Chase Ultimate Rewards: Our Complete Guide to Maximizing Your Points

Chase Ultimate Rewards is the best credit card rewards program available. Whether you love travel, gift cards, or cash back, Chase rewards are flexible enough to meet your needs. In this Chase Ultimate Rewards review, we'll teach you the best ways to earn Chase points and redeem them for maximum value.

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Chase Ultimate Rewards still reign supreme – even in the midst of a pandemic.

Chase rewards are some of the most flexible points and miles you’ll find. Offering point transfers to over a dozen travel partners is impressive, and this will continue to make Chase points super valuable once travel opens up again. Even more impressive is the number of ways you can redeem your points for non-travel expenses. To top it off, the core of the program hasn’t been devalued in years so the points you earn really are worth it.

When you put it all together, the Chase Ultimate Rewards program is vastly superior to other rewards programs like Citi ThankYou and American Express Membership Rewards. Even though I started playing the rewards game several years ago, this is still the program I tend to focus on.

Since I’ve been crushing on the program for a long time, I decided to create this guide to using Chase Ultimate Rewards. Through examples and personal experiences, I’ll show you how to earn Chase points, explain how to redeem your points for the most value, and describe which pitfalls to avoid. I’ll also clue you in on some of my favorite ways that I’ve used my own stash of points.

Let’s get started!

Best Cards for Earning Chase Points

  • card_name – Best for for Beginners
  • card_name – Best for Frequent Travelers
  • card_name – Best Overall for Business
  • card_name – Best for Unlimited Cash Back and No Annual Fee
  • card_name – Best for 5% Cash Back Bonus Categories
  • card_name – Best Unlimited Cash Back for Business
  • card_name – Best for 5% Cash Back Bonus Categories for Business

How to Earn Chase Ultimate Rewards Points

As you probably guessed, Chase offers some of the best travel credit cards on the market. Although you can’t earn Chase Ultimate Rewards (UR) with every Chase credit card, there are currently several cards that help you secure this valuable travel currency.

I’ve listed each card below, complete with details on their current bonus structure, annual fee, and a brief explanation of each card’s top benefits. The first three are “premium” cards which earn Chase UR points directly. The final four cards are “cash back” cards which allow you to convert your cash back to UR points.


Current Bonus: 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in first 3 months


Card Details: For frequent travelers, we think the card_name is the best card on the market. This card offers a nice 60,000 point signup bonus (after spending $4,000 in first 3 months) and offers a ton of important travel benefits. For starters, you’ll get a $300 annual travel credit you can use for any type of travel. Beyond that, you’ll get 50% more value out of your points (1.5 cents/point, to be exact) when you book travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. That means, the signup bonus is worth $900 in travel purchased through the portal. The card also offers a one-year complimentary membership to Lyft Pink and up to $120 in credits toward DoorDash. Last but not least, a Priority Pass Select airport lounge membership is also included. The card does come with a $550 annual fee, so you’ll want to weigh the pros and cons before you sign up. But, if you’re a heavy traveler, this is one card to consider.

Annual Fee: $550

Learn how to apply| Read our review


Current Bonus: 100,000 points when spending $15,000 in the first 3 months


Card Details: Even though the card_name is for businesses, it still allows you to earn Chase points. Currently, the card doles out 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 of annual spending in select categories – such as online advertising, cellular phone, shipping, and travel. You’ll also earn a flat 1 point per $1 spent on all of your other business purchases. You’ll earn 100,000 points after you spend $15,000 on your card within three months, but there is a $95 annual fee. If you had to choose one business card, this is the one to get. We use it for our business and highly recommend it to other small business owners.

Annual Fee: annual_fees

Learn how to apply | Read our review


Intro Offer: Additional 1.5% cash back on first $20,000 in spending during the first year (up to $300 value)


Card Details: The card_name went through a major update, and we love what we see! The card does earn Ultimate Rewards points, however, those points do not transfer to partner loyalty programs unless you carry one of the premium rewards cards listed above. You’ll earn an unlimited 5x points on travel purchased using the Chase portal, 3x points at restaurants and drugstores, and 1.5x points the rest of your purchases. On top of that, all purchases earn an additional 1.5% cash back on the first $20,000 you spend during the first year you have the card (Value: Up to $300). Best of all, the card comes with no annual fee. If you are a cash back enthusiasts, this is a card you need to have in your wallet.

