Chase Ultimate Rewards: The Ultimate Guide - Forbes

Chase Ultimate Rewards: The Ultimate Guide - Forbes

Chase Ultimate Rewards: The Ultimate Guide - Forbes

Posted: 18 Sep 2020 06:00 AM PDT

Chase Ultimate Rewards is a flexible reward currency that can be earned through a number of Chase credit cards. It's an extremely popular reward currency with points and miles enthusiasts due to its flexibility and value. Ultimate Rewards can be earned and redeemed in a variety of ways, with some options being more valuable than others.  In this guide, Forbes Advisor will detail the options for earning points as well as the best options for redeeming points.

Chase Ultimate Rewards can be earned in a variety of ways. Some of the most common ways to earn are opening new credit cards to earn welcome bonuses, daily spending on Ultimate Reward-earning cards and by shopping through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.

Ultimate Rewards points can be redeemed through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal to cover the cost of flights, hotels and car rentals. Ultimate Rewards can even be used toward the cost of experiences, including theme park tickets or special events. Ultimate Rewards points can also be transferred to airline and hotel partners, and redeemed through their respective loyalty programs.

How to Earn Chase Ultimate Rewards

Chase Ultimate Rewards is a flexible point currency earned by 7 credit cards that are issued by Chase Bank. Chase offers 4 personal cards and 3 business cards that earn Ultimate Rewards. Each card offers different benefits and earning rates. Chase credit cards also generally offer a welcome bonus after meeting minimum spending requirements on a new card.

Chase Ultimate Rewards can also be earned by referring friends to Chase credit cards, by shopping online with Shop through Chase and through targeted spending offers.

Personal Credit Cards

The information for the Chase Freedom® has been collected independently by Forbes. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Business Credit Cards

The information for the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, Chase Ink Business Cash® Credit Card and Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Cards has been collected independently by Forbes. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Shop Through Chase

Shop Through Chase is a shopping portal that can help boost your Ultimate Rewards balance. Instead of shopping directly with an online retailer, log into Chase Ultimate Rewards and utilize the Shop Through Chase feature. The Shop Through Chase shopping portal provides additional Ultimate Rewards points, which you earn on top of the points you would normally earn from spending on your credit card.


Chase offers you the opportunity to earn bonus points when referring other customers to apply for a Chase credit card. Once a referral is approved, the referrer can earn 5,000 to 20,000 Ultimate Rewards, depending on the card opened.

Targeted Offers

Chase periodically emails cardholders with targeted offers. These offers can include increased earning on categories that are not usually bonus earning categories on their respective cards. For example, Chase Freedom Unlimited card holders have previously been targeted to earn 5% cashback on Utility payments, rather than the usual 1.5% cash back the Freedom Unlimited offers.

How To Combine Ultimate Rewards Points

It's important to note that the Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Ink Preferred are advertised as earning Ultimate Rewards points. The Chase Freedom Flex, Chase Freedom Unlimited, Chase Ink Cash and Chase Ink Unlimited are advertised as cash back cards.

However, Chase cash back credit cards also earn Ultimate Rewards points, but have limited redemption options when compared to the advertised travel rewards cards. In order to maximize the value of redemption, it would be best to pool the points from your cash back cards with your travel rewards cards.

But that's not the full story. Chase allows points earned on all Ultimate Rewards earning cards to be combined with one another.  Chase Freedom points can't be directly transferred to a travel partner, but you can combine the points from your Chase Freedom card with one of your travel rewards cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred and then transfer the points to a transfer partner from there.

How to Combine Ultimate Rewards Points Between Two Ultimate Rewards-Earning Cards

To combine points on your Chase Ultimate Reward earning cards, log-in to Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Logging in will take you to a landing page that features all Ultimate Reward-earning cards that are associated with your username and password. Select any card to proceed.

Once selected, you'll be at the Chase Ultimate Rewards main page. Click the arrow next to your point total to access available actions. Select "Combine Points."

The points combining page features all of your Ultimate Rewards-earning cards, and you have the option to move points from any account to any other existing account.  Points can be combined among all cards associated with the main card member.

In this instance, the points from my Chase Freedom credit card will be moved to my Chase Ink Plus credit card. Simply click the card you want to transfer points from, click the card you want to transfer points to and then click "Continue."

You can choose to combine all points from one card to another card, or only a certain amount of points.  Once you have made your selection, click "Review."

On the "Review" page a summary of the proposed points combination is displayed. The number of points being transferred and the new balances on each of the cards are detailed. You can review to ensure accuracy, and then click "Confirm & Submit."

Points are combined instantly and you will receive confirmation of completion. You will also see the new balances on each card updated immediately.

