Chase Ultimate Rewards: Maximize Your Earnings & Redemptions [2017]

Chase Ultimate Rewards Review

Without a doubt, the Chase Ultimate Rewards program is the most popular travel rewards programs on the market among points and miles aficinados — and for good reason. With tons of ways to earn Ultimate Rewards points, the program is arguably the best credit card rewards program currently available, and it should be a top priority for anyone who wants to book award flights.

Once you have tackled earning some points, you can redeem Ultimate Rewards for award flights or hotel award stays across the world.

Let’s dig into what the Ultimate Rewards program has to offer so you can start putting together your next amazing vacation!

What Is The Chase Ultimate Rewards Program?

Chase Ultimate Rewards is a credit card rewards program that allows cardholders to earn points with every purchase.

These points can be redeemed a variety of ways but the best redemption option, by far, is for travel. Any of the other options such as redeeming for a statement credit or merchant gift cards is a poor use of these valuable points.

To earn Ultimate Rewards, you must hold an affiliated Chase credit card. Once you are approved for a Chase card that earns Ultimate Rewards, you will be enrolled in the program automatically.

The number of points you earn on purchases depends on which card you use and under what category the purchase will code. Each Ultimate Rewards card has bonus categories that allow you to earn between 2X and 5X points per dollar on many purchases.

With the right combination of Chase cards, you can earn tons of Ultimate Rewards.

Chase Ultimate Rewards Credit Cards

The key to earning Ultimate Rewards is the combination of Chase cards you choose. You can easily transfer Ultimate Rewards points to one of their airline or hotel partners once you have enough for a flight or hotel stay.

Keep in mind, you must hold at least one premium Ultimate Rewards card to transfer points to airline and hotel partners. You can combine Ultimate Rewards points from any cards that earn them to really boost your account.

Easily apply online for one of our highly recommended cards below:

Recommended Chase Cards (Personal)

CREDIT CARDCARD INFO
#1 - Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Need Inspiration?
> 49 Best Ways To Use Ultimate Rewards Points
  • 50,000 bonus points.
  • That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through
    Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide.
  • Annual Fee: $0 the first year, then $95
  • Our Review
Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card
  • 3X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide
  • Annual Fee: $450
  • Our Review
Chase Freedom®
  • Earn 5% cash back in bonus categories
  • No annual fee
  • Our Review
Chase Freedom Unlimited℠

Recommended Chase Cards (Business)

CREDIT CARDCARD INFO
Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
  • Earn 3 points per $1 in select categories
  • Annual Fee: $95
  • Our Review
Chase Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card
  • Earn 5% cash back in select business categories
  • No Annual Fee
  • Our Review

Hot Tip: If you’re ready to get started and earn a ton of points quickly, check out how to earn 100k Chase points in 90 days!

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is the most popular Chase card thanks to its popular bonus categories. Holding this card also allows you to transfer Ultimate Rewards to travel partners.

Earn 2X points per dollar on all your travel and dining expenses including flights, hotels, Uber, restaurants, bars, and more. Gas stations are not included in the travel bonus category.

Dining includes all restaurants and dining establishments, including bars, but does not cover other food-related expenses such as supermarket and grocery store purchases.

You will earn 1X point per dollar on all other purchases. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has an annual fee of $95, which is typically waived during the first year.

This is one of the two travel rewards cards from Chase that gives you additional travel benefits that you can’t get on the cash-back cards.

Hot Tip: Each Chase card that earns Ultimate Rewards comes with a sign-up bonus that will really boost your points balance.

Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card

The Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card is the latest premium card offering from Chase. It is an enhanced version of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card as it earns 3X points per dollar on travel and dining purchases and 1X points per dollar on all other purchases.

It also comes with a wide range of benefits including Priority Pass Select lounge access, a $300 travel credit per cardmember year, a $100 to cover the Global Entry application fee, and more.

Because this is a premium card, it costs $450 per year. Consider this Chase’s answer to The Platinum Card® from American Express.

Chase Freedom®

The classic Chase Freedom® is a cash back card but the points can be combined with those from one of the premium Ultimate Rewards cards (i.e. one with an annual fee).

