Chase Ultimate Rewards (UR) points are a favorite currency among points and miles enthusiasts. They are best redeemed towards domestic airfare and hotels. Plus, they have the potential to save travelers hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars. This post explains why you SHOULD collect Chase Ultimate Rewards points.
I wrote a post about why you SHOULD NOT collect UR points and it gives the counterargument to this post. The purpose of this is to explain both sides of the Chase UR points debate without bias.
Your mileage may vary as with everything related to points, miles, and credit cards. One intention of this post is not to persuade you into collecting TY points if they are not the right currency for you. But if you fall into one of the following groups, you should check out Chase UR points.
Lucrative Sign-Up Bonuses
Several UR point-earning cards have excellent sign-up bonuses. Chase is using these bonuses along with long-term earning potential to attract potential cardholders. The following is a quick rundown of Chase’s current bonuses:
- Ink Business Preferred: 80,000 points / $5,000 minimum spend (unless you get a higher targeted offer in the “snail mail”)
- Sapphire Reserve: 50,000 points / $4,000 minimum spend
- Sapphire Preferred: 60,000 points / $4,000 minimum spend
- Ink Business Cash and Ink Business Unlimited: 50,000 points / $3,000 minimum spend
- Freedom and Freedom Unlimited: 15,000 points / $500 minimum spend
These bonuses are fantastic! They are so great that Citi copied Chase’s bonuses not long after Chase raised the bonus for the Sapphire Preferred. Applying for any of the above cards and earning a bonus will get you well on your way to traveling quickly.
Furthermore, the Freedom and Freedom Unlimited bonuses are easy to earn because of their low minimum spend requirements. That’s one reason why they are some of my favorite cards for beginners.
Big Earning Potential
The Chase Trifecta is so popular because of the big earning potential that comes with having Chase UR point-earning cards. Many Chase cards offer a plethora of lucrative categories. For example, the Ink Business Preferred offers 3x points in six different categories. And the Freedom offers 5x points on rotating quarterly categories.
Furthermore, Chase’s travel category is amazing because it’s so broad. “Travel” for Chase includes airfare, hotel stays, tolls, ride sharing, taxis, and local commuter transit. That means you can earn bonus points on the Chase Sapphire Cards and the Ink Business Preferred because they all offer this category.
Dining is another category that is broadly defined for Chase. “Dining” includes restaurants, coffee shops, cafes, fast food places, and even bars. This category can be found on the Chase Sapphire Cards and the Ink Business Cash.
You Love to Fly Domestically or Stay at Hotels
Most of Chase’s transfer partners are either domestic airlines or hotels. This makes Chase a great issuer for those who want to travel within the United States. Plus, Chase offers 1:1 transfer ratios for all of their partners. Despite the ratios, your mileage may vary with redeeming Ultimate Rewards points. But still, the best way to extract maximum value is by transferring to partners.
World of Hyatt and Southwest Airlines are two of my favorite Chase partners. I have redeemed a plethora of Ultimate Rewards points by transferring to those partners. Hyatt is great for valuable hotels that you can stay in around the world, given they are available. And Southwest is a great airline for domestic travel, especially for those who have the Southwest Companion Pass.
You Want Simplicity
Chase also offers their travel portals for those who want simplicity when booking travel. You can easily get 1.5 cents per point (CPP) by using the Chase Travel Portal if you have a Sapphire Reserve. This multiplier decreases to 1.25 CPP if you have a Sapphire Preferred or an Ink Business Preferred.
Also, you can redeem UR points for cash back, statement credit, and gift cards for 1 CPP. These methods are great for simplicity, but there are better ways to redeem to maximize value. Chase is also better than American Express and Citi for non-travel redemption options because Chase offers more value per point. Nonetheless, transfer partners or the Travel Portal are the two best redemption methods for UR points.
Chase Ultimate Rewards points are one of the most popular transferrable currencies in the industry. However, their popularity does not mean they are the best currency for you.
Another purpose of this post is to balance and counter the argument posed in the previous post. Your mileage may vary as some people could justify collecting UR points while others cannot. A collection of UR points can be a great tool for the right traveler. But for the wrong traveler, collecting them could be wasted effort, time, and resources.