Annual Fee: annual_fees

Learn how to apply | Read our review


Signup Bonus: $200 after spending $500 in first 3 months


Card Details: The card_name offers a hefty set of cash back perks without an annual fee. Like the Unlimited card, however, you can’t transfer those points to partner loyalty programs unless you also have the Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Reserve, or Ink Business Preferred card. After signing up, you can earn 1 point per $1 spent on all purchases and 5 points per $1 spent on your first $1,500 of spending in bonus categories that rotate every quarter. You’ll also earn a nifty 5x points on travel purchased through the portal. So, if you’re looking to max out your cash back, this is the card for you. The signup bonus is also incredibly easy to achieve. Just spend $500 in the first 3 months and earn a smooth $200.

Annual Fee: annual_fees

Learn how to apply | Read our review


Current Bonus: $750 after spending $6,000 in the first 3 months


Card Details: The card_name is another option business owners can use to earn Chase points. With this card, you’ll earn a $750 cash back bonus when you make $6,000 in purchases the first three months you have it. You’ll also earn an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all business purchases. To top it off, the card offers an introductory 0% APR on purchases for the first 12 months (variable 17.74%-23.74% APR after that), employee cards at no additional cost, and no annual fee. 

Annual Fee: annual_fees

Learn how to apply | Read our review


Current Bonus: $750 cash back after making $6,000 in purchases in the first 3 months


Card Details: If you have a business but prefer a cash back card instead of a rewards card, the card_name may be the perfect fit. With this card, you’ll earn a $750 cash back bonus after making just $6,000 in purchases in the first three months. You’ll also earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 you spend each year in certain business categories – including cable/phone/internet and purchases at office supply stores. Purchases at gas stations and restaurants will also earn you a cool 2% cash back (up to the first $25,000 spent). All other purchases earn 1% cash back. Even better, the card also provides access to Chase Ultimate Rewards, which is huge!

Annual Fee: annual_fees

Learn how to apply

Options for Redeeming Rewards

The main reason Chase Ultimate Rewards points are so lucrative is the fact that they are so dang versatile. Depending on your travel needs and goals, you can easily find a way to use your points that meets needs. Here are three ways you can (and should) consider using your Chase Ultimate Rewards points for travel:

  • Redeem points for cash back
  • Book travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Portal
  • Transfer points to Chase Ultimate Rewards partner programs

Redeeming Points for Cash Back

If you choose to redeem your points for cash value, you’ll receive a one cent per point. As an example, the signup bonus on the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, which now sits at 60,000 points after you spend $4,000 on your card within 90 days, is worth $600 in cash back. When you redeem your points this way, you can book any type of travel you want (or use your cash back for anything else).

While this isn’t the best option offered, it’s nice to know you can redeem your points for cash if you really want to. Personally, I find that kind of flexibility important.

Also, you never know what could happen in your life. A lot of people think they’ll have time to travel but wind up not being able to go anywhere due to work or health problems. Since this card gives you the option to redeem points for cash back, you’ll never get stuck with points you can’t use.

Booking Travel Through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Portal

If you’re going to book travel, using your points to book travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal is usually an excellent option. When you use points from the Chase Sapphire Preferred card to book travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, your points go 25% further. That’s why, for example, you might hear how 60,000 points is worth $750 in travel through the Chase portal.

chart comparing Chase Sapphire Preferred to Capital One Venture card

When you use the Reserve version of the card, however, your points stretch 50 percent further. Best of all, booking through the portal allows you to book almost any type of travel experience, a flight with any airline, and hotel stays with any participating hotel.

In a lot of ways, booking travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal is a lot like using Expedia. In fact, the Chase travel portal is actually powered through Expedia. The only difference is, your points allow you to book travel for free.

Here’s what the Chase travel portal looks like:

Chase travel portal screenshot

Personally, I’ve had a ton of luck booking travel through the Chase portal. I love booking hotels there, and have even booked some condo-type hotels in Europe through the portal entirely on points.

I am also huge on booking excursions, and I occasionally book a flight through the portal if the price is right. Sometimes the portal is more expensive, but there are great deals to be had there, too. It’s always worth checking to see how prices compare so you can find the best deal.