This card is known for its quarterly bonus categories that allow you to earn 5% cash back per dollar on up to $1,500 in spending in a variety of categories. When paired with a card such as Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, the 5% becomes 5X points and even more valuable.

The quarterly bonus calendar changes each year, but typically covers categories such as supermarkets/grocery stores, transportation, gas stations, holiday shopping, and restaurants.

Each year, they also have specialty categories that go along with them. For instance, 2016 introduced wholesale clubs during the same quarter as restaurants, offering big savings on all food purchases.

Last year, Amazon.com was on the 5% cash back list for the holiday quarter, and it is expected it will again with the fact that Chase and Amazon now have a direct partnership.

The Chase Freedom® earns unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases and has no annual fee.

Chase Freedom Unlimited℠

In 2016, Chase released the Chase Freedom Unlimited℠. Unlike other Chase cards, it does not have bonus categories. Instead, it earns unlimited cash back at a flat rate of 1.5%.

Like the Chase Freedom®, when paired with a premium Chase card, this 1.5% becomes 1.5X points per dollar.

In a sense, this card turns every purchase into a bonus category so you’re always earning the maximum number of Ultimate Rewards possible.

There is no annual fee for the Chase Freedom Unlimited℠.

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card is similar to the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card, but the card is tailored to small business owners.

It carries the same travel rewards benefits as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and has the same annual fee, except the fee is not waived the first year.

The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card earns 3X points per dollar on the first $150,000 spent on combined purchases on travel, shipping purchases, the Internet, cable and phone services, and advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines each account anniversary year.

You will earn 1X point per dollar on all other purchases—with no limit to the amount you can earn. The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card has an annual fee of $95.

Chase Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card

The Chase Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card is the no annual fee small business card option from Chase. It is tailored to new business owners as a cash back card, rather than travel rewards card.

The card earns 5% cash back on the first $25,000 in combined purchases at office supply stores and on the Internet, cell phones, landlines, and cable TV.

You will also earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 in combined spending at gas stations and restaurants. All other purchases will earn 1%.

As with Chase’s other no-annual fee cards, when paired with a premium card, the 2% and 5% become 2X and 5X points per dollar.

This is a great card for small business owners, offering cash back bonuses in many categories with no annual fee.

Bottom Line: With the right combination of Chase cards, you can earn tons of points thanks to the numerous bonus categories.

Earn Bonus Points With The Chase Shopping Portal

chase shopping portal
The Chase Shopping Portal offers bonuses of up to 25x!

Earn the most points per dollar by shopping at the Chase rewards mall when shopping online. Choose from more than 240 stores with unlimited earnings of 1X to 6X bonus points per dollar just for going through the portal to shop!

The bonus points you can earn are on top of any bonus categories on one of the Chase Ultimate Rewards cards.

For example, if Staples offers a bonus of 2X points per dollar and you use the Chase Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card, you would earn 5X points per dollar thanks to the office supply store bonus category and 2X bonus points per dollar for using the Chase shopping portal. That’s a total of 7X points per dollar!

You can also maximize earnings by using the Chase Freedom® in department stores when they are included in the quarterly bonus category plus any bonus points offered through the Chase Ultimate Rewards shopping portal.

Using the Chase Freedom Unlimited℠ is a smart choice for all other purchases that don’t include a category bonus since it earns a flat 1.5% (or 1.5X points) per dollar.

Be aware that you must use the link provided in the shopping portal and make your purchases during the same visit in order to receive these points. There are also restrictions on using coupons and other types of deals.

The following is a table of available partner stores in the Chase shopping portal and their bonus earnings. The list is not exhaustive and the bonus rates are subject to change.

