9 Best Ways to Earn LOTS of Chase Ultimate Rewards Points [2017]

japan airlines first class 777

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The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Chase Freedom Unlimited℠ cards are just some of the most popular Chase cards on the market. You can’t go wrong with either of them!

Chase Ultimate Rewards is arguably one of the best points programs. JP Morgan Chase Banks offers many excellent credit cards options for all kinds of spending levels. Most cards usually have large sign-up bonuses and category spending bonuses.

If you’re looking to earn points for Chase reward travel then you’ve come to the right place!

The #1 Travel Rewards Credit Card [50k Sign Up Bonus]
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide
Apply Now Full review

Using a Chase Credit Card To Earn Points

1. Chase Ultimate Rewards Credit Card Sign Up Bonuses

Chase offers many credit cards, 6 of which will earn you Ultimate Rewards reward points. Three of the 6 are personal cards, whereas the other 2 are for business. Although the number of cards seem limited, the sign-up bonuses and other point-earning strategies make these cards extremely valuable.

The following are the Chase cards currently available; click their links to see the sign-up bonus point offers:

Loyalty Program Card Review Application
Chase Ultimate Rewards Loyalty Program Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card* Apply Here >>
Chase Sapphire℠ Reserve Card* Apply Here >>
Chase Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card Apply Here >>
  Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card* Apply Here >>
Chase Freedom Unlimited℠ Apply Here >>
Chase Freedom® Apply Here >>

*The starred cards are Chase travel credit cards and are required if you want to transfer your reward points to a travel partner loyalty program.

To apply for a Chase credit card, follow the links provided above, complete the application, and begin spending. Make sure you spend the minimum to earn the bonus. If you want more information about credit cards and getting approved, check out Credit Cards and Credit Scores Explained.

Hot Tip: You can typically receive bonus points for adding authorized users to your Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Chase Freedom® accounts in the first three months.

For you to get reward points for authorized users, they must make a purchase on the card within the first three months.

Also, look for special referrals for the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card! The referral will usually waive the annual fee for the first year.

Chase credit card offers don’t change very often, but when they do you can often earn great deals.

2. Chase Credit Card Category Bonuses

Chase Ultimate Rewards Category Bonuses
The Chase Ultimate Rewards Category Bonuses help you earn more points by giving you a bonus in specific categories like travel, shopping, and business supply store spending.

Each Chase card offers different category spending bonuses. Their business cards offer opportunities to earn tons of point on office supplies, phone lines, and TV/Cable services, whereas the personal cards offer great bonuses are select retailers.

While the Chase Freedom® doesn’t have an annual fee, don‘t think this card has nothing to offer. This card offers great rotating spending categories that earn you 5x points. These rotating categories often change annually so be sure to check out the current categories offered for this year.

Thankfully, these categories seem to be getting better and better.

Bottom Line: With a little bit of planning, you can earn tons of bonus Ultimate Rewards points in a calendar year by spending in specific categories.

Applicable Credit Cards Category Bonus Points
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card Restaurants/Dining
All other purchases
2x
1x
Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card Restaurants/Dining
All other purchases
3x
1x
Chase Freedom® Gas Stations
Local Commuter Transport
Grocery Stores
Wholesale Clubs
Restaurants/Dining
Department Stores
Drug Stores
All other purchases
5x (January  – March 2016)
5x (January  – March 2016)
5x (April – June 2016)
5x (April – December 2016)
5x (July – September 2016)
5x (October – December 2016)
5x (October – December 2016)
1x (All year)
Chase Freedom Unlimited℠ All purchases 1.5x cash-back
(can use as 1.5 Chase points)
Chase Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card Restaurants/Dining
Gas
Office Supplies
Cellular/Landline/Cable
2x
2x
5x
5x
Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card Travel
Shipping Purchases
Cellular/Landline/Cable
Select Advertising
3x
3x
3x
3x

If you want more information on how to upgrade your points earning, check out Upgrade Your Earnings: How to Earn the Most Miles  as always, be sure to look into your card’s specific terms and conditions.

You wouldn’t want to accidentally pay for something and not get the bonus points you expect to earn! Each reward point counts towards your next vacation.

Hot Tip: Lots of office supplies stores carry gift cards you can use at other stores. You’re able to earn 5x points when you use your Chase Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card at these office supplies stores, so purchase a gift card to another store, and rack up the points. Be careful of the gift card purchase fees though, as these can add up and counteract the benefit of the extra points.

chase_freedom_cash_back_calendar_2016
The Chase Freedom 2016 Cash Back Calendar includes Gas Stations, Local Commuter Transportation, Grocery Stores, Wholesale Clubs, Restaurants, Department Stores and Drug Stores!

