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Redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards for best value

Maximize the program's value using at least two cards.

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Our pick for earning Chase Ultimate Rewards: Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Chase Sapphire Reserve® logo

50,000-point

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

  • Not just for travel: Get DoorDash perks,10x points on Lyft and 3x on dining
  • Signup bonus worth $750 with Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • $300 annual travel credit
Apply now
The Chase Ultimate Rewards program is incredibly versatile. You can redeem your points on cashback or gift cards, book travel through the Chase travel portal or transfer points to one of many partnered airlines. To take advantage of the full value of the program, however, you’ll need at least two cards — one card for earning and one premium card for redeeming.

Redeeming Chase Ultimate Rewards points in the Chase portal

There are four basic ways to redeem Chase points using your Chase Ultimate Rewards account on your dashboard. Note that some redemption options depend on your Chase credit card.

  • Travel
  • Gift cards
  • Cash back
  • Amazon.com Shop with Points

Redeem for cashback or gift cards

The cashback and gift card redemption options both offer a straightforward value of one cent per point. For example, you can redeem 5,000 points for $50 cash back on your account. Similarly, a $15 gift card would cost 1,500 points.

The exception here is on gift cards, which often go on sale through Chase’s gift card portal. You can check out current sales by clicking on Gift Cards or Deals.

Redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards Points Image: Getty Images

For example, a 10% off sale on gift cards could bring your point value to about 1.1 cent per point.

Purchase merchandise using points

There are two redemption options for making purchases through Chase’s shopping portal: Amazon and Apple. However, points redeemed through Amazon and Apple are downgraded to about 0.8 cents per point.

If you really want to use points on an Apple or Amazon product, check for limited-time promotions for added point value.

Book travel through the Chase travel portal

You can fly to Asia, North America, South America, Europe, Africa and Oceania using the Chase travel portal. You’ll also find no blackout dates or travel restrictions when booking with the Chase travel portal, which is a great benefit.

This is a great use of your points, with a caveat — the value of your points depends on the card you’re using to redeem your flight.

Chase cardRedemption value per point
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
  • Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
1.25 cents per point
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve®
1.5 cents per point
  • Chase Freedom®
  • Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card
  • Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card
  • Chase Freedom Unlimited®
1 cent per point

Data obtained March 2019. Values are subject to change and should be used only as a general guide.

Based on these values, redeeming your points for travel is only worth it if you have a Chase card that earns additional value upon redemption — preferably the Chase Sapphire Reserve®.

Here’s an example. If you wanted to fly from Los Angeles (LAX) to Honolulu (HNL), a nonstop, basic economy flight on United might cost $296.20. Normally that would cost 29,620 points, giving you a 1-cent-per-point redemption rate. But with a product like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, which gives you a 25% point boost when you redeem for travel through the Chase portal, you can book the flight for 23,696 points.

Transfer your points to a partner

Transferring points to one of Chase’s travel partners is by far the best use of your Ultimate Rewards points, provided you’re comfortable putting in a little work. To transfer points, you’ll need one of Chase’s premium credit cards.

For example, you can often find United fares with solid redemption rates. A flight from Los Angeles (LAX) to New York (EWR) might normally cost $307, but a Saver Award might cost 25,000 miles plus $11.20 in taxes in fees. Excluding fee calculations, you’ll get a redemption rate around 1.2 cents per mile.

Name Product Filter values Rewards Purchase APR Annual fee
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
5x points on Lyft, 2x points on travel and dining and 1x points on all other purchases
15.99% to 22.99% variable
$95
This popular travel card's signup bonus is worth up to $750. Get even more value out of your travel, dining, and Lyft rewards by transferring them to miles.
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
10x points on Lyft rides, 3x points on dining and travel after earning your $300 travel credit and 1x points on all other purchases
16.99% to 23.99% variable
$550
Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
3x points on the first $150,000 on travel and select business categories annually, then 1x after and on all other purchases
15.99% to 20.99% variable
$95
100,000 bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening. That's $1,250 toward travel rewards when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
CardMatch™ from creditcards.com
See terms
See issuer's website
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.
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Transferring to premium cards

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve® and Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card are essential for redeeming points for best value. They are the only cards you can use to transfer points to partnered airlines and redeem through the Chase travel portal for increased value. You can also transfer points earned on other Chase cards to one of these premium cards before redemption.

Combine Chase Ultimate Rewards points Image: Supplied

Log in to your Chase Ultimate Rewards account, select the card to transfer points from, and click on Combine points. From there, you can select the number of points you want to move and which card will receive them.

Travel transfer partners

Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfer to each partner at a straightforward 1:1 ratio, in increments of 1,000 points. However, once you’ve transferred your points, their value depends on the hotel or airline reward program. Here are the current average point values based on research for our reward program guides.

The reward values below are estimates, taken as the average you’ll likely find when redeeming points or miles with the respective programs.

Travel partnerValue per point/mile
Aer Lingus AerClubBetween 1 and 2 cents
Air France KLM Flying Blue2
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer1.4
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards1.7
United MileagePlus1.4
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club1.5
JetBlue TrueBlue1.4
Iberia PlusBetween 1 and 2 cents
British Airway Avios1.5
World of Hyatt1.9
IHG Rewards Club0.3
Marriott Bonvoy0.9

Data obtained March 2019. Values are subject to change and should be used only as a general guide.

Transferring points to airlines

According to our valuations, Aer Lingus AerClub, Air France/KLM Flying Blue and Iberia Plus may offer some of the highest redemption values. At the same time, you may find fares that offer terrible values. To make sure you’re getting the most out of your miles, divide the dollar price of each fare by the number of miles you must use. The result will be the number of cents each mile is worth.

Airlines like United, Southwest, Singapore Airlines, Virgin Atlantic and British Airways often give you solid value for your miles. If you find they can carry you to your destination, it can be well worth transferring your points to these carriers.

Which hotel program should you transfer Chase points to?

As far as hotels go, World of Hyatt is usually your best bet for point transfers. You can find some excellent deals through the program, potentially nabbing a superb 1.9-cent-per-point redemption rate.

Chase cards that earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points

The following cards can help you earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

Name Product Welcome offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
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 at grocery stores on up to $12,000 in the first year, 5% on Lyft and 1.5% on all other purchases
$0
Earn a $200 signup bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months, plus 5% cash back at grocery stores on up to $12,000 in the first year
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
5x points on Lyft, 2x points on travel and dining and 1x points on all other purchases
$95
This popular travel card's signup bonus is worth up to $750. Get even more value out of your travel, dining, and Lyft rewards by transferring them to miles.
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
Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
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.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Choosing how to redeem your points

With two strong travel redemption options available, it can take a little research to figure out your best move for redeeming your points. Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

Bottom line

There are many ways to maximize the value of the Chase Ultimate Rewards program if you’re willing to do a little research and have at least two cards. Set yourself up for success by applying for a premium Chase card before you start spending your points.

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