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Home » Chase Ultimate Rewards® Guide: Transferable points with cash redemption options

Chase Ultimate Rewards® Guide: Transferable points with cash redemption options

Chase Ultimate Rewards® is a transferable points rewards program that offers travel rewards, cash back rewards, and point transfers to partners. Cards earning Ultimate Rewards® include no-annual-fee cards like the Chase Freedom Flex℠ and Chase Freedom Unlimited®, the premium travel credit cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve®, and small business cards like the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card, Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card and Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card.

Here’s what you need to know about Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

In this article

Chase Ultimate Rewards® at a Glance

Chase Ultimate Rewards® is the transferable reward points program of Chase. The program offers many easy ways to earn points through credit card welcome bonuses, spending, and shopping through its portal and its cards offer benefits that can sometimes be even more valuable that the rewards you earn. The program also features an excellent suite of transfer partners and travel redemption options that make it easy to get value from your points.

Welcome bonuses
How easy is it to amass a ton of points with credit card welcome bonuses?
Above average.You can earn a ton of Chase Ultimate Rewards® points through welcome bonuses, perhaps more than any program. One welcome bonus sweet-spot is the no-annual-fee Ink cards which typically offer large welcome bonuses for a moderate amount of spending. The 5/24 rule will prevent you from getting new cards if you apply for a ton of new credit cards, but business cards typically don’t count.
Earning points
How many points can you earn from spending across a variety of bonus categories and on everyday purchases?
Average.Chase offers a good variety of ways to earn points outside of welcome bonuses. Several cards offer bonus categories and The Chase Freedom Flex℠ offers 5x points in rotating categories. Chase does not have a card that earns 2x Ultimate Rewards® everywhere, nor does it have a card that gets you extra rewards on gas or groceries year-round. You can also earn points from Chase’s shopping portal.
Product quality
How do the cards in this program’s ecosystem compare with competing programs.
Above average.In every segment, Chase’s cards shine. Most Chase cards have an excellent extended warranty benefit. The no-annual-fee cards all offer either solid earnings on purchases everywhere or useful bonus categories. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve® both offer best-in-class travel protections.
Non-travel redemption options
How good are the program’s point redemption options for non-travel redemptions?
Average.All Ultimate Rewards® credit cards allow you to use your points for cash back redemptions at 1 cent per point of value. Plus you can redeem your points for select gift cards for 10% off. Pay Yourself Back® occasionally offers better than 1 cent of value, but you can only redeem points for statement credits to offset purchases made in featured categories.
Travel redemption options
Can you get additional value from redeeming your points for travel?
Above average.When you hold a premium Chase Ultimate Rewards® credit card, you can redeem your points for 1.25 cents each (or 1.5 cents each if you hold the Chase Sapphire Reserve®) toward travel through Chase Travel. These cards also allow you to transfer your points to a stable of transfer partners that includes programs that are both easy to use and offer excellent redemption options.
Transfer partners
Does the program have transfer partners that are easy to use and offer high-value redemptions?
Above averageChase Ultimate Rewards® offers point transfers to a long list of transfer partners that are both useful and easy to use. The most useful partners include Air Canada, British Airways, Air France KLM Flying Blue, Southwest Rapid Rewards, United Mileage Plus, Virgin Atlantic FlyingClub, and World of Hyatt.
Combining and sharing points across cards
How easy is it to share points across your own cards or with another person?
AverageYou’ll earn Chase Ultimate Rewards® points on each of your cards and can freely transfer your points among your own cards. You can also transfer your points to a person with a Chase card with Ultimate Rewards® living at your same address.
Chase Ultimate Rewards® at a glance

Earning Chase Ultimate Rewards®

Earning Chase Ultimate Rewards® from credit card welcome bonuses

If you want to earn Ultimate Rewards®, by far the fastest way to amass a mountain of points is through credit card welcome bonuses. Here are the current welcome bonuses available on Chase Ultimate Rewards® credit cards:

Ultimate Rewards® cardWelcome bonusFull welcome bonus details
Chase Freedom Flex card art
Chase Freedom Flex℠
Annual fee: $0
Earn $200 after $500 spent, plus 5% on $12,000 of gas and groceries.

