The Chase Ultimate Rewards loyalty program is one of the most valuable and flexible credit card rewards programs in existence. Not only do you have a wide variety of options for redeeming rewards points, including cash back, gift cards, and travel, but you can also easily transfer points to certain Chase cards and, from there, on to one of Chase’s airline or hotel partners. To help with all the knowledge about Chase Ultimate Rewards is the drive behind writing this post. Seat tight and read to the end.
Furthermore, the Ultimate Rewards can even be used toward the cost of experiences, including theme park tickets or special events. It seems that there are many reasons why Chase Ultimate Rewards cards that earn points can also be transferred to airline and hotel partners, and redeemed through their respective loyalty programs.
Chase Ultimate Rewards Overview
Chase Ultimate Rewards is frequently considered one of the top credit card programs available today, and for good reason. Ultimate Rewards points, which you can earn with certain Chase credit cards including the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Ink Business Preferred Credit Card, offer some of the most generous and diverse travel redemption options you can find.
But you don’t have to redeem rewards for travel if you don’t want to. There are plenty of other ways to cash in your Chase points, including our favorite option: Pay Yourself Back.
Be it as it may, in this post I will focus on the rewards and perks that come with each card. These cards won’t be worth it if you’re paying interest or late fees. When using a credit card, it’s important to pay your balance in full each month, make payments on time, and only spend what you can afford to pay.
Chase Ultimate Rewards Transfer Partners
To begin with, you can often get an even better value on your points by transferring your points to one of Chase’s 13 travel partners. Points transfer at a 1:1 rate, which means your points maintain their value, and you can look for sweet spots in each loyalty program’s rewards charts to maximize your point value.
Be it as it may, you’ll need to be much more flexible in your travel times and preferences to get the best value on your transfers. Not only can rewards charts be very complicated, but loyalty programs often impose blackout dates and seating restrictions that can make it difficult to locate a rewards seat.
- British Airways Executive Club
- JetBlue TrueBlue
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards®
- United MileagePlus®
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
- Hyatt Gold Passport®
- Marriott Rewards®
- IHG® Rewards Club
- Ritz Carlton Rewards®
- World of Hyatt
- Iberia Plus
- United Airlines
- Emirates Skywards
- Air France/KLM
- Aer Lingus
- Marriott Bonvoy
Chase Ultimate Rewards – What is the Redemption Value? How to Redeem or Spend your Points
For many redemptions, Chase Ultimate Rewards® points are worth about 1 cent each when used towards cash back, travel expenses, and other items. However, they offer verities of ways to spend the points that can net you a better value. Below are the redemption value and ways to spend your earned points:
This can take the form of a statement credit or direct deposit for a penny per point. There is no minimum redemption level. You could redeem 100 points for $1.
Most cost the equivalent of a penny per point, but some are discounted. For example, a $25 gift card to a specific retailer might cost 2,250 points instead of the full 2,500 points, a value of 1.1 cents per point.
Be it as it may, that’s the lowest redemption value and not recommended if you’re trying to maximize the value of your points. You’re better off taking cash back at a full penny per point and using that money to pay for Amazon purchases.
Redeem points for Apple merchandise through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal. Redemptions are for a penny per point. But Chase called that rate “a special limited time offer” when it was announced as a new redemption option in November 2018. Chase did not say what the redemption rate would be after the offer expired.
The Chase Ultimate Rewards® site has a travel-booking tool with competitive prices. Travel booking is powered by the online travel agency Expedia. (Current as of November 2018.)
Generally, points are worth a penny each when booking travel through Chase. If you book a $150 hotel room, it will cost 15,000 points.
However, if you have one of three special Chase cards — two consumer cards and one business card — your points will carry more value, and you’ll be able to do the following:
- Book travel through Chase at a discount.
- Transfer points to Chase’s airline and hotel partners.
Use Chase Reward Points to Book Travel at a Discount
If you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, you can redeem points for a higher 1.25 cents when you book travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® site.
Although, it’s opposed to the usual 1 cent per point. That bumps to 1.5 cents per point with Chase’s luxury travel card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve®.
Those portions of a cent can make a big difference. For example, if you want to pay for a $1,000 flight through the Chase travel site, it would cost 100,000 points normally.
But the same flight would cost just 66,666 points with the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. Even if you used those unspent points for a statement credit, savings would total $333.
Card-to-Card Points Transfers
Chase Ultimate Rewards® points from other Chase rewards cards can be transferred to those three special cards to get the higher redemption rates. For example, if you have the Chase Freedom Flex℠, you can’t redeem for travel at the higher rewards rate.
Be it as it may, it’s just the usual 1 cent per point. But if you also have the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve®, you can transfer your Chase Freedom Flex℠ points to either of those cards and redeem for the higher value.
Transfer Points to Airline and Hotel Partners
Let’s start this way, to potentially wring the most from your Chase Ultimate Rewards® points, you might transfer them to a Chase travel partner, of which there are several. (For example, you could convert Chase Ultimate Rewards® points into frequent flyer miles with a partner airline.)
Here are the programs that accept Chase Ultimate Rewards® points. All are at a rate of one-for-one — one Chase Ultimate Rewards® point is converted to one frequent flyer mile, for example. Transfers are available only with the same three special cards: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve® or Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card:
Points Transfer to Airlines
- First, Aer Lingus AerClub
- Air France/KLM Flying Blue
- British Airways Executive Club (Avios)
- Also, Emirates Skywards
- Iberia Airlines Iberia Plus
- JetBlue TrueBlue
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- Next, Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
- United Airlines MileagePlus
- Finally, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
Points Transfers to Hotels
- First, IHG Rewards Club
- Second, Marriott Rewards
- Finally, World of Hyatt
How to earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points Through Chase Ultimate Rewards Credit Cards
The only way to earn rewards in the Chase Ultimate Rewards ecosystem is by signing up for a Chase credit card that operates within this program and using that card.