Points can also be combined across cards held by one member of your household. This can be useful when a single household member has insufficient points to complete a redemption, but the combined total of household points would be enough to complete the purchase. As the Chase Ink Plus is a business card, you also have the ability to transfer points to a company owner.

How to Combine Ultimate Rewards Points With a Household Member

The process of combining points with a household member or company owner is similar to combining points among cards belonging to you.  You will select the card you own that you would like to transfer points from, and select "Add household member/company owner."

You will need to enter the Cardholder's last name and full 16-digit account number.  You must certify that the card you wish you combine points with belongs to you, a household member or a company owner.

Once you enter the Cardholder information, you will be taken back to the "Combine Points" screen, and you will see the household member's card is added to the list of cards you can select to "Move my points to."

After you have added a household member, the process is the same as moving points between cards you own.

Moving points between cards is advantageous as the Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Ink Preferred offer redemption options that are not available to points associated with no-annual fee cards.   It is best to get in the habit of moving points from your no-annual fee cards to your premium cards. This will allow you to receive the most value when redeeming your points.

How to Use Ultimate Rewards Points

Chase Ultimate Rewards can be redeemed in many different ways. Most points and miles hobbyists use their points to cover travel expenses.  There are other options, but the most valuable redemptions are typically travel-related.

From the Chase Ultimate Rewards home page, navigate to the "Ways to Use" icon

Upon clicking "Ways to Use", you'll see the different options you have for redemption. The Chase Ink Plus has redemption options similar to that offered by Chase Ink Preferred and Chase Sapphire Preferred.  Points can be redeemed for travel, gift cards, cash back, Shop with Points and transfers to travel partners.

The Ways to Use page details the number of points you have in your account that are available for redemption, as well as the value of the points when redeemed in various ways.

For example, if you have 10,000 points available for redemption, the value of your points will vary depending on how you use them. When redeeming for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal, points are worth 1.25 cents each if you have a Sapphire Preferred or Ink Preferred, and therefore, 10,000 points would be worth $125.00 toward travel. If you have a Sapphire Reserve, points are worth 1.5 cents each, so those same 10,000 points would be worth $150.00 toward travel.

Ultimate Rewards points redeemed for gift cards and cash back are worth 1 cent each. The same 10,000 points redeemed for gift cards or as cash back would be worth $100.

Using Shop with Points provides the lowest value redemption, with each Ultimate Reward point being worth only 0.8 cents.  While Shop with Points makes it easy to redeem your Ultimate Rewards points for Amazon purchases, you will receive a lower redemption than when redeeming for travel, gift cards or cash back.

If you redeem 10,000 Ultimate Rewards points through Shop with Points you'll only get $80 toward Amazon purchases.  For this reason it almost never makes sense to use the Amazon Shop With Points option. You can instead redeem your points for cash back and pay for your Amazon purchase with your credit card.

Chase values Ultimate Rewards that are transferred to travel partners at 1 cent each, but the value you get will vary. Before you transfer your Ultimate Rewards points to Chase's partners, you should read up on the rules of the program you are transferring to and verify availability for the redemption you want to make.

Transfer Ultimate Rewards Points to Travel Partners

As a Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Ink Preferred cardholder, you have the ability to transfer Ultimate Rewards points to 13 airline or hotel partners at a 1:1 ratio. That means that 1 Chase Ultimate Reward point is equivalent to 1 point with the airline or hotel loyalty program.

The process for transferring Chase Ultimate Reward points to travel partners is completed on the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel page.

Log into your Chase Ultimate Rewards account and select a credit card that has points that are capable of being transferred to loyalty partners. Once selected, you'll be at the Chase Ultimate Rewards main page.

Similar to the procedure used to combine points, click the arrow next to your point total to access available actions. Then select "Transfer to Travel Partners."

On the next page, you'll see a list of all the Chase Travel partners. Each partner has a drop down arrow on the right hand side of the page that has a link to their respective loyalty program and a brief summary of the program.

Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partners are:

Prior to transferring, confirm award availability at the travel partner's loyalty site. Upon confirming availability, points can be transferred in 1,000 point increments.  Most points transfers are completed instantly. You may have to log out and log back into your loyalty account after transferring to see the points added to your account.

There are two exceptions to instant transfers.  Transfers to Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer can take up to one week and transfers to Marriott Bonvoy can take 1 to 2 days.

When you are ready to transfer points, click "Transfer Points". On the next screen, you will enter your loyalty program information.

Chase Ultimate Rewards can only be transferred to loyalty program accounts that match the name of the primary cardmember, an authorized user on the account, or in the case of business cards, the owner of the company.

You will enter your loyalty program membership information twice, then click "continue". Ensure your loyalty program name matches the name on your credit card account.  You also want to ensure your loyalty program membership number or ID is entered correctly, to ensure the points transfer is completed.

