Chase Ultimate Rewards points are among the best points and credit card currency out there. The Ultimate Rewards program provides you with so much flexibility to book flights through their travel portal, transfer points to travel partners, or even use it as cash.
You cannot have too many Ulitmate Rewards points. The more you have, the more you can use for free travel, travel hacking, and the ability to operate as cash.
Chase has been going toe to toe with some bigger banks like Citi, American Express, and Capital One. As the bonuses rose with other banks, Chase has consistently made their cards more valuable.
Their Ultimate Rewards program is one of the best out there. Let’s start with how this program works. We will talk about the Chase Ultimate Rewards, how to earn the points, the best credit cards, and how to redeem them.
If you want to know how to do more travel hacking, then the Chase Ultimate Rewards program is something to get familiar with. It will allow you to book free travel.
Why Chase Ultimate Rewards?
Chase Ultimate rewards provide a significant currency that can help travel for free. They are one of the best rewards programs out there. Here are some of the bonuses.
- Chase offers some of the best welcome bonuses on the market.
- Chase offers 5x points on some of the categories.
- Chase Ultimate Rewards points are super flexible, allowing people to book through their travel portal and transfer partners.
Here are 5 of the Best Chase Credit Cards to Earn Ultimate Rewards Points
Earning points starts with finding a sound credit card to earn points. Here are a couple of the best credit cards to get you started with the Ultimate Rewards Points.
Chase Sapphire Preferred
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is one of the best credit cards for beginners and travelers. With an attractive sign-up bonus, you can now start booking your free travel. You’ll earn 5x points on travel through the Chase Travel portal, 3x points on dining, and 2x points on other travel-related purchases. As a bonus, you will get a $50 hotel credit every year.
Chase Sapphire Reserve
The Chase Sapphire Reserve is like the big brother of the Chase Sapphire Preferred. It allows 3x points for travel, 3x points for dining, 5x points for travel through the Chase portal, and 10x points for booking hotels. The card also gives you a generous $300 travel credit and a Priority Pass Select membership.
The Chase Freedom Flex and Freedom Unlimited
These two cards are marketed as no annual fee cashback cards. They are your primary cashback card, but once you put these points together with the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Reserve, you have even more value to the cards.
Chase Ink Business Preferred
The Chase Ink Business Preferred is a great card to pair with the other cards. It gets you 3x points on travel and other category bonuses up to $150,000 spend per year.
Chase Ink Business Cash and Unlimited Cards
The last two cards are other Business cards. They both have an $0 annual fee. The Ink Business Cash gets rotational quarterly bonuses, and the Unlimited gets 1.5x points on unlimited purchases. You can send them back to the Reserve or Preferred cards and use them for travel.
What is the Chase Shopping Portal?
Chase has a shopping portal that will help earn more bonus points. The portal will give you access to shopping online, but you will be able to gain more points with deals. All you need is to have a Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve, and you can start to shop in this portal.
The great thing is that you will be able to gain additional points from shopping which is better than going straight to the retailer’s site.
What Can you Do with Ultimate Rewards Points?
With all of these points you may have gathered through sign-up bonuses, category bonuses, and the shopping portal, you now have enough to spend them. Ultimate Rewards points are divided up into four categories:
- Book flights, hotels, and rental cars through the portal
- Transfer the points to travel and hotel partners.
- Use the Chase Pay Yourself Back
- Get a statement credit
The best value for money would be transferring the points to travel partners or redeeming points by booking flights through the portal.
Buy Flights through the Chase Travel Portal
Expedia powers the Chase travel portal, allowing you to use the points as if they are cash. That can be a good thing to help you fly for free.
The travel portal also allows you to book travel as flights and hotels by using your card, allowing you to gain more points in the process. It offers a cash price and a points price to pick which one you would choose.
The points allow you some value to help you find some good deals that you may not be able to see with transfer partners. With the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you will get 1.25 cents per point and the Chase Sapphire Reserve gets 1.5 cents per point through the travel portal.
