- Features 13 transfer partners
- Points never expire
- Travel tool offers discount for select cards
- All redemption options offer great value
- Minimum number of points required for redemption
- Bonus categories may rotate & require sign up
- Earning rate may vary based on amount spent
- Cash back distributed in the form of points
Chase Ultimate Rewards Review Summary
Chase Ultimate Rewards is the 7th best credit card rewards program, according to WalletHub's latest comparison, receiving 86 points out of a possible 100. The Chase Ultimate Rewards program features some of the most popular credit cards on the market, including the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card.
Chase rewards cards provide Ultimate Rewards points, which are generally worth 1 cent to 1.5 cents apiece, depending on which card you have and how you redeem. There are plenty of redemption options, from a statement credit to travel booked through Chase.
Chase Ultimate Rewards Review Scorecard
#8 for Earning Policies
#2 for Redemption Policies
#1 for Rewards Value per Point
#14 for Eligibility & Transparency
Best Chase Ultimate Rewards Credit Cards
Summary: Chase Ultimate Rewards Scores by Review Category
|Rewards Value per Point||30/30|
|Eligibility & Transparency||15/20|
How to Earn Chase Ultimate Rewards
Category Rating: 90% (27/30)
You will earn at least one Chase Ultimate Rewards point in return for every dollar you spend with a Chase rewards credit card. Choosing the right credit card and using it strategically can enable you to earn even more points, and there’s no limit on how many points you can earn.
There are a few restrictions and potential areas of confusion that you should be aware of, though.
Earning Restrictions to Watch Out For:
- Rotating Bonus Categories
Certain Chase credit cards – such as Chase Freedom Flex℠ – offer bonus points in spending categories that change on a quarterly basis. For example, you might get 5X the points on dining one quarter and 5X the points on gas the next. This can be tricky because you have to sign up for or “activate” these categories in order to earn bonus points. Plus, you only earn bonus rewards on a certain amount of spending each quarter.
- Rewards Vary by Amount Spent
Select Chase cards, such as the Ink Bold Business Card (no longer available to new applicants), have varied earning rates depending on how much money you spend. For example, the first $1,000 spent might give you one point per dollar, but the amount spent after that threshold might give you two points per dollar.
How to Redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards
Category Rating: 72% (14/20)
The best way to redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards points is to book travel through Chase if you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve®. If you have any other Chase rewards card, it’s best to redeem your points for cash back due to its versatility. Chase Ultimate Rewards gives you several different redemption options, and there generally isn’t much of a difference in the value you’ll get for your points. You can check out the options below.
Travel Through Chase
You can book airfare, hotels and rental cars using points on the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal.
Travel With Transfer Partners
You could transfer your points into the loyalty program of one of Chase’s transfer partners in order to redeem for travel directly.
You can redeem your Ultimate Rewards points for things like film festival packages, private dining opportunities and backstage meet-and-greets at concerts. Dollar prices for these experiences often aren’t available, so we did not include them when calculating point values.
Shop With Points on Amazon.com
You can link your Chase Ultimate Rewards account with your Amazon account in order to use points as your payment method at checkout.
You can redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards points for a statement credit or a deposit to a bank account.
You can redeem points for gift cards from a wide variety of popular retailers.
Noteworthy Redemption Features:
- Fair Travel Prices & No Date Restrictions: Chase’s travel booking tool has no blackout dates or restrictions. Prices for hotels, flights, car rentals, etc., also tend to be similar to those on other travel booking websites.
- No Minimum Threshold: You don’t need a certain number of Ultimate Rewards points to redeem for cash back. You can redeem for as little as 1 cent.
- Numerous Transfer Partners: Chase Ultimate Rewards has 13 transfer partners, to which certain cardholders can send their Ultimate Rewards earnings for direct booking. Transfers are done at a 1:1 ratio – one Chase rewards point for one United Airlines mile, for example. But you can only transfer 1,000-point increments.
Ultimate Rewards Transfer Partners
|Aer Lingus AerClub||Marriott Rewards|
|British Airways Executive Club||The Ritz-Carlton Rewards|
|Flying Blue AIR FRANCE KLM||Singapore Airlines|
|Hyatt Gold Passport||Southwest Rapid Rewards|
|Iberia Plus||United MilagePlus|
|IHG Rewards Club||Virgin Atlantic Flying Club|
Redemption Restrictions to Watch Out For:
- Limitations on Items – When you “Shop With Points” on Amazon.com, Mp3s, Kindle downloads, games and software downloads are off-limits. So are Prime memberships and AmazonFresh purchases, among a few other things.
- Limitations on Travel – To redeem for travel, you must either use Chase’s booking tool or transfer your points to one of its travel partners’ loyalty programs (if you’re eligible). In contrast, some of the best travel credit cards from other issuers let you pay for any travel purchase with points or miles once they post to your account.
- Restrictions on Transferring Points – Points can only be transferred to cards within the Ultimate Rewards program that are owned by you or a member of your household, or to travel partners’ loyalty programs.
- No Extra Value for Gift Cards or Shop with Points – You get the same dollar value for your points when you redeem them for cash back, gift cards and merchandise from Amazon.com.But cash is inherently more valuable because you can use it for anything, even to shop on Amazon.com or purchase gift cards later on. So when in doubt, redeem for cash back.
