The Chase Ultimate Rewards redemption portal offers plenty of perks for cardholders. But since it offers so much, it can be difficult for cardholders to know where to start when redeeming their points. Read on to learn how to navigate the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.
If you have a Chase Ultimate Rewards credit card in your wallet, odds are you’ve checked out the Ultimate Rewards redemption portal. This online portal allows users to redeem their points for travel purchases, gift cards, Apple products, Amazon.com purchases and more. And, Ultimate Rewards also offers plenty of other perks for users, from special gift-card discounts to bonus points for online shopping.
But because it has so much to offer, it can be tough to know where to start with Ultimate Rewards, especially when you are ready to redeem your points. To help you better understand the Chase Ultimate Rewards program, here’s what you need to know.
What is Ultimate Rewards?
The Chase Ultimate Rewards program is the rewards program provided to cardholders on several Chase credit cards. It is one of the most robust travel rewards programs available, thanks to its generally high-rewards potential, flexible redemption choices and attractive partnerships with numerous travel brands.
Ultimate Rewards is also the name of the redemption portal that allows users to redeem their points for cash back, travel purchases, gift cards, online shopping and more. The portal includes a range of special promotions, from savings on hotels, car rentals and experiences to bonus points at certain retailers.
When accessing the portal, the rewards balances available for redemption are split between cards if you have more than one Ultimate Rewards card. You can also access the portal through each individual card account.
Chase allows you to transfer points between cards, so you can combine rewards earned from multiple accounts to boost your rewards budget. Some cards have a higher value when redeeming the points for travel, making transferring points between cards even more useful for certain cardholders.
When you redeem points for travel, you have the option to pay with your Chase credit card, Ultimate Rewards points or both. You can also use points to pay for part or all of a purchase you make on Amazon or Apple. No matter how you redeem your points, Ultimate Rewards is a flexible and user-friendly platform.
Booking a trip through Chase Travel
One way to use your Ultimate Rewards points is to book travel purchases, including flights, hotels, car rentals, experiences and cruises. You can navigate to the homepage of the travel hub, now dubbed Chase Travel, through the Ultimate Rewards portal. On the homepage, you can toggle through the travel categories, search for destinations and read articles to inspire your next vacation. All bookings (other than cruises) are powered by Expedia, meaning there is a wide portfolio of options and competitive pricing across travel purchases.
Booking a trip through Chase Travel works like most other third-party booking sites but can vary a bit based on the type of purchase.
To book a flight, you’ll search available options by destination, travel date and number of travelers. To help you decide which trip is a good value, Chase rates each search result on a scale of 1 to 10.
The results are automatically ranked by lowest price, but you can filter the results to rank by shortest duration, earliest arrival time and other factors. You can also filter the options by the number of stops (nonstop, one stop or two or more stops), flight times, airline and more.
Much like booking flights, you can book a hotel stay through the travel portal based on your travel destination and duration. You can further filter by hotel chain, star rating, Tripadvisor rating, neighborhood and other factors. Some hotel listings are even marked “sale,” which is a special hotel offer and the price could go back up.
You can also read Tripadvisor reviews directly on the portal rather than opening Tripadvisor in a separate tab to see how others like the property you’re eyeing.
Booking car rentals
Chase Travel allows users to book rental cars with several different companies through the platform. You can filter search results by car size, price level or your favorite rental company.
One unique feature of Chase Travel is the ability to book activities at your vacation destination. To help users book their whole trip in one place with the flexibility of using rewards points, Chase offers experiences such as performances, city tours and spa services directly through its platform.
Cruise bookings are the only Chase Travel travel category not powered by Expedia. Unfortunately, you cannot use the portal to search for cruises, like the other categories. Instead, the cruise page simply says to call the customer service line (1-866-331-0773) and speak to a representative directly.
Is booking a trip through Chase Travel worth it?
If you are an Ultimate Rewards cardholder, your points are flexible. They can even be redeemed for statement credits, allowing you to book travel on other sites and make up the cost with cash back. However, there are several benefits that come with booking directly through Chase’s platform. Before you decide how to book your next vacation, consider the following benefits.
No additional booking fees
Unlike some third-party booking sites, Chase Travel does not charge any extra booking fees on top of the fees charged by the hotel or airline. You also won’t be charged a cancellation fee for the first 24 hours after booking a flight.
Chase Travel rates compared to other booking sites
The rates on all travel purchases are competitive on Chase Travel, and in general, you won’t pay any more money by choosing to book through the portal. Take, for example, the following four-night stay at The Garland in Los Angeles.
