Redeeming Chase Ultimate Rewards points could not be easier. These easy to use, easy to transfer points make the Chase Sapphire Preferred my number one recommendation for beginning points and miles enthusiasts. You can also earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points with Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase Freedom, and Chase Freedom Unlimited. That’s a lot of opportunities to earn these powerful points. If you use these points correctly, you can find some amazing redemptions to your bucket list destinations, but make sure you know how to get the best value.
Chase Ultimate Rewards Redemption Options
The Chase Ultimate Rewards portal offers three main ways to redeem your points: travel, cash back, or transfer to travel partners. The method you chose for redeeming Chase Ultimate Rewards points determines how much value you get out of your points.
First, when you redeem your Chase Ultimate Rewards points for travel through the portal, your points are worth 1.25 cents if you have a Chase Sapphire Preferred card. This is a 25% bonus over the usual 1 cent value. If you have a Chase Sapphire Reserve card, your points are worth 1.50 cents which is a 50% bonus over the usual rate.
Second, when you redeem your Chase Ultimate Rewards points for cash back through the portal, your points are only worth the standard 1 cent.
Finally, when you redeem your Chase Ultimate Rewards points by transferring them to travel partners there’s no telling what your points will be worth, but you want to aim for at least 1.25 cents.
Redeeming Chase Ultimate Rewards for Travel Through the Portal
With the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, you can book practically anything including flights, hotels, rental cars, and activities. You are essentially booking through Expedia, Priceline, or Orbitz, but you redeem points instead of cash or a combination of both. The downside of booking through the Ultimate Rewards portal is that most hotels won’t recognize your status, but some will let you add your loyalty number when you check-in. If you redeemed your Chase Sapphire Preferred sign-up bonus of 50,000 points this way, you’d get $625 in value out of your points. This is by far the easiest way to redeem your points for a pretty good value.
Redeeming Chase Ultimate Rewards for Cash Back
This is my least favorite way to redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards. In fact, I’ve never done it and I don’t plan on it. Your points are only worth 1 cent this way so while it might be nice to get that statement credit or a few extra bucks in your bank account, you are leaving travel value on the table. If you redeemed your Chase Sapphire Preferred sign-up bonus of 50,000 points for cash back, you’d only get $500 rather than the $625 from redeeming for travel through the portal. This is an easy way to redeem your points, but for low value.
Redeeming Chase Ultimate Rewards by Transfer to Travel Partners
Depending on which travel partner you chose and how you redeem them, this is the best way to redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards points. Currently, Chase has the following 13 travel partners:
Air France & KLM
Some of these partners are better than others when it comes to getting the best value out of your points. If you transfer your points to a travel partner but redeem them for less than the 1.25 cents, you’ve lost value on your points. The standard Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfer ratio is 1:1, but, sometimes, there are transfer bonuses that run for a limited period of time. This may get you a higher point value from a bad transfer partner.
My favorite way to redeem all of my points and miles are for flights from California to Hawaii on Alaska Airlines or American Airlines using British Airways Avios. Those flights easily go for $400-500 each round trip but cost just 25,000 Avios. Since British Airways is a travel transfer partner for Chase Ultimate Rewards, you could transfer that 50,000 point sign-up bonus from the Chase Sapphire Preferred and redeem those points for two round trip tickets to Hawaii. That increases the value of the sign-up bonus from $625 to somewhere between $800-$1000 depending on the time of year you fly.
Final Thoughts on Redeeming Chase Ultimate Rewards Points
You can get amazing value out of Chase Ultimate Rewards points because they truly are some of most versatile points around. Redeeming Chase Ultimate Rewards points for tickets to Hawaii has worked out great for our family. But, honestly, most of my points have been redeemed through the portal. I’ve used them when I needed to get two more tickets on a plane and there were no more award seats through the airline. I’ve used them when we needed to book a rental car because ours was stolen while we were on a trip. And I’ve used them when I needed a hotel in an area with such low prices that it would have cost more points to book through the hotel’s loyalty program.
You can really maximize Chase Ultimate Rewards points with advanced planning, but they are great in emergencies too. Either way, they are easy to earn thanks to generous sign-up bonuses and bonus spending categories. And they are even easier to redeem.
If you’re ready to sign up for your Chase Sapphire Preferred, or any other Chase Ultimate Rewards credit cards, you can find my credit card referral links here. When you use my link, you get the sign-up bonus listed and I get the commission listed. This helps me provide content for this site. You don’t have to use my links, but I certainly appreciate it when you do.