Fortunately, Chase Ultimate Rewards offers some of the best travel credit cards available today, each of which offers a generous sign-up bonus and ongoing rewards based on how much you spend.
Here are the cards that earn Ultimate Rewards points:
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
When you sign up for this card, you’ll earn an initial bonus of 60,000 points when you spend $4,000 within three months of account opening.
Furthermore, on top of the bonus, you’ll earn unlimited 2x points on travel and dining and 1x points on everything else you buy. A $95 annual fee applies, but the sign-up bonus alone is worth $750 in travel when you use your points to book through Chase.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve
If you want a travel credit card that offers some serious travel benefits in addition to rewards, you could also consider this card. The Reserve has a $550 annual fee.
But you’ll get a Priority Pass Select airport lounge membership, up to a $300 annual travel credit, up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check every four years, and several other perks.
On the other hand, you’ll also earn an initial 50,000 points when you spend $4,000 on your card within your first three months of account opening, and you’ll earn 3x points on travel (after you use your $300 travel credit) and dining and 1x points on all other purchases. The card recently added some new benefits, including statement credits for DoorDash and 10x points on Lyft rides through March 2022.
The Chase Freedom Flex℠
The Chase freedom Flex gives you 5% cash back on rotating bonus categories, up to $1,500 spent per quarter (cashback comes in the form of Chase Ultimate Rewards®). More so, you earn a 5% cashback on travel purchased through Chase. And 3% back at restaurants. Plus, 3% back at drugstores. That’s not all, you also earn 1% back on the bonus category spending above $1,500 and any other spending.
Also, you will earn a Sign-up bonus: Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited®
The Chase Freedom Unlimited is packed with lots of points and benefits. In that, you can earn 5% cashback on travel purchased through Chase. Another 3% back at restaurants. More so, 3% back at drugstores. And 1.5% on all other non-bonus-category purchases.
To cap it up, new cardholders only: Earn 5% cashback on grocery store purchases (not including Target or Walmart purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
Finally, you will receive a Sign-up bonus: Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
Although unlimited freedom gives better bonuses and points than Chase Freedom. Be it as it may, the Chae Freedom earns 5% cash back on rotating bonus categories, up to $1,500 spent per quarter (cashback comes in the form of Chase Ultimate Rewards®).
More so, you earn 1% back on the bonus category spending above $1,500 and any other spending.
Ink Business Cash® Credit Card
The Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card Credit Card earns you 5% cash back on office supply store purchases and the internet, cable, and phone services, up to $25,000 spent per year combined. Plus an additional 2% back at gas stations and restaurants, up to $25,000 spent per year combined. That’s not all, you also earn 1% back on everything else.
Finally, you will receive a Sign-up bonus: Earn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Customers with the Ink Business Preferred Credit card earn 3 Chase Ultimate Rewards® points per $1 on the first $150,000 per year in combined spending on travel and select business categories. Added with 1 point for every $1 spent on everything else.
More so, a Sign-up bonus: New Offer! Earn 100k bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card
You earn 1.5% cashback on all spending. And a Sign-up bonus: Earn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
There are still other ways you can earn Chase Ultimate rewards; online shopping through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal with any of these cards will earn extra points or cashback.
And you can earn anywhere from 1 to 15 points per dollar spent, depending on the retailer.
Earn Extra Chase Ultimate Rewards Points
Beyond the sign-up bonuses, Chase has established multiple avenues for Chase credit cardholders to build up to Ultimate Rewards points, with only slight differences from card to card.
Special Ultimate Rewards Promotions
In addition to the usual bonus earning rates we have covered, Chase will offer new promotions and points-earning rates from time to time. These temporary promotions may not catch your attention on their own, so if you wish to truly maximize your Ultimate Rewards points, call in periodically to check for anything you may have missed.
One important but simple example is to keep an eye on the sign-up bonus for your card for the first 90 days after you sign up. If it increases from the bonus you signed up for, you can call in to request the new bonus amount, which Chase will often grant.
Buying Gift Cards to Translate Spending Across Categories
Many retailers carry a selection of gift cards that can be spent with other merchants, both online and brick-and-mortar. These can provide a means of translating your purchases under a bonus category into a less points-friendly expense. For example, Staples, an office supply store which yields 5 points per dollar with the Ink Plus® Business Credit Card and the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card, offers gift cards to places ranging from Starbucks to Home Depot, which is not bonus categories for either of those cards.
Earn through Chase Ultimate Rewards Mall
The Chase Ultimate Rewards Mall is another easy way to earn points. If you have a big purchase coming up you can get anywhere between 1 extra point per $1 to 25 points, depending on the store. The most common bonuses range between 1-2 points. As of August 2016, the mall includes 242 stores. The brands range from Apple to Rite Aid and REI. When we examined prices on the Ultimate Rewards mall we didn’t find any price discrepancies. The dozen-or-so websites we checked had prices that matched up with the original website. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about being up-charged.
Clicking through to one of the stores takes you to their respective online portals where you can complete the purchase. Be careful that you don’t close the merchant’s website. If you do, you will have to go through the Chase portal once again to get the extra points.
In the End
Chase Ultimate Rewards are a versatile transferable currency with a variety of ways to earn and redeem. No matter your travel goal, Ultimate Rewards will help you travel more while spending less. In any case, the Ultimate Rewards program provides a wide range of options to maximize your points and save you money — you just have to decide which redemptions are the most worthwhile to you.