Guide to earning and redeeming Chase Ultimate Rewards

When it comes to earning rewards on everyday purchases, Chase Ultimate Rewards credit cards offer one of the most attractive rewards programs available. But as you shop for a Chase card, it’s good to know that there are benefits to owning multiple Chase cards in order to maximize bonuses.

Best Chase cards to use for Ultimate Rewards

Chase Sapphire Reserve® 

  • APR: Standard variable rate of 19.24% to 26.24%
  • Annual Fee: $450
  • Reward Rates: Get a $300 credit as travel reimbursement each year on your cardmember anniversary. Earn 3x points on travel after earning credit, plus 3x points on dining and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. Points are worth 50% more when redeemed towards travel purchases. 
  • Intro Offer: Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in purchases on your new card within the first 3 months.

Chase Sapphire Reserve® is one of the high-end options among the Chase Ultimate Rewards credit cards. To make the hefty $450 annual fee worth it, you should only consider this card if you’re a frequent traveler or spend a significant sum on luxury vacations and dining.  

Chase Sapphire Preferred® 

  • APR: Standard variable rate of 18.24% to 25.24%
  • Annual Fee: $95
  • Reward Rates: Earn 2x points on travel and restaurants worldwide, plus 1 point on all other purchases.
  • Intro Offer: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in purchases on your new card within the first 3 months.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® is a must-have for the everyday traveler. Earn 2 points for every dollar spent on travel and dining purchases, plus no foreign transaction fees and an incredible 60,000 bonus point intro offer. 

Chase Freedom®

  • APR: 0% intro for 15 months of opening an account, then the standard variable rate of 17.24% to 25.99%
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Reward Rates: Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories for each quarter (must be activated), plus 1% cash back on all other purchases. 
  • Intro Offer: Earn a signup bonus of $150 if you spend $500 on purchases within the first three months. 

If you need an everyday card and don’t mind the extra planning, the Chase Freedom® offers a great bonus incentive. Bonus categories (i.e gas stations, supermarkets, and streaming services) are announced each quarter. As long as you activate your quarterly bonus before the deadline, you’ll get 5 percent cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card®

  • APR:  Standard variable rate of 18.24% to 25.24%
  • Annual Fee: $99
  • Reward Rates: Earn 2x points on Southwest® purchases and Rapid Rewards® hotel and car rental partner purchases.
  • Intro Offer: Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of opening an account

Like the name suggests, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card® is a great option for Southwest frequent flyers. Along with the 2x point bonus on Southwest purchases, enjoy other perks including free checked baggage and priority boarding. 

Ink Business Cash Credit Card®

  • APR:  0% intro for 12 months of opening an account, then the standard variable rate of 15.49% to 21.49%
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Reward Rates: Earn 5% cash back on up to $25,000 in combined purchases on office supplies and internet, cable, and phone services, each anniversary year.
  • Intro Offer: Earn $500 cash back after you spend 3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of opening an account

Whether you’re a new start-up or a small business, the Ink Business Cash Credit Card® has much to offer. There’s no annual fee and you can earn a nice 5 percent cash back bonus on up to $25,000 worth of office supplies and telecommunications expenses. 

Ink Business Preferred Credit Card®

  • APR:  0% intro for 12 months of opening an account, then the standard variable rate of 15.49% to 21.49%
  • Annual Fee: $95
  • Reward Rates: Earn 3x points on up to $150,000 in combined purchases each account anniversary year on travel, shipping, advertising, and internet, cable, and phone services. 
  • Intro Offer: Earn 80,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of opening an account

If your small business spends a lot on travel or digital marketing, the Ink Business Cash Credit Card® is calling out for you. You can earn up to 3x points on a variety of business categories, including travel, digital advertising, and telecommunications. Add cards for your employees at no extra charge.

How to use redeem your Chase Ultimate Reward points

Your Chase points can be redeemed in a variety of ways, including cash, travel, Apple purchases, Amazon purchases and gift cards. To do this, you first need to log in to your Chase account and access the Chase Ultimate Rewards Portal. Search according to your desired redemption option to see what your points are eligible for. For example, in order to redeem for travel, search for available flights according to flight and travel date. Then, select the best option for the amount of points you have.  

When you redeem your points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, your point value increases by 25 percent.

Cash Back or Gift Cards

You can choose to redeem all of your points for cash in the form of a direct deposit or a statement credit. At around 1 cent per point, this would equate to $100 for every 10,000 points. Points can also be used for gift cards to a variety of popular restaurants and retail stores. 

Travel 

One of the best ways to redeem points is through travel purchases using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal booking tool. Points can be used towards flights, hotels, rental cars, and events or experiences. Chase Sapphire Preferred and Ink Business Preferred offer the highest redemption rate at 1.5 cents per point. You can transfer points from other Chase rewards cards to these accounts for maximum value.

Shop on Amazon

If you link your Chase rewards card directly to your Amazon account, it’s easy to redeem points when making purchases. 

Transfer to Travel Partners 

If you own a Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve® or Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, it’s possible to transfer your points to one of Chase’s many airline and hotel travel partners. They can be redeemed as frequent flyer miles. 

In a nutshell

Whether you’re a small business owner, a frequent flyer or both, you don’t have to limit yourself to just one Chase Ultimate Rewards credit card. Choose the options that will bring the most value, and familiarize yourself with the bonus structure so you can maximize the return. 

Shiran Brodie

Personal finance writer

Shiran is currently living in Prague but missing home in Philadelphia, PA. In her spare time she enjoys reading fantasy novels, traveling the world, and watching Doctor Who.