Have you ever wondered how valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards points are? Whereas other rewards programs you can only use their miles/points on certain/select incentives, Chase UR points can be used for pretty much anything! You’re able to cash out your points, book travel directly, transfer points to several hotel and airline partners, and more! See below on more info regarding Chase Ultimate Rewards.
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How to Use Your Chase Ultimate Rewards
When you decide to use your Chase Ultimate Rewards points, it can be redeemed in many different ways. Whether you take the simple route such as converting your UR points into gift cards or statement credits (we can call this “cash equivalents”) or take it further and use it for travel.
Converting Chase Ultimate Rewards to Cash Equivalents
When taking this route, Chase Ultimate Rewards points can be converted into cash at a 1:1 ratio meaning 1 cent per point. There are three “cash equivalents”:
- Gift Cards – Fore example, if you decide to convert your UR points in the form of a gift card, a $100 gift card are worth 10,000 points, whereas points are worth a 1 cent each. This is a perk as Chase will not short you, so a $15 gift card will be worth 1,500 points. You’ll earn the equivalent regardless of what amount tier you choose. Some gift cards can be redeemed for as low as $5.
- Statement Credit – This open is listed as “Get cash back” in the menu. If you do not choose to redeem your rewards for gift cards, you can redeem it as statement credit or have it deposited into your checking/savings account. With this method, your points are still a 1:1 ratio, meaning 1 point = 1 cent.
- Shop on Amazon – Amazon conversion rates may vary, but generally it’s slightly less than 0.80 cents per point. The perk here is that you’re able to pay fractionally (and not in $15 increments – the lowest Amazon gift card option available). Tip: If I were you, I would just get an Amazon Gift Card or even use your existing one and simply reload it so you aren’t giving up 20% of its value. Just get a gift card and load your Amazon.com gift card balance so you aren’t giving up 20% of its value.
- Apple purchases: Redeem points for Apple merchandise through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal. Redemptions are for a penny per point. But Chase called that rate “a special limited time offer” when it was announced as a new redemption option in November 2018. Chase did not say what the redemption rate would be after the offer expired.
What I’ve discovered about Chase Ultimate Rewards is that they do not tamper around with their consumers rewards. Conversion rates for gift cards do not change based on the face value of the card and they do not make statement credits “expensive.” Also, they do not force you to a statement credit when a deposit to your account is all the same. But now, you’ll see how you can turn that 1 cent per 1 point ratio into a better ratio and get more than just 1 cent per point.
Converting Chase Ultimate Rewards on Travel
If you didn’t know, the Chase Ultimate Rewards program is about travel, so it may be ideal that the best use of your points is actually directed to travel. Now, there are two ways you can redeem your points on travel:
- Transfer points to an airline or hotel partner via their own rewards program(s)
- Book via Chase’s Ultimate Rewards travel portal directly for car rentals, cruises, flights, & hotels
Transferring Points to Partners
With more than 10+ airline and hotel rewards programs that Chase has partnered with, you’re able to transfer your points over. When you transfer your Ultimate Rewards (UR) points over to these partners, you’re able to book your travel on these partners’ portals/website.
Here is the current list of travel partners which include:
- Aer Lingus AerClub
- British Airways Executive Club
- Flying Blue AIR FRANCE KLM
- Iberia Plus
- Korean Air SKYPASS
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
- United MileagePlus
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
- IHG Rewards Club
- Marriott Rewards
- The Ritz-Carlton Rewards
- World of Hyatt
You’ll receive a simple 1:1 ratio conversion rate transfer with no fee involved and this is one-way (meaning you cannot transfer these points back to Chase UR points). Now keep in mind that this rule means that the receiving party is owned by you or a person listed as an authorized user on the account. If this rule is violated (selling points to someone else per say), you might be forced to forfeit the points and/or have your account closed. We do not recommend this or tampering around.
My preferred airline is Southwest Airlines – we’ll value the Southwest Rapid Rewards Points at approximiately 1.6 cents per point, so in turn, you’re receiving a solid 60% more per point in comparison to redeeming your points for a “cash equivalent.” Keep in mind that points converted from Chase UR to Southwest does not count towards Southwest’s Companion Pass. Note: transfers may take up to a week, but in most cases, it’s near instant.
The Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card offers 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Plus, earn 3X points on dining, including takeout and eligible delivery services, for the first year.
