See how much Ultimate Rewards points are worth and how they compare to other rewards programs’ points.
Chase Ultimate Rewards points are one of our favorite rewards program currencies, for a combination of reasons: Chase Ultimate Rewards’ point value is higher than the average rewards point, you have many options for racking up bonus points – including several credit cards that offer generous sign-up bonuses and a diverse array of bonus categories – and your redemption options are extremely flexible.
In the rewards card world, they are known as a “flexible points currency” – meaning you can redeem points for a variety of options, including travel, merchandise, gift cards and cash back. You can also transfer them between Ultimate Rewards cards and to a large list of Chase airline transfer partners and hotel loyalty programs, giving you access to a huge network of airlines that can take you practically anywhere you want to travel.
Top Chase Ultimate Rewards cards
No annual fee
|5X points on travel booked through Ultimate Rewards|
5X points on grocery store purchases (not including Target or Walmart purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year
3X points on dining and drugstore purchases
1.5X points on other purchases
$200 cash back (20,000 points) if you spend $500 in first 3 months
|5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards|
3X points on dining purchases
2X points on other travel purchases
1 point per $1 on other purchases
100,000 bonus points if you spend $4,000 in first 3 months
|10X points on hotel and car rental purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards|
5X points on air travel purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards
3X points on other travel purchases
Earn elevated rewards on all travel purchases immediately after earning the $300 annual travel credit
3X points on dining purchases
1 point per $1 on other purchases
60,000 bonus points if you spend $4,000 in first 3 months
Chase Ultimate Rewards points value
The value of Ultimate Rewards points varies, depending on how you redeem your points. Most redemption options – including cash back and travel redemptions through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal – are worth 1 cent, but the value can exceed 2 cents per point if you take advantage of transfer options. A few options, including Amazon.com purchases, are worth less than 1 cent per point.
|Redemption Option||Point 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 redemption||1 cent|
|Statement credit||1 cent|
|Direct deposit||1 cent|
|Gift cards||1 cent|
|Ultimate Rewards portal travel||1 cent|
|Apple products||1 cent|
|Amazon.com purchases||0.8 cent|
|Chase Pay purchases||0.8 cent|
|Singapore Airlines transfer||2.17 cents|
|World of Hyatt transfer||2 cents|
|Iberia Plus transfer||1.7 cents|
|Southwest Airlines transfer||1.57 cents|
|United Airlines transfer||1.52 cents|
|British Airways transfer||1.4 cents|
|Korean Air transfer||1.4 cents|
|Emirates Skywards transfer||1.1 cents|
|Air France/KLM transfer||1 cent|
|Aer Lingus transfer||1 cent|
|Virgin Atlantic transfer||0.8 cent|
|Marriott Bonvoy transfer||0.8 cent|
|IHG Rewards Club transfer||0.65 cent|
Here’s the key to estimating Chase Ultimate Rewards points value: You get a 25% to 50% bonus on your Ultimate Rewards points if you own a premium card such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve and redeem your points for travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal. So, basically, your points are worth between 1.25 and 1.5 cents (depending on which card you own) if you plan to use them for travel rewards. We value Ultimate Rewards points at 1.26 cents per point on average.
As you can see from our chart below, Ultimate Rewards points far exceed the value of the average credit card rewards point, which hovers around 1 cent per point. Compared to other loyalty programs, Ultimate Rewards points fall in the middle of the pack – they are outmatched by miles-based programs, such as AAdvantage and MileagePlus, but they beat the value of similar points-based programs, such as American Express Membership Rewards and Citi ThankYou:
Other advantages of Ultimate Rewards points:
Ultimate Rewards points don’t expire
Your Ultimate Rewards points are valid as long as your account is open. 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 those cards or to one of Chase’s travel partners 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 card – may enforce a cap on the number of points you can earn on 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 will 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 or you can 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 Chase Ultimate Rewards is that 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 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 between 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 Sapphire Reserve, you can transfer points to that card to unlock a higher point value when redeemed for travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal.
One small drawback: You can’t buy Ultimate Rewards points
Unlike some rewards programs, Chase doesn’t allow you to purchase points to make up for a lack of points. However, given the program’s flexibility, paying with points is mostly an unnecessary option. You can pay with cash to make up for missing points in most cases.
Chase’s Ultimate Rewards program is not only lucrative, it’s flexible. Between boosted value when booking through Chase’s travel portal and unlimited point accumulation, cardholders can squeeze every bit of value possible from Ultimate Rewards cards.
Furthermore, popular transfer partners like Marriot, Southwest and United Airlines make it possible to book vacations using accumulated Chase points. With only a small drawback of no opportunity to purchase points, Chase Ultimate Rewards points’ value bests most of its competitors.