In the few years, I’ve used the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal to book some insanely cook travel. This includes:

  • An Amalfi Coast boat trip from Rome, Italy with a day trip to Positano
  • A snorkeling excursion in Cozumel, Mexico
  • Hotels in Scotland, England, and Norway
  • A shark swimming excursion on Bora Bora

Don’t believe me about swimming with sharks? Check this out!

Yep, that happened. But really, those are just a few of cool adventures I’ve booked with Chase Ultimate Rewards. Over the years, I have probably booked 30-40 day trips and tours all over the world – that’s in addition to flights, hotels, and more.

Transfering Points to Partner Loyalty Programs

If you travel frequently, you already know how valuable the points offered by many of the top loyalty programs can be. And in my opinion, this is where Chase Ultimate Rewards really shines.

The fact that Chase partners with so many popular airlines and hotel chains makes transferring points an extremely popular option. And, since points transfer to all partners at a 1:1 ratio makes these transfers especially lucrative.

Chase Ultimate Rewards Partners

Speaking of Chase Ultimate Rewards partners, here is an updated list of Chase travel partners:

Chase Ultimate Rewards Hotel Partners

  • Marriott Bonvoy
  • IHG
  • Hyatt

Chase Ultimate Rewards Airline Partners

  • United Airlines
  • Southwest Airlines
  • British Airways
  • Air France/KLM (Flying Blue)
  • Emirates
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • JetBlue
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Iberia Plus
  • Aer Lingus AerClub

Any of the current Chase transfer partners could be a good fit for a specific destination, though whether or not you should use them depends on where you’re traveling and when. And, in case you forgot, Marriott recently combined the Marriott Rewards, SPG, and Ritz-Carlton programs into Marriott Bonvoy – which is a big win if you have a lot of Chase points.

We’ll dive into how these options work later, but I also want to be clear that transferring Chase points to loyalty partners can be extremely lucrative. My favorite Chase partners are IHG, Southwest Airlines, Air France (Flying Blue), and Hyatt, although I have used almost all of these loyalty programs at one point or another.

Best Ways to Use Chase Points

While there is no “right way” to pursue or redeem credit card rewards, some options are certainly a lot more lucrative than others. To highlight some of those options, I’ve included a short list of example scenarios below. All of these travel experiences can be booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards!

#1) Transferring Points to Southwest Airlines

If you live near a Southwest hub, Southwest Airlines will almost always offer the best deal you can find on domestic travel and fares to the Caribbean. Because their rewards program is fare-based, you can shop around for deals and book your flight when the price is as low as it will go.

Pro Tip: With one of the Southwest Visa Cards, you can rack up points even faster! Right now, you can earn 40,000 bonus points for any of the personal cards after spending $1,000 in the first three months!

You can sometimes find round-trip flights for as little as 8,000 Rapid Rewards points each. Flights to the Caribbean can also be found for less than 12,500 points per leg, which makes this an awesome option for families who don’t have a lot of points to go around.

With just two signup bonuses on the Chase Sapphire Preferred card (one for each spouse or partner), you can normally book up to four round-trip flights to tropical destinations like Aruba, Jamaica, Costa Rica, Belize, Nassau, Punta Cana, and Cancun.

I have personally used Southwest Airlines to fly my entire family to Jamaica for spring break twice, and travel to places like Denver, Los Angeles, Raleigh, Cancun, Puerto Rico, and New York City. And if you have the Southwest Companion Pass, your points can go even further.

#2: Transfer to Air France/KLM (Flying Blue) for cheap flights to Europe

Over the last few years, we have flown our entire family to Europe about half a dozen times – practically for free. We paid for several of these flights by racking up points we could transfer to Flying Blue through programs like Chase Ultimate Rewards and American Express Membership Rewards.

I love how lucrative the Flying Blue loyalty program is. Since round-trip economy flights to Europe can cost 50,000 miles per person (plus around $100 in taxes and fees) or less, we can fly to Europe on points pretty easily.

Two years ago, we used Flying Blue miles to fly into Munich and home from Zurich. A few summers ago, we also flew into Venice and home from Naples with Flying Blue miles. It was awesome! Although we’ve had to put traveling to Europe on hold for the moment, we’ll definitely be using some Chase rewards points once we can get back there.

#3: Booking activities through the Chase Travel Portal

While you don’t often hear about people booking activities through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, I personally find awesome savings there – regardless of whether I’m paying in points or cash.

