Chase Ultimate Rewards

Since our post titled Earn Points, Travel for Free, we have been getting questions about which points earning credit card we prefer. In the companion video, we used Southwest and JetBlue credit cards as examples. To be honest, as good as these cards are, they are not our favorite. Our favorite is actually a band of cards that earn points on a points earning program called Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Chase Ultimate Rewards

Usually when you are part of a points earning program, you are restricted to the categories of one credit card, and that credit card, just like others, has one or two categories in which you can earn high rates of points. For example, 3% at grocery stores and/or 2% at gas stations. What if you have several cards where one card earns a higher rate at gas stations, another on groceries, another at office supply stores, and another earns 1.5% on every single purchase, and you can consolidate all those points into one points earning program? Thank goodness for Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Ultimate Rewards is the Chase points program and it is one of the most flexible points programs available. You can redeem points on airfare, hotel accommodations, car rental, gift cards, shopping on Amazon, get cash back, and, if you have the right card, transfer them to travel partners. There are 5 Chase credit cards that earn UR points. The personal cards are Sapphire Preferred, Freedom, and Freedom Unlimited; and the business cards are Ink Bold and Ink Cash.

The Cards

Chase Sapphire Preferred

This card is called preferred for a reason. As it is the preferred card of most travelers, and you will see why.

  • 2x points per dollar spent on dining and travel
  • 1x points per dollar spent on everything else
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • 20% off when redeeming for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards

The points earning benefit is nice but the best part is the 20% off when redeeming for travel though Chase. That’s big savings on points. Another cool benefit that comes with this card is that you can transfer your points to travel partners such as Southwest Airlines and Hyatt. My recommendation is to consolidate all your points to your Sapphire Preferred card.

Chase Freedom

I love the play on words with this card. This card is unique in that it earns 5% on categories that change every quarter. Categories such as grocery stores, gas stations, Amazon.com, and restaurants. I recommend using this card on these categories only.

  • 5% cash back on a new category each month (up to $1,500 in combined purchases per quarterly category)
  • 1% cash back on all other categories

Chase Freedom Unlimited

Chase Freedom Unlimited is the latest Ultimate Rewards earning card in the Chase line up, and has a very simple benefit. I recommend using this card whenever you are not taking advantage of the high earning potential of the other Chase cards.

  • 1.5% cash back on all purchases with no limit

Chase Business Ink Cash

Both Chase business cards have great earning potential on certain categories. Here is the breakdown for the Ink Cash card.

  • 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV services each account anniversary year
  • 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year
  • 1% cash back on everything else

Obviously, this card is recommended for your cellular phone, landline and cable TV payments. The points earning potential is huge.

Chase Business Ink Plus

If you have Sapphire Preferred you will probably not want this card unless you want the $50,000 limit on each category, but the choice is absolutely yours.

  • 5% cash back on the first $50,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV services each account anniversary year
  • 2% cash back on the first $50,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year
  • 1% cash back on everything else
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • 20% off when redeeming for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards

You can see that Ink Plus is like combing Ink Cash and Sapphire Preferred.

Ultimate Rewards Shopping Portal

Here’s another way to earn more points. If you’re an avid online shopper, you’re going to love shopping through the Ultimate Rewards shopping portal. There are several retailers like Best Buy, Sport Chalet, Macy’s, and Petsmart on the shopping portal and you can get great deals on points for shopping this way. For example, Chase is offering 4 points per $1 spent on Groupon for going through the link in their portal. Before heading out to a store, surely check to see if that store is on the Chase shopping portal.

So there you have it. Chase Ultimate Rewards is our favorite travel points program and we highly recommend it.  Regarding which Chase cards we recommend, I’ll give you my lineup: Sapphire Preferred, Freedom, Freedom Unlimited, and Ink Cash. Including the sign up bonus that the cards offers, which is another great benefit that we didn’t touch upon in this post, earning points with Chase is fast and easy.

Do you have a Chase points earning card and didn’t know of its potential? Will you be applying for a card? If so, which one? Let us know in the comments below.

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