Enter the number of Ultimate Rewards points you want to transfer to the loyalty program.  Remember, the points must be transferred in increments of 1,000 points.  Entering "1" in the type field will result in a transfer of 1,000 Ultimate Rewards.

Click "Continue" and you will proceed to the review and confirmation page. Ensure the number of points you want to transfer and the loyalty account name and number are correct.  When all details are confirmed, click "Confirm and Submit."

You will receive notice that your points transfer is being processed. From this page, there is a link provided that will take you directly to the loyalty program page. You can quickly check the points were transferred correctly, and proceed to book travel with your loyalty program of choice.

The value of Ultimate Rewards points when you transfer to travel partners will vary greatly according to how you redeem them. That said, in general you will not get cash back value (1 cent per point) by transferring to IHG Rewards or Marriott. Chase's other partners will typically offer you more value. In any case, always check availability and compare cash prices before you transfer points, as all transfers are final.

Use The Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal

Redeeming Ultimate Rewards points through the Chase Travel portal is a simple approach to point redemption.

The Chase Travel portal is an online travel agency (OTA) that is powered by Expedia. Through the Chase Travel portal, you are able to use points to book flights, hotels, rental cars, attractions, vacation rentals and cruises.

Currently, Chase Travel does not provide the option to book packages, like Flight+Car+Hotel, that you are able to book directly with Expedia.

The process of using the Chase Travel portal is straightforward.

Select the type of travel you want to redeem your points for. For flights, you also will need to select if you want to search for round-trip, one-way or multi-city travel.  Enter your departure and arrival cities, as well as departure and return dates, if booking a round-trip. Click "Search" and, like other OTAs, the next page will show your ticketing options.

You can sort the results by a number of parameters, and you can also filter the results to only show certain flights with a preferred number of stops, airline, departure time and/or duration.

The Chase Travel portal displays each flight segment separately. You have to select an outbound flight before you are able to see the inbound flight options.

Clicking "Select" will show the rules and restrictions on your selected flight.  This is where you can see details like bag fees and seat assignment rules.  If you are comfortable with the ticketing rules, click "Select this Fare."

On the next page, you will see your inbound flight options.  Repeat the steps used to select your outbound flight.

After selecting an outbound and inbound flight, you will have the ability to review your trip. There is a lot of information on the review page, so make sure you read everything carefully.

On the review page, a summary of your selected flights are displayed. The flight number, airline and flight times are details.  The fare rules and restrictions are once again disclosed. The cost of the flight in points and in dollars is detailed.

The Chase Travel portal fares default to the cheapest option, which is usually a Basic Economy fare that does not include amenities like baggage or seat selection. If you prefer these amenities, you can upgrade to a higher fare.

Once all details are confirmed, click "Continue Booking" to be taken to the payment page.

On the payment page enter the traveler information and select the form of payment.  The Chase Travel portal allows users to pay with Ultimate Rewards points or a Chase credit card.

Any number of points can be selected, up to the total available in your account.  If the number of points in your account is not sufficient to cover the total amount of the purchase, the remaining amount will be charged to your credit card.

When paying the remaining balance through the Chase Travel portal, you do not have to use the same Chase credit card that you are redeeming points from.  For example, if you are redeeming points from your Chase Sapphire Reserve, but you need to charge a portion of the balance, you could use your Chase United℠ Explorer Card.  The credit card used needs to be a Chase credit card, but it does not have to be an Ultimate Rewards-earning card.

When booking through the Chase Travel portal, there are a few things to remember:

  • Despite using points, reservations booked through Chase Travel are not considered "award reservations".  Chase Travel pays travel providers cash, and you pay Chase Travel points. That means you are eligible to earn miles with the airline you are flying with (or one of its partners).
  • Making changes or cancellations to reservations must be completed through Chase Travel. This can be difficult, as you have to communicate with Chase Travel as well as the travel provider, like a hotel or airline.
  • Airline tickets booked through Chase Travel earn frequent flyer miles and elite benefits are honored.  However, when booking hotels, elite benefits and points accrual are not applicable to reservations booked.  Hotels do not consider stays booked through Chase Travel to be "eligible rates" and loyalty benefits are not applicable.

Redeem For Cash Back

The process of redeeming Ultimate Rewards points for cash back is straightforward.  Cash back can be processed in two ways—as a statement credit or by deposit into a bank account.

If choosing a statement credit, the credit must be applied to the card you are redeeming your points from.  If you select to deposit to a bank account, you can select any bank account.  You will have to provide Chase with your bank routing and account number and the direct deposit can take up to 10 days to process.

