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Chase Ultimate Rewards Program Guide: Why You Should Be Excited

Chase Ultimate Rewards Program Guide: Why You Should Be Excited

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This article was last updated Jan 03, 2019, but some terms and conditions may have changed or are no longer available. For the most accurate and up to date information please consult the terms and conditions found on the issuer website.

If you have a Chase-branded credit card in your wallet, one of the big perks is access to Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

The program allows cardmembers to use the points they earn for travel, including plane tickets, and hotel rooms, as well as for gift cards, merchandise, special experiences and even paying down your card or receiving cash.

So why is Chase Ultimate Rewards such a good option when there are other credit card rewards programs out there that offer similar benefits? Not only does the program give you plenty of ways to redeem your points, but if you have certain cards, you can get more value for them when used toward travel.

We’ll walk you through four ways to redeem your points at Chase Ultimate Rewards and show you the best ways to maximize them on the website. See which Chase cards come with access to Chase Ultimate Rewards and read our FAQ about earning and redeeming your Chase points.

Eligible Chase Ultimate Rewards program cards

All points and cash back earned on the cards below can be used to help pay for travel, gift cards, shopping, cash or statement credits at Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Earn and redeem points for travel

Travel is the most popular item booked at Chase Ultimate Rewards, especially if you have credit cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® or the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, which give cardholders more value for the points they earn. When logging in to UltimateRewards.com, you’ll see the Chase travel center, where you can book flights, hotels, cruises, car rentals and vacation packages with cash or points.

Also, know that if you have a Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card you receive 25% more value for their points, and 50% more value for those with the Chase Sapphire Reserve®.

When reserving flights at Chase Ultimate Rewards, you don’t have to worry about travel restrictions or blackout dates on airline tickets. Tickets can be booked on almost any major airline in the world.

You can also book hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts and inns through Chase Ultimate Rewards. However, if you book a hotel with Chase cards via travel agencies, discount travel sites, vacation clubs, tour operators or as part of a package offered by merchants, such as cruise lines and railways, you will not earn points. And points can only be earned for the room rate, not taxes or incidentals.

Check out tips for booking travel on the Chase Ultimate Rewards website.

Transfer points easily to participating partners

Transfer your points 1:1 to nine airline and four hotel loyalty programs:

  • Aer Lingus AerClub
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Flying Blue Air France KLM
  • Iberia Plus
  • JetBlue TrueBlue
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards®
  • United MileagePlus®
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
  • IHG® Rewards Club
  • Marriott Rewards®
  • The Ritz-Carlton Rewards®
  • World of Hyatt

Transfers by Chase are instant, although you should check with your the airline or hotel loyalty program where you transferred the points to see how long it will take before you can redeem those points or miles.

Check out our Cheat Sheet: How Long Airline Point Transfers take for Amex, Chase and Citi Points.

Redeem points for unique experiences

The Chase Ultimate Rewards website includes Chase Experiences®, a section that lets you book events with your points, depending on which Chase card you hold.

Those with Chase credit and debit cards have access to Select experiences, which includes Chase Cardmember Preferred Seating at certain events, food and beverage discounts on concessions at events, exclusive dining experiences available to book on the Tock app and the ability to purchase movie tickets and pre-order concessions with the Atom app.

If you carry the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, Preferred experiences gives you VIP access to the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, the 2019 PGA Championship at Bethpage in Long Island, N.Y., or unique travel opportunities via a partnership between Chase and Atlas Obscura. Those with the Chase Sapphire Reserve® get all the offers above, along with the chance to bid on or attend special Reserve VIP events such as pregame photo opps, behind-the-scenes entertainment experiences and VIP dining events.

Use points for shopping

If travel isn’t in the forecast, Chase cardholders can exchange their points at Chase Ultimate Rewards for gift cards and merchandise. Gift cards are available from more than 150 retailers. Earn between one and 15 bonus points when shopping at more than 350 stores at the Shop Through Chase® website.

Points can also be used to pay for merchandise, including shipping and taxes, at Amazon.com’s Shop with Points after linking your Ink or Sapphire credit cards to your Amazon account. There are no point minimums, plus you can choose to use all or part of your Chase points for your order and pay the balance with those cards.

Chase also now allows Chase Ultimate Rewards cardholders to use points at the Apple Ultimate Rewards Store to pay for all or part of their purchases. It covers all Apple products, including popular items such as Apple TV, the new Apple Watch Series 4 or the iPad Pro.

Redeem points for cash or a statement credit

More interested in paying down that balance or adding to your checking or savings accounts? You can also redeem your points for a cash deposit in your Chase checking account, check by mail or statement credit, or to another checking or savings account. Under Reward Yourself on the main Chase Ultimate Rewards page, Click on “Cash Back.” Scroll down and select “Get Cash.”

 

Enter the number of points you want to use to convert to cash.

Select how you would like to receive your cash: deposit to checking or savings, mail check or credit card statement credit.

Chase Ultimate Rewards FAQs

Are there limits to the number of points you can earn?
No. And your points don’t expire as long as you keep an eligible Chase card account open. Plus, you can pool your points into one account from multiple participating Chase cards.

How long does it take for points to post?
Points post on the closing date of your Chase card statement. Bonus points earned when shopping from the Chase Ultimate Rewards website may post earlier or later, depending on the retailer.

How does Chase Ultimate Rewards define merchants in the travel category?
Merchants in the travel category includes airlines, hotels, motels, timeshares, car rental agencies, cruise lines, travel agencies, discount travel sites, campgrounds and operators of passenger trains, buses, taxis, limousines, ferries, toll bridges and highways, and parking lots and garages.

What air travel-related purchases can’t be paid for with points?
You can’t use your points to pay for in-flight purchases, to buy more airline miles or points, non-ticket purchases made at airports and airline tickets purchased through travel agencies, discount travel sites, vacation clubs, tour operators, or tickets booked as part of a travel package offered by non-airline merchants.

Will I earn airline/hotel loyalty program miles or points for flights I book with points?
If you transfer your points directly to an airline or hotel loyalty program, you won’t. But if you buy a ticket or book a hotel room through Chase Ultimate Rewards using points or cash, you’ll earn miles or points under your chosen loyalty program.

How long does it take to transfer points into airline miles or hotel points in another loyalty program?
Chase does points transfers instantly — but check with the airline or hotel loyalty program to see how long it takes to access your miles or points once the transfer from Chase is completed.

Check out Credit Cards with Airline Mile Transfer Features.

Can a reverse transfer of Chase points into airline miles or hotel points be done?
No. Once you transfer points out of your Chase Ultimate Rewards points account into an external airline mile or hotel point program you can’t undo the transaction. So make sure you really want the points in a particular account before you initiate the transfer.

Can you use points to pay for everything at Amazon.com’s Shop with Points?
No. Items that aren’t eligible for Shop with Points include Amazon MP3s and Amazon Instant Video titles, Kindle downloads, AmazonFresh, games and software downloads and Prime Memberships.

The bottom line

Having access to the Chase Ultimate Rewards website is a great perk to have for those who want a variety of ways to use the points they earn. That perk is even better for those who have the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® or the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, since you can receive between 25% and 50% more value for your points when redeemed at the website.

Although redeeming points for travel is what most cardholders do, it’s nice to know you can also use them for things such as an Apple MacBook Air, a KitchenAid stand mixer, golf accessories or even cold, hard cash.

The next time you’re ready to book a flight, a hotel room, a rental car or a cruise, consider doing it at the Chase Ultimate Rewards website so you’re getting the best value on the points you’ve earned.

Check out our round-up of Best Travel Credit Cards.


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