Monday, November 24, 2014

Chase Ultimate Rewards

Chase is the leader in credit card partnerships. They have co-branded cards with United, British Airways, Southwest, Marriott, IHG (Intercontinental Hotels Group) and Hyatt. They also have a series of cards that earn Chase points called Ultimate Rewards. These include Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Freedom, Chase Ink Plus, and Chase Ink Cash.

The Chase Ultimate Rewards (UR) program is called a flexible program. The most common, well-known of these flexible programs is the American Express Premier Rewards program. There are multiple ways of using these points. Chase UR points can be redeemed for prizes, cash back, gift cards, travel booked through the Chase travel portal, or transfer to any of several partners within airlines, hotels and rail. The only option to consider when using UR points is the last, transfer to partners. The only exception is if you never plan on traveling and need the cash back or gift cards.

Of the transfer partners, the ones that have the potential for the best value are British Airways, United, and Hyatt. Amtrak can also have some nice redemption options. If you hold the Southwest Companion Pass, then Southwest redemption is also valuable as your transfer points’ value is effectively doubled. In my next post, I will cover the two Chase cards that provide the best opportunity to collect UR points:  the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Chase Ink Plus cards.

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