How to earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points

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

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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.

Our pick for Chase Ultimate Rewards

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Spend $4,000 within your first 3 months of card membership to earn 60,000 bonus points — worth $750 when redeemed for travel via Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • Earn 2x points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide and 1x point on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
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Compare cards for earning Chase Ultimate Rewards

Name Product Welcome offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
2x points on travel and dining and 1x points on all other purchases
$95
Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
50,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
3x points on dining and travel after earning your $300 travel credit and 1x points on all other purchases
$450
Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
$150 after spending $500 in the first 3 months
1.5% cash back on all purchases
$0
Earn a $150 signup bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months from account opening.
$200 cash back after spending $500 in the first 3 months

5% back in rotating categories up to $1,500 combined each activated quarter, then 1% after that and on all other purchases
$0
Earn $200 cash back after spending $500 in the first 3 months from account opening.
80,000 points after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months
3x points on the first $150,000 on travel and select business categories annually, then 1x after and on all other purchases
$95
80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel rewards when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

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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 frequently travel or dine out, pair this card up with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. You’ll earn 2x points for every dollar spent, supplementing the income provided by the Chase Freedom Unlimited®!

How cashback redemption works

Chase advertises its Chase Freedom® 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® 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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