Bonuses awarded as Ultimate Rewards® points.
Earn a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Plus get a 5% gas and grocery offer up to $600 cash back. You can parlay this offer into 9% cash back on your groceries in the first three months of 2024.

More on the welcome bonuses of the Chase Freedom Flex℠.
Chase Freedom Unlimited® card art
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Annual fee: $0
Gas and grocery offer: Earn $200 after $500 spent, plus 5% on $12,000 of gas and groceries.

Bonuses awarded as Ultimate Rewards® points.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited currently has two welcome offers, in our view, the gas and grocery offer is better.
Gas and grocery offer: Earn a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Plus get a 5% gas and grocery offer up to $600 cash back. (Earn 5% cash back on combined gas station and grocery store purchases on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.)

This additional offer is available, but it isn’t worth getting… it may be one of the worst offers ever on this card.
Unlimited cash back match offer: bonus_miles_full

More on the welcome bonuses of the Chase Freedom Unlimited®.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card card art
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Annual fee: $95
bonus_milesbonus_miles_full

More on the welcome bonus of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.
Chase Sapphire Reserve® card art
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Annual fee: $550
bonus_milesbonus_miles_full

More on the Chase Sapphire Reserve® welcome bonus.
Ink Business Cash® Credit Card card art
Ink Business Cash® Credit Card
Annual fee: $0
bonus_miles

Awarded as 75,000 Ultimate Rewards® points.
bonus_miles_full

More on the welcome bonus of the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card.
Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card card art
Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card
Annual fee: $0
bonus_miles

Awarded as 75,000 Ultimate Rewards® points.
bonus_miles_full

More on the welcome bonus of the Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card.
Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card card art
Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Annual fee: $95
bonus_miles

Redeemable for $1,000 cash back or $1,250 toward travel.
bonus_miles_full

More on the welcome bonus of the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card.
The best Ultimate Rewards® welcome bonuses.

Chase Freedom Flex℠ welcome bonus

Chase Freedom Flex℠ welcome bonus:

Before you apply through the link below, be sure to see our coverage of the best welcome bonus on this card. There may be a better offer in-branch.

Earn a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Click here to learn more and apply for the Chase Freedom Flex℠.

Our take on the welcome bonus: $200 after $500 is the standard welcome bonus on this card.

The link above is a referral link. Someone on our team may earn points if you apply and are approved to the link above. We always show you the best offer, and this is the best offer we know about on this card.

Chase Freedom Flex card art

Chase Freedom Flex℠ at a glance:
Annual fee: $0
Rewards: 5% in rotating categories (up to $1,500 in combined purchases per quarter). 5% travel through Chase. 3% dining. 3% drugstores. 1% other purchases.
Benefits: Extended warranty. Purchase protection. Cell phone protection.

Chase Freedom Unlimited® welcome bonus

Chase Freedom Unlimited® Welcome bonuses

Before you apply through the links below, be sure to see our coverage of the best welcome bonus on this card. There may be a better offer in-branch.

Our take on the welcome bonuses: The $200 after $500 offer is the standard offer on this card. The 1.5% additional cash back offer can technically be maximized for more rewards, but you’ll need to spend $20,000 on the card over the course of the year to get the full value.

Offer #1: Chase Freedom Unlimited®: Earn a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

The link above is a referral link. If you use this link, someone in our community may earn points. We always show you the best offer, regardless of our ability to earn a commission.

Offer #2: card_name: bonus_miles_full

The link above is our affiliate link. We are showing you this offer in addition to the 5% offer above because there are some people who might prefer this offer.