Hot Tip: Strategize your Chase Freedom®’s rotating category earnings. Stock up on perishables at the start of the year and earn 5x points on groceries. Next earn 5x the points when you buy all your summer clothing at department stores!

No Big Spend Bonuses

Unfortunately, none of the Chase Ultimate Rewards cards offer a big spend bonus. Big spend bonuses are different from sign-up bonuses, as they require you to spend a substantial amount in a relatively short amount of time. At least for you, you can rule this out as an option for earning extra Ultimate Rewards points.

3. Chase Refer-A-Friend Bonus Points

You have to love extra points simply by referring a friend or family member. You’re friend or family member does have to sign up and be approved for you to receive the bonus points, but extra points are extra points. To send a referral, send a link through the Chase’s Refer-A-Friend; your friend will have to use this link to sign up for you will not get the bonus.

Some people have reported that the link has taken up to a week to send. Luckily, there’s a trick to getting the link sent to your friend or family member quickly. Simply copy the referral link provided to you and email the link on your own instead of using Chase’s online form.

The number of bonus points depends on the card and the timing of sending the link since not all cards have the bonus at all times. You’ll know if there is no offer currently because you’ll receive an “entry not recognized” pop-up window when you go to sign in.

The bonus can be as much as 5,000 extra Ultimate Rewards points credited to your account for each person you refer, up to 10 people. This means you can earn up to 50,000 bonus points!

Note that the referral bonuses don’t appear to be eligible on the Chase Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card.

Bottom Line: Earn up to 50,000 bonus points for referring friends to a credit card currently participating in the Chase Refer-A-Friend program.

chase_refer_a_friend_credit_card
Get up to 50,000 points per year when you refer your friends to the different Chase Ultimate Rewards cards. Unfortunately, the Chase Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card does not appear to have a referral bonus.

4. Ask for the Better Sign-Up Offer within 90 Days

Chase often offers different sign-up bonuses throughout the year; some offers are higher than others. While it’s best to wait for the highest offers to come around, sometimes waiting simply isn’t an option.

If you’ve recently signed up for a card, and shortly they offer a higher bonus than you received, give Chase a call. Many card holders have stated that Chase offered them the higher bonus simply by asking.

This usually only works if the new, better offer comes out within the first 90 days after you applied. It never hurts to ask, and it would be a shame to miss out on a better offer.

5. Open Both a Personal and Business Card

Typically, Chase’s 5/24 rule prevents you from opening too many new cards in a short period of time, which can restrict your ability to earn sign up bonuses. One way you can earn a sign up bonus more than once, however, is to open a card for your business.

While there are the Chase Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card and Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, you could also say open the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card under your business name to use for business expenses, and you can earn the full sign up bonus.

If you are curious whether you can open up a personal card multiple times, such as if you don’t own a business, Chase has a couple of rules when it comes to canceling cards then signing up for them again to earn their sign up bonus a second time.

First, if the card you have changes significantly, then it’s often considered a completely new type of card. Since you’re applying for a different type of card, you can earn its bonus again.

For instance, the new Chase Freedom Unlimited℠ qualifies as a whole new card from the original Chase Freedom® due to the fact that the card has a completely different rewards structure.

Second, if you wait at least 24 months before signing up for a Chase card a second time, you are eligible to receive the sign-up bonus offer again. However, you can’t keep the card open and then sign up for it again.

You must cancel the card, then sign up for the card again to receive the bonus. As long as it’s been 24 months since sign-up, there’s no additional waiting necessary.

Bottom Line: Open up a card in the name of your business and also under your own personal social security number to earn the sign up bonus more than once. If you have previously owned a card, you must wait 24 months to be eligible for the sign-up bonus again from Chase Ultimate Rewards cards.

6. Retention Bonuses

Chase UR Retention Bonus
Sometimes, you can get a retention bonus to help convince you to keep your card instead of closing it. Loyal customers are valuable to a company, and Chase knows this.

You don’t always want to keep a credit card if you have to pay an annual fee and aren’t using it enough to get value from it. Therefore, you will likely end up canceling a card or two.

It’s been reported that Chase sometimes offers retention bonuses to customers. Retention bonuses are extra perks, including extra Chase reward program points, to make you keep your card open for longer. Simply call the number on the back of your card and tell them you’re thinking about canceling.

