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How to Earn and Use Chase Ultimate Rewards

Ultimate Rewards are considered by many to be the cream of the crop when it comes to reward points. It's not hard to see why frequent travelers love these points as much as they do. With the right card combination Ultimate Rewards are easy to accrue and you are able to redeem points in a variety of ways. 

First up, what are Ultimate Rewards points worth? This is probably the question that throws people off the most because it depends on what Chase cards you have. There are 3 tiers of value, depending on what card(s) you carry. Points can be transferred between cards, so you're eligible for the highest tier possible.

Sapphire Preferred

Chase Ultimate Rewards Redemption Values
Cards 1 Cent 1.25 cents 1.5 cents
Freedom Unlimited,
Ink Business Cash
Gift Cards,
Cash Back
Sapphire Preferred,
Ink Business Preferred
Gift Cards,
Cash Back
Sapphire Reserve
Gift Card, Cash BackN/ATravel

If you are looking to redeem your points for travel, consider transferring your Ultimate Rewards to one of Chase's partners. Transfers are generally instant, but may take up to 48 hours. You'll need to have a card that carries an annual fee to unlock this feature, which means carrying the Sapphire Preferred for most people.

The general rule of thumb is to see how much a reward redemption will cost your through an airline or hotel's loyalty program before you book. For example, if you want to stay at the Miami Marriott, and a night is going to cost you 20,000 Marriott points or $150, you are better off redeeming through Chase's travel portal using your standard Ultimate Rewards rather than transferring points to Marriott.  At the lowest cash redemption rate you would use 15,000 points, versus booking with Marriott for 20,000 points. 

Ultimate Rewards Hotel Partners
HotelTransfer Rate
IHG (Holiday Inn)1:1

If you are looking to see what a hotel is going to cost you in points, AwardMapper is a great tool to use. You can see what hotels are available for a certain number of points in that chain's reward currency. AwardHacker offers a similar tool for airlines.

Ultimate Rewards Airline Partners
AirlineTransfer Rate
Virgin Atlantic1:1
Korean Air1:1
Flying Blue1:1
Kris Flyer1:1
British Airways1:1

So how are you going to earn your Ultimate Rewards? Here's another chart to help you pick the right card(s) for you depending on your purchasing patterns. For us, the winning combination is the Freedom, Freedom Unlimited, and Sapphire Reserve. This allows us to get 1.5 points on everyday purchases, 5 points on rotating categories throughout the year, and 3 points on travel and dining. It also puts us in the highest point value tier of 1.5 cents when redeemed for travel.

How to Earn Chase Ultimate Reward Points
CardAnnual FeeBest Earn Rate
Freedom$05 points in rotating categories
Freedom Unlimited$01.5 points on every purchase
Sapphire Preferred$952 points on travel and dining
Sapphire Reserve$450 3 points on travel and dining
Business Cash$0Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV services each account anniversary year
Business Preferred$95Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in select categories each account anniversary year

How Else Can You Earn Ultimate Rewards Points?

Chase offers a shopping portal that you can use when shopping online to give your earnings a bit of a boost. CashBackMonitor is a good tool to use to see what additional rewards are being offered. Just remember that these rewards can be stacked with any rewards you'll earn on your everyday credit card spend, so you get to double dip! 

You'll also be able to pool any points with a spouse or significant other if you share an address. This will help you achieve the highest redemption tier possible.

Looking to start your Ultimate Rewards Journey? Check out one of the cards below.

For Consumers:

For Business Owners: