Note: This article is updated on a regular basis to reflect ongoing changes and updates to the Ultimate Rewards program.
What are Chase Ultimate Rewards?
In the world of points and miles, Chase Ultimate Rewards are the gold standard. Although there are a lot of similarities with Amex Membership Rewards, Ultimate Rewards have a few notable differences which puts them ahead of the competition. Although Amex offers more ways to redeem points, Chase offers a much higher value for each redemption option.
How to earn Ultimate Rewards (UR) points
1. Credit Card Welcome Offers
Chase has a history of offering some of the best welcome offers of any credit cards on the market, sometimes worth thousands of dollars in value. Given the high value of Ultimate Reward points and the flexible redemption options, which are outlined below, a single welcome bonus could yield a huge return with relative ease.
2. Credit Card Spending
Like with other programs, you can also earn UR points by spending on certain Chase credit cards. Although most of Chase's cards are technically cash back, the earned-back amount can convert to UR points if you hold at least one Chase mile-earning card.
To make things even better, Chase credit cards offer a large range of purchase multipliers - all the way up to 10 points per dollar on certain categories - making it even easier to rack up a huge sum of Ultimate Reward points.
How to Redeem Ultimate Rewards Points
1. Transfer Partners
If you're looking to maximize the value of your UR points, the best thing you can do is master the art of transfer partners. Chase stands out from other flexible points currencies in this category because they offer a couple of transfer options that are unique to Chase.
2. Book travel
It is almost always a better option to maximize your points by transferring them to an airline partner for an award flight. However, you'll have to think twice with Chase miles because they offer an amazing value when booking travel directly through their travel portal.
With most Chase cards, you can redeem points in the travel portal by paying one mile per cent. However, if you hold the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, your points can be redeemed for 1.25 cents each and for holders of the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, points are worth a whopping 1.5 cents each, which puts other transferable points currencies to shame.
Before blowing a stack of points on the Chase travel portal, it's important to remember that when transferring to most airline programs, miles are often worth two cents each, so be sure to crunch the numbers to maximize redemption values.
3. Chase Pay Yourself Back
Another great option for redeeming UR points is with Pay Yourself Back, something that is unique to Chase. This lets you redeem your points - at the same value listed in the previous section - to directly offset purchases. This might sound too good to be true, because it is. The catch here is that it can only be done on certain, rotating purchase categories that differ from card to card.
This option can easily be explored by logging into the Chase and navigating to the "Pay Yourself Back" page within the Ultimate Rewards portal.
In the points and miles community, Chase Ultimate Rewards are seen as the best flexible point currencies. With excellent transfer partners, a robust travel portal and multiple ways to redeem points for 1.5 to two cents each, you can never have too many Ultimate Rewards miles.