Ultimate Rewards points redeemed for cash back are worth 1 cent per point.

Redeem for Gift Cards

The process for redeeming Ultimate Rewards points for gift cards is similar to the process of using the Chase Travel portal.  However, instead of using points to purchase travel, the points are used to purchase gift cards.

Ultimate Rewards points are worth 1 cent each when redeemed for gift cards. However, Chase sometimes offers discounts on gift card purchases.  For example, at the time of writing, redemptions for Apple gift cards offer a 10% discount.  Normally, 10,000 Ultimate Rewards points would be needed to purchase a $100 Apple gift card.  Due to the 10% discount, a $100 gift card can be purchased with 9,000 points.

When sales occur, the value of points is slightly increased.  Ultimate Rewards points redeemed for gift cards with a 10% discount are with 1.11 cents per point.

Use Shop with Points

The use of Ultimate Rewards points to pay for purchases is a low value redemption of 0.8 cents per point.

If the use of points to pay for purchases is desired, it is better to redeem points for cash back, either in the form of a statement credit or a deposit into a bank account and pay for the desired Amazon purchase with your credit card. Points redeemed in this way are worth 1 cent each rather than 0.8.

For example, using 10,000 Ultimate Rewards points through Shop with Points would provide a value of $80. However, redeeming 10,000 points as cash back would provide a $100 statement credit, or deposit to a bank account.  Then, use those funds to purchase goods directly.

Bottom Line

Chase Ultimate Rewards are a versatile transferable currency with a variety of ways to earn and redeem. No matter your travel goal, Ultimate Rewards will help you travel more while spending less.

Wow: Chase Sapphire Preferred 80K Bonus! - One Mile at a Time

Posted: 15 Sep 2020 08:16 AM PDT

In the interest of full disclosure, OMAAT earns a referral bonus for anyone that's approved through some of the below links. These are the best publicly available offers (terms apply) that we have found for each product or service. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline, hotel chain, or product manufacturer/service provider, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Please check out our advertiser policy for further details about our partners, and thanks for your support!

An incredible new best-ever bonus has been rolled out on the $95 annual fee Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, which is oh-so-worth it for anyone who is eligible.

In this post:

Chase Sapphire Preferred 80K sign-up bonus

With this new limited time offer, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is offering a bonus of 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 within the first three months of account opening.

That's an incredible bonus, as there's so much you can do with 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points:

Regardless of whether or not you're looking to travel anytime soon, getting a minimum of $1,000 in value with a sign-up bonus on a $95 annual fee card is almost unheard of. As a point of comparison, before this new limited time offer was introduced, the bonus on the card was 60K points upon completing minimum spending.

As of now there's no indication that the bonus on the Sapphire Reserve will be improving. The bonus on that card is 50K points, so I'd absolutely favor the Preferred over the Reserve at this point.

Transfer your Chase points to Hyatt to redeem for a hotel stay

Chase Sapphire Preferred bonus eligibility

The Chase Sapphire Preferred offer is available to those who don't currently have a Sapphire card (whether the Sapphire Preferred or Sapphire Reserve), and those who haven't received a new cardmember bonus on a Sapphire card in the past 48 months.

Note that if you're currently the authorized user on someone else's Sapphire Preferred (or Sapphire Reserve) you'd still be eligible for the card. Eligibility is determined based on being the primary cardmember.

So if you have a Sapphire Preferred and your spouse is an authorized user on your account, your spouse should be eligible for this bonus by applying outright.

If you're eligible for a Sapphire card, you should consider this offer

Why you should consider the Sapphire Preferred

Beyond the incredible welcome bonus, why else should you consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred? It's an extremely well rounded travel card, so here are a few reasons to consider it:

  • It offers 2x Ultimate Rewards points on travel and dining
  • It offers excellent travel protection and car rental coverage
  • Most importantly, having the Sapphire Preferred means that points earned on many no annual fee Chase cards can be converted into "premium" Ultimate Rewards points, so it gives you lots more flexibility with other cards
  • It's offering a variety of limited time perks, including 3-5x bonus points in select categories, a $50 Instacart Express membership, and more

See this post for a full review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

Maximize the value of several Chase cards by having the Sapphire Preferred

Bottom line

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is offering an 80K sign-up bonus, which is the first time I recall seeing such a big publicly available bonus on the card. If you don't yet have this card, you absolutely should get it, regardless of whether you're looking for travel rewards or not.

80,000 Ultimate Rewards points can get you $1,000 towards travel or other purchases through Chase's "Pay Yourself Back" feature. Alternatively, you can transfer these points to an Ultimate Rewards travel partner, ranging from World of Hyatt to Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer.

Do you plan on picking up the Sapphire Preferred with an 80K bonus?


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