Credit cards that earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points are some of the most valuable for travelers. This is because Chase Ultimate Rewards (UR) points can be redeemed in a plethora of ways. Therefore, knowing how to redeem points is just as important as knowing how to earn them. Cardholders can earn as many points as they want to. But points earned are worthless (or worth less) if they don’t know how to use them.
Chase’s premium and mid-tier cards offer the most redemption methods. The Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Reserve, and Ink Business Preferred are the three premium Chase cards. Chase charges an annual fee for each one of them and they have direct access to the bank’s transfer partners.
Transfer partners are by far Chase’s most valuable and popular redemption option for UR points. The beauty about Chase is that they have quality partners for hotels, domestic flights, and international flights.
All UR points transfer to Chase’s partners at a 1:1 ratio:
- Marriott / Ritz-Carlton
- World of Hyatt
- Aer Lingus
- Air Canada
- Air France / KLM Flying Blue
- British Airways
- Singapore Airlines
- Southwest Airlines
- United Airlines
- Virgin Atlantic
Your mileage may vary for each partner. But for most partners, you should be able to easily redeem your points for at least 1.5 cents per point (CPP).
Chase Travel Portal
The Chase Travel Portal is the second-most popular way to redeem UR points. Points are worth a flat 1.5 CPP with the Sapphire Reserve and 1.25 CPP with the Sapphire Preferred and Ink Business Preferred. Technically, those with a no annual fee Chase card can use the portal as well. However, people with those cards will get just 1 CPP, which is like using cash.
The Sapphire Reserve’s increased rate could make using the portal more valuable than transferring to some partners. Cardholders must to calculate if transferring is worth it by finding out how many CPPs they will receive from a given redemption.
Pay Yourself Back
Chase’s newest redemption method is part of the Bank of Morgan’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Pay Yourself Back lets cardholders redeem UR points towards grocery store and gas purchases in lieu of general travel. This is incredibly useful during the pandemic when travel is limited.
Points are worth a flat 1.5 CPP with the Sapphire Reserve and 1.25 CPP with the Sapphire Preferred and Ink Business Preferred.
No Annual Fee Cards
Chase’s no annual fee credit cards are fantastic options for beginners and those (re)building their credit. But their main purpose for traveling are as secondary cards to one or more premium cards. These cards also earn UR points, but a premium card is required to access the bank’s transfer partners.
The Chase Freedom Flex, Freedom Unlimited, Freedom Student, Ink Business Cash, and Ink Business Unlimited are Chase’s five no annual fee cards. You can use any of the following redemption options if you don’t have a premium Chase card:
Gift cards are the most valuable way to redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards points without a premium card. Normally, UR points can be redeemed for gift cards for 1 CPP. However, Chase often has sales for their gift cards, making them more valuable.
For example, Chase might offer a $10 Starbucks gift card for 900 points. That’s a value of 1.11 CPP. Normally, the same $10 gift card would be 1,000 points. That’s a value of 1 CPP.
Cash Back / Statement Credit
Plus, Chase UR points can also be redeemed for cash back (for those who also have a Chase bank account) or statement credits. Both options are similar, and they provide a value of 1 CPP each. Chase is the best bank for redeeming points for cash back, even though this option is not recommended.
Furthermore, Chase has some other methods to redeem UR points. One of the more noteworthy one is using Points to Shop. This program lets you purchase merchandise on Amazon and Apple. You can redeem points at Amazon for 1 CPP but redeeming at Apple will provide less value unless they’re having a sale.
Chase Experiences is another great option for all cardholders to redeem points for. All experiences are valued at 1 CPP. However, they can make your traveling even more fun. I would only use this option if tickets are more expensive elsewhere.
Moreover, those without a premium Chase credit card can also use the Pay Yourself Back feature. But UR points are worth 1 CPP.
The Chase Ultimate Rewards “ecosystem” is one of the most flexible and generous for redemptions. This is one of the reasons why points and miles enthusiasts love Chase cards. They also have great earning structures that fit nicely with each other. Having a Chase Trifecta or Quartet is not uncommon. In fact, it is my preferred earning strategy as Chase points are the most valuable to me.
Such value is also why application rules like 5/24 are in place. Chase cards are very desirable, so make sure to abide by their rules when applying. Not doing so could cost prospective cardholders thousands in discounted or free travel, as well as great earning opportunities.