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Chase Ultimate Rewards points are some of the most valuable in the industry, but, you need some insider tips to make the most of your points. At a basic level, we try to acheive a minimum value for Chase Ultimate Rewards points of 1.7 cents per point, but you can maximize the points and achieve a higher value if you know a few tricks.
Multiple Redemption Options
One of the options available for redeeming Ultimate Rewards Points is receiving a statement credit. This is the least valuable of the options but does get you instant cash back. You will get a redemption rate of one cent for every point you redeem. While this is not the most economical way to redeem your points, you are getting money back, which does count for something!
Another way to redeem your Chase Ultimate Rewards points is by redeeming them for travel redemptions. If you see this as your best option, you can book your travel reservations through the Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal.
Use as many points as you want from your account to exchange for airline tickets, hotel stays, rental cars, or even certain excursions or entertainment activities. For those with select Chase credit cards, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, you will get an additional 20% discount when you exchange your points, which gives you a lot more value for those points. When you exchange your points this way, you are actually getting a value of 1.25 cents per point.
Additionally, as a Chase Sapphire Reserve® cardholder, you'll receive 1.5 cents per point when redeeming through the Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal, further increasing the value of your UR points.
It's important to note the Sapphire cards have different application rules than their UR earning counterparts. You can only apply for a Sapphire card if you don't already hold a card inside the Sapphire family and haven't received a signup bonus in the last 48 months.
Transfer to Travel Partners
A third way that you can redeem your Ultimate Rewards points, and the most lucrative, is by transferring them to one of the 9 airline travel partners or 3 hotel partners that offer points transfers. The airlines include United, Southwest, British Airways, Singapore Air, Virgin Atlantic, and Air France/KLM.
If you prefer to use your points with hotel partners, you can choose from Hyatt, Marriott, and IHG properties. Ultimate Rewards points are transferred instantly at a 1:1 ratio, and you have to transfer 1,000 points at a time to use them this way.
What’s the Difference?
Most travel rewards experts would not encourage you to redeem your points for cashback or a statement credit. You can get a lot more value using the other options. The Ultimate Rewards portal does offer some great deals, but the true value comes from learning how to work the system when it comes to travel partners. Researching the options is important. Here are some examples of how you can get even more value with your Ultimate Rewards points.
One option is to transfer your Ultimate Rewards points to United for flights to Europe. Round-trip economy tickets are only 60,000 miles, and business class on United metal is 57,500 miles each way.
Transferring them to an airline or hotel partner that you want to use for your travel plans is the most economical way to use your points. Why spend $6,000 on airline tickets when you can use 80,000 points and save yourself over $5,000?
Earning Chase Ultimate Rewards
Cards featuring annual fees that earn Ultimate Rewards points.
|Card||Value Per Point when Booking travel through UltimateRewards.com||Points Transferrable to Travel Partners||Earning on Everyday Spend||Earning on Dining||Earning on Travel|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card||1.25¢||Yes||1x||2x||2x|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve®||1.50¢||Yes||1x||3x||3x|
|Chase Freedom Flex℠||1.00¢||No||1x||3x||5x (purchased through Chase)|
|Chase Freedom Unlimited®||1.00¢||No||1.5x||3x||5x (purchased through Chase)|
|Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card||1.00¢||No||1.5x||1.5x||1.5x|
|Ink Business Cash® Credit Card||1.00¢||No||1x||2x (up to $25k/year*)||1x|
|Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card||1.25¢||Yes||1x||1x||3x (up to $150k/year*)|
Having one of these travel rewards cards also gives you the ability to receive Ultimate Rewards points through the Ultimate Rewards online shopping portal.
Understanding the inner workings of the Ultimate Rewards program and doing adequate research before making your travel reservations can help you really maximize your points and get some really terrific travel deals.
Make sure that you are receiving the maximum points, too, by concentrating your spending in the right categories to build up a large number of points. Between sign-on bonuses, receiving points, and savvy redemption habits, you can get amazing deals and save a ton of money on your travel.
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