1X Bonus Partners
NeweggeBayJustice
Babies R UsVictoria’s SecretBath & Body Works
Toys R UsAdidasRakuten
VansPottery BarnSoma
CB2Crate & BarrelBest Buy
2X Bonus Partners
WalmartDell Small BusinessTimberland
The LimitedJ. CrewThe Children’s Place
Bed, Bath & BeyondWest ElmStarbuks Store
American EagleSoap.comLenovo
Sam’s ClubLoftSamsung
3X Bonus Partners
Estee LauderUltra BeautySears
Tire RackMacysMicrosoft Store
QVCREIBlue Nile
YooxPetcoCrutchfield
BoseLiving SocialLowe’s
4X Bonus Partners
Laura MercierLab Series Skincare for MenRoad Runner Sports
LidsBergdorf GoodmanWorld Market
PetSmartGrouponSunglass Hut
Musician’s FriendGNCMotherhood Maternity
GuessKate Spade1800Mattress
5X Bonus Partners
Life is GoodTravelsmithSaks
1-800-PetMedsWine.comNaturalizer
New BalanceNikeFinish Line
Tommy HilfigerColumbia SportswearSonos
Under ArmourPerfumaniaNorth Face
6X Bonus Partners
Jos. A. BankShoeybuy.comNeiman Marcus
Kiehl’sFootsmartFolica
Omaha SteaksSally BeautySkinStore.com
Teleflora FlowersArt.comTUMI
Rite Aid
7-25X Bonus Partners
VisionDirect (7x)eBags.com (8x)Murad Skin Care (8x)
NutriSystem (8x)Cheryl’s (8x)Rosetta Stone (8x)
Popcorn Factory (8x)Virgin Wines (8x)H&R Block (9x)
FTD.com (10x)ProPlants (10x)Restaurant.com (12x)
123inkjets.com (15x)Proactiv+ (25x)Magazines.com (25x)

Hot Tip:  Worried about getting the best price? The Price Protection benefit on your card guarantees you receive the lowest price on purchases within 90 days!

Earn Points by Booking Through the Chase Travel Portal

You can use the Chase travel portal to book flights, cars, hotels, and activities.
The Chase travel portal is for more than just flights. You can also book, cars, hotels, and activities!

Use the Chase travel portal to book flights, hotels, cars, and activities through the Chase travel portal.

Booking travel-related activities through the Ultimate Rewards travel portal lets you earn at the same rate as your cards.

Prior to 2016, Chase offered a bonus point for each dollar spent, but this is no longer available.

This means you’ll earn 2X points on the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. You will earn 3X points when using the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card or Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card.

Booking through the Chase tool works similar to any other booking tool. It does not have as powerful of features as the ITA Matrix or Google Flights, but most prices are the same.

To ensure you get the best price when searching for airfare in the Chase rewards travel tool, make sure to compare it to at least two other site’s results before booking.

Without the extra point earned, it actually makes no difference if you book through the tool or another travel site.

One advantage of booking through the portal is that your loyalty program information can be stored in the system and you’ll automatically earn miles when you book. Practically speaking, Chase buys the ticket on your behalf.

Remember that you can input all your travel information into your profile, so if you are using the tool frequently you won’t need to re-input that information each time.

Keep in mind, if you book a hotel stay through the Chase travel portal, it’s unlikely your elite status will be recognized by the hotel and you are unlikely to earn hotel points for your stay. Hotels almost always require you to book directly with them to earn points and receive the perks of your elite status.

Earn Points With Chase Refer-A-Friend

We all like to share things we like with our friends, but it’s even better to get a reward for it!

You can earn between 5,000 and 10,000 points simply by referring a friend to a Chase card, with a maximum of 50,000 points in yearly earnings from referrals.

To find your referral link, go to Chase’s Refer-A-Friend page. You will be directed to the following screen:

The main Chase Refer a Friend page.
Chase’s Refer a Friend page. Once you input your details, it will display your referral bonus, if available.

Just input your details to see if your card has available referrals. Each card must be inputted separately. Here is an example of a referral page:

The Chase Sapphire Referral Page.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card Referral Page. You can earn 10,000 points for a referral!

If you have difficulty with the referral link, call customer service.

Hot Tip: Send your friends the referral link via email and encourage them to get started to earn your bonus points!

How to Redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards

The ways you can redeem your Ultimate Rewards points is determined by which cards you have.

  1. Travel Rewards Cards (Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card), and
  2. Cash Back Cards (Chase Freedom®, Chase Freedom Unlimited℠, Chase Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card)

Travel rewards cards offer all the same redemption benefits as cash back cards, but not the other way around.

We’ll discuss all the ways you can utilize your rewards, but if you’re looking for specific travel redemption options, check out the best ways to redeem Chase points for travel!