Transfer Points to the Chase Transfer Partners:
If the Chase travel portal is not something you want to do or the price is not the best rate, you could transfer your points to the travel partners. Transferring points to World Hyatt will give you 2 cents per point. If you move the points to a travel partner, you could get up to 2 cents per point.
Transferring points to United can get you between 1.6-3 cents per point. It all depends on how you spend the points. It also depends on the program that you are sending your points to.
These transfer partners can help you fly business class or even First class. So It is good to take a look and decide how to fly.
The Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Partners:
- Aer Lingus AerClub
- Air Canada Aeroplan
- Air France-KLM Flying Blue
- British Airways
- Emirates Skywards
- Iberia Plus
- JetBlue TrueBlue
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
- United Mileage Club
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
- IHG Rewards Club
- Marriot Bonvoy
- World of Hyatt
Use The Chase Pay Yourself Back:
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, many people were not traveling that much. Chase came up with an idea to not lose customers without the travel benefit. You could use your points to pay yourself back for purchases made at places like Target, Amazon, and Home Depot. That was the Chase Pay Yourself Back.
The great thing about the Pay Yourself Back program was that Chase was giving members 25% more value on points with the Chase Sapphire Preferred Cards and 50% more value for the Reserve card.
If you were to make a $50 purchase at Target and use your Reserve card, you would have 90 days to use your points to pay for the purchase. That purchase would then cost 3,333 points for that $50 item. So the points would be worth 1.25 cents for the Preferred Card and 1.50 cents for the Reserve card.
Buy Some Gift Cards or Amazon
You can use your points to buy gift cards if you want to use your points to purchase gift cards. The points are probably worth more being used on travel, but you can use your points to buy gift cards. If you are using Amazon, you can hook up your Chase Ultimate Rewards account to your Amazon account and use the points to pay for Amazon purchases.
How Do you Combine Points?
Having a Chase Freedom card or even a Chase Ink Business Cash card can allow you to collect many more points. The bad thing about some of these cash back cards is that you cannot use them for travel.
If you have a Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve, or Chase Ink Business Preferred, you can transfer the cashback points to these cards and use them for travel. You cannot combine all of these points in one place and spend them on a free trip.
That is one of the most incredible benefits of the Ultimate Rewards Program. You can combine all of these points to travel even better.
You can even send points to other people. So if you have a spouse, friend, or relative who would like some extra points to travel, you can send those points over and travel for free.
Chase’s 5/24 Rule
Chase does not want everyone to go overboard with signing up for credit cards. They have a rule set when applying for credit cards. The rule is called the 5/24 Rule. You cannot have more than 5 credit card applications in 24 months, or you will not be approved for a new Chase card.
If you are looking at other cards and want to top up on some Ultimate Reward Points, you may wish to apply for the Chase cards first and then go after the other cards. Their rule is to stop people from abusing the credit card industry.
Ensure you have a strategy when applying for cards not to be rejected by Chase.
As part of the 5/24 Rule, there are also rules about the Sapphire cards. You can only have one Sapphire card at a time. So have a spouse pick up an extra one to get that great bonus.
You can only get the Sapphire bonus once every 48 months. So make sure to plan for these things.
The Chase Ulitmate Rewards program is a fantastic program allowing people to use rewards credit cards to accumulate Chase points that can be used to book travel. There are many opportunities to collect the points, but opening a few different credit card accounts starts.
You can redeem the points and have travel booked using the Chase portal or transfer it to a partner with these reward bonuses. Chase points have become an excellent currency for travel, and it has allowed many average folks the opportunity to travel for free.
If you are looking for a card or avenues to collect points, check out the Chase lineup and start using the Chase Ultimate Rewards Program.
I’m Steve. I’m an English Teacher, traveler, and an avid outdoorsman. If you’d like to comment, ask a question, or simply say hi, leave me a message here, on Twitter (@thefrugalexpat1). Many of my posts have been written to help those in their journey to financial independence. I am on my journey, and as I learn more I hope to share more. And as always, thanks for reading The Frugal Expat.