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8 Best Ways to Earn Lots of Chase Ultimate Rewards Points [2017]

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Chase Ultimate Rewards is arguably one of the best points programs. JPMorgan Chase 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 Chase Ultimate Rewards points for award travel then you’ve come to the right place!

Click To Get The Latest Points Updates & Tips!

Using An Ultimate Rewards Credit Card To Earn Points

The only way to earn Ultimate Rewards points is through Chase credit cards. The program has evolved over the years and is now one of the most popular rewards programs for travel.

While this guide teaches you all the different ways to earn points, you may want to check out a quick guide to earning 100k Chase points in 90 days!

Before we jump into your Chase credit card options, we need to briefly address the Chase 5/24 rule. If you have opened 5 credit cards within the last 24 months, Chase will not approve you for cards that earn Ultimate Rewards.

Check out our in-depth guide to learn more about the 5/24 rule.

Now, let’s get into the good stuff.

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 seems limited, the sign-up bonuses and other point-earning strategies make these cards extremely valuable.

Below is a list of credit cards that earn Chase points directly. Click on their links to see the sign-up bonus point offers and their full review:

Loyalty ProgramCredit Card
Chase Ultimate Rewards Loyalty ProgramChase Sapphire Preferred® Card*
(2x Pts on Travel & Dining)
Chase Sapphire℠ Reserve Card*
Chase Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card
 Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card*
Chase Freedom Unlimited℠
(1.5% cash-back)
Chase Freedom®

*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 Rewards Credit Card Category Bonuses

chase rewards
The Chase 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 rewards 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 at select merchant categories.

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

Applicable Credit CardsCategoryBonus Points
Chase Sapphire Preferred® CardRestaurants/Dining
All other purchases
Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ CardRestaurants/Dining
All other purchases
Chase Freedom®Gas Stations
Local Commuter Transport
Grocery Stores
Coming Soon
Coming Soon
All other purchases
5x (January  – March 2017)
5x (January  – March 2017)
5x (April – June 20167)
5x (April – December 2017)
5x (July – September 2017)
5x (October – December 2017)
1x (All year)
Chase Freedom Unlimited℠All purchases1.5x
Chase Ink Business Cash℠ Credit CardRestaurants/Dining
Office Supplies
Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit CardTravel
Shipping Purchases
Select Advertising

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.

Note that many office supplies stores carry gift cards. Earn 5x points when you use the Chase Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card at office supply stores, so purchase a gift card to a store such as Amazon or Whole Foods to earn lots of points.

Be careful of the gift card purchase fees!

Chase-Freedom Cash Back Calendar 2017
The Chase Freedom 2017 Cash Back Calendar includes gas stations, local commuter transportation, grocery stores, drugstores, and more!

Hot Tip: Strategize your Chase Freedom®’s rotating category earnings. Stock up on gas or load your subway card at the start of the year and earn 5x points. Next, earn 5x the points when you buy groceries for cookouts this summer!

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 earning 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 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 for 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.

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 or send a secure message from your online account. 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 A Chase Business Credit Card

If you need more points and you own a business, you can open up a Chase business credit card and earn a sign-up bonus and additional spending bonuses for your business!

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

So don’t fret if you already own the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you can still open up a business version.

6. Shop Through Chase Using The Online Shopping Portal

shop through chase
Shop through Chase using the Online Shopping Portal, 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 Chase Ultimate Rewards
  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 shopping portal
    Example of a Chase Shopping portal 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 Rewards mall is a super easy way to earn lots of bonus points on your everyday online purchases.

Earning Points with Travel Purchases

Travel purchases typically earn the best points overall, so here are some great ways to earn points while you travel!

7. Airfare Purchases

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.

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!

8. 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, in March 2017 there is a 10x points per $1 offer on hotel and rental car bookings made through the Chase travel rewards portal with the Chase Freedom® or Chase Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card.

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!

chase travel
Airbnb is included as a “travel agency” by Visa and MasterCard. This is good news if you have a Chase travel card since purchases with travel agencies (i.e. Airbnb) will earn you 2x the points on every dollar spent.

Final Thoughts

The Chase Ultimate Rewards program offers some amazing points-earning opportunities making it super easy to earn tons of points.

In fact, you can earn 100k points in just 90 days if you want.

Whether you’re a small business owner, an avid 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 transfer your Ultimate Rewards points to airline and hotel partners.

With these cards in your wallet, you’ll be ready to maximize your points-earning. The next step is finding a travel partner so you can redeem your points!

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

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
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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!

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

World of Hyatt
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.