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Why You Should Get Excited about the Chase Ultimate Rewards® Program

*Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

This article was last updated Apr 19, 2012, 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.

There are so many different credit card rewards programs out there, that it can be a mess trying to determine which program actually makes it easy for you to redeem your rewards.

As a credit card customer, you’ve spent a lot of effort over the past many weeks, months, or years, taking extra special consideration to use a particular card to build up a point balance that you can actually redeem for something of value. A free plane ticket, a gift card to make that special purchase or just to simply credit your account to payoff other purchases. The time has come for your reward, now your faced with a new game – trying to actually redeem for the reward.

For me, cash is king so I’m really drawn to redeeming my Chase Ultimate Rewards® points for cash. This post is intended to give an overview of how the Chase Ultimate Rewards® redemption system works. What I love most about the process is Chase makes it really easy. In the past, credit card companies have made it more difficult to redeem rewards than it should have been and Capital One capitalized on a first market mover advantage with their “No Hassles” marketing messages.

How 4 Steps using the Ultimate Rewards® System puts cash in your pocket:

To redeem for a cash deposit in your Chase checking account, check by mail or statement credit, all you need to do is follow the below:

1.     Click on the “Cash Back” tab in the top middle navigation

2.   Scroll down and select “Get Cash”

3.   Use the point widget to calculate the number of points you want to use to convert to cash

4. Under delivery options on the right hand of the screen, select how you would like to receive your cash: Deposit to checking, Mail Check (Rush shipping available) or Statement Credit

I typically just choose the standard mail option and receive a check within about 5-7 days. Below is a copy of the most recent check that I received.

 

Not interested in Cash? Try redeeming for travel with points

Okay, so cash isn’t necessarily your thing – with the Ultimate Rewards® program, you have options. I’ve found that you receive about a 20% discount on points for booking travel for air, hotel or rental cars through the Ultimate Rewards travel system.

Below is a points to dollar converter that appears when you are searching for travel through the website. The example that I use is that for every 50,000 points that you have accumulated, you get an additional $125 toward the price of travel. And note, the travel options are similarly priced as all of the major travel comparison websites – e.g. Expedia, Travelocity, Kayak and Hotels.com. My assumption is that Chase receives a 25% commission on travel booked on their website and they pass along 20% to the consumer – which is a smart system.

When reviewing various travel options, the Chase travel system also places one of the most trusted / if not the most trusted travel review ratings from Trip Advisor in the search results. With features such as this, it’s hard for me to think why someone would use another system, especially with the discounts applied for using points.

Coolness Factor

So, I’ve discussed all of the aspects or areas within the Chase rewards program that I use. It’s not likely that I would do anything more with my ultimate points then to use for cash back or travel, however, I couldn’t go without commenting on a unique way I came across to use your points. I’m a golfer, so when I saw that I could use my points for a customer Taylor Made club fitting experience, I said to myself “Wow, that’s pretty cool”.

 

The Chase Ultimate Rewards® program appears to be about options and that is really coming through nicely. It’s important to note that Chase brought in an industry veteran from American Express to rebuild it’s credit card unit in 2007. As a Chase card holder, it would appear to me that Mr. Smith’s leadership is paying off.

*The content in this article is accurate at the publishing date, and may be subject to changes per the card issuer.


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