Finder is committed to editorial independence. While we receive compensation when you click links to partners, they do not influence our opinions or reviews. Learn how we make money.

Guide to Chase Ultimate Rewards program

A versatile and well-renowned loyalty program for Chase cardholders.

Updated . What changed?

Fact checked

Our pick for Chase Ultimate Rewards: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card logo

80,000-point

Signup bonus after spending $4,000 in first 3 months

  • Signup bonus worth $1,000 with Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 1:1 point transfer to partner hotels and airlines
  • Low annual fee for a travel card
Apply now
Chase Ultimate Rewards is a popular loyalty program designed to reward Chase cardholders for spending. With an eligible credit card, you can earn points on all of your purchases, and then redeem them for travel, cash, Amazon.com purchases and more.

But the real secret sauce to the program is the ability to transfer points to partner airlines and hotels at a 1:1 ratio. Here’s what you need to know to start make the most of this program.

Chase Ultimate Rewards Program Breakdown

Points are worthBased on our valuation, Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth between 1 and 1.5 cents apiece
Chase points transfer partners
  • Aer Lingus AerClub
  • Air France KLM Flying Blue
  • British Airways Executive Club/Avios
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Iberia Airlines Iberia Plus
  • JetBlue TrueBlue
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
  • United Airlines MileagePlus
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
  • IHG Rewards Club
  • Marriott Bonvoy
  • World of Hyatt
Earn Chase Ultimate Reward points
Redeem Chase Ultimate Reward points
  • Travel
  • Experiences
  • Cash back
  • Gift cards
  • Amazon.com shop with points
  • Apple purchases

Chase Ultimate Rewards program benefits

The Chase Ultimate Rewards program gained its fame thanks to four primary features:

  • Flexible redemption options.
    Chase offers a variety of options to redeem points, including travel, gift cards, cash back, shopping at Amazon.com, experiences and more.
  • Steady redemption values.
    Chase credit card points are universally worth 1 cent each at minimum, making it easy to know exactly how many points you need to get what you want. This leads us to the next noteworthy feature below.
  • Options to boost redemption value.
    With the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you can increase your redemption value by 25%, and with the Chase Sapphire Reserve® by 50%. And if you have a Chase Sapphire card, you can transfer those points for potentially greater value.
  • Variety of transfer partners.
    For most credit card reward programs, transferring your points to a travel partner is often the best value play when it comes to your points. Chase Ultimate Rewards is no different, allowing you to transfer your points at a 1:1 ratio. This can boost the value of your points by double or more. Best of all, Chase has a strong selection of airline and hotel transfer partners, so you’re bound to find at least one partner worth your points.

Chase cards that earn Ultimate Rewards points

There’s no way around it — you need an eligible Chase credit card to earn Ultimate Rewards points. The following cards all earn points, even though some of them are marketed as cashback cards. Once you have enough points, redeem them through the portal or transfer points to specified travel partners.

Chase Freedom Unlimited® logo

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

★★★★★
Chase Freedom Flex℠ logo

Chase Freedom Flex℠

★★★★★
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card logo

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

★★★★★
Chase Sapphire Reserve® logo

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

★★★★★

Ultimate Rewards cards for cash back

If you want a no-annual-fee card that pays attractive cash back, Chase is an excellent option.

Best for those who want simple, flat-rate rewards
Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Chase Freedom Unlimited® logo
Finder Rating: 4.7 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (670-850)
Apply now
on Chase's secure site
Rates & fees

670
Min. credit score
$0
Annual fee
Up to 5%
Cash back
$200
Welcome offer
Chase markets this card as a cashback product, but many people don't know that these rewards come in the form of Ultimate Rewards points. You'll earn 5% cash back on travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards and on Lyft through March 2022, 3% back at restaurants and drugstores and an impressive 1.5% back on all other purchases.
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Key benefit: Strong base cashback rate of 1.5%.
Annual Fee $0
Purchase APR 0% intro for the first 15 months (then 14.99% to 23.74% variable)
Balance transfer APR 14.99% to 23.74% variable
Welcome offer $200 after spending $500 in the first 3 months, plus 5% cash back at grocery stores on up to $12,000 in the first year
Rewards 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase, 5% on Lyft, 3% on dining and drugstores and 1.5% on all other purchases

