Chase Ultimate Rewards: Everything You Need to Know
Chase offers its rewards cardholders the opportunity to earn points as part of the Chase Ultimate Rewards Program. The rewards will allow you to save money on everything from travel and dining to shopping and entertainment.
Depending on how you use them, Chase Ultimate Rewards points can be worth a lot more than the standard 1 cent per point, or 100 points for $1. Here’s everything you need to know about maximizing your rewards with this unique program.
How To Earn Chase Ultimate Rewards Points
You can earn Ultimate Rewards Points by using select Chase credit cards for purchases. Eligible Chase-branded cards include Sapphire, Ink and Freedom. At the very least, you’ll earn one point per $1 spent. For example, if you spend $100, you will get 100 Chase points.
What Are Chase Ultimate Rewards Points Worth?
How much Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth depends on how you redeem them. For the most part, redemption values are 1 cent per point, so 100 points equal $1, 1,000 points equal $10, and so on. However, point values can significantly increase when you transfer and redeem your Chase Ultimate Rewards Points for travel via Chase’s transfer partners.
How To Use Your Chase Points
You can benefit from your Chase Ultimate Rewards Points in different ways. Some options include cash back, gift cards, pay with points and travel.
You can redeem your points for a statement credit at a redemption rate of 1 cent per point. You can also redeem them as a deposit to most U.S. savings and checking accounts.
You can also get gift cards through Chase points. However, the standard redemption rate is 1 cent per point, which means you will have to redeem 100 points for every dollar the gift card is worth.
You can squeeze more value out of your Chase points by looking for gift cards that are discounted. For example, you might be able to snag a $25 gift card for a lesser amount of points than the usual 2,500.
Apple Ultimate Rewards Store
If you’re a fan of Apple products, you can use your points to pay for a whole or partial Apple purchase. The redemption rate is 1 cent per point.
You can use your Chase points for things like hotel accommodations and airline tickets booked through Chase’s travel portal. The redemption value you’ll receive depends on the type of Chase card you have. When booking through the Chase travel portal, the following point values apply:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve: 1.5 cent redemption rate per point
- Chase Sapphire Preferred: 1.25 cent redemption rate per point
- Chase Ink Business Preferred: 1.25 cent redemption rate per point
- Chase Ink Business Premier: 1 cent redemption rate per point
- Chase Freedom Unlimited: 1 cent redemption rate per point
- Chase Freedom Flex: 1 cent redemption rate per point
You can also use your Chase points for travel purchases via the travel portal without having enough points to cover the entire amount. Suppose you have 50,000 bonus points on your card. Assuming a 1 cent per point redemption rate, you can redeem the points to buy a domestic ticket worth up to $500 when booking through Chase’s travel portal. However, if the ticket costs an additional amount above your point total, the remaining dollar amount will be charged to your credit card.
For an even better value, you can transfer your points to one of Chase’s airline and hotel loyalty programs at a 1:1 value, which means that 1,500 Chase Ultimate Rewards points will equal the same amount when transferred. Chase has an extensive partner network of hotel chains and airlines. Some notable Chase Partners include Hyatt Hotels, United Airlines, Southwest Airlines and Marriott.
Pay With Points
Chase points allow cardholders to save money on their online shopping purchases, but the redemption value isn’t great. When you use your Chase points at checkout, each point is worth $0.008. Thus, 100 points will equate to $0.80 when you’re using your points at Amazon.com.
You also can use your points on purchases when you’re checking out with PayPal for the same low redemption rate. As a workaround, you could make your Amazon and PayPal purchases with your Chase credit card, earn 1 point per $1 and then redeem those points for cash.
Chase also offers dining and experiences, such as sporting events. You can redeem your points for events of your preference or on culinary experiences through reservations or takeout.
Pay Yourself Back Program
Chase introduced the Pay Yourself Back program during the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020. You can get a statement credit on one or more of your eligible purchases, but check to make sure you’re getting the most value for your points before you use this option. Redemption value varies by card.
Good To Know
If you have multiple Chase credit cards that qualify for Chase Ultimate Rewards or a member of your household has one, you can maximize your rewards by combining your points on the card that has the most valuable redemption option. You can also do this if you don’t have sufficient points in your account to cover a purchase. For instance, you and another member of your family can combine your points to cover a large purchase, such as an electronic, appliance or even a domestic flight.
Qualifying Chase Credit Cards
Only certain Chase credit cards qualify to earn Chase Ultimate Rewards. Here’s a rundown.
- : Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders earn 80,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of opening the account. That equals $1,200 in travel when redeemed via Chase Ultimate Rewards because this card has a 1.5 cent redemption value per point for travel, instead of the standard 1 cent for other redemption options. Plus, cardholders earn 5x points on flights booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards and 10x points on car rentals and hotel bookings through Chase Ultimate Rewards after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually.
- Chase Sapphire Preferred®: Cardholders earn 60,000 bonus points when they spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of card ownership. That equals $750 toward travel when redeemed via Chase Ultimate Rewards, because this card offers a 1.25 cent redemption value per point. Plus, you’ll earn additional points, including 5x points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards and 3x points on eligible dining, including takeout, dining out and delivery services. And each year on your account anniversary, you’ll earn 10% in bonus points based on your total purchases for the previous year.
- Chase Ink Business Preferred: Cardholders earn 100,000 points after spending $15,000 in purchases within the first three months. That equals $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards due to the 1.25 cent redemption per point. Plus, cardholders earn 3 points per $1 on up to $150,000 of combined purchases in designated categories.
- Chase Ink Business Premier: This card offers cash back in the form of a statement credit, but you can opt for Ultimate Rewards points instead. New members receive $1,000 bonus cash back after spending $10,000 on purchases in the first three months after account opening. You also get 2.5% cash back on purchases of $5,000 or more and 2% on all other purchases. Members who pay their balance in full each month earn additional benefits.
- : Receive a $200 cash-back bonus after spending $500 in purchases within the first three months. Earn 5% on up to $12,000 in supermarket purchases — excluding Target and Walmart — in the first year and on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards. You also receive 3% on eligible dining and drug store purchases. When booking travel via the Chase Travel portal, rewards do not have extra value; they are worth 1 cent per point.
- : Cardholders earn $200 cash back after spending $500 in purchases within the first three months and get 5% back on up to $12,000 in supermarket purchases — excluding Target and Walmart — in the first year. They also earn 5% each quarter on up to $1,500 worth of purchases in a designated category, plus 3% on dining and drug store purchases. When booking travel via the Chase Travel portal, however, rewards do not have extra value; they are worth 1 cent per point.
Is Chase Ultimate Rewards Worth It?
Chase Ultimate Rewards is a comprehensive rewards program that gives card members lots of opportunities to earn and redeem points. However, your satisfaction with the program will depend on the card you choose. Select one that’s a good match for your credit profile and your spending in the categories that earn the most points.
Be especially mindful of the annual fees. Cards with a $0 annual fee, such as the Freedom cards, are a no-pressure way to accumulate points, so they’re a good fit for anyone who doesn’t need extensive travel benefits. If, on the other hand, you’re earning Ultimate Rewards on a card with an annual fee, the program will be worth it only if you receive more value from the benefits than you spend to carry the card.
On the whole, the Chase Ultimate Rewards points program is quite attractive. You can use the points to save money on things like gift cards, travel and experiences. The worst way to use your points is by exchanging them for a lesser value, such as the $0.008 per point offered when paying for Amazon.com or PayPal purchases. And one of the best ways to redeem your points is to transfer them to one of Chase’s hotel or airline partners that offer a 1:1 point value.
FAQHere are some frequently asked questions about Chase points.
- Do Chase points expire?
- Chase points don't expire if your account is still open. However, you lose your points if your account is closed due to failure to pay, fraudulent activities or program misuse. Your Chase points also expire in the event of bankruptcy.
- How do I redeem Chase Ultimate Reward points?
- To redeem your Chase Ultimate Reward points, log into your account and select the Earn/Use button that shows how many points you have. Then, from the navigation links that appear on your screen, select the category for which you want to use your points, or select Ways to Use.
- How do I redeem Chase points for travel?
- If you've earned the points through traditional Chase credit cards, you can redeem them as described above, by selecting Travel as the category and entering your destination and other information as prompted on the next screen. Points are also redeemable through select booking sites.
- If you've earned points through a branded hotel or airline credit card, you have to redeem your points directly from the brand in question.
- What is the Apple Ultimate Rewards Store?
- Chase lets you pay for Apple purchases using your rewards points. However, it may not be the best option – many people have reported that when you buy Apple products through Chase's rewards center, you don't get Apple's 14-day return policy. Thus, you can return your product only if it's damaged or defective.
Information is accurate as of Nov. 16, 2022.
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The information related to the Chase Sapphire Reserve, Sapphire Preferred, Ink Business Preferred, Ink Business Premier, Freedom Unlimited and Freedom Flex cards was collected by GOBankingRates and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of these cards. Product details may vary. Please see the issuer’s website for current information. GOBankingRates does not receive commission for these products.