The Chase Ultimate Rewards program is a valuable incentive for cardholders. But maybe you haven’t yet applied for a Chase credit card or are unsure of which option gives you the biggest bang for your buck. Or maybe you’re already a cardholder and are looking to maximize your earning potential.

Chase Ultimate Rewards

Either way, we’ve got you covered in this comprehensive guide that pulls back the curtain so you can get a closer look at the inner workings of the Chase Ultimate Rewards program.

Earn Rewards By Using Your Chase Credit Card

There are several ways to earn points and cash back, but it depends on which product you choose.

Let’s take a closer look at the earning potential by card type:

Chase Cash Back Cards

Chase Freedom 5% on purchases in select categories (up to $1,500).

$0 annual fee

$150 cash back (or 15,000 in Ultimate Rewards points) after you spend $500; and 0% APR for 15 months once the account has been opened on all purchases and balance transfers.

After 15 months the card then has a variable rate of 16.74%-25.49%.
Chase Freedom Unlimited 1.5% on all purchases

$0 annual fee

Spend $500 within the first three months and you’ll get $150 cash back (or 15,000 Ultimate Rewards points).

Cardholders also enjoy purchase protection, zero liability for unauthorized charges, and extended warranty protection.
Chase Ink Business Cash 5% on select business expenses (up to $25,000)

2% on purchases at gas stations and restaurants

1% on all other purchases

$0 annual fee

$500 cash back after you spend $3,000 in the first three months.

0% APR for first 12 months on all purchases and balance transfers; after intro period it is then a variable rate of 14.99%-20.99%.

Chase Travel Cards

Chase Sapphire Preferred Double points on travel and dining

50,000 points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months

$95 annual fee (waived the first year)

Delayed baggage insurance

Primary car rental insurance

Trip interruption or cancellation insurance
Chase Sapphire Reserve Triple points on travel and dining

$450 annual fee

50,000 points after $4,000 is spent in the first three months

Priority Pass Select lounge access

$300 annual travel credit

Fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
Chase Ink Business Preferred 3 points per dollar spent on select business purchases (up to $150,000)

$95 annual fee

80,000 points after you spend $5,000 in the first three months

Cell protection up to $600 per claim for both damage and theft

Other Ways to Earn Chase Ultimate Rewards

Beyond swiping your card to make purchases, there are several other ways to earn through the Chase Ultimate Rewards program.

Shop through the Chase portal

You can earn even more cash back by shopping through the Chase portal. Stores can be filtered by category or you can conduct a keyword search. Once you locate the store you’re looking for, the extra cash back percentage will appear on the icon and you can proceed with your shopping by clicking the “Shop Now” button.

The homepage for the Shop through Chase portal also includes seasonal offers with extra bonus/cash back incentives of up to eight percent.

There are no earning caps and once you’ve completed your transaction, points will appear on the dashboard.

Refer-a-Friend Program

You can also earn extra cash back through the Refer-a-Friend Program. If you invite friends and they are approved, you’ll earn cash back simply for getting them to sign up.

To start inviting friends, all you need to do is send a special link via Twitter, Facebook or email, and it only takes a few seconds of your time.

Rules vary by card, so it’s best to read the cardholder agreement to learn more about bonus amounts and referral limits.

Cardholder Bonuses

While it varies by card, many of the Chase credit products offer lucrative cardholder bonuses. Some offer a hefty sum of bonus points or cash back for spending a certain amount within three months of opening an account.

Others extend a set amount of cash back simply by adding an authorized user. Since these introductory offers tend to change over time, it’s best to visit Chase.com to learn more about the current promotion.

How to Use Your Chase Ultimate Rewards Points

The earning potential is great with the Chase Ultimate Rewards Program, but the redemption options are even more impressive.

Couple on a motorbike

Cash Back

Each point earned through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Program is equivalent to one cent. Points can be redeemed at any time directly from the dashboard and deposited into your checking or savings account. You also have the option to receive a statement credit.

Gift Cards

Points can be also redeemed for gift cards from an array of retailers at the click of a button. Even better, select gift cards are offered at a discount to help you stretch your points even further.

Products

You can also redeem your points through Amazon.com. All you have to do is link your Chase Card and you’ll be given the option to use your points to pay at checkout. The dashboard also displays the value of your points, so you won’t have to spend time guessing how much you have at your disposal.

Travel

This is by far one of the best features of the Chase Ultimate Rewards program and where you will get the most value for your points. Not only can you combine points or pay for travel with both points and cash, but you can also transfer points to travel partners for airline miles.

