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Chase Ultimate Rewards Guide: Earning and Redeeming Chase Points

Whether you want cash back, gift cards, travel rewards, or other redemption options, the Chase Ultimate Rewards program offers a lot of flexibility without undermining the value.
Author: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor, which helps consumers make better financial decisions.  Silvermann’s areas of expertise include investing, banking, and credit cards. Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more. Aside from being a finance expert, his background includes working as a business and financial analyst. Above all, he is passionate about teaching people how to manage their money and helping millions on their journey to a better financial future.

Review & Fact Check: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Financial Expert, The Smart Investor CEO

Experience

Baruch Mann (Silvermann) is a financial expert and founder of The Smart Investor. Above all, he is passionate about teaching people how to manage their money and helping millions on their journey to a better financial future.
Author: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor, which helps consumers make better financial decisions.  Silvermann’s areas of expertise include investing, banking, and credit cards. Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more. Aside from being a finance expert, his background includes working as a business and financial analyst. Above all, he is passionate about teaching people how to manage their money and helping millions on their journey to a better financial future.

Review & Fact Check: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Financial Expert, The Smart Investor CEO

Experience

Baruch Mann (Silvermann) is a financial expert and founder of The Smart Investor. Above all, he is passionate about teaching people how to manage their money and helping millions on their journey to a better financial future.

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Table of Content

The Chase Ultimate Rewards program is one of the most unique and beloved credit card rewards programs on the market. Whether you want cash back, gift cards, travel rewards, or other redemption options, it offers a lot of flexibility without undermining the value.

The Chase Ultimate Rewards program was announced in 2009 when the bank launched its Sapphire credit cards. The Chase Sapphire and the Chase Sapphire Preferred. Since that time, Chase has added more credit cards to the program, and now you can earn Ultimate Rewards with eight different personal and business credit cards. This makes them very popular with a lot of different people.

For the most part, your cash redemption options are the same with each Ultimate Rewards credit card. When you are dealing with the program’s annual-fee, carrying cards also allow you to transfer points to select airline and hotel loyalty rewards programs. In addition, they offer extra value if you use your rewards to book travel through Chase.

How to Earn Ultimate Reward Points?

There are several ways for you to earn ultimate reward points no matter what Chase card you decide to use. There are introductory offers, shop through the Chase portal, everyday spending, referral bonuses, and limited-time offers. 

Each card has its own structure for how you can earn rewards on everyday spending. Knowing where you spend most of your money can help you determine which card would be best for you.

Depending on what type of lifestyle you live, it is important to decide what card is best going to fit you and your everyday needs. But I know no matter what, you will be able to find a card that is good for you

Shop Through Chase Portal

Chase shopping portal allows you to use your Ultimate Rewards credit card to make up to 15 points per dollar on top of the rewards you’re already earning with the card. To use the shop portal, log into your Chase account. The Ultimate Rewards platform has more than 350 retailers to choose from.

Once you find the retailer you are searching for, click through to its website and make your online purchase as you normally would on any other purchase. Once you’ve checked out and completed your order, Chase will credit your account with the bonus rewards within a few days. It’s a very easy process.

For example, let’s say you have the Chase Freedom Unlimited card and make a $100 purchase. Normally, you would only earn 150 points on the purchase, which is worth $1.50 in cashback. But if you go through Chase’s shopping portal and the retailer is offering an extra 10 points per dollar, you’ll earn 1,150 points, giving you $11.50 in cashback. 

How to Redeem Ultimate Rewards Points?

The Chase Ultimate Rewards program offers many different redemption options, and most of them are worth at least 1 cent per point. Many travel-focused rewards programs such as the Capital one Travel or Amex membership offer reduced value if you want to use your points or miles to get cashback, so this offer is much better than what standard or direct airline cards would give you.

You can redeem your rewards by logging into your account online. If you have more than one Ultimate Rewards card, you’ll need to select the card you want to redeem points from. Then you’ll see a menu at the top of the page with the redemption options for that card. These options include: 

Cash Back

You can request your cashback in the form of a statement credit or a deposit into your bank account. Points are worth 1 cent piece with this redemption option on all Ultimate Rewards-earning cards.

Travel Chase’s Ultimate Rewards travel portal functions similarly to a discount travel website like Expedia or Orbitz. You will pay with points, cash, or a mix of both. You can also book other travel-related things through the portal including flights, hotels, rental cars, activities, and cruises through the portal. 

Gift Cards

You can use your points to purchase gift cards from more than 150 brands from both restaurants and retailers. All of the program’s cards have this redemption option, and points are worth 1 cent each on gift card purchases.

Shop With Points

Cardholders who link their Ultimate Rewards credit card to an Amazon.com account can use their points when they check out. With Amazon though, you only get 0.8 cents instead of a full dollar. This might not be the best deal even though you might feel like you’re saving money. With Apple, though, you get the standard transfer rate.

