A guide to Chase Ultimate Rewards Program

A guide to Chase Ultimate Rewards Program


When it comes to travel reward programs, there is no doubt that the Ultimate Chase rewards program is the most popular and the reason is obvious-with different ways of earning ultimate rewards points, the Chase Ultimate rewards program is among the best credit card programs we currently have. This makes it a top priority for individuals who want to book award flights among other redemption options.

What is the Chase ultimate rewards program?

This is a credit card rewards program where cardholders can earn points for every purchase made using their credit cards. There are different ways in which the points can be redeemed, but the best one so far is point redemption for travel. You can also redeem your points for merchant gift cards or statement credit. To qualify for ultimate rewards, you need to have an affiliated Chase credit card.

Once your Chase card is approved, you will be automatically enrolled in the Ultimate rewards program.  The number of points earned depends on the type of credit card used and the type of category the items you purchase will code. Each of the Ultimate Chase rewards cards comes with bonus categories where cardholders can earn between 2X and 5X points on every dollar they spent on many purchases. If you have the right combination of these cards, you can earn plenty of Ultimate rewards.

Chase credit cards

The best way to earn Ultimate rewards is by having the right Chase credit cards combination. The ultimate reward points can easily be transferred to hotel partners or an airline after your points have accumulated enough to afford a hotel stay or flight. Remember that you need to hold a premium ultimate rewards card to transfer your points to hotel or airline partners. To boost your account, you can combine your points from any credit card which earn them. The Chase ultimate rewards credit cards include the following;

Chase sapphire preferred card

This is considered the best travel credit card due to its popular bonus categories. If you hold the card, you can transfer your ultimate rewards to travel partners. Cardholders earn 2X points on every dollar spent on booking travel and dining purchases, restaurants, bars, Uber, and more. Gas stations are excluded in the travel bonus category. On all other purchases, you will earn 1X points. The card attracts an annual fee of $95 which is usually waived during the first year.

Chase sapphire reserve card

Chase sapphire reserve is a perfect travel reward credit card that you should consider carrying in your pocket. The Chase Travel card earns 3X points on every dollar spent on travel and dining expenses worldwide. 1X points is earned on all other purchases.

Ink business preferred

The ink business preferred credit card is tailored towards small businesses, comes with a number of benefits. It is the only small business card offered by Chase that comes with the ultimate rewards program. The card has an annual fee of $95 but unlike the Chase Sapphire Preferred, this fee is not waived after the first year. On the first $150,000 spent, you will earn 3X points per dollar. Categories here include travel, shipping purchases, advertising purchases with search engines and social media sites and internet, cable and phone services.  You will earn 1X points on all other expenses.

Chase Freedom

The Chase Freedom credit card is a cash back card. However, you can combine the points with those from any of the premium ultimate rewards card that has an annual fee. With the card, you will earn 5% cash back for every dollar spent up to $1500 on purchases each quarter.

Categories include supermarkets and grocery stores, gas stations, transportation, restaurants, and holiday shopping. Rather than the 5%, you will get 5X points if, for instance, you pair the card with Chase sapphire preferred credit card. The card does not have an annual purchase fee and you can also earn unlimited 1% cash back on all purchases.

Chase Freedom Unlimited

Just like Chase Freedom, the Chase rewards card can be paired with a premium Chase card for the 1.5% to be converted to 1.5X.  The card does not have an annual fee. Chase Freedom Unlimited cardholders earn a flat 1.5% on all items purchased.

Chase Ink Business Unlimited

This is also among the small business credit cards offered by Chase.  It does not charge an annual fee and the rewards structure is more or less the same as that offered by Chase Freedom Unlimited. Chase Ink Business Unlimited credit card offers 1.5% cash back on every dollar spent on purchases, which can be converted to rewards when paired with another card.

215X bonus on Chase shopping portal

You can also earn numerous numbers of points by shopping online at the Chase rewards mall. There are more than 240 stores to choose from with unlimited earnings of between 1X and 6X points per dollar by just visiting the portal for purchases. To receive these points, you have to use the provided link and make purchases on the same visit.

Earning points through the Chase travel portal

Apart from booking flights, cars, hotels and activities, the Chase portal offers a chance to win rewards too. By using the Ultimate rewards travel portal to book travel-related activities, you will earn the same rate as using your cards. A few years back, only one bonus point was offered on every dollar spent, but not anymore. You can now earn 3X points for Chase Sapphire Reserve card, 2X when using Chase Sapphire Preserved card and 3X on Ink Business Preferred credit card.  One benefit that comes with booking through the Chase rewards portal is that the system stores your program information and you will earn rewards automatically after booking. In simple terms, it is Chase that buys the ticket on your behalf.

Earning points with Chase refer-a–friend

If you like a product or service, chances are that you will share your experience with a friend, but earning a reward for it is even better! By referring a friend to a Chase card, you can earn between 5,000-10,000 points. You can get a maximum of 50,000 points from referrals on a yearly basis. Once you key in your details on the Chase refer a friend page, your referral bonuses, if any, will be displayed. The Chase Sapphire Preferred card referral page, for instance, offers 10,000 points when you refer a friend. All you need to do is send a referral link to a friend via email and convince them to get started to qualify for the points.

How do you use Chase ultimate rewards?

Once your card is approved, you can start earning points by making purchases using the card. The points are accrued to your ultimate rewards account and do not have an expiry date provided your account is open. If you want your points redeemed, there are various redemption options available.

How to redeem ultimate rewards points

How your reward points will be redeemed depends on the type of credit card you are using.  Travel reward cards -which include Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve and Ink Business Preferred, provides all the same redemption benefits like cash back cards-Chase Freedom, Chase Ink Business Cash, and Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card.

Redeeming your ultimate rewards for travel

If you hold any of the Chase Travel rewards cards, you can transfer your ultimate Chase rewards points to travel and hotel partners-this is actually the best way for you to use your points. You can transfer a minimum of 1000 points and the transaction process takes between 24-48 hours.  After the transaction, you will not be able to transfer your points back to your Chase account. This means that you should make sure that you really want to transfer the points before starting out.

Chase travel portal

If you have the Chase Sapphire preferred card or the Ink Business preferred credit card, each of your ultimate rewards points is worth 1.25 cents when you book for travel in the Chase travel portal. With the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, each point is worth 1.5 cents.

Other redemption options

All the remaining redemption options are worth I cent per point, although there are specific areas that have a higher value.

Cash back as statement credit or direct deposit

You can use your points as a statement of credit at 1 cent per point. However, this is considered a poor way of redeeming your hard earned points.

Gift cards

There are also a variety of gift cards offered by Chase for point redemption. Most of these options are valued at one cent per point but there are other gift cards that offer a better value. Kohl’s gift cards, for instance, are offered 1.1 cents per point or a 10% discount.

Shopping rewards through amazon.com

Chase has also partnered with amazon.com for merchandise redemption. You can easily shop directly on amazon.com rather than using the Chase shopping portal. Currently, 125 points are valued at $100. This means that one point is worth $0.008.

Ultimate rewards points’ expiration

There are some rewards programs that cancel your points if your accounts are not active for more than six months. But this is not the case with Chase rewards points. The points do not expire provided your account is in good standing. If you decide to cancel your account, the points will be completely lost.

Final thoughts

Before signing up for any of the Chase cards, you should also consider the 5/24 rule. This is because you may not be approved for a Chase card if you have opened more than five cards in the past two years. If you hold any of the Chase cards, you can earn ultimate reward points and qualify for amazing redemption options. With the best credit card offers, you can earn a good number of points from the available bonus categories.

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