Chase Ultimate Rewards Value per Point
Category Rating: 100% (30/30)
Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth 1 cent each in most cases. But there are exceptions. The Sapphire Preferred and Reserve cards give you a bonus – 25% and 50%, respectively – when you redeem for travel on Chase’s booking portal. Values also vary when you transfer points to an Ultimate Rewards travel partner.
|Redemption Options||Value of 1 point|
|Airfare||1 - 1.5 cents*|
|Hotel||1 - 1.5 cents*|
|Car Rental||1 - 1.5 cents*|
|Average||1 - 1.5 cents*|
|"Shop With Points" at Amazon.com
|$50 Item||0.8 cents|
|$100 Item||0.8 cents|
|$200 Item||0.8 cents|
|$300 Item||0.8 cents|
|Statement Credit||1 cent|
|Cash Back||1 cent|
|Gift cards and gift certificates||1 cent|
*Sapphire Reserve points redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards are worth 1.5 cents each. Sapphire Preferred points redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards are worth 1.25 cents each. With other cards, points redeemed for travel are worth 1 cent each.
Chase Ultimate Rewards Eligibility & Transparency
Category Rating: 75% (15/20)
Not every Chase rewards credit card gets to participate in the Ultimate Rewards program. Chase’s co-branded credit cards – those affiliated with a particular retailer – are not eligible, for instance. And you can’t transfer points to one of Chase’s travel partners if your card has “partial Ultimate Rewards rights.”
|Full Ultimate Rewards Rights||Partial Ultimate Rewards Rights|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Chase Corporate Flex Card
|Chase Freedom Unlimited®|
Other Key Things to Know:
Rewards Currency Confusion
Ultimate Rewards is a purely points-based rewards program. You will not earn miles or cash back with any of the participating cards, even though some – Chase Freedom Flex℠, for example – advertise the ability to do so.
You can, however, redeem your points for travel or cash back.
Discontinued Ultimate Rewards Cards:
Chase has discontinued some of its Ultimate Rewards credit card offers over the years. So while some people may still have these cards, they’re not available to new applicants and were not factored into scoring.
- Chase Sapphire® Card
- Ink Plus® Business Credit Card
- J.P. Morgan Palladium Credit Card
- Ink℠ Classic Business – 20,000 Bonus Points
- Chase Freedom®
- J.P. Morgan Select Card
Popular Chase Ultimate Rewards Credit Cards
|Chase Credit Card||Annual Fee||Initial Bonus||Rewards Rate|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card||$95||60,000 points||1 - 5 points / $1|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve®||$550||60,000 points||1 - 10 points / $1|
|Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card||$95||100,000 points||1 - 3 points / $1|
|Chase Freedom Unlimited®||$0||N/A||1.5 - 5% Cash Back|
|Chase Freedom Flex℠||$0||$200||1 - 5% Cash Back|
|Ink Business Cash® Credit Card||$0||$900||1 - 5% Cash Back|
|Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card||$0||$900||1.5% Cash Back|
|J.P. Morgan Reserve Credit Card||$550||N/A||1 - 10 points / $1|
|Chase Freedom® Student credit card||$0||$50||1% Cash Back|
For more information, check out our editors’ latest picks for the best Chase credit cards by category.
8 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Chase Ultimate Rewards
Following these tips could mean the difference between earning a free family vacation and only getting enough for a one-way flight:
- Pick the right card & use it wisely
Some Chase cards offer bonus points if you spend a certain amount within a few months of account opening. Others reward you more for purchases in certain spending categories. And a few combine the two. Your job is to find a card that complements your particular needs.
- Use “shop with Chase”
Each dollar spent through one of the participating merchants can yield up to 20X the points. In other words, you could get 20 points per dollar spent as a base rate.When you sign into the Chase Ultimate Rewards mall to use the shopping portal, you will be given a list of retailers you can shop at. When you click on them, the portal merely takes you to the merchant’s website. So Chase isn’t trying to scam you by offering raised prices. You’re simply paying the prices set by the merchants themselves.
- Redeem regularly
The whole point of earning credit card rewards is to enjoy the savings they provide. If you just leave your Chase Ultimate Rewards points sitting in your account unused, they won’t do you much good.
- Pay your bill on time every month
Your Chase Ultimate Rewards points won’t expire as long as your account remains in good standing. In other words, you have nothing to worry about if you pay your monthly bills on time.
- Pay your bill in full every month
Paying interest at a credit card’s regular APR will end up costing you more than rewards save you.
- Book travel through Chase
If you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Sapphire Reserve credit card, you will get 25% - 50% more value from your Ultimate Rewards points if you redeem for travel booked through Chase.
- Consider pooling points
You can transfer points from one Chase Ultimate Rewards card to another, free of charge, as long as both cards belong to you or someone in your household.
- Redeem before closing your account
You will lose any Chase Ultimate Rewards points left unredeemed when you close your account.
Chase Ultimate Rewards vs. Citi ThankYou Rewards vs. American Express Membership Rewards
|Category||Chase Ultimate Rewards||Citi ThankYou Rewards||American Express Membership Rewards|
|Average Point/Mile Value||1.07 cents||0.85 cents||0.67 cents|
|Redemption Options Rank||2||1||12|
|Notable Rewards Card||Chase Freedom Unlimited®||Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer||Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express|
|Notable Travel Rewards Card||Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card||Citi Premier® Card||The Platinum Card® from American Express|
Chase Ultimate Rewards Review Methodology
This review of Chase Ultimate Rewards is based on the same methodology as WalletHub’s annual study on the Best Credit Card Rewards Programs. Editor’s ratings reflect the sum of each program’s scores across the study’s five major categories, adjusted to a 5-point scale to create a representative distribution of ratings. The four major categories considered were: Earning Policies, Redemption Policies, Rewards Value per $1 Spent and Eligibility & Transparency.
WalletHub calculated Chase Ultimate Rewards point values by comparing the dollar value of redemption items against the number of points needed for each.