Redeem Ultimate Rewards For Travel

Having the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, and Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card allows you to transfer Ultimate Rewards points to travel partners which are almost always the best ways to use your points.

Chase Transfer Partners – Airlines and Hotels

Transferring points to airline and hotel partners will often be the best use of your points.

To transfer points, go to the “Use Points” menu option and select “Transfer to Travel Partners” from the drop-down menu.

This brings you to a page where you’ll select the loyalty program and a number of points to transfer. You will need the login details of your desired loyalty account (or you will need to create one).

The information in your travel profile must match the personal information in your desired loyalty account. You cannot transfer points to accounts of other people unless they are a member of your household.

The transfer, like all point transactions, can take up to 6-8 weeks. However, many are completed almost instantly or within 24-48 hours. You must transfer a minimum of 1,000 points, and can only transfer in 1,000 point increments.

Once completed, points cannot be transferred back into Chase Ultimate Rewards so make sure you are absolutely certain you want to transfer the points.

Chase Airline Transfer Partners

Chase Airline Transfer PartnerTransfer RatioTransfer Time
Aer Lingus AerClub1:1Almost Instant
British Airways Executive Club1:1Almost Instant
Flying Blue AirFrance / KLM
1:1Almost Instant
Iberia Plus1:1Almost Instant
Korean Air SKYPASS1:1Almost Instant
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
1:1Almost Instant
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards1:1Almost Instant
United Airlines MileagePlus1:1Almost Instant
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club1:1Almost Instant
These loyalty reward programs cover each of the major alliances and offer many ways to use your Chase points.

When you sign in to transfer points, you’ll get the following screen:

Chase Ultimate Rewards Airline Transfer Partners
Chase Airline Transfer Partners (Aer Lingus AerClub and Iberia Plus were added in November, 2017)

Chase Hotel Transfer Partners

Chase Hotel Transfer PartnerTransfer RatioTransfer Time
World of Hyatt
1:1Almost Instant
IHG Rewards Club1:11 day
Marriott Rewards1:12 days
The Ritz-Carlton Rewards
1:1
2 days

Again, you’ll get the following screen when you sign in to transfer points:

Chase Ultimate Rewards Hotel Transfer Partners
Chase Hotel Transfer Partners

Chase Travel Portal

If you have the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card or Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, your Ultimate Rewards points are worth 1.25 cents each when booking travel through the Chase travel portal.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card provides the best deal through the travel portal as each point is worth 1.5 cents each.

If you have this card and are booking an economy ticket or hotel stay, make sure you compare the points cost of transferring versus booking through the travel portal. Sometimes, the travel portal will actually be the better way to go.

Chase Experience Portal

The Chase Experience option, also known as Exclusive Events, is great if you’re looking for alternative ways to use your points.

Chase curates exclusive experiences that you would likely not be able to access on your own.

The main screen of the Chase Experience Portal.
The main screen of the Chase Experience Portal where you’ll find a variety of unique and potentially valuable redemption options.

Check back often for exclusive offers and redemption values as they are updated on a regular basis.

It is hard to do a true or general valuation on the Exclusive Events portal since they are unique experiences and one person may value it differently than another.

The dining options available in the Ultimate Rewards Experiences portal.
Dining options available in the Ultimate Rewards Experiences portal.

You should compare the dining offers to those offered through Restaurants.com (via the Chase shopping portal for bonus points).

You can pay for these offers with cash or points at a value of $0.01 per point.

Keep in mind that the Experience Portal is a separate domain, and once you’ve been transferred there you must manually navigate back to the Ultimate Rewards site.

You will possibly be prompted to input your login information a second time when you return to the Ultimate Rewards site.

Other Redemption Options

All cards have four basic redemption options. Each redemption in these categories offers the standard redemption value of 1 cent per point, with a higher value in specific areas.

Cash Back as Statement Credit or Direct Deposit

Chase_Cash_Back_Options
Don’t use your hard-earned points as a statement credit at 1 cent per point.

Chase lets you use your points as credits on your statement at $0.01 per point. Simply transfer your cash-back earnings to your balance as a statement credit.