Best for those who want strong rotating rewards
Chase Freedom Flex℠

Chase Freedom Flex℠ logo
Finder Rating: 4.7 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (670-850)
Apply now
on Chase's secure site
Rates & fees

670
Min. credit score
$0
Annual fee
Up to 5%
Cash back
$200
Welcome offer
This is another cashback product that distributes its rewards in the form of Ultimate Rewards points. It's similar to the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, except it offers bonus rewards in categories that rotate every quarter.
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Key benefit: 5% cash back in specified categories on up to $1,500 in combined purchases each quarter you activate, then 1%. You'll also earn 5% cash back on travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards and on Lyft through March 2022, 3% back at restaurants and drugstores and 1% back on all other purchases.
Annual Fee $0
Purchase APR 0% intro for the first 15 months (then 14.99% to 23.74% variable)
Balance transfer APR 14.99% to 23.74% variable
Welcome offer $200 after spending $500 in the first 3 months, plus 5% cash back at grocery stores on up to $12,000 in the first year
Rewards 5% back in rotating categories up to $1,500 combined each activated quarter (then 1%), 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases

Ultimate Rewards cards for travel

Chase offers two of the best in-house travel cards on the market. One is a mid-tier pick, and the other is a premium option.

Best for those who want an inexpensive, flexible travel credit card
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card logo
Finder Rating: 4.3 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (670-850)
Apply now
on Chase's secure site
Rates & fees

670
Min. credit score
$95
Annual fee
80,000
Points welcome offer
Up to 5x
Points
This is a mid-tier card with solid rewards on travel and dining. You'll find lots of flexibility with the points you earn.
  • Key benefits: 2x points on travel and dining. Points are worth 25% more when redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. Transfer points at a 1:1 ratio.
  • Annual fee: $95
Annual fee $95
Purchase APR 15.99% to 22.99% variable
Foreign transaction fee None
Welcome offer 80,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months, a value of up to $1,000 through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Rewards 5x points on Lyft, 2x points on travel and dining and 1x points on all other purchases

Best for those who want to travel in style
Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Chase Sapphire Reserve® logo
Finder Rating: 4.6 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (740-850)
Apply now
on Chase's secure site
Rates & fees

740
Min. credit score
$550
Annual fee
50,000
Points welcome offer
Up to 10x
Points
The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is Chase's premium travel credit card. You'll find excellent benefits such as a $300 annual travel credit, access to airport lounges and a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit. You can also earn excellent rewards on travel and dining, then use your points for flexible redemptions.
  • Key benefits: 3x points on travel and dining after you earn your $300 annual travel credit. Premium travel benefits. Points are worth 50% more when redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. Transfer points at a 1:1 ratio.
  • Annual fee: $550
Annual fee $550
Purchase APR 16.99% to 23.99% variable
Foreign transaction fee None
Welcome offer 50,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
Rewards 10x points on Lyft rides, 3x points on dining and travel after earning your $300 travel credit and 1x points on all other purchases

Ultimate Rewards cards for small business

Chase also offers three of its own small-business cards that offer great rewards for low annual fees.

