The Chase Ultimate Rewards program is a valuable incentive for cardholders. But maybe you haven’t yet applied for a Chase credit card or are unsure of which option gives you the biggest bang for your buck. Or maybe you’re already a cardholder and are looking to maximize your earning potential.

Chase Ultimate Rewards

Either way, we’ve got you covered in this comprehensive guide that pulls back the curtain so you can get a closer look at the inner workings of the Chase Ultimate Rewards program.

Earn Rewards By Using Your Chase Credit Card

There are several ways to earn points and cash back, but it depends on which product you choose.

Let’s take a closer look at the earning potential by card type:

Chase Cash Back Cards

Chase Freedom Unlimited1.5 percent on all purchases
Chase Freedom5 percent on purchases in select categories (up to $1,500)
Chase Ink Business Cash5 percent on select business expenses (up to $25,000)

2 percent on purchases at gas stations and restaurants

1 percent on all other purchases

Chase Travel Cards

Chase SapphireDouble points on travel and dining
Chase Sapphire ReserveTriple points on travel and dining
Ink Business Preferred3 points per dollar spent on select business purchases (up to $150,000)

Other Ways to Earn Chase Ultimate Rewards

Beyond swiping your card to make purchases, there are several other ways to earn through the Chase Ultimate Rewards program.

Shop through the Chase portal

You can earn even more cash back by shopping through the Chase portal. Stores can be filtered by category or you can conduct a keyword search. Once you locate the store you’re looking for, the extra cash back percentage will appear on the icon and you can proceed with your shopping by clicking the “Shop Now” button.

The homepage for the Shop through Chase portal also includes seasonal offers with extra bonus/cash back incentives of up to eight percent.

There are no earning caps and once you’ve completed your transaction, points will appear on the dashboard.

Refer-a-Friend Program

You can also earn extra cash back through the Refer-a-Friend Program. If you invite friends and they are approved, you’ll earn cash back simply for getting them to sign up.

To start inviting friends, all you need to do is send a special link via Twitter, Facebook or email, and it only takes a few seconds of your time.

Rules vary by card, so it’s best to read the cardholder agreement to learn more about bonus amounts and referral limits.

Cardholder Bonuses

While it varies by card, many of the Chase credit products offer lucrative cardholder bonuses. Some offer a hefty sum of bonus points or cash back for spending a certain amount within three months of opening an account.

Others extend a set amount of cash back simply by adding an authorized user. Since these introductory offers tend to change over time, it’s best to visit Chase.com to learn more about the current promotion.

How to Use Your Points

The earning potential is great with the Chase Ultimate Rewards Program, but the redemption options are even more impressive.

Couple on a motorbike

Cash Back

Each point earned through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Program is equivalent to one cent. Points can be redeemed at any time directly from the dashboard and deposited into your checking or savings account. You also have the option to receive a statement credit.

Gift Cards

Points can be also redeemed for gift cards from an array of retailers at the click of a button. Even better, select gift cards are offered at a discount to help you stretch your points even further.

Products

You can also redeem your points through Amazon.com. All you have to do is link your Chase Card and you’ll be given the option to use your points to pay at checkout. The dashboard also displays the value of your points, so you won’t have to spend time guessing how much you have at your disposal.

Travel

This is by far one of the best features of the Chase Ultimate Rewards program and where you will get the most valute for your points. Not only can you combine points or pay for travel with both points and cash, but you can also transfer points to travel partners. 1:1 point transfer partners include:

Airline Partners

  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Flying Blue AIRFRANCE KLM
  • Korean Air SKYPASS
  • Singapore Airlines Kris Flyer
  • Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
  • United Mileage Plus
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

Hotel Partners

  • IHG Rewards Club
  • Marriott Rewards
  • The Ritz-Carlton Rewards
  • World of Hyatt

But keep in mind that once points are transferred to partner programs, they can’t be transferred back. So you want to be certain that your decision to book is final.

The Bottom Line

By selecting a Chase card with a lucrative bonus offer and hefty earning potential, you can load your wallet with cash back and save a bundle on travel. But before applying, read the fine print to ensure the costs of carrying the card won’t outweigh the benefits.