To redeem for statement credit, click the “Use Points” option on the Ultimate Rewards home screen, and then click “Get Cash Back”. The minimum redemption amount is $20.00, or 2,000 points.

From the same screen, you can also make a direct deposit into your bank account.

Click the “Select an Account” drop down at the bottom of the page. Keep in mind that direct deposits may be considered income and require you to report it to the IRS.

Cashing out your Ultimate Rewards this way is a poor way to redeem your points.

Gift Cards

Chase offers a variety of gift cards to redeem your points for.
Chase offers a variety of gift cards for which you can redeem your points.

You can redeem your cash-back earnings for gift cards to places where you normally shop such as iTunes, Lowe’s and more.

Most options are valued at 1 cent per point. However, some gift cards offer a better value. For instance, Kohl’s gift cards are offered at a 10% discount or 1.1 cents per point.

This is an awful way to use Ultimate Rewards points.

Chase_Ultimate_Rewards_Gift_Card_Best_Value
We don’t recommend redeeming Ultimate Rewards points for gift cards.

Shopping Rewards through Amazon.com

Chase_Merchandise_Redemption_on_Amazon
Chase Ultimate Rewards is now partnered with Amazon.com for merchandise redemptions, but it is a terrible use of points.

Chase Ultimate Rewards now partners directly with Amazon.com for merchandise redemptions. This means you can shop directly on Amazon’s website, rather than go through the Chase shopping portal.

Before September 1st, 2016, your Chase points were valued at 1 cent per point on Amazon and were debited upon shipment of the product.

Now, 125 points are worth $1 for a value of $0.008 per point, which is a bit lower of a value. You can also combine your points with cash or other payment methods.

Amazon also gives you the option to link your Chase and Amazon accounts at any time, including at the time of checkout.

This is a terrible use of Ultimate Rewards points.

Chase Travel Portal

While they are not technically travel rewards cards, you can still use cash back earnings from your Chase Freedom®, Chase Freedom Unlimited℠, and Chase Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card when you book flights, hotels, cars, and other activities.

The caveat is that the value of these points is still valued at 1 cent per point.

The Chase travel portal works the same whether booking rewards or booking with cash. At the time of your purchase, Chase gives you the option to use your points to offset any portion of the ticket you want with points.

chase travel rewards
Pay fully in points or combine your points with dollars when purchasing travel from the Chase portal.

Do yourself a favor and combine your Ultimate Rewards points from a no-annual fee card with a premium Chase card so you can get outsized value from your points.

The Chase Ultimate Rewards Site

Now that we’ve discussed how to earn tons of Ultimate Rewards points and redeem them for maximum value, let’s review how to navigate the Ultimate Rewards site.

How To Sign Into Your Account

To manage your account, simply sign in using your Chase login:

Chase Login Main Screen
The photo background on the login screen will change depending on your location. The photo here is of Austin, TX.

From the login screen, click on “Ultimate Rewards”, which is found on the left sidebar in the new website design.

Once inside the account summary section, click on “Ultimate Rewards” in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen.

Alternatively, instead of the above two steps, you can go to the specific Chase Ultimate Rewards login:

Chase_Ultimate_Rewards_Login_Main_Screen
Screenshot of the Chase Rewards login page, which takes you directly to your Ultimate Rewards account.

Once you log in, select the card you want to view and you’ll be directed to the home page for that card.

Chase Ultimate Rewards select a card
After you log in to Chase Ultimate Rewards, you’ll be prompted to select a card.

View Your Points Summaries

The home page screen of any of your credit cards lets you view your earned and available points, your transaction details, and which points will appear on your next statement.

You will also find information on how to use your available points and how to earn more points.

chase_ultimate_rewards_main_account_screen_view_points_updated
The new Ultimate Rewards dashboard, which shows you a variety of stats associated with your card.

Earn and use points with a variety of online shopping and gift card options:

Chase_Gift_Card_Options
Options for gift cards to use points.

Earn and use points with a variety of local and national shopping options:

Options for shopping to earn points.
Options for shopping to earn points.

Or, use your points to find things to do in your area:

Options for things to do to earn/use points.
Options for things to do to earn/use points.