If you plan on taking part in a snorkeling excursion, going zip-lining, or booking a guided tour of a museum or attraction, you can often find stellar deals through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. Better yet, your points go 25% – 50% further if you use them to book your event depending on the Chase card you have.

Recently, I booked some trips out of Croatia for 4,000 – 10,000 points each. We took one trip to Bosnia and Herzegovina, and another to Montenegro and the Bay of Kotor. These trips were fantastic. Best of all, they were 100% free.

#4: Transferring Chase Points to Hyatt

Hyatt is one of my favorite redemption options since their program is fairly valuable and your points go pretty far. Even a top-tier property like the Park Hyatt Vendome in Paris costs just 30,000 points per night, and you can even book their all-inclusive resorts starting at about 25,000 Hyatt points per night. Pretty sweet.

#5: Finding awesome hotel deals through the Chase travel portal

Getting 25% more value in travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal can be rather “meh” at times, but absolutely lucrative in other instances. It really depends on where you’re going, what your dates are, and how rates stack up to rates offered on other sites.

With that being said, I have noticed plenty of awesome all-inclusive resorts you can book for as little as 12,000 points per night for a family of four in places like Jamaica and the Mexico. And, when I was browsing hotels for a trip we were considering to Greece, I found all kinds of three star properties offered for as little as 6,000 points per night. When you find deals like this, your points can go a whole lot further.

#6: Transferring Points to British Airways for Short-Haul Flights

Even after a relatively recent British Airways devaluation, transferring points to this airline for short-haul flights is still an epic deal. Most short-haul flights in the U.S. will only cost 7,500 points per leg.

If you fly a lot of domestic routes and have some flexibility in terms of the dates and times you fly, these points can really help you go far. We’ve even used British Airways miles to fly to Grand Cayman a few years back! Depending on where you want to go and when, you should find plenty of options available.

Worst Ways to Use Chase Rewards

While there really is no “wrong way” to use credit card rewards, some of the ways you can redeem your points aren’t very lucrative. It doesn’t mean you should never choose one of these options, but it means you should think long and hard before you do. Here are a few of the worst ways to redeem your Chase Ultimate Rewards points:

Redeeming Chase Points for Low-Value Gift Cards – While you can generally get one cent per point when you redeem your Chase rewards for gift cards, that isn’t always the case. Sadly, a lot of low value gift cards in the $25 range require you to redeem more than one point for each cent of value you receive. (e.g. 30,000 points for a $25 gift card) Redeeming points for gift cards isn’t a stellar option to begin with, but redeeming them for low value gift cards can be even worse. If you want gift cards, go for any option that gives you at least one cent per point.

Redeeming Chase Rewards for Merchandise – Redeeming points for merchandise is an exceptionally bad idea across all rewards programs, but that’s especially true when it comes to Chase Ultimate Rewards. Depending on the type of merchandise you pick up, you could get as little as .5 cents per point! If you want to use your Chase points for merchandise, the least you can do is redeem your points for cash back at a rate of one cent per point. Then, head to the store to buy the item yourself.

Transferring Points to a Chase Partner Without Checking Prices – This is a bad scenario that I’ve seen time and time again. Someone transfers their points to a loyalty program without checking the actual cost of their flight or hotel first. This often happens with high-value hotels through Chase transfer partners. The Holiday Inn Resort in Montego Bay, for example, runs about 50,000 IHG points if you book it through IHG. However, rooms often go for as little as 15,000 points per night through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. If you transferred your points and booked this option through IHG when prices are this low, you would be wasting 35,000 points per night.

Transferring Points to British Airways to Fly to Europe – Often, prices on British Airways flights to Europe are absolutely obscene. This is because they tack on huge taxes and fuel surcharges for many of their transatlantic itineraries. While a lot of people assume they’ll want to fly British Airways to London specifically, you are almost always better off utilizing a different airline loyalty program. Before transferring points to British Airways (or any other airline, for that matter), it helps to find out how many points you’ll need for the flight ahead of time. But, don’t forget to check on airline taxes and fees to ensure they’re fair and comparable to what other airlines are charging.

How I’ve Used Chase Ultimate Rewards Points

Over the years, we have racked up and spent hundreds of thousands of Chase Ultimate Rewards points. While some of these points weren’t all that exciting to redeem, others turned out to be some of our favorite point redemptions of all time! Here are some of the best ways we have redeemed our Chase Ultimate Rewards points over the years:

Transferring points to Southwest is almost always a win.

