Discover how to use Ultimate Rewards points for travel, merchandise and more.
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If you own a Chase Ultimate Rewards credit card, odds are you’ve checked out the Ultimate Rewards redemption portal. It allows users to redeem their points for travel purchases, gift cards and more. Since it has so much to offer, it can be hard to know where to start when you are ready to redeem your points. From special gift card discounts to bonus points for online shopping, Ultimate Rewards has plenty of perks for users to discover.
Ultimate Rewards redemption: Things to know
Ultimate Rewards is the redemption portal for several Chase credit cards, allowing users to use their points for cash back, travel purchases, gift cards or online shopping. The portal includes all sorts of special promotions, from savings on hotels, car rentals and experiences to bonus points at certain retailers.
If you have more than one Chase Ultimate Rewards card, you’ll view the portal individually for each account. You therefore have the rewards balance on that card available for redemption.
Chase also allows you to transfer points between cards, so you can combine rewards from multiple accounts to boost your rewards budget.
When you redeem points for travel – including flights, hotels, vacation rentals, rental cars and experiences – 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 your purchase on Amazon or Apple. No matter how you redeem your points, Ultimate Rewards is a flexible and user-friendly platform.
Booking a trip through Ultimate Rewards
One way to use your Ultimate Rewards points is to book travel purchases, including flights, hotels, car rentals and more. The home page for the travel portal on Ultimate Rewards lets you toggle through these options, as well as search for destinations and 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 Ultimate Rewards works like most other third party booking site but can vary a bit based on type of purchase.
To book a flight with your Ultimate Rewards points, you’ll search available options by destination, date and number of travelers. To help you decide which trip is a good value, Chase rates each search result on a 1 to 10 scale.
Similar to booking flights, you can book a hotel stay based on your travel destination and duration. Chase also offers special deals on hotel rates that change daily, so you know which search results have the best value.
If the listing is marked “Special Price” it is one of Chase’s limited time deals. If it is marked “Sale,” it is a special hotel offer, and the price could be going back up soon.
Booking car rentals
Ultimate Rewards also 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 Ultimate Rewards is the ability to book “Things to do” in 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 theme park tickets, city tours and spa services directly through their platform.
Booking vacation rentals
If you prefer vacation rental properties to hotels, Ultimate Rewards also lets you book these stays through the site. While the listings might not be as diverse as sites like Airbnb or HomeAway, Ultimate Rewards includes hundreds of vacation rental listings from apartment complexes and individual owners.
Cruise bookings are the only Ultimate Rewards travel category not powered by Expedia and are the most limited in terms of available bookings. Only two cruise lines were offering deals on Ultimate Rewards when we tried a search – Celebrity Cruises and Norwegian Cruises. It is also much more difficult to filter your search results, as you can only search by destination, not trip length or dates.
Booking special deals
Every day, Chase offers special prices on hotel stays, vacation rentals and experiences through Ultimate Rewards. By searching through that day’s deals, you can find better savings at your destination.
Is booking a trip through Ultimate Rewards worth it?
If you are an Ultimate Rewards cardholder, your points are very flexible. They can be redeemed for a statement credit, 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 through Chase’s platform. Before you decide how to book your next vacation, consider a few factors.
No additional booking fees
Unlike some third-party booking sites, Chase Ultimate Rewards does not charge any extra booking fees on top of 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.
Ultimate Rewards rates compared to other booking sites
The rates on all travel purchases are competitive on Chase Ultimate Rewards, and you won’t generally pay any more money by choosing to book through the bank. Take, for example, the following four-night stay at The Garland in Los Angeles.
|Deluxe room, 1 King bed||$201.20||$201||$201|
|Deluxe room, 2 Queen beds||$221.20||$221||$221|
Ultimate Rewards also offers competitive rates on flights. For a nonstop, round-trip flight from JFK to LAX, the platform boasted the same cost listed directly on the Delta website and on Priceline.
|Ultimate Rewards||Delta Air Lines®||Priceline|
Where Ultimate Rewards falls short is in its special deals. Though the deals section of the site seems like it offers exclusive savings, you aren’t typically saving more than you would on any other budget travel site. We compared the following “special price” at The LINE hotel in Austin with rates advertised on Hotels.com and Expedia, and found that Ultimate Rewards did not save travelers any extra money.
In fact, rates were exactly the same across all three sites.
|Room, 1 King bed||$270||$270||$270|
|Room, 2 Queen beds||$274||$274||$274|
However, while the Ultimate Rewards deal might not be a truly “special” price, it still does not cost users any extra money.
Ultimate Rewards points boost
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 you book travel through Chase’s platform.
|Card||Point value (when redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards)|
|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 Ultimate Rewards portal.
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 are getting competitive prices 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.
Amazon Shop with Points
If you regularly shop on Amazon, you might be surprised to learn you can use your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to pay for your order. You just need to link your Chase credit card through the Ultimate Rewards portal 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.
If neither of the online shopping options appeal to you, you can still use your Ultimate Rewards points to fund purchases. Just apply your points toward a gift card at one of over 150 different brands. For the most part, you’ll get 1 cent per point of value by redeeming this way. However, there are a few special deals that pop up, detailed below.
Chase Ultimate Deals
Anytime 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 as well as 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 cash back at these stores, make sure to click through to the website through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Any bonus points you earn should appear in your account in the next 5 business days.
Transfer to travel partners
If you own a premium Ultimate Rewards card (Chase Sapphire, Reserve or Ink Business Preferred) you also have the option to transfer your points to one of 13 travel partners. Points transfer at a 1:1 ratio, meaning you generally get good value by choosing this option.
See related: Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partners
Tips for maximizing Chase Ultimate Rewards
- If you are a Chase 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.
- Compare rates on flights and hotels to other booking sites to ensure you are getting the best deal.
- If you need to make a purchase with Apple or Amazon, consider shopping 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 a long way. By keeping an eye out for special deals on gift cards and online purchases, Ultimate Rewards cardholders can get great value out of the platform.