Chase Ultimate Rewards points offer, in my opinion, the best redemption value of any rewards programs. Furthermore, Ultimate Rewards offers a wide range of valuable transfer options not found with other programs.
UR points are earned from sign-up bonuses and spend from multiple Chase credit card products such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred. Stay tuned for a future post on all of the cards will allow you to earn UR points quickly!
The biggest benefit of the UR program is that you can transfer points on a 1:1 basis to the following ten programs:
- British Airways Executive Club
- Korean Air SKYPASS
- Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
- United MileagePlus
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
- Hyatt Gold Passport
- Marriott Rewards
- IHG Rewards Club
- The Ritz-Carlton Rewards
- Amtrak Guest Rewards
This offers unprecedented flexibly and versatility to enjoy rewards on airline, hotel, and even rail partners. Points are transferred in 1,000 point increments and in many cases transfer instantly. So if you have a last minute trip to book and you need to top off your account, UR points provide an easy way to do this instead of paying a premium to purchase points from the travel partner themselves or scramble to accrue more points. Furthermore, points maintained in Chase accounts don’t expire as long as you have an active Chase credit card which earn UR points.
With United and Hyatt regularly heralded as some of the best airline and hotel rewards programs respectively, it’s not wonder that UR points have such high value! Personally, I have transferred points to Southwest for domestic flights and United for international business/first class flights. It’s comforting knowing that whenever I am planning for a trip, instead of being limited to one airline or one hotel group where I might have accrued a lot of miles/points, I have the option to book travel through a variety of partners that fit my schedule or convenience requirements.
One further place where I find UR point transfers useful is when I have miles/points in a rewards account but not enough for a meaningful reward. For example, if I had signed up for a United-branded credit card offering a 30k mile sign-up and I used 25k miles on a domestic flight, I would be left with 5k miles which holds very little value. I could continue to spend on the card to build up points to book another domestic flight but this would require significant spending at most likely a low rate (1 mile per $1 spend). Alternatively, I could redeem for a gift card or maybe a magazine offer but this would offer very little value. If I had UR points, I could transfer 20k miles to my United account and have enough miles for a valuable redemption!
Note that certain partners such as Marriott Rewards, IHG Rewards Club, Ritz-Carlton Rewards, and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club offer poor value per point so I wouldn’t recommend transferring to these programs. However, the value of transferring points to the other programs should more than make up for these.
One hidden benefit is that you can transfer UR points to someone else’s hotel or airline account as long as you provide their name and account number. Please note however that the current Terms & Conditions restrict transfers to only your spouse or domestic partner so please use caution when attempting to transfer to other accounts. This is a a great way to share miles/points with others whom you may be travelling with. You can however book award travel for someone else with most programs though.
Due to the large amount of redemption options, high value transfers, and flexibility, Chase’s Ultimate Rewards points offers the best value for your point-earning buck!