Jamaica 1
My kiddos at the Holiday Inn Resort in Jamaica!

Over the years, my husband and I have had the Southwest Companion Pass multiple times. (Unfortunately, it’s a lot harder to get than it once was.) Some of our favorite Southwest trips include flying to Denver to see a concert, the time we flew to Mexico to spend a week with friends in Playa del Carmen, and – of course – all of the trips we have taken with our kids.

Thanks to the flexibility of Southwest points, we have even used them to fly to Jamaica for spring break twice! The first time, we brought my parents along. The second time, however, we brought along my parents and my sister’s family! 

See Also: How We Booked a Trip to Jamaica for Free

I am obsessed with using Chase points for excursions.

Snorkel selfie….

While a lot of travel bloggers make fun of excursions and guided tours, I absolutely love them! In fact, I always check the Chase portal for activities any time we travel somewhere new. So far, my favorite activities booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal include a) the time we booked a black Mercedes airport transfer in Rome, b) a three-stop snorkeling tour I booked in Cancun, and c) the time I booked a three-city guided tour all over the Tuscany region of Italy. These “extras” were a lot of time at the time, and they were items I normally wouldn’t want to pay for. Since I could use points to book them, it made the “splurge” seem a lot more sensible.

Hyatt transfers are AMAZING!

park hyatt
One of the nicest hotels we have stayed in by far

I get pretty excited about almost all of Hyatt’s properties and their rewards program in general. Why? In addition to being able to use your points at properties worldwide (including some awesome all-inclusive resorts), the program hasn’t been devalued like many of the other hotel programs....yet. My favorite Hyatt redemption so far is when we stayed at the Park Hyatt Vendome in Paris. Rooms were over $900 per night when we stayed, but we didn’t pay a dime for the experience. It was awesome!

Tips for Maximizing Your Chase Rewards Haul

Now that you know all about Chase Ultimate Rewards and their many valuable uses, it’s time to explore the different ways you can rack up as many points as possible! Obviously, more points = more free travel! If you’re looking for a way to earn thousands of dollars in free travel, here are some top strategies to consider.

Apply for new credit cards and earn huge signup bonuses. – Obviously, the easiest way to rack up a ton of Chase points is by signing up for credit cards and earning their respective signup bonuses. By signing up for the card_name, card_name, and card_name over time, you can earn well over 100,00 points through just the signup bonuses alone.

Get your spouse to sign up for double the points. – If you play your cards right, both you and your spouse can sign up for the same Chase cards and earn the signup bonuses twice! If you want to go this route, however, you’ll want to make sure you don’t add each other as an authorized user. Why? Because some of the new rules from Chase make it harder to get a Chase card if your spouse has one and you are their authorized user already.

Beware the Chase 5/24 rule. – A few years back, a new rule dubbed the “Chase 5/24 Rule” was created, making it harder to earn multiple signup bonuses. Recent developments have made earning a signup bonus on certain cards even harder. In summary, the rule states that you may not be approved for a new card if you have had five other new credit cards within the past two years. Additionally, you can not earn a bonus on any Chase Sapphire card within 48 months of earning a bonus on another Sapphire card. So, if you were hoping to bypass the 5/24 rule and get the two best Chase cards at once, you’re out of luck.

Maximize spending on bonus categories. – Since the Chase Freedom Flex offers 5x points on your first $1,500 spent in categories that rotate every quarter, you’ll want to pay special attention to those categories and maximize them as much as you can. Meanwhile, you could use your Chase Freedom Unlimited for drugstore and restaurant purchases since you earn 3x points. The Ink Business Preferred Credit Card, on the other hand, offers an amazing 3x points on your first $150,000 spent in categories like travel, online advertising, and cellular service. If you can maximize any of these bonus categories, you’ll earn a ton more points over time!

Get a business card if you have business expenses. – If you have any kind of business, then signing up for the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card is an absolute no-brainer. Not only does it offer a huge signup bonus, but it makes it easy to earn a ton of points over time. Since we’re bloggers, we take advantage of the 3x points we earn on business travel and online advertising. However, I could see this card leading to huge earnings for almost any business owner. Here’s the best part: You can pool points from all your Chase accounts into a single account where you can get the most value. I typically pool all our points in our Chase Sapphire Reserve account so I can score 50 percent off travel or transfer them to loyalty partners 1:1.