Best category card for small-business owners
Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card logo
Finder Rating: 4.4 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (670-850)
Apply now
on Chase's secure site
Rates & fees

670
Min. credit score
$95
Annual fee
Up to 3x
Points
100,000
Points welcome offer
If your business often spends in this card's bonus categories — including travel, shipping, select advertising and more — you could quickly collect a great number of points. These points are worth more when redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, and you can transfer them to some travel partners.
  • Key benefits: 3x points in select business categories on the first $150,000 in eligible spend, then 1x points. Points are worth 25% more when redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • Annual fee: $95
Annual Fee $95
Purchase APR 15.99% to 20.99% variable
Balance transfer APR 15.99% to 20.99% variable
Welcome offer 100,000 points after spending $15,000 in the first 3 months
Rewards 3x points on the first $150,000 on travel and select business categories annually, then 1x after and on all other purchases

Best flat-rate card for small-business owners
Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card

Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card logo
Finder Rating: 4.1 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (670-850)
Apply now
on Chase's secure site
Rates & fees

670
Min. credit score
$0
Annual fee
Up to 1.5%
Cash back
$500
Welcome offer
This is a card for small-business owners who crave simplicity. You'll earn a solid 1.5% cash back on all purchases. Rewards are administered in the form of Ultimate Rewards points.
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Key benefit: Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
Annual Fee $0
Purchase APR 0% intro for the first 12 months (then 13.24% to 19.24% variable)
Balance transfer APR 13.24% to 19.24% variable
Welcome offer $500 back after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
Rewards 1.5% cash back on all purchases

Best for no annual fee card for small-business owners
Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card

Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card logo
Finder Rating: 4.5 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (670-850)
Apply now
on Chase's secure site
Rates & fees

670
Min. credit score
$0
Annual fee
Up to 5%
Cash back
$500
Welcome offer
This card is an especially good choice if your business spends heavily on office supplies or on internet, cable and phone services. For no annual fee, you'll earn rewards that are administered as Ultimate Rewards points.
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Key benefits: 5% cash back at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services, on the first $25,000 in eligible spending each card year, then 1%. 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants, on the first $25,000 in eligible spending each card year, then 2%.
Annual Fee $0
Purchase APR 0% intro for the first 12 months (then 13.24% to 19.24% variable)
Balance transfer APR 13.24% to 19.24% variable
Welcome offer $500 cash back after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
Rewards 5% at office supply stores, on Internet, cable and phone up to $25,000 combined annually (then 1%), 2% on gas and dining up to $25,000 combined annually then 1% after that and on all other purchases

How much are Chase Ultimate Rewards points worth?

Chase credit card points are generally worth 1 cent per point.

Three cards give you the ability to get 25% to 50% more value if you redeem points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. These are the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve® and Chase Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card.

The above cards also let you transfer points to Chase’s travel partners.

Compare Chase Ultimate Rewards cards

Name Product Welcome offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
80,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months, a value of up to $1,000 through Chase Ultimate Rewards
5x points on Lyft, 2x points on travel and dining and 1x points on all other purchases
$95
Earn a huge signup bonus worth $1,000 with this popular travel card. Combine with other Chase Ultimate Rewards cards for even greater value.
Chase Freedom Flex℠
$200 after spending $500 in the first 3 months, plus 5% cash back at grocery stores on up to $12,000 in the first year
5% back in rotating categories up to $1,500 combined each activated quarter (then 1%), 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases
$0
Get up to 5% cashback in rotating and newly added everyday categories. The refreshed Freedom Flex card has lots of earning potential.
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
$200 after spending $500 in the first 3 months, plus 5% cash back at grocery stores on up to $12,000 in the first year
5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase, 5% on Lyft, 3% on dining and drugstores and 1.5% on all other purchases
$0
This solid 1.5% cashback card gets even better with the addition of up to 5% back in categories like travel, drug stores and dining.
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
50,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
10x points on Lyft rides, 3x points on dining and travel after earning your $300 travel credit and 1x points on all other purchases
$550
Get a generous $300 in annual travel credits, 3x points on travel and dining, and a 50% bonus on point redemptions with Chase's premier card.
CardMatch™ from creditcards.com
See terms
See terms
See terms
Use the CardMatch tool to find cards you're likely to qualify for with your credit score, without a hard pull on your credit.
loading

Compare up to 4 providers

Combining Ultimate Rewards cards for maximum value

With one Chase credit card, you enter the game. With three Chase credit cards, you win the game. That’s because each card in the program can help you maximize the value you can get out of the program.