Who are the Chase Ultimate Rewards Partners?

1:1 point transfer partners include:

Airline Partners

  • Aer Lingus
  • British Airways
  • Flying Blue (Air France/KLM)
  • Iberia
  • Jet Blue
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Southwest Airlines
  • United
  • Virgin Atlantic

Hotel Partners

  • IHG Rewards Club
  • Marriott Rewards
  • Ritz-Carlton Rewards
  • World of Hyatt

But keep in mind that once points are transferred to partner programs, they can’t be transferred back. So you want to be certain that your decision to book is final.

Chase Travel Portal

The Chase Travel Portal is an online tool that allows Ultimate Rewards cardholders to book rental cars, flights, hotels, event tickets, and tours.

Depending on which card you carry, your points will vary on the Chase Travel Portal. If you have multiple Chase cards with Ultimate Rewards points, you can transfer those points to the card with the highest redeeming value.

Here’s how the cards stack up to one another:

Case Freedom $0.01
Chase Freedom Unlimited $0.01
Chase Ink Business Cash $0.01
Chase Ink Business Preferred $0.0125
Chase Ink Business Unlimited $0.01
Chase Sapphire Preferred $0.0125
Chase Sapphire Reserve $0.01

Accessing the Chase Travel Portal

To access the Chase Travel Portal you will first need to have a card that earns you Ultimate Rewards points. If you do, all you need to do is log into your Chase account. Once you’re logged in you should see the Ultimate Rewards box on either the far right or left side of the home screen. Click on the box and it will take you to the portal.

Once on the portal, you will see a Use Points tab at the top of the screen. Click on this tab and you will be given the following options:

  • Get Cash Back
  • Shop Gift Cards
  • Use Points to Shop
  • Explore and Book Travel

The Explore and Book Travel option is probably the most used aspect of the Chase Travel Portal because it saves people money while doing what they love most: traveling.

Why You Should Use the Chase Travel Portal

Cardholders enjoy much better discounts by using their points through Chase’s Travel Portal. Sites like Expedia are similar in nature but are not built with Chase account holders in mind. With the Chase Travel Portal, shop and save as you would with Expedia, but then use your well-earned points to save even more.

Chase Experience Portal

The Chase Experience Portal (you may also have heard of Exclusive Events) is another way Chase Ultimate Rewards cardholders can use their points. It’s truly a portal you’ll want to bookmark on your computer and make a habit of checking every day as the site is updated regularly.

On the Chase Experience Portal you will find many different ways you can use your Ultimate Rewards points, including:

  • Sports tickets: Get tickets to some of the most exciting sports events in the world. Whether they are ring-side or on-field, you won’t be disappointed you spent your points here.
  • Entertainment: Whether it’s a new film, concert, or play, you can enjoy world-class entertainment with your Ultimate Rewards points.
  • Fine-dining and drinking: Get access to private dinners and tasting events; or enjoy a drink at a remote city-top bar.

Recent events Chase Ultimate Rewards cardholders have enjoyed include:

  • 2018 PGA Championship
  • Panic! At the Disco lounge event
  • Sundance Film Festival
  • Vegas Uncork’d

Of course, the value of many opportunities through the Chase Experience Portal is subjective, and it may be hard understanding why an event is worth what it is. If this is something you’re interested in, make sure it’s an event that money can’t buy and that you couldn’t imagine passing up.

Many people have experienced one-in-a-lifetime events through Chase and did so by patiently waiting for an opportunity that made them want to jump up into the air.

Ultimate Rewards Points Expiration

Most rewards programs offered through other credit cards cancel any points you have accumulated if your accounts are inactive for 6 to 18 months. Note: An account is considered inactive when there aren’t any payments or purchases on it for a certain period of time.

As long as your credit card is open and in good standing, Chase will not cancel any points you have accrued. Should you decide to cancel your account, the points will then be lost. However, your points can be saved if you simply switch to a different Chase credit card, even a card with no annual fee.

Chase Ultimate Rewards Phone Number

It’s a different number than the phone number printed on the back of your credit card.

To reach the Ultimate Rewards department, call 1-866-951-6592. Call this number for any Ultimate Rewards questions you may have. If you have any other questions related to your card or account, call the number that is printed on the back.

Bottom Line

By selecting a Chase card with a lucrative bonus offer and hefty earning potential, you can load your wallet with cash back and save a bundle on travel. But before applying, read the fine print to ensure the costs of carrying the card won’t outweigh the benefits.