Chase Ultimate Rewards: Program Guide

There are different ways to earn and redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards points, and you typically stand to get the best value when you redeem them for travel rewards.

Advertising & Editorial DisclosureLast Updated: 11/18/2022
Written By     |  
Reviewed By     |  
Last Updated: 11/18/2022

The value of the Chase points you earn through the Ultimate Rewards program depends on the redemption method. More often than not, redeeming points for travel rewards is the best way to go. Given the flexibility this program offers when it comes to earning and redeeming points, it definitely qualifies as one that’s worthy of your attention.

On This Page:
MoneyGeek’s Takeaways

giftCard

Chase provides personal and business cards linked to the Ultimate Rewards program.

excellentCredit

The points you earn remain valid for as long as your account is in good standing.

airportLoungeAccess

Transferring your points to a partner airline or hotel loyalty program is possible.

Which Credit Cards Earn Chase Ultimate Rewards?

Several Chase credit cards come linked to the Ultimate Rewards program, including some that the bank markets as cash back cards. If you have a Chase cash back card with Ultimate Rewards, you may transfer your cash rewards to a Chase travel card and then redeem the combined points via any of the given methods.

Sorry. We were not able to load data for table...

Since there are several options to choose from, you’ll want to pay due attention to factors such as annual fees, reward rates, welcome offers and added perks. A few of the most popular credit cards that earn Ultimate Rewards points are:

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred Card Credit Card. The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card offers 5X points per dollar on travel purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards (excluding purchases that qualify for the $50 annual hotel credit). You get 2X points per dollar on all other travel purchases. You earn 3X points per dollar on dining (including delivery and takeout), online grocery purchases (with some exclusions) and select streaming services. All other purchases earn 1X points per dollar. This card comes with a sizable spend-based welcome bonus, and its points are worth 25% more when booking travel through Ultimate Rewards. It has a $95 annual fee.
  • Chase Freedom Flex℠ Credit Card. You may transfer the cash back you earn from the Chase Freedom Flex℠ Card to any Chase travel card that earns Ultimate Rewards. One dollar in cash back rewards translates to 100 Ultimate Rewards points. This no-annual-fee card offers 5% cash back on combined spending of up to $1,500 across rotating quarterly bonus categories you need to activate each quarter. You earn 5% cash back on travel purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% on dining (including delivery and takeout) and at drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases. This card lets you earn a welcome bonus by meeting a simple spend-based requirement.
  • Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card. The Ink Business Unlimited Card lets you transfer the cash back you earn to a Chase travel card. You earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases, making it ideal for spending on categories that don’t earn bonus points through any other card. This card comes with no annual fees. Employee cards come at no additional cost. You may also benefit through this card’s welcome bonus and intro APR offer.

How to Get the Most Value From Chase Ultimate Rewards

A Chase Ultimate Rewards point’s value depends on your chosen redemption method. It can also depend on the card you have. Consequently, it makes sense to understand which method offers the best value.

  • Transfer to travel partners. Transfers to any Chase airline or hotel transfer partner take place at a 1:1 ratio. However, the worth of your points depends on the transfer partner you select. For instance, while some might offer less than one cent per point, others might offer more than three cents per point. Only Ultimate Rewards cards that charge an annual fee may transfer to airline and hotel partners.
  • Travel purchases through Ultimate Rewards. When you use this redemption method, the value of your points depends on the card you have. With the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card, the value is 1.5 cents per point. It changes to 1.25 cents per point with the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card. When it comes to using the cash back you earn through a Chase cash back card, one point is typically equal to one cent.
  • Cash back. Chase points are valued at one cent a piece when you redeem them as cash back, either as a statement credit or a direct deposit into your bank account.
  • Gift cards. In most cases, one Ultimate Rewards point is valued at one cent when redeemed for a gift card. However, Chase offers discounts on select gift cards occasionally, enabling you to get more value for your points.
  • Chase Dining. When you use your points to make reservations, for takeout or for exclusive experiences through Chase Dining, most redemptions receive about one cent per point.
  • Pay With Points. When you use your points at checkout, the value of each point stands at 0.8 cents.
  • Apple Ultimate Rewards Store. When you use your points to purchase Apple products through the Ultimate Rewards portal, you get one cent per point.
  • Experiences. When you use your points to attend exclusive events, the value is often in the eye of the beholder because they are not available for sale to the general public.
tip icon
MONEYGEEK EXPERT TIP:

Many customers use the “Chase Trifecta” to maximize the number of points they earn on every purchase. This involves having two cards that offer category bonuses where you spend the most money, plus another card that earns more than one point per dollar on all non-bonus category purchases, like the Chase Freedom Unlimited. — Lee Huffman, credit card expert at BaldThoughts.com

Is Chase Ultimate Rewards Any Good?

As one of the most flexible rewards programs, Ultimate Rewards definitely warrants your attention. Given the variety of credit cards Chase offers, it’s relatively easy to find one or more to suit your needs. Plus, you may transfer points between cards to maximize their value, as is commonly done by people who have a Chase trifecta, which involves getting three different Chase credit cards and earning higher-than-usual rewards on bonus categories.

tip icon
MONEYGEEK EXPERT TIP

If you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card, transfer points from your other Chase cards to this one before you redeem them for travel. This is because you get the best value through the Ultimate Rewards travel website by using points from your Chase Sapphire Reserve Card (1.5 cents per point). Transferring the cash back you earn through a Chase card to the Sapphire Reserve Card is also possible.

How to Redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards Points

Redeeming your Chase points is fairly simple. However, the process you need to follow may vary depending on the redemption method you select. In most cases, you need to use the Ultimate Rewards website.

1

Log in to the Ultimate Rewards website.

2

Use the menu to select the desired redemption method.

3

Follow the prompts.

4

You may need to complete the process through a partner website in some scenarios.

The Ultimate Rewards website lets you redeem your points for gift cards, travel purchases, cash back and experiences. You also need to use the same website if you wish to transfer your points to a partner airline or hotel loyalty program. If you wish to use your points to pay when checking out at Amazon.com, you must first link an eligible Chase card to your Amazon.com account.

tip icon
MONEYGEEK QUICK TIP

Consider getting the premium Sapphire Reserve Card to maximize the value of the Ultimate Rewards points/cash back you earn through other Chase cards, provided you can justify paying its steep annual fee.

FAQs About Chase Ultimate Rewards

Go through answers to other commonly asked questions about Chase Ultimate Rewards to determine if you might benefit from getting a card that participates in the program.

Next Steps

Now that you know how the Chase Ultimate Rewards program works and how the value of the points can vary, determine if you should get a Chase card to make the most of your spending. If you plan to move forward, compare your options across parameters such as reward rates, welcome bonuses, annual fees, APRs and added benefits.

Compare & Review Credit Cards

Learn More About Credit Cards

About the Author


Rajiv Baniwal has been writing about different financial topics for over 15 years. Meticulous in his research, he makes sure he provides accurate and up-to-date information. His areas of expertise include mortgages, personal loans, credit cards, insurance and international money transfers.


sources
*Rates, fees or bonuses may vary or include specific stipulations. The content on this page is accurate as of the posting/last updated date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. We recommend visiting the card issuer’s website for the most up-to-date information available.
Editorial Disclosure: Opinions, reviews, analyses and recommendations are the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity.
Advertiser Disclosure: MoneyGeek has partnered with CardRatings.com and CreditCards.com for our coverage of credit card products. MoneyGeek, CardRatings and CreditCards.com may receive a commission from card issuers. To ensure thorough comparisons and reviews, MoneyGeek features products from both paid partners and unaffiliated card issuers that are not paid partners.