Here’s how:

Let’s say you have the Chase Freedom Unlimited®. It doesn’t grant access to point transfers but it does earn a flat 1.5x points (or 1.5% cash back) base rewards rate. Other cards earn more points on specific categories, but only 1x points on all other purchases.

Now, let’s say you open a Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. You can move your Chase Freedom Unlimited® points to this card and redeem points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards with a 25% higher value. Alternatively, you can transfer points to travel partners at a 1:1 ratio.

By pairing the right cards together, you can create a harmonious mix of earnings and maximize your reward values.

Pair one or more of these cards…With one of these cards…
  • Chase Freedom Unlimited®
  • Chase Freedom Flex℠
  • Chase Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card
  • Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve®
  • Chase Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

How to choose the right combinations of Ultimate Rewards cards

Getting two cards with similar benefits or rewards doesn’t make much sense since you can only use one card on a purchase at time for reward purposes. Before you decide to apply for a card, consider the following:

  • Rewards coverage.
    Typically, you want your cards to offer bonus rewards over a variety of categories. If your cards’ bonus categories overlap, the weaker of the two cards may fall by the wayside.
  • Access to point boosts and transfers.
    For these privileges, you need just one card among the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, Chase Sapphire Reserve® and Chase Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card.
  • Special benefits.
    The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is worth a look if you want a variety of excellent travel features. Other cards might offer attractive signup bonuses or intro APRs you might like.

An example of combining Ultimate Rewards cards for maximum value

Let’s say you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. It doesn’t have a higher rewards rate on travel and dining than the Freedom cards, but it has no foreign transaction fees and it lets you redeem points for travel purchases at the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal with a 25% higher points value. You can use the Chase Freedom Unlimited® where it earns more points and then transfer your points to the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card for a better redemption value. This way, you can always make sure you’re earning solid rewards no matter what you spend on.

You can go further by adding a card like the Chase Freedom Flex℠ credit card into the mix. When the bonus categories roll around, you can use the card to earn excellent points. Otherwise, you can use your Chase Freedom Unlimited® and Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card for other purchases.

Coincidentally, these three cards form what’s known as the Chase trifecta, as they provide an optimal combination of rewards. You can replace the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card with the Chase Sapphire Reserve® if you want premium travel options.

Earning Chase Ultimate Rewards points

While earning Chase credit card points is relatively straightforward, having an earning strategy can help you build points even faster. Here are the primary earning strategies you’ll want to employ with your new cards.

  • Earning signup bonuses.
    Almost every Chase card has a signup bonus. The idea is simple: Spend a certain amount on your card within the first three months, and you could collect cash back, points or miles.
  • Spending in eligible categories.
    Each card has a different rewards structure. Many products offer different bonus rewards depending on the categories in which you spend.
  • Shopping on Chase’s online portal.
    Log in to your Chase online account and navigate to the Chase Offers section. You can activate certain offers on your account — then, just use your card to earn the specified rewards. Keep in mind that you won’t always be offered Ultimate Rewards points. You may, for example, find statement credits instead.
  • Referring friends.
    You’ll earn bonus points when you refer a friend to Chase and they sign up for the same credit card. The rewards you’ll earn depends on which card you have.

Redeeming Chase Ultimate Rewards points for best value

Once you grow your collection of rewards, check out which Chase Ultimate Rewards redemption options offer the best value for your points.

  • Redeeming for cash back or gift cards.
    These are straightforward options that give you a value of 1 cent per point.
  • Buy merchandise.
    You’re allowed to buy Amazon and Apple purchases through Chase. However, you’ll get only around a 0.8-cent-per-point redemption value.
  • Book travel through the Chase travel portal.
    Use your points for flights, hotel stays, car rentals, cruises and more. If you have a card with point boosts, your points could be worth 25% to 50% more.
  • Transfer points to a travel partner.
    By moving your points to one of the travel partners listed above, you can find stellar redemption values. According to our current valuations, you could receive a 2-cent-per-point value — and perhaps even more — by transferring rewards to select airlines.