Chase Freedom Unlimited® card art

Chase Freedom Unlimited® at a glance:
Annual fee: $0
Rewards: 5% travel through Chase Travel℠. 3% dining. 3% drugstore. 1.5% all other purchases

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card welcome bonus

card_name welcome bonus:

bonus_miles_full

Click here to learn more and apply.

Our take on the welcome bonus: It’s been almost a year since we saw a larger welcome bonus on the Chase Sapphire Preferred®. The current bonus is the standard bonus available online. You might be able to get an offer for 10,000 points more by applying in-branch.

The link above is our affiliate link. We always show you the best offer, and this is the best offer we know about on this card.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card card art

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card at a glance:
Annual fee: $95
Rewards: 5x hotels and car rentals through Chase Travel℠. 3x dining. 3x streaming. 3x online grocery. 2x other travel. 1x other purchases.
Benefits: Premium travel insurance benefits. 25% more value on travel redemptions. Point transfers.

Chase Sapphire Reserve® welcome bonus

card_name welcome bonus:

bonus_miles_full

Our take on the welcome bonus: It has been a long time since Chase offered a larger welcome bonus on the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. The last elevated bonus we know about ended in 2022. There’s probably little reason to wait on getting this card.

Click here to learn more and apply.

The link above is our affiliate link. We always show you the best offer, and this is the best offer we know about on this card.

Chase Sapphire Reserve® card art

Chase Sapphire Reserve® at a glance:
Annual fee: $550
Rewards: 10x hotels and car rentals through Chase. 10x Chase Dining. 5x flights through Chase Travel℠. 3x dining. 3x other travel. 1x other purchases.
Perks: $300 annual travel credit. Priority Pass + Chase lounge access. Redeem points at 1.5c/point for travel. Transfer partners.

Ink Business Cash® Credit Card welcome bonus

card_name welcome bonus:

bonus_miles_full

Click here to learn more and apply.

Previously, Chase required you to spend the entire $6,000 to earn the welcome bonus in three months. You now earn this bonus in two parts and you’ll earn the first $350 of the bonus after spending $3,000 within 3 months. You’ll earn the next $400 when you spend a total of $6,000 within 6 months. This makes the welcome bonus more accessible and we like changes like that. The Ink Business Cash is marketed as a cash back card, but earns Ultimate Rewards®.

The link above is our affiliate link. We always show you the best offer, and this is the best offer we know about on this card.

Ink Business Cash® Credit Card card art

Chase Ink Business Cash® at a glance:
Annual fee: $0
Rewards: 5% on $25k spent at office supply stores, internet, cable, and phone services. 2% on $25k spent at gas stations and restaurants. 1% on all other purchases

Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card welcome bonus

card_name welcome bonus:

bonus_miles_full

Click here to learn more and apply.

This card occasionally offers a higher welcome offer, so you might consider waiting for a better offer to come around. The current offer is the card’s business-as-usual offer. The Ink Business Unlimited is marketed as a cash back card, but earns Ultimate Rewards®.

The link above is our affiliate link. We always show you the best offer, and this is the best offer we know about on this card.

Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card card art

Chase Ink Business Unlimited® at a glance:
Annual fee: $0
Rewards: 1.5% on every purchase. 5% on Lyft rides through March 2025.
Benefits: Extended warranty. Purchase protection. Primary auto rental collision damage waiver insurance when renting for business.

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card welcome bonus

card_name welcome bonus:

bonus_miles_full

Click here to learn more and apply.

Our take on the welcome bonus: One of the best welcome bonuses available on a single card and the best this card has ever seen.

The link above is our affiliate link. We always show you the best offer, and this is the best offer we know about on this card.

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card card art

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card at a glance:
Annual fee: $95
Rewards: 3x shipping, internet, advertising with social media sites and search engines, travel (Up to $150k combined spend). 1x other purchases.
Benefits: Point transfers to travel partners. Premium travel protections. Redeem points for 1.25 cents each through Chase Travel℠.