• 2x points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases & Rapid Rewards® hotel/car rental partner purchases;
• 1x point on all other purchases - in which all points earned with either card count towards Companion Pass.
You're able to redeem your your points for flights, hotel stays, gift cards, access to events & more!
This card does carry a $69 annual fee.
The Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card offers 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Plus, earn 3X points on dining, including takeout and eligible delivery services, for the first year.
• 2x points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases & Rapid Rewards® hotel/car rental partner purchases;
• 1x point on all other purchases.
You're able to redeem your points for flights, hotel stays, gift cards, access to events and more.
This card does carry a $99 annual fee, but there are no foreign transaction fee.
If you want it to take it a step further, you can “daisy-chain” your UR points if you’re aware of the relationships. In a given example, you can transfer your UR points to Korean Air SKYPASS (now keep in mind you can’t transfer UR points to Delta or KLM). Delta, KLM, & Korean Air are all a part of the SkyTeam Alliance, so you can redeem those SKYPASS Miles on any of the SkyTeam Alliance airlines. This means that you can indirectly transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Delta & KLM.
Booking Travel via Chase Ultimate Rewards Portal
Depending on the card you have, you can get a bonus on your “spending.” See “Best Cards To Earn Chase Ultimate Rewards” below. With the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card, you’re offered 50% more (1.5 point valuation). With the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card & Ink Business Preferred Card, you’re offered 25% more (1.25 point valuation). Everyone else will receive the regular pricing via the portal.
So as stated, you’re able to get a better value for each point than you would if you were to redeem your UR points for statement credit or a gift card, however you are limited by the travel tool (does not include as many vendor options as some other travel search tools).
For example, the flight I looked up is one we take all the time. Baltimore International Airport (BWI) to Islip Airport (ISP) on Long Island is a frequent flight on Southwest. I looked up that exact flight and it’s $109 each way (total is $217.95 after taxes/fees). Southwest is rarely on the search aggregators but that’s an example of the limitations of Chase’s search functionality. You can only book what they have, which may not be the best price.
Book Experiences via Chase Ultimate Rewards
You’re also able to book experiences with your Chase UR points. Chase UR Experiences are VIP experiences that include culinary events, entertainment, sports, etc! However, these are generally available at 1 cent per point. Do keep in mind that some events are available to certain card-members. For example, event ABC may be only available to only Chase Sapphire Preferred cardholders, whereas event DEF may only be available to Chase Ink Preferred cardholders, etc. These fall in a category known as Chase Preferred Experiences.
Best Cards To Earn Chase Ultimate Rewards
Below is a variety of Chase cards that accumulate Chase Ultimate Rewards points:
The Chase Freedom Flex offers a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
• 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate.
• 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining at restaurants and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases.
You cash back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open and there is no minimum to redeem for cash back. You'll be able to new 5% categories each quarter!
This card has no annual fee.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited Card offers a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
In addition, you can earn:
• 5% on travel purchased through Chase,
• 3% on dining at restaurants and drugstores, and
• Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
There is no minimum to redeem for cash back & your cash back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open.
This card comes with no annual fee and you'll get a free credit score that is updated weekly with Credit JourneySM.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card offers 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
You'll earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1X point per dollar spent on all other purchases.. And when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, you'll get 25% more value!
You get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee & reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
This card carries a $95 annual fee.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve offers 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Through December 31, 2021, gas station & grocery store purchases will also count towards earning your Travel Credit.
You'll earn 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. When redeeming your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, you'll get 50% more value.
This card does carry a $550 annual fee and there are no foreign transaction fees. However, you're able to earn a $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year & up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
The Chase Ink Business Preferred Card offers 100k bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
You'll earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year; 1 point per $1 on all other purchases - with no limit to the amount you can earn. Furthermore, points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
This card does come with a $95 annual fee but does not have any foreign transaction fees.
The Chase Ink Business Cash Card offers $750 bonus cash back after you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
You'll earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year, 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year, & % cash back on all other card purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn.
This card comes with no annual fee. You'll be able to take advantage of employee cards at no additional cost & the 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases.
As you compare these cards to one another, each card is different and for different types of spenders.
Now that you’re more familiar with Chase’s Ultimate Rewards Program, you can see that Chase offers quite generous rewards for applying and it’s definitely a great system. Let us know in the comment section below which card you have, prefer, and why! For more of what Chase has to offer, see our list of the latest Chase Bank Promotions & the Best Chase Credit Card Offers.