Chase Ultimate Rewards are a rather desirable currency in the world of travel rewards. The points can be used in a wide variety of ways toward flights, hotel rooms, gift cards and statement credits.

But how do you know if you’re getting the best value from your points? How much are Chase Ultimate Rewards worth? Let’s break down the math.

What Are Chase Ultimate Rewards?

Chase Ultimate Rewards are the points, or currency, you earn by using various Chase credit cards for your purchases. Depending on the card you use, you earn a different number of points per dollar spent, and they’re worth a different amount for different types of rewards. We’ll discuss this in great detail below.

How Much Are Ultimate Rewards Worth?

As we established, Chase Ultimate Rewards aren’t worth the same amount when redeemed. In fact, it depends on the type of reward you’re using your points for as well as the credit card you hold. Cards with higher annual fees yield a higher return on your rewards. Generally speaking, Ultimate Rewards points are worth 1 to 1.5 cents apiece.

Let’s see how much Ultimate Rewards points are worth when redeemed for specific transactions.

Travel booked via the Chase travel portal1 to 1.5 cents
Cash back1 cent
Gift cards1 cent
Amazon purchases0.8 cent
Apple Store purchases1 to 1.5 cents
Pay Yourself Back1.25 to 1.5 cents

You might have noticed that the value you get in return from your points when you redeem them for travel via the portal is a range. Well, the exact value is determined by which one of the Chase credit cards you hold.

So, here’s the value you can expect to extract from your Ultimate Rewards points when you hold these specific credit cards. We’ll include both personal and business cards here.

Credit CardUltimate Rewards Points’ Value
Chase Freedom (unavailable to new applicants)1 cent
Chase Freedom Flex℠1 cent
Chase Freedom Unlimited®1 cent
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card1.25 cents
Chase Sapphire Reserve®1.5 cents
Chase Ink Business Cash® Credit Card1 cent
Chase Ink Business Plus Credit Card (unavailable to new applicants)1.25 cents
Chase Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card1.25 cent
Chase Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card1 cent

Same goes for Pay Yourself Back. Not only are certain cards eligible for a Pay Yourself Back option, the rewards aren’t worth the same across all cards. Here’s what you can expect your Chase Ultimate Rewards to be worth when using the Pay Yourself Back feature with the following credit cards.

Chase Credit CardEligible Spending CategoryRedemption Rate

Chase Freedom (unavailable to new applicants)Select charities1.25 cents
Chase Freedom Flex℠Select charities
Dining
1.25 cents
1.1 cents
Chase Freedom Unlimited®Select charities
Dining
1.25 cents
1.1 cents
Chase Ink Business Plus Credit Card (unavailable to new applicants)Select charities1.25 cents
Chase Ink Business Preferred® Credit CardShipping, home improvement stores, select charities1.25 cents
Chase Sapphire Preferred® CardDining, grocery stores, home improvement stores, select charities1.25 cents
Chase Sapphire Reserve®Dining, grocery stores, home improvement stores, select charities1.5 cents

However, this isn’t the be-all-end-all way of redeeming Chase Ultimate Rewards. You can extract more—a lot more—value from Chase points. You can do so by transferring your rewards to a loyalty program run by an airline or a hotel. We’ll discuss this redemption method down the line.

How to Sign Up for Ultimate Rewards

Ultimate Rewards is affiliated with JPMorgan Chase Bank. You become a member of the program the moment you’re approved for one of the credit cards mentioned above. If you apply for more than one Chase-branded card with the same Social Security number, they all get added to the same Ultimate Rewards account. You’ll just need to transfer your Ultimate Rewards points from one card to another, but it is quite easy to do.

Keep in mind that co-branded credit cards issued by Chase, such as United MileagePlus cards or Marriott Bonvoy cards, don’t participate in the Ultimate Rewards program. They earn rewards in the program they’re affiliated with instead.

How to Earn Chase Ultimate Rewards Points

If you hold any of the Chase cards below, you’re earning Ultimate Rewards points whether you pay an annual fee or not. Even though some of these credit cards are technically cashback cards, you’re still a member of the Ultimate Rewards program.

