Chase Ultimate Rewards, How to Earn Points & Use Them

Chase Ultimate Rewards

Chase Ultimate Rewards Program

Chase is one of the major credit card issuers in the United States. They have a wide variety of credit cards, some of them issued by Chase alone and others issued in collaboration with airlines, hotels or other institutions. These credit cards will either earn cashback, hotel points, airlines miles or Ultimate Rewards points. The latter, Chase Ultimate Rewards points, is what we will go over in this article.

Cards That Earn Membership Rewards Points

Before getting deeper into the Chase Ultimate Rewards program, let’s first look at what credit cards give you the ability to earn these points. Not all Chase card earn Ultimate Rewards points, not even all those issued by American Express alone. So if you want to earn Ultimate Rewards points, you need to have one of these cards:

What Are Ultimate Rewards

Chase Ultimate Rewards are points that you earn through spending with the Chase credit cards listed above. The program is regarded as one of the best currencies out there, based on the many option for uses through travel partners or even through the Chase travel portal. Plus many

Ultimate Rewards points don’t expire, and there is no cap on the amount of points you can earn. But unlike Amex points, Ultimate Rewards points are not automatically pooled together from all your Chase cards. You can transfer them easily though from one account to the other if you want to have them all in one place.

How to Earn Ultimate Rewards

The primary option to earn Ultimate Rewards points is with one of the Chase credit cards listed above. You can earn some huge signup bonuses of 80,000 or more points with some cards such as Chase Sapphire Reserve for example. Then there’s the points that you earn from ongoing spending with these credit cards. By using each card on categories where they earn the highest rate, you can really add lots of points to your Ultimate Rewards account.

Here is the earning rates for each eligible card and the normal public bonuses (but you can usually do better with limited time offers):

  • Ink Business Preferred
    • Sign-up bonus: 80,000 points
    • 3x points on the first $150,000 per year in combined spending on travel and select business categories
    • 1x on all other purchases
  • Ink Business Unlimited
    • Sign-up bonus: $500
    • 1.5x on all purchases
  • Ink Business Cash
    • Sign-up bonus: $500
    • 5x on office supply store purchases and internet, cable and phone services, up to $25,000 spent per year combined
    • 2x at gas stations and restaurants, up to $25,000 spent per year combined
    • 1x on all other purchases
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve
    • Sign-up bonus: 50,000 points
    • 3x points on travel and dining
    • 1x point on all other purchases
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred
    • Sign-up bonus: 60,000 points
    • 2x points on on travel and dining
    • 1x point on all other purchases
  • Chase Freedom
    • Sign-up bonus: $150
    • 5x on rotating bonus categories, up to $1,500 spent per quarter
    • 1x point on all other purchases
  • Chase Freedom Unlimited
    • Sign-up bonus: $150
    • 1.5x points on all purchases

There’s some limitations and annual caps for some of these rates, so check the details for each specific card if you want to find out more. But these earning rates will give you a good idea of where you can accumulate points with Chase credit cards. Also some cards technically earn cashback, but each penny is equal to one Chase Ultimate Rewards point.

You can also earn points by referring friend and family members to sign up for an Chase credit card. You can usually earn a bonus of 10,000 or 20,000 points for every person that you refer. There’s a limit of 5 referrals per year. You can generate your referral links here.

But credit cards are not the only option to earn points. Chase also has a shopping portal where you earn Ultimate Rewards points for shopping online. Earning rates can vary based on what card you log in with.

How to Redeem Ultimate Rewards

This is the fun part. Once you have accumulated your Ultimate Rewards points, you wonder what you can do with them. There’s a few options. You can redeem for:

  • Transfer to Travel Partners such as Hotels and Airlines
  • Book Travel Directly
  • Statement Credit
  • Direct Deposit
  • Gift Cards
  • Pay with Points

Transfer to Travel Partners such as Hotels and Airlines

To get the best value for your points, you should transfer Ultimate Rewards to travel partners. You can easily get a value of 2 cents per point or even more. Here’s a list of options and the transfer ratio for each one of them:

Aer Lingus1:1
Air Canada Aeroplan1:1
British Airways Executive Club1:1
Flying Blue (Air France / KLM)1:1
Iberia Plus1:1
IHG Rewards Club1:1
Marriott Bonvoy1:1
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer1:1
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards1:1
United Airlines MileagePlus1:1
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club1:1
World of Hyatt1:1

While this is the best option, it also requires some knowledge of the program you’re transferring into. If you have no idea how to use your Avios points for example, then you won’t be able to get the value that you expect for the Ultimate Rewards that you just transferred. So always make sure you read up and familiarize yourself with a travel partner before transferring any points. Once you transfer out, you can not transfer back to Ultimate Rewards points. You can transfer points here in the Chase portal.

Book Travel Directly

Chase Ultimate Rewards points also get good value when use directly to book travel through Chase itself. But the value you get will depend on what credit cards you have. You can use your points at a flate rate of 1.5 cents each if you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve, or 1.25 cents each if you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Ink Business Preferred. If you have one of these cards, you want to transfer your points from all Chase cards there, so you can use them for the better value.

Chase uses Expedia to book travel. This can be a good option to use your points when you are booking last minute, or booking cheap flights or stays. Late booking are difficult for awards since there’s not much availability and cheap travel doesn’t get you a good value for your points for airfare or hotels. If you go to “Things to Do”, you can also book activities and unique experiences for your next trip.

Other Options

Then you always have the options to cash out points at 1 cents each. That’s not a great value. But when you only have a small amount, or more points than you can use for travel, then these could be possible redemption options. You can get cash back for example, directly deposited into most U.S. checking and savings accounts, or redeem it for statement credit.

You can shop at Amazon and pay with points for eligible orders. There’s also promotions that we see from Amazon, just for using one Chase point. Then you have the gift card option. You can use your points for a wide variety of popular stores and restaurants. Ther’s also discounts here sometimes, so keep an eye out for that as well.

Guru’s Wrap-up

The Chase Ultimate Rewards program is probably the most useful one out there. With the wide variety of cards makes it easy to earn lots of points through signup bonuses and great earning rates on many categories. You can earn points through personal and business cards and then transfer them to one card such as Chase Sapphire Reserve for example so you can use them for travel at 1.5 cents each. Or even better, transfer to travel partners to get even more value. Once you learn the tricks and sweet spots for each partner you can extract big value from your points.

And don’t forget about those other redemption options either. Just know that they’re there. if you need cash for example, just cash out points at 1 cent each if you have a healthy balance.

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