Earning Chase Ultimate Rewards® from credit card spending

One of the best ways to earn Chase Ultimate Rewards® points is to carry a few Chase cards that earn points in categories where you spend the most.

Here’s an overview of where you can earn Chase Ultimate Rewards® for your spending in various categories.

Chase Chase Ultimate Rewards® personal credit cards

Here’s what each of the personal Ultimate Rewards® credit cards earns:

Chase Freedom Unlimited®Chase Freedom Flex℠Chase Sapphire Preferred® CardChase Sapphire Reserve®
Chase Freedom Unlimited® card artChase Freedom Flex card artChase Sapphire Preferred® Card card artChase Sapphire Reserve® card art
Dining3x3x3x3x
10x on Chase Dining
Drugstores3x3x
Groceries (Online)3x
Streaming (Select providers)3x
Travel – Chase Ultimate Rewards5x5x5x5x on airfare.
10x on hotels and car rentals.
Travel – Lyft*5x*5x*5x*10x*
Travel – All other travel purchases2x3x
Rotating Categories c5xc
Everywhere Else1.5x1x1x1x
Reward earnings on personal Ultimate Rewards® credit cards

c Bonus earning caps apply to these categories

  • Chase Freedom Flex℠ Rotating Categories. The Chase Freedom Flex℠ card earns 5x in categories that rotate quarterly. You can earn 5x on up to $1,500 of combined spending each quarter, then 1x.

* Limitations apply to these categories.

  • Travel – Lyft. Earn bonus cash back and points on Lyft rides through March 31, 2025.

Chase Chase Ultimate Rewards® small business credit cards

And here are how many Ultimate Rewards® points you can earn in small business credit card categories:

Ink Business Unlimited® Credit CardInk Business Cash® Credit CardInk Business Preferred® Credit Card
Category NameInk Business Unlimited® Credit Card card artInk Business Cash® Credit Card card artInk Business Preferred® Credit Card card art
Advertising with select social media and search engines c3xc
Dining c2xc
Gas stations c2xc
Office supplies*5xc
Internet, cable and phone services c5xc3xc
Shipping5xc
Travel – Lyft*5x5x5x
Travel – All other travel purchases3xc
Everywhere Else1.5x1x1x
Reward earnings on small business Ultimate Rewards® credit cards

c Bonus earning caps apply to these categories

  • Ink Business Cash Card – Office supplies and internet, cable, and phone services. The Ink Business Cash earns 5x on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases in these categories each account anniversary year.
  • Ink Business Cash Card – Gas stations and dining. The Ink Business Cash earn 2x on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year.
  • Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card. The Ink Business Preferred® earns 3x points on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases across the following categories: Shipping purchases; advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines; internet, cable and phone services; and travel.

* Limitations apply to these categories.

  • Travel – Lyft. Earn bonus cash back and points on Lyft rides through March 31, 2025.

Redeeming Chase Ultimate Rewards®

Chase Ultimate Rewards® can be redeemed for a variety of cash back and travel rewards. But not every reward option is a good value. Cash back redemptions, available on every card, represent a value floor on Ultimate Rewards® redemptions. Here’s our quick take on the available reward redemption options:

Redemption optionOur quick takeWhy
Cash back
OK use of points.
You’ll get 1 cent each for cash back redemptions on any Ultimate Rewards® credit card.
Pay Yourself Back®
OK use of points.
You can get more than 1 cent of value as a statement credit if you make purchases in eligible categories, but opportunities to do this are limited.
Transfers to airlines and hotels
By far the best use of Ultimate Rewards®.
The Ultimate Rewards® that carry an annual fee allow you to transfer your points to airlines and hotels. This is by far the best use of Ultimate Rewards® points if you find a compelling airline or hotel redemption opportunity.
Gift cards
Good use of points if you can get cards on sale.
If you can find an Ultimate Rewards® redemption for a gift card that offers a 10% discount, that can be a good use of points, especially for no-annual-fee cards that don’t offer point transfers.
Shop Apple®
Low value use of points.
You’ll only get 1 cent of value per point—the same as cash back redemptions—and you’ll give up an opportunity to earn points on your purchases.
Ultimate Rewards® redemption options

More on the good and high-value uses of Ultimate Rewards® are below.

