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How to earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points

Sign up for the right card — or two — to earn big.


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

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card logo


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
It’s easy to start building Chase Ultimate Reward points as nearly any card you choose will have strong earning potential. Take advantage of the signup bonuses and choose the cards with the earning categories you’ll use most to earn rewards points faster.

Four ways to earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points

Earn points with signup bonuses

Nearly all Chase cards — including cashback cards — offer a signup bonus to help you quickly earn points. Though there’s no “best” time to sign up for a card, it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for promos and limited-time welcome offers.

Compare cards for earning Chase Ultimate Rewards

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
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
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
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
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.
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The Chase 5/24 rule

Note that Chase will not approve applications for new credit cards if you’ve opened five or more credit card accounts within the last 24 months.

Informally called the 5/24 rule, this restriction applies to all credit cards you might have opened, not just Chase cards.

This means if you’re interested in adding a few Chase cards to your wallet or want to take advantage of their welcome offers, you’ll likely want to prioritize Chase over other cards to avoid running into this restriction.

Spend in eligible categories

You’ll find a variety of earning categories across the Chase Ultimate Rewards cards, ranging from flat bonuses on all spending to 2x points on travel and dining, to 5% cashback on quarterly categories.

If you want to maximize your Ultimate Rewards, we recommend picking up two Chase cards for spending — one that offers a flat point reward rate on all spending, and one with bigger earnings for categories you spend on often.

For example, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® credit card earns an unlimited 1.5% on eligible purchases. This serves as a reliable everyday spending card that provides a steady stream of points.

If you want to push that earning even further, pair this card up with the Chase Freedom Flex℠. You’ll earn 5x points for every dollar spent in rotating quarterly categories, supplementing the income provided by the Chase Freedom Unlimited®! When paired with the redemption potential of a Chase Sapphire Reserve® or Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, this setup is referred to as the Chase Trifecta.

How cashback redemption works

Chase advertises its Chase Freedom Flex℠ rewards as cash back. However, you’ll actually earn points when you use your card.

It takes 100 points to earn $1 in cash back. So, each point is worth 1 cent, which fits the industry standard.

You can redeem your points for various rewards using your Chase online account, including:

  • Cash back
  • Gift cards
  • Travel
  • Products and services from third-party merchants

Points may be worth less than 1 cent apiece if you redeem them for rewards other than cash back. That said, it’s a good idea to check the redemption rate before using your points.

How to redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards points

Shop through Chase’s online portal

Chase’s shopping portal, called Chase Offers, offers a few opportunities to earn additional points on your purchases. All you need to do is log in to your Chase account, access the portal and make purchases using your Chase card.

Bonus point earnings vary based on the retailer, though you can find some great earning opportunities depending on what you’re in the market for.

Chase Ultimate Rewards Points Image: Supplied

Chase Ultimate Deals

You can find limited-time promotions through the Chase Ultimate Deals portal on the Chase Ultimate Rewards site. Clicking on an available promo allows you to shop and earn even greater points than normal.

These deals change regularly, so it can pay off to check back in whenever you access your account.

Refer a friend

You can earn bonus points directly to your account when you refer a friend to sign up with your brand of Chase card.

The exact amount you can earn depends on the type of card you have. For example, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ earns 5,000 points (or $50 cash back) for each friend who gets accepted, up to 50,000 points each year.

Chase Ultimate Rewards Points Image: Supplied
Data obtained March 2019. Values are subject to change and should be used only as a general guide.

Bottom line

Earning is easy with Chase Ultimate Rewards thanks to its competitive earning rates, solid welcome offers and the variety of bonuses available through the Chase shopping portal. Grab a pair of Chase cards to complement your spending habits and you’ll be able to take advantage of the great redemption options in no time.

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