Friday, May 10, 2013

Chase Ultimate Rewards Overview


Just like American express membership rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards (UR) is chase's own brand of reward points.  Similar to amex rewards, chase UR can be transferred directly to several airline and hotel programs.

You can transfer points at a 1:1 ratio to the following programs;
British Airways avios
Korean Air Skypass
Southwest Rapid rewards
United Mileage Plus
Virgin Atlantic Flying club
Hyatt Gold Passport
Marriott Rewards
Priority Club Rewards

You can also redeem points directly through Ultimate Rewards for travel with a 20% bonus.  Meaning 40,000 points = 500$ in travel

Ways to earn UR points:

1. Sign up Bonus:
There are currently 3 chase cards which offer generous sign up bonuses with no annual fee for the first year.

Sapphire preferred: 40,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
Ink Bold: Business charge card, 50,000 points after spending $5,000 in 3 months
Ink Plus: Business credit card, 50,000 points after spending $5,000 in 3 months

Applications for all of these can be found directly on Chase's website

2. Spending:
Both the Ink Bold and Plus offer 5 points per dollar on office supply stores, cell and landline phone, Internet and Cable.  They also offer 2 points per dollar on gas stations, hotel accommodations.  1 point on all other purchases.
The Sapphire preferred card gives you 2 points per dollar spent on travel and dining, 1 point on all other purchases. 

3. Ultimate Rewards Mall
This is an online shopping portal which allows you to earn bonus points while shopping online at hundreds of retailers.  If you are thinking of buying something check here first as there are tons of online merchants represented.

I really like this program for transfers to Hyatt.  Hyatt redemptions start at just 5,000 points and max out at 22,000 points for top tier hotels such as the Park Hyatt vendome Paris or the Park Hyatt Maldives.  Both of these run around $800 a night.  You can see my review of the Park Hyatt Vendome here.

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