Card NameEarning RateCard’s BenefitsAnnual Fee
Chase Freedom5X in rotating bonus categories on up to $1,500 per quarter, then 1X on all purchases thereafterGet 25% of your points back when you book eligible flights via amextravel.com
Pay Over Time (applies to purchases over $100)
No foreign transaction fees
$0
Chase Freedom Flex℠5X in rotating bonus categories on up to $1,500 per quarter, then 1X on all purchases thereafter
5X on travel purchased via Chase travel portal
5X on Lyft rides (through March 2022)
3X on dining, including takeout and delivery, and at drugstores
1X on all other purchases
Three months of DoorDash DashPass membership. After that, you’re automatically enrolled for nine months at a 50% discount.
Cell phone protection
0% intro APR on purchases made within the first 15 months
$0
Chase Freedom Unlimited®5X on travel purchased via Chase travel portal
5X on Lyft rides (through March 2022)
3X on dining, including takeout and delivery, and at drugstores
1.5X on all other purchases

Three months of DoorDash DashPass membership. After that, you’re automatically enrolled for nine months at a 50% discount.$0
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card2X on travel and dining worldwide
5X on Lyft rides (through March 2022)
1X on all other purchases
Points are worth 25% more when redeemed through Chase travel portal and via Pay Yourself Back.
Complimentary DoorDash DashPass membership for one year
Up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton membership
Auto rental collision damage waiver
Trip cancelation / interruption insurance
No foreign transaction fees
$95
Chase Sapphire Reserve®3X on travel and dining worldwide after the $300 travel credit is earned
10X on Lyft rides (through March 2022)
1X on all other purchases
Points are worth 50% more when redeemed through Chase travel portal and via Pay Yourself Back.
$300 travel credit
Up to $100 Global Entry/TSA Precheck enrollment fee credit (enrollment required)
Priority Pass Select membership (enrollment required)
Complimentary DoorDash DashPass membership (activation required) + $60 DoorDash credit
Complimentary Lyft Pink membership (activation required)
Up to $120 credit toward an eligible Peloton membership
Auto rental collision damage waiver
Trip cancelation / interruption insurance
No foreign transaction fees
$550
Ink Business Cash5X at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services on the first $25,000 in combined purchases per calendar year, then 1X
2X at gas stations and at restaurants on the first $25,000 in combined purchases per calendar year, then 1X
1X on all other purchases
Employee cards at no additional cost
0% intro APR on purchases made within the first 12 months
$0

Ink Business Plus5X at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services on the first $50,000 in combined purchases per calendar year, then 1X
2X at gas stations and rooms booked directly with hotels on the first $50,000 in combined purchases per calendar year, then 1X
1X on all other purchases
Points are worth 25% more when redeemed through Chase travel portal and via Pay Yourself Back.
Employee cards at no additional cost
Auto rental collision damage waiver
No foreign transaction fees

$95

Ink Business Preferred

3X on travel, shipping, internet, cable and phone services, and on advertising purchases on social media on the first $150,000 in combined purchases per calendar year, then 1X
1X on all other purchases
Points are worth 25% more when redeemed through Chase travel portal and via Pay Yourself Back.
Employee cards at no additional cost
Cell phone protection
Trip cancelation / interruption insurance
Auto rental collision damage waiver
No foreign transaction fees
$95

Ink Business Unlimited

1.5X on all purchases

Employee cards at no additional cost
Auto rental collision damage waiver
0% intro APR on purchases made within the first 12 months
$0

Chase Points Redemption Options

The best benefit of Ultimate Rewards points is their flexibility. The points can be redeemed in many ways, including for travel through Ultimate Rewards Travel, cash back, gift cards, Amazon and Apple purchases, as well as for Paying Yourself Back in eligible spending categories.

As discussed earlier, the value of your points varies depending on how you redeem them, so focus on the methods that offer the most return.

Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal

Anything that you see in the Ultimate Rewards Travel portal, be it flights, hotel rooms, car rentals, cruises or activities, can be booked at a rate of 1 to 1.5 cent per point. Remember that table above? The redemption rates correspond to the exact Chase card you have.

Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal

So, if you hold one of the Freedom cards, the maximum redemption rate you can get from portal bookings is 1 cent per point. With the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, your points are worth 25% more, or 1.25 cents apiece. The Chase Sapphire Reserve® cardmembers get the best return on their points at 1.5 cents each when redeemed via the travel portal.

Cash Back

All Chase Freedom credit cards are marketed as cashback cards, which means that rewards you earn can be redeemed for statement credits or a bank deposit. Although Sapphire-branded cards offer more redemption options, you can redeem their points as cash back as well. The value you get is just 1 cent per point, though.

Cash Back

When you already have the option to book travel via the Ultimate Rewards Travel portal at higher redemption rates of 1.25 to 1.5 cents, we recommend skipping cash back altogether.

Gift Cards

Most merchant gift cards, both physical and digital ones, will cost you 1 cent per point. So, you’ll need to redeem 10,000 Chase points for a $100 gift certificate.

gift cards

Sometimes, you can find gift cards on sale and save 10% to 15% of your points, but the discount applies to select merchants only.

