One of the things I love about my Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is that I earn Ultimate Rewards Points which can be used for any number of things ranging from Hotels, Airfare, Statement Credits and Gift cards.
The thing I really love about Ultimate Rewards is when you use your points for Statement Credits, you can buy anything (within reason) and have all (or some) of the purchase paid for with Ultimate Rewards Points!
I know that most travel hackers would think I am nuts for using “valuable” Ultimate Rewards Points for an espresso machine, but I have to disagree. I look at my points as a venue to buy anything that I would not normally spend my hard earned cash on.
For some people that means transferring the Ultimate Rewards Points to frequent flyer miles for expensive international business class tickets…. I often do this as well, but this time, I had a stash of them and thought I would do something else with my little goldmine of points. Something that would bring me joy every day!
I am a bit of an espresso nut. So while the local Starbucks may be convenient and easy to find…. they make terrible espresso.
So….. without a top notch espresso machine at home, I found myself driving ridiculously long distances every day to get my espresso fix…. This was wasting a ton of time!
This is where my Ultimate Rewards Points come in…
I used 70,000 UR Points (i.e. a $700 statement credit) to apply to this “pimped out” Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine. I had a PID Infusion Kit ( Proportional Integral Derivative) retrofitted on it, which results in the kind of espresso you can only get from the very high end, multi-thousand dollar machines. I love it!
I bought it from Seattle Coffee Gear which is one of my two favorite places to get espresso gear. The other is Clive Coffee, which does a fantastic job with web design and messaging – I love their website and approach to selling coffee for the home!
For this purchase, Seattle Coffee Gear had a 10% off coupon (for new email subscribers) and offered the PID setup. That’s what sent me in their direction. They also do a great job with their YouTube channel, teaching you everything you need to know about espresso machine selection and maintenance.
The main message here is…. use your points for what you love. Don’t let the travel bloggers tell you the that a 1 cent award ratio is a waste and you can get a better return of 2.4 – 4.3 cents per point when transferring to airlines for international flights.
If you want to use them for international flights… do it!
If you want to use them for some other treat, like an awesome espresso machine… do it!
For more a list of the best credit cards to earn a ton of miles and points, check out our Travel Credit Card Page….