Cash back redemptions

Screenshot of an Ultimate Rewards cash back redemption. The screenshot shows that 10,000 Ultimate Rewards points can be redeemed for $100 of cash back.
Ultimate Rewards® points are worth 1 cent each toward cash back.

Chase gives you a few options for redeeming your Ultimate Rewards® for cash back. You can redeem your points for a statement credit to your credit card or receive your cash back rewards as a direct deposit into most U.S. checking and savings accounts.

When you redeem for a direct deposit into a checking or savings account, you can select one of the accounts you use to pay your credit card or enter your routing and account number for another U.S. banking account.

Ultimate Rewards® points redeemed for cash back will get you 1 cent per point of value. Cash back redemptions are available on all Ultimate Rewards® credit cards.

Pay Yourself Back®

Screenshot of Chase Pay Yourself Back® options. Shows 25% more points value when you redeem your points against purchases made with select charities.
Pay Yourself Back® redemption example.

With Pay Yourself Back®, you can redeem your points for statement credits to offset recent purchases on your eligible Ultimate Rewards® card. You’ll get 1 cent per point when you redeem your rewards against most purchases, but Chase occasionally offers additional point value in select categories, though those categories are likely to appeal only to a limited audience. In most cases, you can get better value redeeming your points for travel if you hold a premium Ultimate Rewards® credit card.

When it was launched, Chase Pay Yourself Back® was a great way to get additional cash value for your points. At one point, you could redeem points for 1.5 cents per point toward grocery store purchases with the Chase Sapphire Reserve® card. The best options are long-gone and most of the remaining options offer only as much value as redeeming your points for travel through Chase Travel.

Transfers to airline and hotel transfer partners

By far, point transfers to travel partners offer the best opportunity to get outsized value out of your Ultimate Rewards® points. This redemption option is available only to cardholders of one of Chase’s premium Ultimate Rewards® credit cards: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve®, or Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card card art Chase Sapphire Reserve® card art Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card card art

Here’s a bit more on the airline and hotel partners of Ultimate Rewards®.

Ultimate Rewards® airline partners

  • Aer Lingus AerClub (Avios)
  • Air Canada Aeroplan
  • British Airways Executive Club (Avios)
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Air France KLM Flying Blue
  • Iberia Plus (Avios)
  • JetBlue TrueBlue
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Southwest Rapid Rewards
  • United MileagePlus
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

Ultimate Rewards® hotel partners

  • IHG One Rewards
  • Marriott Bonvoy
  • World of Hyatt

Ultimate Rewards® gift card redemptions

Redeeming Chase Ultimate Rewards® for gift cards typically isn’t a great use of points. But it can make sense during frequent gift card sales.

Chase Ultimate Rewards® are normally worth only 1 cent each toward gift cards, but when a gift card is on sale, you can sometimes get a gift card for 10% off. If a place you frequent pops up in a gift card sale, you have an opportunity to get slightly more value from your Ultimate Rewards®. But if you’re redeeming your points for 1 cent each toward gift cards, you’re better off simply redeeming for cash.

At the time of writing, Chase was offering a 10% discount on several gift cards to popular merchants like Door Dash, Uber, Chili’s, Old Navy, and Under Armour. Happy Treats gift cards, which can be used at places like Yankee Candle, Ulta Beauty, GameStop, and Coldstone Creamery were also available at 10% off.

