Chase has an impressive list of credit card products that reward you for everyday spending. However, just five of the Chase rewards cards are currently part of the Chase Ultimate Rewards program.
These credit cards include:
- Chase Freedom
- 5% cash back in revolving categories with a $1,500 cap
- 1% cash back on all other purchases
- Chase Freedom Unlimited
- Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases
- Ink Business
- 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent at office supply stores, and on cell phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services
- 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent on combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants
- 1% cash back on all other purchases
- Ink Plus
- 5X points per $1 on the first $50,000 spent at office supply stores, and on cell phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services
- 2X points per $1 on the first $50,000 spent at gas stations and on hotel accommodations
- 1 point per $1 on all the purchases
- Chase Sapphire Preferred
- 2 points per $1 on travel and dining
- 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
If you have one (or several) of these cards in your wallet, the Ultimate Rewards website is a one-stop-shop where you can manage, combine, and redeem points earned.
Since choosing a credit card rewards program without digging into the product can be difficult, we’re giving you a behind the scenes look at what Ultimate Rewards has to offer cardholders.
In this post we’ll touch on:
- Accessing Ultimate Rewards
- Navigating the Ultimate Rewards portal
- How much Ultimate Rewards points are worth
- How to redeem Ultimate Rewards points
How to Access Chase Ultimate Rewards
Where the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal shines is how easy it is to manage your points. There are two simple ways to review the points you’ve earned. First, you can log into your Chase credit card account. There you’ll find your point balance alongside your credit card statement summary.
Or you can go straight to the Ultimate Rewards website and log in. To make your life easy, the credentials you use to log into your credit card account are the same credentials you need to access the Ultimate Rewards dashboard.
The Chase Ultimate Rewards Homepage
The bar at the top of the homepage shows the card that you’re currently managing on the left and your point balance on the right.
Further down the page, there’s a detailed record of the points available to you now and how many points you’ve earned so far toward your next billing statement.
For cards that earn cash back (like the Chase Freedom shown here), the Ultimate Rewards dashboard includes your point balance and what it equals in cold-hard cash back. We’ll discuss the points to cash conversion later in this post.
You’ll also see the progress of your spending within the categories of each card on the right-hand side of the homepage. In our example photo, the Chase Freedom Ultimate Rewards page shows combined purchases for the revolving category which is currently restaurants and wholesale clubs. This is also where you would go quarterly to activate the category.
How to Earn an Extra Bonus
Besides earning from everyday spending, Chase Ultimate Rewards gives you an opportunity to earn a bonus when you shop online with participating retailers.
We’re reviewing Ultimate Rewards using a Chase Freedom credit card, so the store bonuses appear in cash back. Credit cards that earn points rather than cash back will show bonus points for each online store instead.
Some cash back highlights on the online shopping list are:
- Apple: 2% cash back
- Macy’s: 3% cash back
- Groupon: 4% cash back
- Sears: 3% cash back
How Much Points Are Worth
Here’s where things get interesting. The Ultimate Rewards program uses a point system to keep track of earnings even for cash back cards. The redemption value of Ultimate Rewards points is:
- 1 point equals 1 cent, or
- 100 points equals 1 dollar
Now, taking a look at the point summary from above, you can see how 493 points earned equals $4.93 in cash back. You can expect this redemption value for cash back, gift cards, products, and travel unless you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Ink Plus cards.
Both of these cards give you a little more value for your points when you redeem for travel. It comes in the form of an additional 20% off when you make bookings through Ultimate Rewards. This translates into a point value of 1.25 cents per 1 point or $1.25 per 100 points.
Chase Sapphire Preferred cardholders are able to transfer points to participating travel programs point for point as well. These travel programs include:
- British Airways Executive Club
- Korean Air SKYPASS
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
- United MileagePlus
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
- Hyatt Gold Passport
- IHG Rewards Club
- Marriott Rewards
- The Ritz-Carlton Rewards
The Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Ink Plus cards are the only two that earn Ultimate Rewards points with a $95 annual fee. The Chase Sapphire Preferred does waive the annual fee for the first year. For either of these cards to be worthwhile, you need to make sure the value of your rewards will surpass the fee.
For a quick example, you would need to spend $4,750 in the 2X category with your Chase Sapphire Preferred card to repay the $95 fee with a statement credit. For the Chase Ink Plus, you would need to spend $1,900 in the 5X category.
How to Redeem Ultimate Rewards Points
As mentioned, Ultimate Rewards members can redeem points for cash back, gift cards, products, and travel.
You can request a deposit into a checking and savings account or redeem for statement credit once your point balance reaches 2,000. Unfortunately, 493 is not quite enough to meet the threshold.
If you prefer gift cards, some cards you can obtain with a point balance as low as 500. There are over 70 different stores and restaurants you can choose gift cards from including Starbucks, P.F. Chang’s, Gap, Amazon, and more.
Amazon shoppers can link a Chase card to the site and use points to buy products.
For cards other than the Chase Ink Plus and Chase Sapphire Preferred, you’ll get the basic 1 cent per 1 point redemption value for travel.
The good news is you can combine Ultimate Rewards balances to increase the buying power of your points. Keep in mind; you can only transfer points to another Chase card that belongs to you or someone in your household.
For big travelers, partnering your Chase Sapphire Preferred card with the Chase Freedom can help you maximize the Ultimate Rewards program. With this hack you can earn as much as you can from multiple categories. Then move your points over to the Chase Sapphire Preferred to get a higher redemption value on travel. Or you can transfer your points to another travel loyalty program altogether.
The Chase Ultimate Rewards dashboard is easy to use and gives you many options for point redemption. Although activating a category or shopping within constraints can be a hassle, the Ultimate Rewards dashboard makes it easy to subscribe to bonus categories and keep track of your progress.
Even if you’re not ready to make the leap to a rewards card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred with an annual fee, you can still get more value from your points by shopping online with participating retailers.