Experiences 

The Chase Experiences portal gives cardholders access to exclusive events, preferred seating, and other offers, and you can use your points to book them. Some of the choices include sporting events, concerts, shows, and culinary experiences.

If you want to use your points this way, they’re worth 1 cent each. Some events may be available only to customers with particular credit cards though which means you may need to upgrade to access certain things.

Transfer to Partners

If you have one of the Chase Sapphire credit cards or the Ink Business Preferred, you can transfer your points to one of 13 airline and hotel partners. This saves you more money than booking with a hotel or airline credit card directly.

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How to Use the Chase Travel Portal?

The travel portal through the Chase shopping portal allows you to use your Ultimate Rewards credit card. You can earn up to 15 points per dollar on top of the rewards you’re already earning with the card. All you need to do is log into your Chase account and search for the retailer you want to use.

There are typically many airlines, hotels, and other travel-related things to choose from. It works similar to the regular shop portal but for all things travel.

After you have found the retailer, you want to use, you make the purchase just like you would with any other credit card and online shop. Just make sure to use your Chase card. Once Chase sees the transaction on your account, they will automatically credit you your bonus rewards and points. It usually only takes a few days.

The travel portal is different than the shop portal because you will use it specifically to get all things related to travel. This will include airline trips, car rentals, and hotel bookings. You will be able to book all things related to travel through the portal and save yourself valuable time and money.

Can you Combine Points?

Combining Chase rewards is definitely possible and can be a great leverage to your rewards under the right circumstances.

Here is a step-by-step way of how you can combine your ultimate rewards

  1. First, you need to log into your Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.
  2. Find the Use or Earn section and click on it. 
  3. Choose the Combine Points option. 
  4. Choose the card you want to transfer to and the card you are transferring some. Choose Continue. 
  5. Enter how many points you would like to transfer and confirm the amount.
  6. Choose Confirm or Submit. 
  7. Record the order number in case you have issues in the future. 

What is Chase Trifecta?

Chase Trifecta is a combination of 3 Chase Credit Cards. With these cards, you get a large selection of bonus categories including travel, dining, and groceries. You can even use the internet and shipping costs. Any of the cards in the trifecta can be swapped out for other rewards cards that better fit your needs. 

Once you’ve earned the points you will want to maximize your points by trying to redeem as many of them at the same time as possible. You can pool all of your Ultimate Rewards points into your Chase Sapphire Reserve account when you redeem them for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. This way they are usually worth more than on the Freedom Unlimited or Ink Business Preferred alone. 

Another common form is card coupling.

Card coupling is when you open two or more credit cards and use them together to get as many points as possible. Try pairing a Freedom Flex or Freedom Unlimited card with a Sapphire Preferred or Reserve account to get the most number of points. 

Chase Ultimate Rewards Transfer Partners

If you have one of the Chase Sapphire credit cards or the Ink Business Preferred, you can transfer your points to one of 13 airline and hotel partners. 

In most cases, there’s no cost to transfer your points, and the transfer occurs immediately. You are always responsible for paying the fees though. Chase should send you a notification for the fees and you will need to approve them. 

Points transfers can be one of the best ways to maximize your Chase Ultimate Rewards. You can use them for hotel or airlines rewards. Here is a list of different partners with which you can transfer your points too:

  • Aer Lingus, AerClub
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Flying Blue Air France / KLM
  • Iberia Plus
  • JetBlue TrueBlue
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
  • United MileagePlus
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
  • IHG Rewards Club
  • Marriott Bonvoy
  • World of Hyatt

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How Can You Get From a Refer a Friend Bonus?

This is another great option to have as it will help you make money while you also help out your friends and family so they can receive the same benefits that you do.

You can receive a 15,000 bonus points for each credit card referral, as well as $50 bonus for each referral who opens a qualifying checking account. You only have 10 referrals for a total of $500 in a calendar year though. You might also be eligible for more referral opportunities throughout the year depending on your tier and card status. 

By using the referral method, you can make up to $500 a year while also helping your friends and family experience the benefits of chase credit cards

Buying Gift Cards 

Many credit cards earn a higher bonus rate at specific types of stores, so you could buy a gift card at a store where you’ll earn bonus rewards, and then use the card elsewhere.

For example, you might be able to earn five points per $1 at office supply stores and only one point per $1 at grocery stores. You could use that card for a $100 purchase at the supermarket and earn 100 points. You might also choose to buy a $100 supermarket gift card for yourself at an office supply store and earn 500 points.

Best Credit Cards for Earning Chase Points

Chase has some of the best credit cards in the market so choosing the best one for you can be hard. Here are the three most common ones and the offers they will give you:

1. Chase Freedom Unlimited

The Chase Freedom Unlimited card has no annual fee as well as long 0% intro APR, in addition to the following:

  • Receive a additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year)- worth up to $300 cash back[. 
  • You will get 5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services, 3% on drugstore purchases and 1.5% cash back on all purchases.

2. Chase Sapphire Reserve 

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is one of the top travel premium credit cards available. The annual fee is high but there are a lot of special perks and unique options for cardholders. 

