Best Use of Chase Ultimate Rewards Points
The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is a great beginner credit card because it gives you the flexibility to do whatever you want with your Ultimate Rewards (UR) points. If used correctly UR’s can be extremely valuable. Let’s see what’s the best use of Chase Ultimate Rewards.
- Transfer to travel partners point programs at 1:1 (Best Value)
- Purchase airfare/rental cars/hotels directly through the UR Potral (Solid Value)
- Cash back at (1 UR = 1 cent)
- Purchase gift cards at (1 UR = 1 cent)
Transfer to travel partners point programs at 1:1
While there is no right or wrong way to use your points, the best value is transferring to partner point programs. Depending on the program you transfer to you can unlock huge value! Simply transfer the points to the program of your choice and then book through the airline/hotels rewards website.
Transfers to other airlines points programs including:
- British Airways Executive Club
- Korean Air SKYPASS
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
- United MileagePlus
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
- Amtrak Guest Rewards
- Hyatt Gold Passport (Recommended – Low on points? Use points + cash for Hyatt stays)
- IHG Rewards Club
- Marriott Rewards
- The Ritz-Carlton Rewards
I would recommend redeeming with any of the airline partners. Southwest and United Airlines is probably the ones you are most familiar with but price out point redemptions on the other airlines as well before booking. Make sure to also price out first class or business class bookings before purchasing anything in economy/coach, you can sometimes upgrade for only a few points more!
Mrs. TT and I use quite a few of our UR points to top off our Southwest accounts in conjunction with the Southwest Companion Pass where you can unlock the ultimate value.
Ultimate Rewards Portal
I also recommend purchasing travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal (1 UR = 1.25 cents). It’s quick and easy to search and you get 20% more value (1.5x with the Sapphire Reserve) than cash back or gift cards. Points can be redeemed through the portal to book flights, hotels, cars, or activities. The portal functions the same as any other travel booking site, only this time instead of cash you use points.
Thrifty Tip #1: Find a flight deal here at Thrifty Traveler? Go to the UR Portal and book the sale fare using points! This is one of the best ways to maximize the value of your UR points.
Thrifty Tip #2: Only have a few points? You can book with points and cash and get 3X UR points on the cash portion.
Thrifty Tip #3: The UR portal has no blackout dates so use it when points and miles are not an option.
Options If You Don’t Like Travel
Cash back or gift cards are also a great option if you’re not looking to travel. You will get 1 cent per point for cash back or gift cards. You can get the cash back in the form of a statement credit or a deposit right into your checking account. It’s slick and easy but not the best value for your UR points.
Thrifty Tip #4: You can also shop through the Ultimate Rewards portal to earn an extra points on items at Apple, Best Buy, etc.
Take advantage of the Ultimate Rewards points by booking travel if you can. Transfer to one of the many partners or if you see a sale fare, book it through the UR portal! These are the best ways to maximize the value of your Ultimate Rewards points!