How to Check Your Chase Credit Card Category Bonus Spend

With Chase’s new dashboard in Ultimate Rewards, it’s easy to check the bonus category spend on Chase credit cards.

Simply sign into your Ultimate Rewards page for whichever card you want to check, and check out your dashboard. The right-hand column will have data for your current spending on your cards.

check_your_chase_freedom_card_category_bonus_spend_updated
You can see the status bar for your spending in the bottom right. In this example, no money has been spent this quarter in the bonus categories! What a shame.

Switching Between Cards

If you want to view information associated with another card, simply click on the card from the drop-down menu on the top right.

Switch Between Chase UR Cards
Quickly navigate between cards using the drop-down menu at the top right of the page.

Create up to nine Chase Travel Profiles for instant access to Chase rewards and easy booking:

Chase_Traveler_Profile
Create Chase Travel Profiles to more quickly book Chase rewards travel through the Chase travel portal.

Combining Your Points onto One Card

Combine your UR points by using the menu at the top of the screen and selecting "Combine Points".
Combine your Ultimate Rewards points by using the menu at the top of the screen and selecting “Combine Points”.

From this main screen, you can also combine all of your points onto one card. Your points will need to be combined under the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card or Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card so you can transfer to travel partners.

Select “Combine Points” from the upper right menu under your total points, and you will be guided through the process.

Hot Tip: If you are thinking about closing one of your Chase cards, be sure to spend any outstanding points or transfer them to another card beforehand to avoid losing them forever.

What are Chase Rewards Points Worth?

Chase follows the industry standard when points are used for basic redemption. In this case, each point is worth 1 cent.

However, when you use your cards to redeem travel rewards via the Chase travel portal, the value of each point increases to a minimum of 1.25 cents or 1.5 cents per point.

When you transfer points to any Chase reward travel partners, the redemption value of each point can be worth even more with some redemptions at up to 5-8 cents per point for international first and business class options.

Ultimate Rewards Points Expiration

Unlike standard rewards programs that cancel your points if your accounts are inactive for 6-18 months, your Chase rewards points never expire, as long as your accounts are open and in good standing.

This is similar to the other bank rewards programs like American Express Membership Rewards and Citi ThankYou Rewards.

Once you cancel your account, the points are forever lost. However, you can product change your card to a no annual fee Chase card.

Comparing Ultimate Rewards To Other Transferable Points

It’s pretty clear that you can get some great travel by earning and redeeming Ultimate Rewards points, but how do they compare to other transferable points programs?

Ultimate Rewards vs. Membership Rewards

So, which program is better: Chase Ultimate Rewards or American Express Membership Rewards? Each program features credit cards that earn points that can be spent in similar ways.

Both programs have their pluses and minuses. For instance, there are more Amex credit cards (12+) that can help you earn Membership Rewards points. Chase only provides 6 credit cards that earn Ultimate Rewards.

Membership Rewards also has more travel partners with 20 total. Ultimate Rewards only has 13. However, when used correctly, both cover most airlines and awards through the various alliances. Chase also has the advantage of a partnership with the World of Hyatt program.

One advantage of Ultimate Rewards is the shopping portal. American Express no longer has a shopping portal you can use to earn additional points, although they do have American Express Offers.

You will be charged a small fee of $0.0006 per point (maximum of $99 per transaction) to transfer Membership Rewards to US carriers. There are no fees to transfer to international carriers.

While starting with Ultimate Rewards is probably your best move, Membership Rewards should be high on your list. There are tons of ways to redeem Membership Rewards for some fun travel.

Ultimate Rewards vs. SPG Starpoints

While Chase provides several cards that earn Ultimate Rewards, there are only two Starwood Preferred Guest cards to help you earn SPG Starpoints. Additionally, transfers from Ultimate Rewards process almost instantly in many cases, while transferring SPG Starpoints can take days, and sometimes over a week.

However, SPG has over 30 airline transfer partners and can be used to book hotel stays at Starwood properties. Additionally, you can transfer SPG Starpoints to Marriott Rewards to book award stays at Marriott and Ritz-Carlton properties.

