Most people don’t realize Chase’s Ultimate Rewards travel portal lets you redeem points for more than just flights and hotels — here’s what else you can book

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A few days ago, I cashed in 3,914 Chase Ultimate Rewards points for a three-hour “Game of Thrones” sightseeing tour in Dubrovnik, Croatia. My husband and I are big fans of the show and we have always wanted to see Dubrovnik, which is also the setting of “King’s Landing” in the HBO series made-up world of Westeros. So, next month, we are going to see the Red Keep, where the Battle of Blackwater Bay took place, and a wide range of other settings where important scenes of the movies were filmed. I’m pretty stoked this is happening, but I’m equally happy I didn’t have to pay a dime.

The same is true for a few other excursions we booked for our upcoming Croatia trip, including a Plitvice Lakes tour from Zagreb and a day trip to Bosnia and Herzegovina including Medjugorje and Mostar that I paid with entirely with points.

The crazy thing is, most people I speak to about using points this way don’t realize booking activities is an option. When they think about using their Chase Ultimate Rewards points, they focus mostly on airline and hotel partners, while maybe thinking of using their points to book flights or hotels through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.

However, it’s super easy to book activities and experiences through Chase if you know where to look. When you go into the Chase portal, all you have to do is select “activities” instead of flights, hotels, or rental cars. It’s as easy as that.

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It’s super easy to book activities and experiences through Chase if you know where to look within the Ultimate Rewards portal.
Holly Johnson

If you haven’t checked out the activities available in Chase Ultimate Rewards before, I highly recommend you do. You might be surprised at what you find and just how affordable many options are whether you’re paying in points or cash.

Here are some truly exciting options you can book worldwide with Chase Ultimate Rewards points, along with how much they would cost if you carry the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

Click here to learn more about the Chase Sapphire Reserve from Insider Picks’ partner: The Points Guy.

Click here to learn more about the Chase Sapphire Preferred from Insider Picks’ partner: The Points Guy.

#1: Electric Bike Tour in Athens, Greece

#1: Electric Bike Tour in Athens, Greece TripAdvisor

After a day spent exploring ancient ruins and relics of our culture’s past in Athens, Greece, you can cash in 5,145 Chase Ultimate Rewards points for an electric bike ride around the city. See the Hill of the Muses and the Hill of the Nymphs, the ancient Acropolis, the historic neighborhood of Plaka, the Panathenaic Stadium, and so many more of this city’s famous sights while only pedaling when you feel like it.

#2: Taste of Barcelona Food Tour

#2: Taste of Barcelona Food Tour Flickr/jlastras

Spain is known for its bull fights, its alluring and rich history, and its small tasting plates known as tapas. On this Barcelona food tour, you’ll roam the streets of Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter and El Born neighborhood to try amazing local delicacies such as “sardina arenque,” a local sardine cleaned on the spot in a unique way along with wine pairings with nearly every dish. This three-hour tour costs just 5,052 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per person.

#3: Private Day Trip to Terra Cotta Warriors from Xian, China

#3: Private Day Trip to Terra Cotta Warriors from Xian, China LEE SNIDER PHOTO IMAGES / Shutterstock.com

Travelers flock to this region of China to see one of the most interesting dig discoveries in world history — an army of terra cotta warriors and horses that have been buried for over 2,000 years. This army stands over 7,000 strong and is still being excavated, making this the educational trip of a lifetime. You can book this private day tour through Chase Ultimate Rewards for just 1,600 points per person.

#4: Vodka Tasting and Evening Canal Cruise in St. Petersburg, Russia

#4: Vodka Tasting and Evening Canal Cruise in St. Petersburg, Russia Flickr Creative Commons

Fork over just 3,200 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per person to enjoy St. Petersburg and Russia in the most epic way ever — on a boat drinking vodka. This Insta-worthy day trip lasts three hours and takes you through the city’s gorgeous canals and along the Neva, Fontanka, and Moika rivers.

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The Medical Minute: Understanding Personal Health History for a Healthier You

As researchers learn that more health conditions have genetic links, knowing your personal and family health history becomes more important than ever. Upcoming holiday gatherings with family members can be a good time to sit down and piece together missing information so you know your personal risk factors and what preventative steps to take.

Dr. Mack Ruffin, chair of the Department of Family and Community Medicineat Penn State Health, said many of his patients simply haven’t had that conversation with their relatives.

“If you are in your 50s or 60s and your parents are still living, you need to make sure you get that information soon,” he said. “I’m amazed how many adults don’t understand their own personal health history and what surgeries they had as a child.”

He recommends knowing the health history of all first-degree relatives, which include parents and siblings. If those relatives are deceased, it is important to know what they died from and how old they were at the time of death. If they were diagnosed with an illness, find out how old they were at the time of diagnosis and what the exact diagnosis was.

“Cancer in particular can be challenging,” he said. “People often know someone died from cancer, but they don’t know what type.”

Patients can use the information they collect to discuss with their health care provider the preventative measures they should take. “We try to tailor what we recommend to people based on their family history,” Ruffin said. “A lot of diseases have genetic components.”

If colon cancer – or early-onset colon cancer – runs in the family, you may want to start screenings for it before the recommended age of 50. If your parent died from a heart attack in his or her 40s, you may need to be more aggressive about controlling your risk factors – keeping a healthy weight and cholesterol profile and not smoking.

Ruffin cautions against making blanket assumptions based on the information you collect. He said it’s important to know some context: “What that person did might be different than what you are doing.”

For instance, if your grandfather smoked or worked in a mine and died of lung cancer but you do neither, your chances of developing lung cancer are not necessarily as high.

“So when the pumpkin pie is gone, sift through family records and have some conversations with your relatives,” Ruffin said. “There are many useful tools online to help collect, track and document the information. It’s really important to understand your medical history and have it as accurate as possible.”

[“source=GANT News“]