Utilize the Chase shopping portal. – Once you have any of these Chase cards in your wallet, use the Chase shopping portal any time you buy anything online. By logging into your Ultimate Rewards account and opting to “earn points by shopping through Chase,” you’ll be redirected to a page that shows the bonus points you can earn simply by clicking through to shop with certain retailers. If you plan to buy an item anyway – especially if it’s a big ticket item – you can often earn 4x extra points just by clicking through the Chase portal first. And remember, these “bonus points” are on top of the points you’ll earn by using your Chase card for the purchase!

chase screen shot 1

Chase Ultimate Rewards: The Final Word

Chase Ultimate Rewards are the most valuable points around. Learn how to earn Chase points and redeem them for maximum value with our complete guide!

Using Chase Ultimate Rewards has allowed us to travel the world for pennies on the dollar. Their high-value redemptions, awesome transfer partners, and fantastic flexibility easily make them my favorite rewards points to earn and redeem.

Start earning your points today by clicking through any of the links above.

Thanks for reading and happy traveling!

Chase Ultimate Rewards FAQs

How do I earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points?

To earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points, simply apply for one of seven Chase credit cards that earn Chase points. Keep in mind, cash back cards do not allow you to transfer points to partner loyalty programs. Thus, you’ll need to carry one of Chase’s premium cards in order to take full advantage of the Ultimate Rewards program.

How much are Chase Ultimate Rewards points worth?

The value of Chase Ultimate Rewards points ranges from 1 to 1.5 cents per point, depending which credit cards you hold and where you redeem your points.

For example, if you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve, you can redeem 50,000 points for $750 in travel through the Chase portal (1.5 cents/point). In many cases, transferring points to partner loyalty programs can provide even more value.

How do I redeem my Chase points?

Chase Ultimate Rewards points can be redeemed for cash, gift cards, travel, and more. They can also be transferred to partner loyalty programs at a 1:1 ratio.

What is the best way to use Chase points?

The best way to use your Chase points depends on your personal situation. Typically, redeeming your points for travel or transferring your points to travel partners provides the most value per point.

Which programs are Chase transfer partners?

Currently, there are thirteen Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partners. Hotel partners include Marriott, IHG, and Hyatt. Airline partners include United, Southwest, British Airways, Air France/KLM (Flying Blue), Emirates, Virgin Atlantic, JetBlue, Singapore Airlines, Iberia Plus, and Aer Lingus.

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  1. WOW! This is impressive even for someone who doesn’t use credit cards! 🙂 I am going to store this under “readthisifievergetacreditcard”!!!

  2. Jaime @ Jaime Donovan says:

    These are fabulous. You’re the queen of credit card rewards. =)

  3. I’m a big fan of Chase Ultimate Rewards. Transferring to Hyatt is what I’ve mainly used it for. I’ve also used their travel portal once to rent a car and it was a much better price compared to what I found online. I should really use the shopping portal too so that I can rack up even more points.

  4. This is great Holly! I have a Southwest Rewards card but no cards that earn Chase Ultimate Rewards yet but this is good to know. I like how you included some of the worst redemption methods because in my opinion, if you’re going to have a rewards card, it’s best to put in the time and effort to use the rewards the best way possible.

    1. please remember this crazy rule,
      Only certain cards allow for program transfer benefits.

      I have a Freedom card which accumulates UR but is not allowed to transfer out to partners.
      Come in handy my Business Ink Preferred.
      I do combine my points here and use it as transfer hub to all programs.

      Get a transfer ready card, and accumulate from all.

  5. Great breakdown Holly! We love UR points as well and usually use them for Southwest or Hyatt for travel. We’ve held off on racking up sign-up bonuses for the past year or so with us getting ready to buy a house, so we’re looking forward to get back at it.

  6. A really great summary. We’re using the Ink card now, to transfer points to United for a flight next summer. For our trip to Asia this winter, we transferred point to BA for some short flights in between countries. The flexibility of the points is pretty much unmatched: so many options.

