Chase Ultimate Rewards 101 | Understanding Chase’s Flexible Points Program


Hey there, it’s Ernest from Trip Astute.
In this video, we’ll be talking about the Chase Ultimate Rewards program. (light chiming music) The Chase Ultimate Rewards program is one of the most popular flexible point currencies out there. By flexible point program, I mean the points can be used for different things, whether it be hotels or flights, or even sometimes rental cars.
These differ from the cash back programs which allow you to redeem cash
back and apply them toward travel expenses. For simplicity sake, there are
basically four major flexible point programs. They include the Chase Ultimate
Rewards, the American Express Membership Rewards, the Citibank Thank You program,
and the Starwood Preferred Guest Rewards. I’ll do a separate video on the cash
back cards as well. They’re definitely a valuable and simple way to earn free
travel. To be honest, I’ve used all these reward programs over the years, but to me,
the one that really stands out is a Chase Ultimate Rewards program. Not to
say that the other programs aren’t valuable or effective. I just find that
the Chase cards seem to best meet my needs, and here’s why. Number one is bonus
categories that match my daily spend. With my Chase cards, I seem to be able to
match up the bonus reward categories with what I’m spending in my daily life.
Number two: multiple cards that pull into the same
program. Since multiple cards are earning the same points, I seem to earn them much
quicker. And lastly, number three: travel partners that seem to match my needs.
Chase has partnered with some of the biggest names in travel such as United,
Hyatt, Southwest, IHG, Marriott, Ritz Carlton;
to name a few. This definitely gives me a lot of options when I want to book travel. When
you look at the Chase website, you’ll notice that there’s two types of cards
listed. There’s the travel reward cards and the
cash back cards. Cards like the Chase Freedom or the Freedom Unlimited are
considered to be cash back. However, there is a way to make these cards eligible to
earn travel points as well. Basically, you just need to have one premium account
active, which then allows the other cards to also earn Ultimate Rewards points. This
also allows you to pull the points into one bucket. Examples of premium Chase
travel cards are the Chase Sapphire Reserve card and the Chase Sapphire
Preferred; as well as on the business side, the Chase Ink Preferred card. For
example, I carry the Chase Sapphire Reserve card which has a pretty hefty
annual fee, but I find that it really meets my needs in terms of my daily
spend, especially when it comes to dining out and travel. Since it’s one of the
premium Chase travel cards, it basically allows me to unlock the point earning
feature on my Chase freedom and Chase Freedom Unlimited cards. Also, I have a
Chase Ink Cash card, which is a business card that’s also classified as cash back.
However, just because I have the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, it allows me to
now earn Ultimate Rewards points on that account as well. I essentially have four
separate cards that are earning Ultimate Rewards points. What I love about this
setup is that it allows me to really take advantage of multiple bonus
categories. In my case, the Chase Sapphire Reserve earns three points on travel and
dining, the Ink Cash card earns five points on office supplies, and also
telephone and Internet charges. I also earn two points on dining and gas
charges. My Freedom Unlimited card has a 1.5 point bonus on all charges.
It’s basically a flat bonus card. And my Chase Freedom earns 5 points on rotating
categories. So every quarter, we get a different bonus category. It could be
anything from gas to groceries to drugstores, home improvement, Amazon. It’s
a really versatile card, and it’s really a great way to maximize daily spend in
those categories. In terms of redeeming your Chase Ultimate Rewards points, there
are a ton of ways to do it. However, for the best value, I suggest
using one of these two ways. Number one: transfer to a travel partner. You can
transfer points to one of Chase’s travel partners, which includes companies like
Hyatt, United, Marriott, Southwest. Once the points have transferred over, you can
book the travel directly with that vendor. The second way to redeem points
is through the Ultimate Rewards travel portal. Once you find the flight or hotel
that you want a book, you can redeem at a fixed rate. The fixed rate is going to
depend on whether you have a Reserve card or not. It should range between 1.25
or 1.5 cents per point. With this method, you’re essentially buying your ticket or
booking your hotel, and then reimbursing yourself with the points. Keep in mind
that you’ll also earn mileage or loyalty points for using this method, and that’s
because you’re basically buying the ticket or hotel stay. It’s difficult to
put an exact number on the value of each point. One of my favorite bloggers, The
Points Guy, does a monthly valuation of all the major point programs out there.
As of April 2017, he rates the Chase Ultimate Reward Program to have a point
value of 2.2 cents per point. Redemption values can definitely vary.
I’m usually able to get anywhere from 1.5 to 2 cents per point.
However, there is flexibility which is hard to quantify into an exact amount,
but is definitely valuable. Before you apply for these cards, here are some
things to keep in mind. One is that Chase has a 5/24 rule, which means that they
won’t approve you if you’ve had five credit card application
within the last 24 months. This includes credit cards from other banks as well,
not just from Chase. There are some exceptions to this rule, but if you
applied for five or more credit cards in the last two years, you may want to hold
off on applying for any Chase cards. The last point I’ll make is that even though
I definitely prefer the Chase Ultimate Rewards program, it doesn’t mean that I’m
not also collecting points from other programs. If you talk to a lot of point
collectors, they’ll tell you that diversity is definitely key. Having a
diverse set of points allows you to book travel wherever you go. I can’t tell you
how many times I wanted to book a Hyatt hotel, only to find out that Starwood has
all the major resorts in that area. It definitely pays to diversify. It gives
you that extra flexibility when you travel. In future videos, I’ll be diving
deeper into individual cards and the benefits of each one. Also, I’ll be
covering some tips on how to apply for cards. There are definitely some
strategies and tricks that people use when applying for cards. As always, if you
enjoyed this video, please like it below. And we’d love it if you would hit
subscribe as well. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them
below as well. Until next time, travel safe and travel smart.

