The best way to use Chase Ultimate Rewards points

Chase is known for its Ultimate Rewards program, which allows cardholders to earn points for every dollar spent. While the most common use of these points is to book travel directly through Chase Ultimate Rewards, it is also possible to redeem points for cashback, gift cards, or even entertainment experiences.

What’s the best way to use your Chase Ultimate Rewards points in 2022? Where do you get the most value from? What are the conversion rates for different redemptions? And how do you score points as quickly as possible?

Here’s everything you need to know to make the most of your Ultimate Rewards points this year.

Best Ways to Use Chase Ultimate Rewards Points

When it comes time to redeem your loyalty points, there are a few options, including:

  • Cashback at a rate of one cent per point, applied directly to your credit card or deposited into a US checking or savings account
  • Gift cards from over 175 retailers, typically valued at one cent per point
  • Buy online from Amazon and get 0.8 cents per point at checkout
  • Unique experiences, such as tickets to Broadway shows or hotel stays curated by Chase

Also: The most exclusive credit cards

Make the most of Chase Ultimate Rewards points

Chase offers two popular travel cards that allow you to earn more points:

Intro BonusEarn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

April15.99% – 22.99% Variable

Recommended credit Excellent/Good

Reward rates

  • Purchased 5x on trips through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 3x on dining.
  • 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.

Annual contribution$95

Intro Purchase APRN/A

With the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, you’ll enjoy new benefits such as $50 per year Ultimate Rewards hotel credit, 5x points for travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3x points for dining and 2x points for all other travel purchases, plus more.

Intro BonusEarn 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after opening an account. That’s $750 for travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

April16.99%-23.99% Variable

Recommended credit Excellent credit

Reward rates

  • Earn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Earn 5x total points on air travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn 3x points on other trips and dining.
  • 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Annual contribution$550

Intro Purchase APRN/A

The Chase Sapphire Reserve increases your earning potential by 5x total points for air travel and 10x total points for hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. Earn 3X points on other travel and dining, as well as 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

And while it may seem odd that the company’s premium travel card offers a smaller introductory offer, there’s a bigger advantage with the card. All points redeemed by Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders are worth 50% more when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards, meaning 50,000 bonus points when you spend at least $4,000 in the first three months is actually worth $750. Chase Sapphire Preferred Card cardholders enjoy a 25% bonus when redeeming all travel points through Chase.

It is also possible to earn extra points by referring friends to request the Chase Sapphire and Chase Preferred cards. For every approved friend you get 15,000 bonus points and up to 75,000 points per year.

Redemption Options for Chase Ultimate Rewards Points

Let’s take a closer look at each redemption option for Chase Ultimate Rewards. The greatest value for Chase Ultimate Rewards points is instant redemption for travel through the Chase portal. If you can find cheap flights through a Chase partner, such as, you can book these flights using points to get the most out of your rewards.

It’s also worth keeping an eye out for gift card offers on the Chase Ultimate Rewards website. While the typical redemption values ​​here are one cent per point, occasionally Chase offers better points conversion rates for specific retailers.

When it comes to shopping online, you can take advantage of Chase’s Amazon partnership and redeem for 0.8 cents per point instantly at checkout. While this is convenient, it’s better to convert your points into cashback or statement credit at a rate of one cent per point to pay for your purchases.

Also: The Best Chase Business Credit Cards

Unique experiences such as sporting events, concerts, dining events and film festivals are also a great way to spend your Chase Ultimate Rewards points. However, it’s worth doing some research online to make sure the points you spend are worth it.

Save on travel

In addition to the Chase Ultimate Rewards redemption program, the company offers 1:1 point transfers with both airlines and travel partners, including Aer Lingus, Iberia Plus, Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards, United Mileage Plus, the IHG Rewards Club and Marriott Bonvoy. By transferring points to a partner, you can find a higher value per point for their rewards.

Your card also comes with cancellation and interruption insurance up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip, providing a safety net when you travel.

The Best Ways to Earn Chase Ultimate Rewards Points

To earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points, you need to find the best Chase card for your needs. If you prefer fixed rewards with a lower annual fee, opt for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. If you are a frequent traveler looking to maximize rewards and value, choose the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

While there is no exact science about how you spend your Chase Ultimate Rewards points, some options offer more value than others. Travel booking through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal has the highest redemption rate, especially when combined with a 25% or 50% redemption boost.

Converting points into cashback or statement credit is also worth the effort, and you can often find great deals on gift cards through the Chase Ultimate Rewards website. But transferring points to Chase’s travel partners can bring the most value. Meanwhile, the convenience of applying points at checkout is beneficial when it comes to shopping online, but the value is beyond compare to other redemption options.

[This article was first published on The Simple Dollar in 2020. It was updated in March 2022.]

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