Hopefully, you’ll already be speaking to a retention specialist, otherwise they may transfer you to Loyalty Services depending on the card you’re calling about.

If you give them a good reason why you’re thinking about canceling (e.g., recent benefit devaluations or an upcoming annual fee), they may offer you extra Ultimate Rewards or waive your fee as an incentive to stay.

Retention bonuses are very rarely made for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. However, they have reportedly offered to cover the annual fee for the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card and/or grant additional Ultimate Rewards points to customers.

Bottom Line: Always call your card company and talk to a retention specialist before you decide to cancel a card or pay its annual fee. They may offer you extra points to keep you as a customer.

7. Shopping Bonuses in Chase’s Online Shopping Portal

The Chase Online Shopping Portal - Shop through Chase
The Chase Online Shopping Portal is perhaps the most valuable tool to help you earn more Ultimate Rewards points. You can earn anywhere from 1x up to 25x extra points on online shopping.

Online shopping portals are a great way to earn even more points for each dollar spent on purchases. Thankfully, Chase‘s Ultimate Rewards mall, Shop Through Chase, has been revamped and it’s now even easier to earn extra points through Chase’s retail partners.

Don’t let the “Featured Stores” dissuade you: there are 254 participating stores through Shop through Chase. With so many retailers, you’ll find a store that you already frequently shop at and will be earning tons of extra points.

The portal is very user friendly. To ensure you’re shopping through the Shop Through Chase portal:

  1. Go to ultimaterewardspoints.chase.com
  2. Sign into your Chase Ultimate Rewards account
  3. Click on “Earn Points,” then “Shop through Chase”
  4. Click on “All Stores” to browse or type in your favorite store into the search box
  5. When the new page loads, it should list the additional points you will earn with each purchase at a given retailer
  6. Select “Shop Now”
  7. Your screen should now look something like this:

    Chase Ultimate Rewards Bonus Partner Terms and Conditions
    Example of a Chase Ultimate Rewards Bonus Partner Terms and Conditions.
  8. Click the “Shop at [the Store Name]” button to begin shopping
  9. The store’s page will load and will sometimes include a message at the top, such as “Welcome to Sierra Trading Post. Your shopping will be credited to your rewards account”
  10. Look to see if you are still logged into the store through the portal before you head to check out to certain you will receive the extra points

Bottom Line: Chase’s Ultimate Reward mall is a super easy way to earn lots of bonus points on your everyday online purchases.

Earning Points with Travel Purchases

8. Airfare Purchases

plane-1-1449686
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is the only card offering 2x points on every $1 spent on airfare purchases, excluding the 1x points on all purchases offered through the Chase Freedom®.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers 2x points on travel, which includes airfare. Airfare includes all tickets purchased directly through the airline as well as all tickets purchased from a merchant that provides air travel(e.g., Kayak).

Even more lucrative now is the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card, which offers 3x points on every $1 in all travel and dining. Sadly, extra points are not earned on tickets purchased with points like they are with Citi ThankYou Points.

Hot Tip: You used to get an extra 1x points when booking travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal, but that offer ended in 2015. Now, you should simply book wherever the airfare is the cheapest!

9. Other Chase Travel Purchases

Chase has three cards that offer extra Ultimate Rewards points on other travel purchases. The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card offer 3x points on all travel, while the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers 2x points on all travel.

Chase defines “travel” as airfare, lodging (hotels, motels, inns), car/truck/RV rentals, taxis/cabs/limos, trains (including commuter rails and subways), tolls, parking lots/meters/garages, tolls and bridges, time shares, buses, and travel agencies.

Hot Tip: Check the Ultimate Rewards portal for additional points offers on travel purchases. For example, through December 31, 2015 there was a 2x points per $1 offer on travel purchases made through the Chase travel rewards portal. This included flights, hotels, cars, and activities.

Are you a user of the new age of apps like Uber, Lyft, and AirBnb? All of them are eligible for 2x points on the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and 3x points on the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card!

airbnb
AirBnb is included as a “travel agency” by Visa and MasterCard. This is good news if you have a Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card since purchases with travel agencies (i.e. Airbnb) will earn you 2x the points on every dollar spent.

U.P. Pro Tips!

Did you know Chase will grant you a higher sign-up bonus offer if one becomes available and you simply ask for it?