Similar to Membership Rewards, SPG Starpoints should be a priority after Ultimate Rewards. While the transfers can take a bit longer, there are some amazing ways to redeem SPG Starpoints for some amazing flights and hotel stays.

Ultimate Rewards vs. ThankYou Points

Finally, we have Citi ThankYou Points. This program isn’t as well known as the other transferable points programs but you can redeem ThankYou Points for some awesome travel experiences.

You can transfer ThankYou Points to 13 airline partners or Hilton (though, this isn’t advisable), but not all transfer at a 1:1 ratio like Chase.

There are only three cards that earn ThankYou Points and only two of those allow transfers to travel partners.

This can be a very useful program down the line but is definitely not a priority compared to Ultimate Rewards.

Final Thoughts

When applying for Chase cards, keep in mind the 5/24 rule. If you have opened 5 or more cards (not including most business cards) in the last 24 months, you will not be approved for a Chase Ultimate Rewards card.

For that reason, these are almost always the best cards when you are just starting as they allow you to accumulate points that can be used to fly with tons of different airlines thanks to their airline transfer partners. On top of that, you can transfer to Hyatt for some amazing Hyatt redemptions.

With six cards that can help you earn Ultimate Rewards points and some amazing redemption options, you’ll be glad you learned about this program.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

FAQ

What is Chase Ultimate Rewards?
Chase Ultimate Rewards (UR) is a loyalty program developed by Chase that rewards customers for for using their credit cards. By signing up for a card in the Ultimate Rewards family, you can earn points on your purchases and redeem them for rewards.

Awards vary from gift cards to merchandise to travel. Points can be used along with travel rewards cards to earn a 20% discount in the Chase travel portal, or transfer points to travel partners at a 1:1 ratio.

The six Ultimate Rewards cards have been reviewed on our site:

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card
  • Chase Freedom®
  • Chase Freedom Unlimited℠
  • Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
  • Chase Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card

How much are Chase Points worth?
The value of your Chase Ultimate Rewards points depends on how you redeem them. For redemptions using cash-back cards, or for purchases outside of travel rewards, the value is typically $0.01 per point.

When you redeem your points using Chase’s exclusive travel rewards portal, their value increases to $0.0125 per point with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card.

If you transfer points to a Chase travel partner, you can push the value of the points to over $0.02 per point to redeem international travel rewards.

How do you use Chase Ultimate Rewards?
Once you are approved for any one of the five Chase UR cards, you begin earning points immediately simply by using the card.

All points earned accrue in your Ultimate Rewards account and never expire as long as your account is open and in good standing.

When you are ready to redeem your points, the Ultimate Rewards Portal offers various options and suggestions for using your points.

How do you earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points?
Chase Ultimate Rewards points can be earned through purchases on your credit cards, each with specific bonus categories. Depending on the card, you can earn bonus points for travel, dining, office supply stores, department stores, hotels, restaurants and more.

Earn additional bonus points by shopping at the Chase online shopping mall, which has over 200 merchants offering from 1-25x bonus points just for using their online shops.

You also earn points through huge sign up bonuses — the easiest way to earn lots of valuable points. To receive the bonus you must meet a minimum amount of spending, which varies per card, within the first three months.

How do you use Chase Ultimate Rewards points?
Chase points can be used in various ways. You can get cash-back on your statement, or make direct deposits into your bank account. You can also use points for gift cards, or through Amazon.com for general merchandise.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card offer the great value for the travel rewards portal. You can get a 20% discount for using the travel portal with points, or you can transfer the points to your favorite loyalty programs.

Using the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card gets you a 50% discount!

Finally, you can use your points in the Chase Experience portal to book unique experiences that you would not be able to access otherwise.

Who are the Chase Ultimate Rewards Partners?
The Chase airline partners are Korean Air, Singapore Airlines, United AirlinesSouthwest Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, British Airways, Air France and KLM Flying Blue.

Hotel partners include IHG, Ritz-Carlton, Hyatt, and Marriott.

Each airline partner and hotel partner offers unique ways to spend your points for great travel rewards.

What is the Chase Ultimate Rewards Phone number?
Call 1-866-951-6592 to reach a Ultimate Rewards travel agent. Call the number on the back of your card for all other inquiries.