Best Way to Maximize Chase Ultimate Rewards Points

Posted by Madison on October 2, 2012

I’m working on redeeming my sign up bonuses from the $3,000 Credit Card Application Spree. Next up is finding the best way to redeem Chase Ultimate rewards!

Previously, I worked on the Best Way to Maximize American Express Points and the Best Way to Maximize Citi Thank You Points. Now it’s time to stretch the Chase points!

I have 40,000 points from the Chase Sapphire Preferred card and I’m working on my 50,000 points from the Ink Bold Card. In addition, I have two Chase Freedom cards that earn Ultimate rewards on rotating quarters.

My goal is to redeem over 100,000 points for $1,000+!

Ways to Maximize Chase Ultimate Rewards

Cash Rewards. I’m a big fan of cash. Ultimate rewards convert to cash at a rate of $20 for 2,000 points. For 1 cent per point, it’s an easy redemption option at a solid conversion rate. Once you reach the minimum of $20, you can convert the points to cash in any amount.

Amazon Shopping. You can shop with your points on at a conversion rate of $1 for 100 points, or 1 cent per point. Amazon shopping is equally as good as cash during the holidays at my house!

Gift Cards. In addition to cash, you can also get gift cards that have a decent conversion rate. For example Amazon gift cards go for $25 for 2,500 points, or 1 cent per point, so they make sense if you are going to shop at the store. Because they offer such a wide variety of gift cards, you probably won’t need to resell at Plastic Jungle and can buy the gift cards you need. Be sure to watch for specials when you can convert your points to cash at a discount. Last week they offered various gift cards at 10% and 20% discounts. In addition, as we get closer to the holidays, they may repeat the 25% discount deal they offered last year.

Some of the stores you can exchange your points for gift cards at are:

  • Best Buy
  • Crate & Barrel or Pottery Barn
  • Exxon, Mobil, or Shell
  • Gap or Target
  • The Home Depot or Lowe’s
  • iTunes
  • Macy’s, Norstrom, or Saks Fifth Avenue

Ways to Stretch Ultimate Rewards Further

If you are planning to travel, you can stretch your points even further with some of the Chase cards.

Travel. The Sapphire and the Ink Bold Card can convert points to travel at a discounted rate. For example, 50,000 points is worth $625 in travel, for a conversion rate of 1.25 cents per point.

Frequent Flyer Miles. If you don’t want to redeem travel through Ultimate rewards because you have other frequent flyer programs you can convert points to various frequent flyer programs at a rate of 1 point per mile. You can make transfers 1,000 points at a time for free. This is a really great option when you have a shortage of just a few points to redeem using another program. Since the transfers are instant, you can login and top off an account while you are trying to book a flight.

Tips and Tricks

Combine Accounts. You can transfer points between your various Chase cards that earn Ultimate Rewards. It makes it easier to redeem your points. Just login and click Combine Ultimate Rewards points. Select the cards and the transfer is instant.

Transfer Points Before Closing Accounts. Many of us only plan to hold onto accounts like the Sapphire card for a year with plans to cancel before the annual fee kicks in. If you don’t get a chance to redeem your points, you can transfer them down to a no fee card, like the Chase Freedom before you cancel and keep your points.

Chase Ultimate Rewards Cards

  • Ink Bold Card: 50,000 Ultimate Rewards Points
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred: 40,000 Ultimate Rewards Points
  • Chase Freedom: $100 cash back

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Comments to Best Way to Maximize Chase Ultimate Rewards Points

  1. Madison, they used to offer Starbucks cards but I’m not sure if they do still. Do you know?

    Veronica @ Pelican on Money

  2. I didn’t know you could transfer points between accounts.


  3. Best value is to transfer 22,000 points to Hyatt to stay at a Park Hyatt. You could stay at an ultra luxurious Park Hyatt in Paris, Tokyo, or any other location. This normally costs between $500-$1,000 per night so you get great value for your points.


  4. I’m surprised no one mentioned this, but if you have a chase checking account you get an additional 10% on your bonus points (at least for Chase freedom, perhaps for the other accounts as well). This is a great way to amp up your points by making the 5% effectively a 5.5% instead on the rotating categories.

    Shiri DH

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