  7. These Chase points are SO dang valuable. I was upset when Chase wouldn’t let me sign up for the Chase Sapphire Preferred because I had too many cards open within the past 2 years (I swear they may have even said THREE years). My wife opened it, though, and we are stocking up on United miles. I just go the Chase Ink and my wife will eventually get the United card and we’ll have a boatload of miles. Can’t wait!

  8. I’m interested, but I don’t think I could spend $4k in 90 days for the one card. Subtracting the mortgage, I spend less than $1k per month on everything else. Would’ve been a good one to snag before christmas. I’m curious what other good options there are for people that spend little like me, I’ve never churned Credit Cards before.


  9. Just a question re the Southwest cards: I’m waiting for the 50,000 pt. sign up bonus. If that happens and I get the card, I know I’ll have to pay the $99 annual fee for the first year. After the bonus pts. are in my Rapid Rewards account, can I cancel the card and not lose the points? Even though they give you 6,000 pts on your anniversary date, I don’t want to keep paying the $99 fee. If my husband also gets a card, that would give us 100,000 RR points to use–would probably take us a couple years to go through those. I think I’d be able to sign up for another card at that time–if they’re offering the bonus pts. again, of course.
    Thanks for answering my question.

    1. Hi Mary!
      Yes, you can cancel. Once your Southwest points are in your Southwest account, they are beyond the control and scope of your credit card – they are yours and cannot be taken away. Southwest miles do expire every 18 months with no activity though, but you can keep them active by doing a little shopping through the Southwest shopping portal – you don’t even need the credit card to do that.
      With that being said, do you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred already? As I’m sure you know, Chase points transfer to Southwest 1:1!

      1. No, not yet. We both just did the Chase Freedom for $300 in cc credit. I did a USAA Mastercard for $200 credit; and we did the Citi Premier last December for $530 in travel credit. We also opened a checking acct. at Chase for $250 signing bonus. Second time we did that–first time was $200 and we closed acct. after 6 months. Will do the same with this one in the event we get another offer in year or two. It’s tough to spend $3,000 in 3 months on cc’s for us–no kids at home anymore and DH works for different caterers and brings home all sorts of free food–so much that we are constantly giving much of it to our neighbors. They love us! So, like I did with the Citi Premier last year, we would use the two Southwest cards to pay our property taxes (@ $3,000 year). If they aren’t offering the 50,000 bonus at that time, we will then do the Chase Preferred.

        Thanks, again, for all your help!

  10. Do you know when the Chase UR points came into existence? Is there a history or it just popped up in 2010 or something? Thanks.

  11. Been an AMEX rewards user for more than 10 years now. Been happy with them as well but I do like the Hyatt Redemption that you mentioned here a lot. We used the Hyatt Hotels for almost 75% of our travels and being a Chicagoan, we’ve used Southwest Airlines many times for our domestic travels. Just wondering how easy it is to transfer those reward points to these two. Can I easily do it through the Chase portal? Many thanks.

    1. We transfer to Southwest and Hyatt regularly. It is super easy. You do it online via the Chase Ultimate Rewards website, and the transfers are nearly instant.

      1. In order to transfer UR points do you need to have a Southwest CC , or just their FF card? Same question for Hyatt? Thank you.

  12. Mike@ms4profit says:

    I love Chase Ultimate Rewards. I use them ALL the time when traveling around the world. I learned a couple new tips – so thanks.

    1. Fantastic! We love them too. Thanks so much for reading and we’re glad we could help 🙂

  13. Gina L Johnson says:

    You note that when you use the Chase Reserve Portal that “When you use the Reserve version of the card, however, you get 50 percent off the travel you book”. How is the 50% off seen? I’ve used the site with my reserve card previously and didn’t see a discount.

    1. You get 50% MORE TRAVEL for your points with the CSR. However, you will only see CSR prices when you log into your account and search for travel. You would see higher prices if you logged in with a different card like the Chase Freedom.

  14. Nancy A Osterberg says:

    Hod to redeem points for a gift card? I don’t travel any more so just want a gift card.

  15. Great breakdown Holly! We love UR points as well and usually use them for Southwest or Hyatt for travel. We’ve held off on racking up sign-up bonuses for the past year or so with us getting ready to buy a house, so we’re looking forward to get back at it.

  16. I have a Chase Freedom and a Chase Sapphire card. Is there any difference in which account I keep my Ultimate Rewards under? Since it lets you transfer points between accounts, I would keep all my points on one card if one is more beneficial

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