Card synergies: Cards that boost the value of your other cards and points

Within the Chase Ultimate Rewards® ecosystem, you’ll want to hold at least one premium credit card to access the best reward redemption options. The no-annual-fee cards don’t let you redeem your points for increased travel value or transfer them to partners directly. But you can transfer the points to your premium card and then redeem them.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card give you 1.25 cents of value on each of your points when you redeem them through Chase Travel. The Chase Sapphire Reserve® gives you 1.5 cents of value on each point when you redeem this way. All three cards let you transfer your points to travel partners.

card_name welcome bonus:

bonus_miles_full

Click here to learn more and apply.

Our take on the welcome bonus: It’s been almost a year since we saw a larger welcome bonus on the Chase Sapphire Preferred®. The current bonus is the standard bonus available online. You might be able to get an offer for 10,000 points more by applying in-branch.

The link above is our affiliate link. We always show you the best offer, and this is the best offer we know about on this card.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card card art

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card at a glance:
Annual fee: $95
Rewards: 5x hotels and car rentals through Chase Travel℠. 3x dining. 3x streaming. 3x online grocery. 2x other travel. 1x other purchases.
Benefits: Premium travel insurance benefits. 25% more value on travel redemptions. Point transfers.

card_name welcome bonus:

bonus_miles_full

Our take on the welcome bonus: It has been a long time since Chase offered a larger welcome bonus on the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. The last elevated bonus we know about ended in 2022. There’s probably little reason to wait on getting this card.

Click here to learn more and apply.

The link above is our affiliate link. We always show you the best offer, and this is the best offer we know about on this card.

Chase Sapphire Reserve® card art

Chase Sapphire Reserve® at a glance:
Annual fee: $550
Rewards: 10x hotels and car rentals through Chase. 10x Chase Dining. 5x flights through Chase Travel℠. 3x dining. 3x other travel. 1x other purchases.
Perks: $300 annual travel credit. Priority Pass + Chase lounge access. Redeem points at 1.5c/point for travel. Transfer partners.

card_name welcome bonus:

bonus_miles_full

Click here to learn more and apply.

Our take on the welcome bonus: One of the best welcome bonuses available on a single card and the best this card has ever seen.

The link above is our affiliate link. We always show you the best offer, and this is the best offer we know about on this card.

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card card art

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card at a glance:
Annual fee: $95
Rewards: 3x shipping, internet, advertising with social media sites and search engines, travel (Up to $150k combined spend). 1x other purchases.
Benefits: Point transfers to travel partners. Premium travel protections. Redeem points for 1.25 cents each through Chase Travel℠.

Combining Ultimate Rewards points

Chase allows you to easily transfer your Ultimate Rewards® points among any of your own cards. Typically, you’ll transfer points from your no-annual-fee credit card to a premium card like the Chase Sapphire Reserve® in order to take advantage of point transfers to partners or travel redemptions with increased value.

You can also transfer your Ultimate Rewards® points to another card if you plan to close one of your cards. Your points will remain active as long as they are attached to a currently-open card.

We have a step by step guide on how to transfer your Ultimate Rewards® points to one of your other cards.

Sharing points with a household member

There are two ways to share points with a household member.

You can transfer your Ultimate Rewards® point to a partner program account owned by another person. For example, you could transfer your Ultimate Rewards® to another household member’s United MileagePlus account. To do this, the point recipient must be a member of your household and an authorized user on your Chase credit card account.

You can also transfer your points to another household member’s Ultimate Rewards® account. Before you can transfer points between household members, you’ll need to link your accounts. Unfortunately, the only way to do this os over the phone. You’ll need both parties’ account numbers during the phone call.

Point expiration and how to keep your points alive

Your Chase Ultimate Rewards® points do not expire as long as you keep your credit card open. However, as soon as your account is closed, any Ultimate Rewards® points held on that card are gone with no chance to redeem them.

If you want to cancel a card that has Ultimate Rewards® banked on it, the best solution is to transfer them to another Ultimate Rewards® credit card that you intend to keep open. You can transfer an unlimited number of Ultimate Rewards® points between your own accounts for free.