Amazon Purchases

This redemption method is literally the worst way to redeem Ultimate Rewards points. Every time you buy merchandise with your travel rewards, especially at 0.8 cent per point, God kills a puppy.

This is exactly the value you get out of your Chase points whenever you exchange them for an Amazon purchase.

There’s one instance in which using 1 point toward an Amazon purchase—yes, you read that right, just 1 point—is acceptable. It’s when the online retailer and Chase team up and offer a discount on your Amazon purchase for using your Ultimate Rewards points to pay for a product.

During these promos, you can get $20 to $30 off by using Ultimate Rewards on Amazon. In this case, redeem 1 point, get the discount and pay the balance with your credit card.

Apple Store Purchases

It’s possible to redeem your Chase Ultimate Rewards points for Apple products through the Apple Ultimate Rewards Store. Usually, points are worth 1 cent apiece when you redeem them this way. However, every once in a while, your redemption value increases to 1.25 cents if you hold the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or to 1.5 cents if you hold the Chase Sapphire Reserve®.

Apple Store Purchases

So, if you choose to redeem your points for Apple products, at least wait for the limited-time promo when you can get a higher return on your rewards.

Pay Yourself Back

This is one of the most recent additions to the point redemption options, and it’s also one of the most creative ones.

Pay Yourself Back acts as a purchase eraser against transactions made in select spending categories, such as dining, home improvement, groceries, shipping and select charities. Even an annual membership fee on the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is an eligible transaction.

The following credit cards offer the Pay Yourself Back feature to cardmembers:

Pay Yourself Back offers Chase cardholders more opportunities to redeem points at a higher redemption value than simple cash back would. Redemption rates vary by card (see the table with spending categories and redemption values for each card above).

Keep in mind that not every charity organization works with Pay Yourself Back. The following organizations are eligible:

  • American Red Cross
  • Equal Justice Initiative
  • Feeding America
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • International Medical Corporation
  • Leadership Conference Education Fund
  • NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund
  • National Urban League
  • Thurgood Marshall College Fund
  • United Negro College Fund
  • United Way
  • World Central Kitchen

Only transactions made in the last 90 days are eligible for Pay Yourself Back. Each eligible transaction lists a merchant name, number of days to erase the purchase and the amount you paid.

Pay Yourself Back

You can select up to 12 transactions at once to Pay Yourself Back, but there’s no limit to how many times you can use the feature.

It’s possible to choose whether you want to erase a purchase in full or partially, but once you submit that transaction for Pay Yourself Back, you won’t be able to submit the same transaction again even if you covered only a partial amount with points.

Pay Yourself Back is a great way to put some money back in your pocket and redeem points at elevated redemption rates for purchases other than travel.

It’s also a great workaround if you want to book a flight directly with an airline or a hotel room directly with a hotel to skip the portal and keep your elite benefits. Simply book the travel component you want directly with the provider of your choice and then use Pay Yourself Back to erase enough purchases to offset what you paid.

The Pay Yourself Back option is set to expire Sept. 30, 2021, but it has been extended numerous times and could be extended again.

How to Increase the Value of Chase Ultimate Rewards

Choose the Best Chase Transfer Partners

As is the case with most flexible rewards programs, transferring Chase points to one of the travel partners is a sure way to increase the value of Ultimate Rewards points.

Chase partners with 13 loyalty programs: 10 airline programs and three hotel programs. Ultimate Rewards transfer at a ratio of 1:1 to all programs, which means that theoretically, you don’t lose any value in the process.

Airlines
Transfer Ratio
Aer Lingus AerClub1,000 : 1,000
Air France-KLM Flying Blue1,000 : 1,000
British Airways Executive Club1,000 : 1,000
Emirates Skywards1,000 : 1,000
Iberia Plus1,000 : 1,000
JetBlue TrueBlue1,000 : 1,000
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer1,000 : 1,000
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards1,000 : 1,000
United MileagePlus1,000 : 1,000
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club1,000 : 1,000
HotelsTransfer Ratio
IHG Rewards Club1,000 : 1,000
Marriott Bonvoy1,000 : 1,000
World of Hyatt1,000 : 1,000

However, keep in mind that not all loyalty programs are created equal and not every point is worth the same across all programs. This is why you must be careful with where you transfer your Ultimate Rewards points.

World of Hyatt is arguably one of the best travel partners of Chase Ultimate Rewards, so let’s take a closer look at whether it’s true.

Let’s say you want to book five nights at an all-inclusive hotel in Dominican Republic. You search on Hyatt’s website and find that cash rates are out of control in the $550 to $680 per night range. If you were to pay cash for five nights, you’d have to shell out about $3,400 for your five-night vacation, including taxes and fees, and you haven’t even bought a flight yet.