When compared to rates listed on Hotels.com and Expedia, Chase Travel offered the same rooms at the same price.
|Deluxe room, 1 king bed||$289||$289||$289|
|Deluxe room, 2 queen beds||$319||$319||$319|
|Superior room, 1 king bed||$319||$319||$319|
Chase Travel also offers competitive rates on flights. For a nonstop, round-trip flight from JFK to LAX, the platform offered nearly the same cost listed directly on the Delta website and on Priceline.
|Chase Travel||Delta Air Lines||Priceline|
Chase Travel points boost
Perhaps one of the greatest reasons why you should book through Chase Travel is the boosted point value when redeeming points. If you are a Chase Sapphire Reserve®, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card holder, your Ultimate Rewards points have a higher value when redeemed for travel through Chase’s platform.
|Card||Point value (when redeemed for travel through Chase Travel)|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve||1.5 cents|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred||1.25 cents|
|Ink Business Preferred||1.25 cents|
While cash back point redemptions only glean 1 cent per point across all Ultimate Rewards cards, certain cardholders have the potential to unlock better value by booking travel through the Chase Travel portal.
Earn more Ultimate Rewards points
Many Chase cards also let you earn more Ultimate Rewards points when you make travel purchases on the portal. If you don’t have quite enough points to spend on your trip, it can still be rewarding to make reservations with Chase, as you can rack up rewards to help cover your next one.
Note that though the Chase Freedom Unlimited* and Chase Freedom Flex* cards are technically cash back cards, their rewards are fulfilled as Ultimate Rewards points. Plus, if you do the math, 5 percent cash back is the same rate as 5X points.
|Card||Rewards earned on Ultimate Rewards travel purchases|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve||10X points on hotels and car rentals; 5X points on air travel|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred||5X points|
|Chase Freedom Unlimited||5% cash back|
|Chase Freedom Flex||5% cash back|
No hotel elite benefits
Since Ultimate Rewards is a third-party booking site, you won’t be able to enjoy any hotel elite benefits when you book a stay through the platform. If perks like complimentary Wi-Fi, late checkout or room upgrades are an important part of your vacation, you might be better off redeeming points for a statement credit and booking directly with your favorite hotel.
Overall, booking a trip through Ultimate Rewards is usually worth it. You get competitive prices compared to other sites and can potentially eke more value out of your points. However, consider the value of your hotel elite benefits before deciding to book this way.
Other redemption options with Ultimate Rewards
Other than travel purchases, Ultimate Rewards cardholders have plenty of other ways to use their points. Here is a quick breakdown of other redemption options and how they work.
Pay with points
If you regularly shop on Amazon or use PayPal, you might be surprised to learn you can use your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to pay for your order. All you have to do is link your Chase card, through the Ultimate Rewards portal, to your account and shop as normal.
Apple Ultimate Rewards store
Another merchandise option for your Ultimate Rewards points is Apple products. By shopping through the Ultimate Rewards portal, you can use points to pay for your next phone or computer. And, the good news is that the products are the same price on the portal as they are on the Apple website.
If neither online shopping option appeals to you, you can still use your Ultimate Rewards points to fund purchases. Just apply your points toward a gift card, and you’ll generally get 1 cent per point of value by redeeming this way. However, there are a few special deals that pop up, such as 15 percent off a BJ’s Restaurant gift card. With the discount applied, it’ll only cost you 850 points for a $10 gift card.
Chase Ultimate Deals
Any time you are on the Ultimate Rewards portal, it is a good idea to check out Chase Ultimate Deals. This page includes current offers for bonus points at online retailers and discounts on gift card redemptions. If you are trying to rack up points or get more than 1-cent-per-point of value on a gift card, this is a great portal to check out.
Shop through Chase
While not strictly a redemption option, Shop through Chase is another unique feature on the Ultimate Rewards portal. It awards between 1 and 15 bonus points for shopping online at hundreds of different retailers. Just be sure you check out each site’s individual terms and conditions, as they might include specific purchase requirements or expiration dates.
To ensure you earn bonus points at these stores, make sure to check back on the “Rewards Activity” page on the portal. Any bonus points you earn should appear in your account in the next five business days.
Transfer to travel partners
If you have a premium Ultimate Rewards card (Chase Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Reserve or Ink Business Preferred), you also have the option to transfer your points to one of Chase’s 14 transfer partners. Points transfer at a 1:1 ratio, meaning you generally get good value by choosing this option.
Tips for maximizing Chase Ultimate Rewards
- If you are a Chase Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Reserve or Ink Business Preferred cardholder, use your points to book travel to get the best value.
- Check Chase Ultimate Deals regularly to see if you can earn bonus points or save money on gift cards.
- Check Shop through Chase before buying a product online to see if you can earn bonus points on your purchase.
- Purchase flights and hotels via Chase Travel because the prices are competitive and you can earn bonus points on those transactions, if you pay with your Chase card.
- If you need to make a purchase with Apple, Amazon or PayPal, consider going through Ultimate Rewards to use your available points.
Chase Ultimate Rewards is a user-friendly point redemption platform that offers plenty of flexibility for Chase cardholders. When it comes to booking travel, there are plenty of options and competitive rates. Plus, point boosts allow Sapphire and Ink Business Preferred cardholders to stretch their points further than they otherwise could. Ultimate Rewards cardholders also maximize the value of the platform by keeping an eye out for special deals on gift cards and online purchases.
*Information about the Chase Freedom Unlimited and Chase Freedom Flex has been collected independently by CreditCards.com. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.