A few years ago, I signed up for a Chase Ink Plus® Business Credit Card (no longer available) that had a 50,000 points sign up bonus. About a month later, I saw the offer increase to a 60,000 points sign-up bonus. Luckily, there’s an easy way to get the 60,000 point even though you applied for the card when the offer was for 50,000. Follow these steps:

  1. Send a secure message to Chase using their internal system while signed into your account.
  2. Tell them you were sad to see a better offer become available so soon after signing up.
  3. Ask them if they would honor an extra 10,000 points once you reach the minimum spending requirement.

They honored my request! I earned 60,000 bonus points after I met the minimum spend requirement.

When I signed up for a Chase Ink Business Card, I was simultaneously taking advantage of the fact that Chase was preparing to replace the Chase Ink Bold card with the Chase Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card.

I got the Bold card before it went away, and left open the option to sign up for the Cash card later on.

Anytime you see an opportunity like this—do it! You’ll double your earnings by receiving the sign-up bonus on one card before it is discontinued and then on the other card that replaces it!

Keep in mind that the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, and Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card are premium cards. You need to own at least one premium card in order to use your points or transfer your points to partners.

You will not have the option to use your points if you only own the Chase Freedom® or Chase Freedom Unlimited℠.

Always own a premium Chase card in addition to any non-premium Chase cards. Learn more about how to use Chase points by reading my post on Redeeming Chase Ultimate Rewards for Max Value.

Summary

The Chase Ultimate Rewards program offers some amazing points-earning opportunities making it super easy to earn tons of points. There’s something for everyone, too.

Whether you’re a small business owner, an avid Amazon.com shopper, or a frequent traveler, you’ll have at least one card that will be excellent for you.

For example, try the Chase Freedom® Card which offers tons of ways to earn points in specific, rotating categories throughout the year. The best part is this card has no annual fee!

Remember that you must also own one of the Chase travel cards – e.g. the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card,  Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, or Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card – in order to use the points you earn later on.

You’ll maximize your earnings with these cards in your wallet. The next step is finding a travel partner to redeem your points with!

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Apply Now Full review

Frequently Asked Questions

What are Chase points?
Chase's points program is called Ultimate Rewards. The points you earn, redeem, and transfer are Chase Ultimate Rewards (UR) points.

What are Chase Ultimate Rewards points worth?
The value of Chase Ultimate Rewards points really depends on the redemption. A really bad redemption, such as cash-back, will result in a value of about 1 cent per point.

There are tons of Chase Ultimate Rewards partners, including frequent flyer and hotel loyalty partners, with which you can redeem points. For some of these programs, the value can max out as much as 7 cents per point!

That's like getting a $100 ticket for the equivalent of about 1,428 UR points.

How do I transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to United, Southwest, British Airways, and other airlines?
To transfer your UR points to airlines:

  1. Be a Chase Ultimate Rewards credit card holder such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, or Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card
  2. Sign into your Chase Ultimate Reward account
  3. Select "Go to Ultimate Rewards" on the right side of your account under your UR points.
  4. Hover over "Use Points" at the top and select "Transfer to Travel Partners"
  5. Choose from one of the listed airlines by selecting "Transfer Points" next to its name.
  6. Select your name or the recipient's name from the drop down and enter the member ID associated with the partner to which you are transferring points (e.g., British Airways).
  7. Enter the number of points (in increments of 1,000) you wish to transfer from your UR account to the partner account and press Continue.

You can also earn points in the form of cash-back with the Chase Freedom Unlimited℠Chase Freedom®, and Chase Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card, and then transfer those points to one of the above 3 cards and then transfer those points to a travel partner!

Who are Chase Ultimate Rewards partners?
Chase Ultimate Rewards program has several airline and hotel travel partners. Partners include some of the best loyalty programs available for reward travel!

Airlines:
British Airways Executive Club
Korean Air SKYPASS
Singapore Airlines Krisflyer
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
United Airlines MileagePlus
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
Air France / KLM Flying Blue

Hotels:
Hyatt Gold Passport
IHG Rewards Club
Marriott Rewards
Ritz-Carlton Rewards

When do Chase Ultimate Rewards points update in your account?
Points earned will appear in your Ultimate Rewards account at the end of each monthly billing cycle.

How do I transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to a spouse?
You must add a spouse or member of your household as an authorized user before you can transfer points to them. Do this and then go to your Ultimate Rewards account, hover over your points on the top right and select "Combine points."

Then you will see your spouse listed on the loaded page. Select your spouse's name and press continue to enter in the number of points you want to transfer.

When do Chase Ultimate Rewards points expire?
Chase Ultimate Rewards points do not expire. The only way you can lose points is if you or Chase closes your account.