  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. 
  • You get 5X total points on air travel and 10X total points on hotels, car rentals when you purchase through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, immediately after earning your $300 annual travel credit. Also, earn 3x points on dining at restaurants and travel (after meeting the $300 travel credit), then 1x points per dollar spent on all other purchases Lastly, earn $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit and

3. Chase Sapphire Preferred

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is one of the most popular cards out there with a bunch of benefits on everyday spending and travelers. The card charges $95 as an annual fee.

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. 
  • You get 5x total points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3x points on dining and online grocery purchases and 2x on other travel purchases. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases

4. Ink Business Preferred 

  • Earn 100k bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases, again only within the first 3 months from account opening for it to count. You will also get $1,000 cashback or $1,250 toward travel if you redeem it through Chase Ultimate Rewards. 
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel. You might also be able to get points on select business categories for each account anniversary year. All other purchases will give you 1 point per $1. 
  • Free fraud protection and fraud monitoring to make sure you don’t have any problems domestically or when traveling internationally. 
  • You also get to enjoy zero liability which means you never have to pay for unauthorized travel or other things you didn’t do on your account. 

How to Transfer Ultimate Rewards Points?

Here is a step-by-step way of how you can combine your ultimate rewards

  1. Log in to the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.
  2. Go Into the Earn/Use Menu and find the Transfer option.
  3. Click on Transfer or choose the Select All option to see the dropdown menu if you need help finding it.
  4. Choose the card you want to transfer points from and the card you want to move points to, then “Continue.”
  5. Enter the transfer amount you want to use and make sure it’s correct.
  6. Click Confirm or Submit once you’re sure all the information is correct.
  7. Keep track of your record number in case you run into issues and need help with the order.

This is a great method for giving friends and family points. This is another great example of how Chase goes above and beyond to make sure its customers have everything they need. You can also use this combined with the referral method to help all your friends and family get major benefits from Chase cards.  

7 Things To Do When Redeeming Chase Ultimate Reward Points

Chase Ultimate Reward points are easy to earn when you use Chase credit card. Although there are countless opportunities to earn travel points and redeem other rewards, here are the best seven ways to redeem chase reward points:

  • One of the best ways to use your ticket is to get a cheap round-trip flight to Tokyo. You can use the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Virgin Points to fly with All Nippon Airways (ANA). The one-way first-class award will be 55,000 Virgin Points from the West Coast or and 60,000 points from the East Coast or the central U.S.
  • Fly United airlines in business class. Singapore airlines can also be used to fly with other airlines including United if you find that it’s cheaper this way. Singapore Airlines start out much cheaper than United though. United charges at least 25,000 miles one-way for business, so you can save by using Singapore Airlines miles instead. Always look at the partner airline options available to you to help you save.
  • Use your miles between Continental US and Hawaii. On these flights, domestic pricing will be the same as business pricing because of the larger airplanes and the long flight time. By using your miles and redemption points, you’re able to fly business or first class at a much cheaper price. Although it’s considered a domestic flight, this can help considerably because the flight is long and you need extra legroom and perks.
  • Fly from anywhere in the US to Europe. You can get tons of flight options between the two continents for a price you can afford including cheaper tickets in business and first-class so you don’t have to fly the entire way cramped with no legroom. United is one of the best options with most of the flight options being non-stop to give you more time on your vacation.
  • You can also use your miles to fly around the Caribbean. United prices round-trip flights between the U.S. and the Caribbean starting from 35,000 miles. Depending on your points, you can also island-hop with United deals to visit two or three islands for the price of one. Just make sure to book everything at the same time.
  • Upgrade your Hyatt hotel room. Upgrades to club rooms only cost 3,000 points. This means you get access to the hotel lounge where you can often drink and dine for free. This is an easy way to save money on food and alcoholic drinks when traveling.  If you want, you can also upgrade to a full suite which will only cost you 6,000 points per night. Suites also give you access to the lounge and many other hotel perks such as late checkout.
  • Book stays at the all-inclusive Hyatt Hotels. Around the world, you’ll find all-inclusive Hyatt hotels. They might cost more than other hotels but you often get all your food and drinks included which saves you valuable money in the long run.  Depending on the hotel, a standard room only costs 20,000 to 25,000 points per night unless you are going over a holiday or popular tourist times. A night in a suite at an all-inclusive property will cost 32,000 to 40,000 points during standard dates.

Bottom Line

Chase Ultimate Rewards is a never-ending number of perks and points to get you vacations, travel time, and extra nights at hotels. If you travel often and need some help with flights and hotels, this card is a great option. You can also enjoy other perks like the shopping portal and gift cards.

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor, which helps consumers make better financial decisions.  Silvermann's areas of expertise include investing, banking, and credit cards. Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more. Aside from being a finance expert, his background includes working as a business and financial analyst. Above all, he is passionate about teaching people how to manage their money and helping millions on their journey to a better financial future.