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- Chase Ultimate Rewards points are considered especially valuable for a few reasons, including the variety of available redemption options.
- Redemption options like cash back or statement credits offer a value of one cent per point, while certain travel redemptions can be worth two cents per point or more.
- Certain Chase credit cards offer 25 to 50 percent more value when redeeming points for travel through Chase, which makes these cards especially attractive.
When you start racking up rewards with a Chase credit card, you may be inclined to redeem your points for easy options like cash back, Apple products or even gift cards. However, some of the best redemptions available for Chase points fall within the travel realm, whether that means using points in the Chase travel portal or transferring rewards to partners.
If you’re not exactly sure how to redeem your Chase points or which redemptions fetch the most value, this quick guide offers some tips to help you get the most bang for your buck when it comes to redemption choices.
How can I redeem my Chase points?
To redeem your Chase points, log in to your Chase account — either on your desktop browser or the mobile Chase app — and navigate to the Ultimate Rewards portal from your account. If you haven’t signed up for an account yet, make sure to do it as soon as possible so you can actually use your rewards.
When you click on the link to the Ultimate Rewards portal, it will launch as a separate dashboard from your Chase account. Once there, you can choose from multiple menu options to redeem points, including cash back, Chase Dining, gift cards, Pay Yourself Back and more. Once you choose your redemption option, follow the screen prompts to complete the process of redeeming your points for the selected award.
If you have multiple Chase accounts that earn Ultimate Rewards points, choose the specific card you want to access, and you’ll see how many points are available to redeem. There is an option to toggle between your different card accounts and switch cards as needed. If you don’t have enough points for your preferred redemption options, you can transfer points from one card to another within the Ultimate Rewards portal with the “combine points” feature.
Review your redemption options
Once you’re inside the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, you should be able to see various redemption options on the side menu or when you click “Earn / Use” at the top. These include:
- Cash back
- Gift cards
- Pay with points with Amazon.com or PayPal
- Apple Store
- Pay Yourself Back
- Transfer to travel partners
Here’s a quick breakdown on these options, along with their value compared to other available redemptions.
Unlike many travel credit cards, choosing cash back doesn’t lower the value of your points. You’ll get one cent per point for your rewards, plus the option to deposit your cash into an account of your choice or as statement credit on the card you earned the points with.
Image from Holly Johnson
Chase Sapphire, Freedom and Ink cardholders can also redeem rewards with Chase Dining, though those with a Sapphire credit card also have access to the Sapphire Private Dining Series. You can use your points toward curated dining experiences, home meal kits and more. However, redemption values and options vary.
You’ll typically get one cent per point for gift cards, but there are often special promotions that let you get better values from time to time. For example, you might get a $100 gift card for 9,000 points instead of 10,000 points if there’s a 10 percent off sale that week.
Gift card options also vary and can change over time. Popular options that tend to be available all the time come from stores like Lowe’s, Airbnb, Kohl’s, DoorDash and Ulta.
Image from Holly Johnson
Pay with Points with Amazon.com or PayPal
Pay with Points lets you redeem your points for purchases made through Amazon.com or PayPal at the checkout screen. However, this redemption option is only worth 0.8 cents per point, meaning 100 points add up to 80 cents.
This is a nice option to have but not necessarily the best way to redeem your points — especially since you can redeem for statement credits at a rate of one cent per point instead.
You can also use your points towards Apple products like Apple Watches, Airpods, iPhones, iPads, Macs and accessories. As long as you have 20 percent of the purchase price in Chase points, you can use cash for the remaining points portion of your purchase.
Prices at the Apple Store are comparable to the prices on the regular Apple website. There are sometimes promotions as well, especially around the holiday season. The most recent promotion added 50 percent more value to points redeemed for Apple products, but only if you had the Chase Sapphire Reserve. Meanwhile, cardholders with the Chase Sapphire Preferred got 25 percent more value for their points at Apple.
Chase Pay Yourself Back
Chase Pay Yourself Back lets you get more value for rewards when redeeming for statement credits toward eligible spending categories, which can change over time.
The main advantage of Pay Yourself Back is that your points will be worth more in dollars than if you redeemed them for a statement credit using the cash back method.
Image from Holly Johnson
You can also book travel accommodations from hotels to airlines to rental cars through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. If you’ve got the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, you’ll even get a 25 percent boost in points value when booking travel through the portal. With the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, on the other hand, you get 50% more value for rewards when redeeming for travel through Chase.
With your Chase Sapphire Reserve, you’ll earn 10X on hotels and car rentals booked through the portal and 5X points on airfare booked through Chase. Meanwhile, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card lets you earn 5X on all travel booked through the portal.
It’s important to remember you don’t need the full amount of points to book travel on the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, either. If you’re short on points for a redemption, you can still book with a combination of rewards and cash.
Transfer to travel partners
The last — and arguably most valuable — redemption option is to transfer your points to Chase travel partners. Points can be transferred to a number of partners at a 1:1 ratio if you have an eligible Chase credit card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred, the Ink Business Preferred or the Chase Sapphire Reserve. Your points are typically worth with this redemption option, but this is especially true if you’re booking international airfare or domestic airfare in a premium cabin.
Transfer partners available with eligible Chase cards include:
- Aer Lingus, AerClub
- Air Canada Aeroplan
- British Airways Executive Club
- Emirates Skywards®
- Flying Blue AIR FRANCE KLM
- Iberia Plus
- JetBlue TrueBlue
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards®
- United MileagePlus®
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
- IHG® Rewards Club
- Marriott Bonvoy®
- World of Hyatt®
What’s the best way to redeem my Chase points?
Generally speaking, redeeming points for travel through Chase or transferring to travel partners leads to getting the highest value for your points. This is due to the 25 percent to 50 percent more value eligible Chase cardholders get when they redeem points for travel through Chase, as well as the enhanced redemption values many Chase airline and hotel partners offer.
It’s not uncommon to transfer points to a Chase travel partner and get two cents per point in value or considerably more than that. However, you’ll want to compare the cost of booking through the Chase portal or transferring points to a partner to know which option requires the lowest total number of points.
That said, if you rarely travel, redeeming your points for cash back, statement credits or gift cards instead might make the most sense. All of these options make using rewards easy, especially since redemptions for statement credits and cash back start at just $.01.
Redeeming your points at checkout with Amazon.com or PayPal, on the other hand, fetches the lowest value for your points. However, there may come a time when this particular redemption option makes sense for you, such as during the holiday season or when making a big purchase.
The bottom line
Earning credit card rewards that fall within the Chase Ultimate Rewards program is smart for a few reasons, including the fact that it’s one of the most flexible rewards programs out there.
Still, knowing the ins and outs of this program and its available redemption options can help you get the most value out of your rewards. You worked hard to earn your points, so you might as well enjoy them.