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Why are Chase Ultimate Rewards so valuable?

Learn how to get the most from this flexible rewards program

Summary

See how much Ultimate Rewards points are worth and how they compare with other rewards programs’ points.

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The points you can earn in the Chase Ultimate Rewards program are some of the most popular among all flexible rewards credit cards on the market today, and it’s easy to see why.

Chase Ultimate Rewards’ point value is higher than the average rewards point, and you have many options for racking up bonus points — including several credit cards that offer generous sign-up bonuses. Your redemption options are also extremely flexible, so you’ll never have to worry about being stuck with points you cannot use.

In the rewards card world, Chase Ultimate Rewards points are known as a “flexible points currency” — meaning you can redeem them for a variety of options, including travel, merchandise, gift cards and cash back. You can also transfer these points between Ultimate Rewards cards and to a large list of Chase transfer partners, both airline and hotel, which makes them even more versatile for people who travel often.

If you’re considering picking up a Chase credit card but can’t stop wondering how you’ll use your points, read on to learn more.

Chase Ultimate Rewards points value

The value of Ultimate Rewards points varies depending on how you actually redeem your points once you earn them. Most redemption options — including cash back and travel redemptions through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal — are valued at 1 cent per point if you have a cash back credit card like the Chase Freedom Flex℠ and Chase Freedom Unlimited.

That said, having a Chase travel credit card can impact your points’ values depending on how you redeem. Where the Chase Sapphire Reserve card lets you get 1.5 cents per point in value when you redeem for travel through Chase, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card give you 1.25 cents per point for this kind of redemption.

Ultimately, this means your points are worth between 1 and 1.5 cents (depending on which card you own) if you plan to use them for travel rewards through the Chase portal.

They can also be worth considerably more (or a lot less) than that if you transfer them to partners. However, keep in mind that only Chase travel credit cards let you transfer points to airline and hotel partners.

Either way, the chart below shows the redemption options for Chase Ultimate Rewards points and what each option is worth.

Redemption optionPoint value
Sapphire Reserve travel redemption (50% bonus)1.5 cents
Sapphire Preferred and Ink Business Preferred travel redemption (25% bonus)1.25 cents
Regular travel redemption1 cent
Statement credit1 cent
Direct deposit1 cent
Gift cards1 cent
Ultimate Rewards portal travel1 cent
Apple products1 cent
Amazon.com purchases0.8 cent
Chase Pay purchases0.8 cent
Singapore Airlines transfer1.3 cents
World of Hyatt transfer1.7 cents
Iberia Plus transfer1.5 cents
Southwest Airlines transfer1.5 cents
United Airlines transfer1.21 cents
British Airways transfer1.5 cents
Korean Air transfer1.7 cents
Emirates Skywards transfer1.2 cents
Air France/KLM transfer1.2 cents
Aer Lingus transfer1.5 cents
Virgin Atlantic transfer1.5 cents
Marriott Bonvoy transfer0.84 cents
IHG One Rewards transfer0.5 cents

Other advantages of Ultimate Rewards points

There are plenty of perks regarding Ultimate Rewards points:

Ultimate Rewards points don’t expire

Your Ultimate Rewards points are valid as long as your account is open — or as long as you have at least one card that earns Chase Ultimate Rewards in your wallet.

Also, if you own a premium Ultimate Rewards card, such as the Sapphire Preferred or Sapphire Reserve cards, you can transfer your points to one of Chase’s travel partners first if you plan to close a card.

There’s no limit to how many Ultimate Rewards points you can earn

Though some Ultimate Rewards cards, such as the Chase Freedom Flex, may enforce a cap on the number of points you can earn in quarterly bonus categories, there are no overall limits to the number of Ultimate Rewards points that you can earn in a year or over the lifetime of your Ultimate Rewards membership. As long as you use your cards, you’ll accumulate Ultimate Rewards points.

You can redeem Ultimate Rewards points for a variety of rewards

Though travel rewards are your best bet, the Ultimate Rewards program gives you a diverse array of redemption options, including statement credits, bank deposits, gift cards and merchandise.

Also, you have a lot of flexibility in how you redeem your points for travel. You can purchase travel from an outside site and redeem your points for statement credits, but you can also purchase travel through the Ultimate Rewards site.

You can transfer Ultimate Rewards points to Chase’s travel partners at a 1:1 rate

One of the main advantages of the Chase Ultimate Rewards program is the fact you can transfer them to an outside loyalty program if you own an Ultimate Rewards card with an annual fee.

Chase’s list of travel partners includes several major airlines and hotel chains, giving you access to a worldwide travel network. Your Chase points transfer at a 1:1 rate, which means your points maintain their value once you transfer them.

You can redeem any number of Ultimate Rewards points at any time

You don’t have to wait to accumulate a certain number of Ultimate Rewards points to start using them. You can redeem your points starting at 1 point per 1 cent of cash back.

You can combine points and cash to book travel rewards

You don’t have to worry about collecting a large number of points to book a travel reward. If you don’t have enough points for a particular flight, you can use cash to cover the remainder of the fare (though a minimum number of points may be required for some flights).

You can transfer Ultimate Rewards points among cards

For rewards card jugglers, Ultimate Rewards offer the valuable opportunity to combine points earned across any Ultimate Rewards cards you have open. This is a great feature that makes combining cards particularly lucrative, as you can stockpile rewards earned on different bonus categories across cards.

Plus, if you have a premium card like the Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve, you can transfer points to that card to unlock a higher point value when you redeem for travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal.

Just keep in mind that Chase no longer lets you add transfer card accounts online for other people in your household. As of early 2022, you’ll have to call into the Chase Ultimate Rewards customer service hotline to add eligible accounts to which you can transfer your points.

One small drawback: You can’t buy Ultimate Rewards points

Unlike some rewards programs, Chase doesn’t let you purchase points if you’re running short for a redemption you want. However, this will only be a problem if you’re hoping to transfer a specific number of points to an airline or hotel partner. Most other redemptions, including cash back and statement credits, let you redeem in any amount.

Bottom line

The Chase Ultimate Rewards program is not only lucrative, it’s as flexible as they come in terms of credit card programs. Between boosted value when booking through Chase’s travel portal and unlimited point accumulation, cardholders can squeeze every bit of value possible from Chase Ultimate Rewards credit cards.

Furthermore, popular transfer partners like Marriott Bonvoy, Southwest and United Airlines make it possible to book vacations using accumulated Chase points. With only the small drawback of no opportunity to purchase points, Chase Ultimate Rewards points’ value beats most of its competitors.

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

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