31 thoughts on “Chase Ultimate Rewards 101 | Understanding Chase’s Flexible Points Program

  • Just to let you know. The CSR AF is mostly $150. Let me explain:

    The $300 travel credit is like Chase is giving us $300 in advance and when paying the $450 AF, $300 of $450 goes back to Chase. That's how we get a travel credit from Chase every year it's from our AF. There's no value in the travel credit. It's like we putting in $300 from our own pockets to save for the travel credit.

  • so what do you think about my 2 travel cards I have both Venture and Venture1 ? I don't travel on company business.
    but I like to have a card that sales people have. from what I heard is the venture is valued at 1 cent per point
    the sapphire preferred is valued at 1.25 cents per point and the starwood preferred guest is 2.7 cents per point redemption
    this is what I heard.

    but for somebody who doesn't travel on company business what do you think about the Venture cards? as you know there travel cards.  capital1's cash back cards would be like there new dining card and the quick silver cards.

    as you know all points and miles are not created equal.

  • It's a travel  card not a travel cash card. if you have more miles than the cost of an airline ticket or hotel stay you can get a  reward you would have to call capital1 and ask them how this works. if the cost of a hotel or airline ticket is more than your miles then you have to spend money on that travel and call capital1 and then you would be able use your miles.

    quick silver works differently that's a cash back card.

    I guess you can say that the Venture cards are like the Sapphires, arrivals, Bank of America travel cards and the thank you cards
    while the quick silver cards are like the Freedoms , discover more, Barclays cash forward , bank of America cash card, citi double cash.

  • from what I heard about the citi double cash is your cash back expires. I don't know how long you may have a year or 2 or maybe 6 months I don't know how long but I know citi double cash back there's expires.

    do you have the down graded travel card the Citi bank thank you preferred? if so do you get 2x on dining and entertainment or is this in your promotion year?

    if you do have the card what do you think about it? what do you think about it for people who take 2 vacations a year and just for everyday spend like spas, shopping Jc Penny, Bed bath and beyond gift cards to the movies, dining out at sitdown restaurants , checked bags at the airport, pc Richard and son?

  • it would be nice to see a side by side comparasion  of the 5 major banks travel cards are you also planning on doing tier 2 travel cards in case you don't know that's the down graded travel card? yes I saw credit shifus video on travel cards.

  • I have the CSR + Freedom Unlimited. Do you think I'll be better off getting a card like the Ink and I think it has an 80k point bonus or go with the Freedom to get more long-term benefits with? I guess eventually I'd want to have both of those cards, but not quite sure which card I want to get next. I'm aware of 5/24 so trying to be strategic with that as well.

  • Is it possible to apply multiple chase cards at once or once every so often, if so how often would you recommend?

  • Question. Help needed?

    I currently have a CSR. Now I'm planning on paying all of my rent on a credit card – roughly $13,000/year at the moment. I was wondering if I should get the Citi Double Cash card, where I'm pretty much guaranteed $260 a year with rent alone. OR, should I get the Chase Freedom or Unlimited and redeem the points through UR? Orr, should I just put that rent on my CSR?

    I'm just trying to get the best value. If I have to redeem points through UR to get a value totally more than $260 for $1300 spent, then I don't mind. But I seriously don't know if paying rent with Chase Cards is worth it…

    Edit: After some research, I found that anything other than bonus categories through Freedom is a waste. So basically, it's between the Reserve and the Unlimited. Which one get you more for you dollar? (if it's not restaurants or travel)

  • Ok. So. I don’t have any Chase cards. Is it ok to apply for Freedom, Freedom Ultimate and Reserve at the same time?

  • I’m still confused about how to pool all of my points. I got the chase freedom card about 2 years ago and I just applied for the CSR and got approved. If I apply for the Freedom unlimited in the near future, will I be able to get that bonus on top of the bonus from the CSR? Also, will I be able to pool all the points I earned from my freedom and freedom unlimited cards with the higher tier points from the CSR?

  • Does the 5/24 rule only apply to the chase premium cards or all chase cards? Thinking of applying for the CSP and freedom card since I'm planning a trip to Europe in December.

  • Thumbs up!! Lots of useful and insightful info! 🙂 Thank you! Q: have the chase business preferred card now, is it possible to cancel it and reapply it right away to get the opening bonus (right now 80k promotion)?

  • So, we get a better value for the points by transferring them to United to book the flight? Rather than booking through the Chase portal?

  • Hi Ernest, do you know if it's easier to be approved for a Chase United Explorer or a Chase United Explorer Business card? We are 4 out of 5 (CSR, Freedom, Ink, Southwest). Thanks!!!

  • Hello, love your video as they're very informative. What's the best way to get a high credit line increase from Chase? I've been with them for over 10 yrs and they never offered to increase my limit. I have 3 cards from them (2 Freedoms and an Amazon card) and never missed a payment. My highest limit from them is $7k. On the other hand, Discover has steadily increased my limit to $25k without me requesting for one.

  • Lets say I get the Freedom/unlimited but don’t have a premium account can I save those points until I get a premium account and pool my previous earned point?

  • Do I have to have a Chase Saphire Reserved or Preferred to earn points for using my chase freedom and freedom unlimited cards? For example, I have a chase freedom/freedom unlimited card but don't have a chase premium card, can I still earn points and move them to a chase premium card later once I get one?

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