November 22, 2016
Complete Chase Ultimate Rewards Guide

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Straight to the Point

  • One of the most valuable rewards currencies out there right now is Chase Ultimate Rewards. These are the points Chase gives customers who use certain Chase credit cards.
  • They’re valuable because its relatively easy to acquire lots of them and because they can be transferred to eleven amazing partners at a 1:1 ratio.


Earning Chase UR

  • There are currently six Chase credit cards that earn UR points.
  • You can combine the points you earn from each individual card into one card’s collective pool to put together a larger stockpile of points.
  • You can earn points on the following cards:
    • Chase Sapphire Reserve-3X points per dollar on Travel & Dining, 1X on everything else.
    • Chase Sapphire Preferred-2X points per dollar on Travel & Dining, 1X on everything else.
    • Chase Freedom-5X points per dollar on rotating quarterly bonus categories on up to $1,500 in bonus category purchases per quarter, 1X on everything else.
    • Chase Freedom Unlimited-1.5X points per dollar on all purchases.
    • Chase Ink Business Preferred-3X points per dollar on the first $150,000 per year spent on Travel, Shipping, Internet, Cable, Phone, Social Media and Search Engine Advertising. 1X point per dollar on everything else.
    • Chase Ink Cash Business-5X points per dollar on the first $25,000 per year spent on Office Supply Stores, Cell Phone, Landline, Internet, and Cable TV. 2X points per dollar on the first $25,000 per year spent at Gas Stations and Restaurants. 1X point on everything else.
  • At first glance, the Chase Freedom, Unlimited, and Ink Cash Business cards look like they earn cash bank and not Ultimate Reward points. Although they’re marketed as ‘cash back’ cards, they actually earn points that you can redeem for statement credits if you choose to.
  • The beauty of these cards comes into play if you also have an Ultimate Rewards earning credit card like the Chase Sapphire Reserve, Preferred, or Ink Business Preferred. As long as you have one of these UR earning credit cards, you can easily transfer your points from the ‘cash back’ cards to the UR cards-thereby pooling your points and converting your ‘cash back’ points into far more valuable Ultimate Rewards points.
  • Chase Shopping Portal:
    • This is a shopping portal you access through your Chase account. Go to the Earn Points section of your account page and click on Shop with Chase.
    • You’ll find tons of links to hundreds of retailers like Apple, AMC, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Sephora and lots more.
    • Click on the link to the retailer you like, make a purchase like you normally would and pay with your Chase card. Chase will give you an additional 1-25 bonus points per dollar you spend!


Transfer Partners

Air France La Première

Air France La Première

  • The best way to use your Chase Ultimate Rewards points is to transfer them to the eleven transfer partners below at a 1:1 ratio and then redeem them for free flights or hotel stays.
  • British Airways Executive Club (Instant Transfer)
  • JetBlue TrueBlue (Instant Transfer)
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer (Same Day Transfer)
  • Southwest Rapid Rewards (Instant Transfer)
  • United MileagePlus (Instant Transfer)
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club (Instant Transfer)
  • Flying Blue Air France/KLM (Instant Transfer)
  • Aer Lingus
  • Iberia
  • Hyatt Gold Passport (Instant Transfer)
  • Marriott Rewards (Two Day Transfer)
  • IHG Rewards Club (One Day Transfer)
  • Ritz Carlton Rewards (Two Day Transfer)
  • Once your points are transferred, you can start redeeming for amazing travel experiences!
  • A huge advantage of Ultimate Rewards is that the points aren’t bound to one particular airline-you have the flexibility of picking from seven different airlines and four hotel chains to transfer points! And the transfer time is pretty fast as well!

Three examples of how to take advantage of transfer partners

Lofoten Islands, Norway

Lofoten Islands, Norway

  1. Transfer 70,000 points to United and book a one way business class ticket to Europe with Lufthansa (Lufthansa and United are both part of Star Alliance). Or you can redeem the same 70,000 points for a round trip economy ticket from the US to Africa!
  2. Transfer 57,375 points to Singapore KrisFlyer and fly from New York to Frankfurt in Suite Class-one of the best cabins in the sky!
  3. Transfer 45,000 points to Korean Air SKYPASS and redeem for a round trip first class ticket on Delta from North America to Mexico. (Korean Air and Delta are both members of the SkyTeam Alliance). Or you can transfer the same 80,000 points to Korean Air and redeem for a roundtrip business class flight from North America to Europe on Air France (also a member of SkyTeam)!


Chase Travel Portal

  • If you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, you can redeem each point for 1.5 cents when booking through the Ultimate Rewards Portal. For example, 100,000 points can be redeemed for $1,500 worth of airlines tickets, rental cards, hotels etc booked through Chase.
  • This can provide good value in certain circumstances but you’ll generally get far more value that 1.5 cents per point when booking premium tickets through a transfer partner.


Cash Back

  • You can redeem your points for statement credits at a rate of $0.01 per point. So, the same 100,000 points would give you a statement credit of $1,000.
  • This is by far the least valuable redemption option and I would NOT recommend it unless you’re really struggling to pay your credit card bill on time.
  • You get 50% more value if you purchase travel through Chase’s Travel Portal and even more value than that if you the transfer the points to airline or hotel partners.


Final Thoughts

JW Marriott Khao Lak Resort & Spa, Phuket

JW Marriott Khao Lak Resort & Spa, Phuket

  • I love Chase Ultimate Reward points. They are one of the most diverse reward currency’s out there today and there’s so many ways to earn them! They give you tremendous diversity at a time when airlines are constantly devaluing their programs. And the points transfer instantly in most cases!
  • So far my favorite use of Chase UR points has been to transfer them to United MileagePlus and then redeem them for a one-way flight on Lufthansa First Class from Munich to Beijing followed by an Air China Business Class flight from Beijing to Hong Kong.