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How to maximize your Chase Ultimate Rewards points and get up to 50% more value

Chase Ultimate Rewards points are some of the most lucrative credit card rewards. Here's how you can get the most value out of your Chase points.

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Redeeming credit card rewards for gift cards or travel can be exciting, especially if you have certain Chase credit cards. Popular Chase cards, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Chase Freedom Unlimited®, are known for earning highly coveted Chase Ultimate Rewards® points.

These points are some of the most lucrative credit card rewards and have the potential to be worth 25% or 50% more value, depending on the card.

Whether you’ve been a Chase cardholder for a while or you’re new to Chase Ultimate Rewards (CUR), it’s important to know how you can get the most value out of your points.

To help you make sense of all your redemption options, we used first-person knowledge of Chase Ultimate Rewards to create an easy to follow guide that addresses common questions about the rewards program.

How to maximize Chase Ultimate Rewards

Which Chase credit cards earn Ultimate Rewards points?

How to earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points

There are three main ways you can earn Ultimate Rewards points: everyday spending, welcome bonuses and referral bonuses. Here’s how each option works:

Everyday spending

All Chase Ultimate Rewards cards earn points in some capacity. Even the Freedom cash-back cards accrue Ultimate Rewards points with cash value. The exact rewards rate you earn on everyday spending depends on the card.

For instance, the Sapphire Preferred earns 2X points on travel and dining worldwide and 1X points on all other purchases.

Meanwhile, the Freedom Flex earns 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate (then 1%), 5% cash back on travel booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3% cash back on dining and at drug stores and 1% cash back on all other purchases. (Check out the Chase Freedom cash-back calendar.)

Since the cash back you earn from the Freedom Flex card is accrued as Ultimate Rewards points, a $50 dining purchase at 3% cash back is equal to 150 points, or $1.50.

Welcome bonus

Currently all Ultimate Rewards cards offer a welcome bonus, which allows you to earn a large lump sum of points within the first three months from account opening.

The Sapphire cards tend to have the largest bonus offers with Preferred offering 60,000 points and Reserve providing 50,000 points. Both bonuses require you to spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.

The approximate value of both offers is $750 when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards or Pay Yourself Back feature, discussed more below.

Referral bonus

Another way to earn points is by referring friends to apply for the Chase card you have. Refer-a-friend bonuses allow you to earn upwards of $100 each time you refer someone for a credit card and they apply then get approved.

Chase continually offers a variety of referral bonuses that you can send out to friends and family multiple times. Here are some current offers:

How to redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards points

Here are some ways you can redeem points:

  • Travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Transfers to participating airline and hotel traveler programs, including JetBlue TrueBlue and Marriott Bonvoy™
  • Pay Yourself Back statement credits, with eligible categories including grocery stores (Sapphire only), dining (Sapphire only), home improvement stores (Sapphire only), select online advertising and shipping expenses (Ink Business Preferred and Ink Plus® Business Card* only) and contributions to a dozen eligible charities (all CUR cards except Ink Business Cash and Unlimited).
  • Cash back outside of Pay Yourself Back
  • Gift cards
  • Merchandise

*The Ink Plus® Business Card is no longer accepting new applicants.

What are Chase Ultimate Rewards points worth?

Chase Ultimate Rewards points are some of the most valuable credit card rewards. Points have a standard 1:1 value when you choose to redeem for statement credits, gift cards (unless there’s a sale) and transfers to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs.

One-to-one value means that 1 point is worth a penny. When it comes to loyalty program transfers, it simply means 1 point is still worth 1 point with the partner. So 1,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points equals a $10 statement credit or 1,000 partner miles/points.

In order to increase the value of your Ultimate Rewards points by 25% or 50%, you’ll need to have a card that boosts the value of points.

Here’s a breakdown of eligible card and their added value:

To receive the extra value, you must redeem points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards or Pay Yourself Back statement credits.

How to transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points

If you have more than one Chase Ultimate Rewards card, you may consider combining points into one account so you can pool rewards and potentially cash them in for greater value. You may also want to transfer points to someone in your household with an Ultimate Rewards card.

Here’s how to initiate a transfer:

  1. Log in to the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.
  2. Expand the “Earn / Use” menu to view redemption options.
  3. Click on “Combine Points” (you may have to click “See All” to reveal the “combine points” option).
  4. Choose the card you want to transfer points from and the card you want to move points to, then “Continue.”
  5. Enter how many points you would like to transfer and confirm the amount.
  6. Review the transfer request, then “Confirm & Submit.”
  7. Record your order number in case there’s an issue.

Learn more about transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

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