Chase transfer partners

Chase has 12 travel transfer partners to choose from — nine airlines and three hotel brands. Read more about how to transfer Chase points to travel partners.

  • Aer Lingus AerClub
  • Air France KLM Flying Blue
  • British Airways Executive Club/Avios
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Iberia Airlines Iberia Plus
  • JetBlue TrueBlue
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
  • United Airlines MileagePlus
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
  • IHG Rewards Club
  • Marriott Bonvoy
  • World of Hyatt

You can transfer points to each program at a 1:1 ratio. That means if you transfer 1,000 points, you’ll receive 1,000 miles or points in the loyalty program of your choice.

Is it worth transferring points to partners?

It can be enticing to transfer your points over to a Chase travel partner given the potential value increase. However, this may not always be worth it. Here’s why:

Suppose you want to redeem your points for hotel stays via the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. Depending on which Sapphire Card you use, the value of points those points is going to be 1.25 or 1.5 for the Sapphire Preferred and Reserve respectively. If you transfer your points to partner hotels in 1:1 ratio, your points will be worth:

  • 0.8 cents on average for Marriott hotels
  • 0.6 cents on average for IHG hotels
  • 1 cent on average for World of Hyatt hotels

At first glance, transferring 10,000 points will lower your redemption value from $120 on the Ultimate Rewards portal to $60 on the IHG rewards program. However, in some cases, you may get a value higher than 1.2 cents per point on select hotels and select room types.

The key here is research. Before transferring your Chase credit card points blindly, check out the hotel where you want to stay or the airline you consider flying and divide the dollar amount with the points required to redeem to find out the points value. For example, $150/14,000 points = 0.010 or 1 cent per point. The larger the number you get, the higher the points value.

How to navigate your account

The number of options available to manage your account might seem overwhelming at first. Here’s how to get to some of the more important features of your Ultimate Rewards account.

Navigation bar

You can find most earning and redeeming options for your Chase account on the navigation bar. You’ll find this horizontal bar across the top of the Chase Ultimate Rewards homepage.

You can also access a vertical version of this navigation bar at any time by clicking the three horizontal lines in the upper-left corner of the webpage.

Chase rewards Screenshot 1 Image: Supplied

5% Categories

If you ever forget that quarter’s bonus categories, this section features a quick reminder along with how much you’ve spent up to the limit for that quarter.

Chase rewards Screenshot 2 Image: Supplied

Earn bonus points

Clicking the Earn bonus points icon takes you to the Chase shopping portal. Earning bonus points on shopping through the portal can help maximize your earnings.

Chase rewards Screenshot 3 Image: Getty Images

Combine points

The Combine points section of the Ultimate Rewards site is where you’ll go to move points from one card to another. Do this often to make the most of the Chase Ultimate Rewards program.

Chase rewards Screenshot 4 Image: Supplied

Travel

Clicking Travel takes you to Chase’s travel portal. This is how you’ll book flights and hotel stays — at increased value if you’re an eligible cardholder.

Chase rewards Screenshot 5 Image: Supplied

Rewards activity

This page allows you to view the points you’ve earned in the calendar year based on how you earned those awards. This is a great feature for identifying additional rewards opportunities and understanding where most of your points are coming from.

Chase rewards Screenshot 1 Image: Supplied

Bottom line

Not many credit card rewards programs offer the sheer versatility of Chase Ultimate Rewards. Choose your favorite Chase card to start earning points and pair that up with one of Chase’s transfer cards to equip yourself with everything you need to get the most value out of this program.

If you’re already a Chase Ultimate Rewards member or want to know what other reward programs are out there, compare reward credit cards to find a rewards program that stands out to you.

Frequently asked questions

More guides on Finder

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder.com provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy and Cookies Policy and finder.com Terms of Use.

Questions and responses on finder.com are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.
Go to site