How to Increase the Value of Chase Ultimate Rewards

However, an award room is 25,000 points per night based on double occupancy. So, by booking the room with World of Hyatt points, you save cash and get 2.72 cents per point from your Ultimate Rewards transferred to Hyatt.

How to Increase the Value of Chase Ultimate Rewards

Let’s go back to the portal redemption values really quick. You get 1 cent per point with all Freedom cards, 1.25 cents per point with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and 1.5 cents per point with the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. The valuation of 2.72 cents per point is a lot higher than either of those, so now you see why learning how transfer programs work is important.

The same concept applies to booking flights, especially in a premium cabin. Here’s an example of a flight from Austin, Texas (AUS), to Paris (CDG) in business class with Lufthansa. The cash rate is reasonable at $4,137, yet still pricey for most of us.

How to Increase the Value of Chase Ultimate Rewards3

The same flight booked with United MileagePlus, a Chase partner, would set you back 154,000 miles + $215.

How to Increase the Value of Chase Ultimate Rewards

Once you subtract the taxes and fees you have to pay on an award ticket, you’re looking at a redemption value of 2.55 cents per point. Again, it’s a lot better than what you can get via the portal.

As you noticed, the redemption rates you’ll get across various travel partners vary, and it’s up to you to make sure you’re maximizing the value of your points. We recommend running a few award searches to get familiar with each loyalty program and always comparing your costs across programs to ensure you get the best return on your rewards.

Combine Chase Freedom Cash Back with Chase Sapphire Ultimate Rewards Points

We’ve mentioned before that rewards you earn with the Freedom-branded cards are technically cash back. In other words, you received a percentage of your spending back in the form of a statement credit or a bank deposit.

However, you can turn that cash back into flexible Ultimate Rewards. How? By holding one of the Sapphire-branded cards at the same time.

Because all of your Ultimate Rewards-earning Chase cards are listed under one account, you’re free to move rewards between accounts with ease.

Transfer Ultimate Rewards Between Household Members

Any time you use your Freedom or Freedom Flex credit card in bonus categories and the Freedom Unlimited card for 1.5X points in non-bonused categories, you’re able to combine your points and move the balance to your Chase Sapphire Preferred or Reserve cards.

There are a couple of reasons you want to do this.

  • Reason No. 1: Your points are worth more than 1 cent when you redeem them via the Chase travel portal with a Sapphire-branded credit card.
  • Reason No. 2: You gain the ability to transfer your rewards to travel partners, which is something you can’t do by holding only a Freedom-branded card.

So, holding either the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is how you can guarantee increasing the value of your Ultimate Rewards.

Transfer Ultimate Rewards Between Household Members

A similar idea applies to this method. Let’s pretend you hold the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card, but your spouse or domestic partner holds the premium Chase Sapphire Reserve® card. Because points are worth more when used for flights or hotels in the Ultimate Rewards Travel with the Sapphire Reserve, you want to combine your rewards with those of your spouse to extract maximum value.

Luckily, Chase provides its cardholders the option to combine points with one member of your household or someone who’s an authorized user on one of your credit cards.

Combine Chase Freedom Cash Back with Chase Sapphire Ultimate Rewards Points

You can link your household member’s card number to your Ultimate Rewards account and transfer rewards between accounts whenever you feel like it.

If you hold one of the Sapphire cards, you can also transfer your Ultimate Rewards to your household member’s loyalty accounts directly from yours. In other words, it’s possible to transfer your points to your spouse’s United MileagePlus account, for example, so that he or she can book a flight with the frequent-flyer program.

How Chase Stacks Up Against Its Competitors

Although Chase is a prominent player in the field of travel rewards, you might want to consider other banks that issue competitive credit cards.

American Express Membership RewardsCapital One RewardsChase Ultimate Rewards
Citi ThankYou Rewards
Travel portal booking rates
0.7 to 1 cent1 cent1.25 to 1.5 cents1 cent
Number of transfer partners19191316
Points’ transfer ratiosVariesVaries1:11:1
Points’ value when redeemed for cash back0.6 cent1 cent for travel1 cent
1.25 to 1.5 cents with Pay Yourself Back
0.5 to 1 cent

When you look at the chart and compare portal redemption rates across all card issuers, it’s clear that Chase Ultimate Rewards offer the most value on portal bookings, especially if you hold the Chase Sapphire Reserve® card.

