booking tools with over a million options to search, delivering even more value and flexibility to Ultimate Rewards cardmembers,” Hansen said.

Joe Cortez, NerdWallet's points and miles expert, says the partnership will give cardholders more flexibility and choices when planning travel.

"For young optimizers who enjoy the points and miles game, this news gives more value to Chase over American Express, Citi and Capital One," Cortez said in an email to ConsumerAffairs. "Because of Expedia's reach and integrations with global distribution systems, consumers may have more opportunities to use their Ultimate Reward points or the ability to build more complex itineraries through Expedia that weren't previously possible."

On the other hand, Cortez says the card holds advantages beyond points and miles, since it pays up to 2 percent cash back on purchases.

Transparency on fares

The card also carries a feature that the airlines are hoping gets removed from legislation funding the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). A 2012 rule requires airlines to include all taxes and fees when they advertise a fare, but the house version of the FAA reauthorization bill removes that requirement.

When selecting a flight using the Ultimate Rewards card, consumers will see the total trip cost displayed at check-out. In addition, there will be extra flight search options by class and opportunities to upgrade throughout the booking process.

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