American Express comes close to that value only with The Business Platinum® Card from American Express, only using the Pay with Points feature and only when you book business-class and first-class flights in the Amex Travel portal. That’s a lot of restrictions for 1.54 cents per point, if you ask me. Chase, on the other hand, offers 1.5 cents per point toward all travel components booked through its portal.

Although Chase doesn’t have as many transfer partners as the other three programs, its transfer rates are consistent. They’re all 1:1, no matter the program, which is easy to keep track. However, Amex and Citi both often run mileage transfer promos and offer bonus miles on reward transfers. Oftentimes, you’re able to get 25% to 40% more miles during these promotional periods, and that’s better than the ratios you get with Chase.

And finally, if you’re looking to redeem points for something other than travel—which we normally don’t recommend, but desperate times call for desperate measures—use the Pay Yourself Back feature. This redemption method isn’t offered by any other bank besides Chase, and it’s a nice way to get a higher redemption value than 1 cent per point on purchases that aren’t travel-related.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Chase Rewards

Although Chase points are among the most desirable currencies to possess, it’s not a perfect program. Consider the following pros and cons when settling on Chase Ultimate Rewards as your program of choice.

Advantages of Earning Ultimate Rewards Points

Easy to earn rewards: Chase offers consumers many credit-card options with various point multipliers. By combining 5X points in rotating categories with the Freedom Flex, 3X points on travel (after earning the $300 travel credit) and dining with the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, and 1.5X points on all purchases with the Freedom Unlimited, it’s not impossible to earn enough points for at least one award trip per year.

Variety of ways to use rewards: The most attractive feature of Chase points is their flexibility. You can transfer them to 13 loyalty programs. And if that’s not enough, you can redeem them to book various travel components in the portal at decent rates. Finally, Pay Yourself Back is a nice way to choose how to redeem your rewards and beat the rate of 1 cent per point offered by most cashback cards on the market.

Useful travel partners: Although Chase doesn’t partner with as many loyalty programs as other banks, the partners that Chase does have can be pretty lucrative. We’ve already seen a couple of examples of how to maximize Ultimate Rewards with World of Hyatt and United MileagePlus. Other notable partners are Air France-KLM Flying Blue for business-class flights to Europe, Emirates Skywards for flights to Dubai and beyond, and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club for ANA-operated premium-cabin flights to Japan.

Disadvantages of Earning Ultimate Rewards Points

Chase 5/24 rule: This unwritten rule has doomed many aspiring award travelers who want to start earning rewards with Chase. The bank infamously prevents customers who have applied for five or more cards with any bank in the last 24 months from being approved for new credit. For this reason, you have to have a strategy in place and potentially forego high welcome offers with other banks while under 5/24.

Only premium cards have the option to transfer points to partners: Some $0 fee American Express cards allow you to convert Membership Rewards to airline miles or hotel points. However, Chase makes you pay for the privilege. The annual fee on the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is $95. The Chase Sapphire Reserve® costs $550 per year. The Chase Ink Business Preferred will set business owners back $95 every year as well. No-fee Freedom cards don’t offer the option to transfer points to partner programs.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Are 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points Worth?

The final value will depend on the card you have and the redemption you make. Let’s say you hold the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and have a 100,000-point balance. Here’s how much value you can extract from your rewards.

Travel booked via the Chase travel portal$1,500
Cash back$1,000
Gift cards$1,000
Amazon purchases$800
Apple Store purchases$1, 000 to $1,500
Pay Yourself Back$1,000
Flights Booked Via a Transfer Partner$2,000 (using an extremely modest value of 2 cents per point)

When Do Chase Points Expire?

Ultimate Rewards don’t expire for as long as you hold the card associated with your rewards and your account is in good standing. Keep in mind that if you misuse the rewards program in any way, fail to make payments or declare bankruptcy, your account can be closed and all rewards forfeited.

Can I Combine Ultimate Rewards Between My Personal and Business Accounts?

Yes. We have already discussed how you can transfer rewards between your own account or to another member of your household or an authorized user. Well, it’s also possible to combine rewards earned with your small-business credit cards as well as your personal Chase cards.

To be able to pool your rewards from all accounts into one place, you have to call Chase at 1-800-242-7338 and ask a phone agent to merge your business and personal accounts. Once your accounts are combined, you can transfer points the same way you would normally.

Final Thoughts

Chase Ultimate Rewards is an extremely valuable credit-card rewards program. The points can be used in a lot of ways, not just travel. And because you have so many options, it’s easy to get lost in the choices and the math.

If it is travel you’re after, don’t forget to compare redemption rates in the portal as well as with all the transfer partners to make sure you get the best deal possible. Once you master the Ultimate Rewards program, you’ll be getting the best value every time.