New Chase Ultimate Rewards Shop With Points on Amazon.com - Good Value?
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.
Chase cardholders who earn Ultimate Rewards with their credit cards recently learned about a new partnership between Ultimate Rewards and Amazon.com that lets them link their two accounts and use points to pay for purchases directly on Amazon.com at a rate of 1 cent per point.
The following cards are eligible for the Pay with Points option:
-Chase Corporate Flex Card
-JP Morgan Palladium Card
-JP Morgan Select Card
Even if your card is already saved in your Amazon.com profile, you'll still need to enroll it for the Shop with Points option. To link accounts, you first sign into your Amazon.com account at this link, then click Get Started. That will take you to the login page for Amazon, and then once you’ve entered your email and password, you’re taken to a page that says “Shop with Points at Amazon.com.
There you enter in your eligible card number, the name on your card, expiration date and billion address, and click to accept the Chase Ultimate Rewards terms and condition.
Once your accounts are linked, you can use points to pay for purchases at a rate of 1 cent per point. What’s interesting is that Ultimate Rewards points may be redeemed to pay for all or a portion of eligible purchases made at Amazon.com. Chase will debit the number of points that you elected to redeem for your purchase from your Ultimate Rewards points balance and if you use points to pay for only a portion of the price, the attached credit card to that particular points account will be charged for the rest of the amount. Note: Your points balance may not reflect redemptions for pending purchase transactions until the purchase has been shipped.
Just note: rewards program points cannot be used for all purchases at Amazon.com. Items that currently may not be purchased using Shop with Points include some digital goods, some gift cards, Kindle downloads, Subscribe and Save items, and AmazonFresh items. Currently, you may not use one-click to purchase products using Shop with Points. You can also disable the Shop with Points option by clicking on the Shop with Points link and clicking "disable" do deactivate your card.
You can find the rest of the T&C here.
So if you’ve got some odd numbers of extra points sitting around, you can liquidate them by paying for a portion of your Amazon.com purchase.
Is This A Good Deal?
I had several readers email me about this new partnership and asking if this is a good use of points. I’ll start with my own personal opinion, which is: not really. Is it a horrible use of points? Not necessarily- after all I hate judging uses of points in general because what may be valuable to me (international free flights) may be useless to someone else who may be looking to get holiday presents with their points.
As I mentioned in my Monday post Ranking Top Fixed-Value Points Credit Cards, points with fixed value are usually best for travelers with little flexibility looking to redeem points on coach awards and still earn miles and elite status, even on award blackout dates. In the same way, fixed-value points can be good for shoppers who have no interest in using their points for travel, and want to know they can always get a cent per point in value out of their credit card points.
However, as you know from reading this blog, I am much more interested in using my points for premium travel experiences like my most recent experience booking award tickets for first class seats on Korean Air where I was able to squeeze 6.9 cents in value out of each of the 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points I redeemed. If I were to use those Ultimate Rewards points on Amazon.com, they’d only net me $800 in purchases rather than the $5,500 my Korean Air ticket is worth.
I understand that not everyone is looking to use their miles and points for first-class flights and luxury hotel redemptions like me, but in my opinion, it would just be a shame to use Ultimate Rewards points – which are so versatile and valuable thanks to the fact that you can transfer to British Airways, Korean Air, United and Southwest as well as Hyatt, Marriott/Ritz-Carlton, Priority Club and Amtrak – for a mere cent each.
Even Ultimate Rewards’ fixed-value pay-with-points option through the UR travel portal gets Sapphire Preferred cardholders 1.25 cents per point – a 25% bonus over the Amazon.com option.
My advice is, if you’re short on cash and need to use points to pay for some purchases or holiday presents this winter, it’s good to have yet another option for redeeming Ultimate Rewards points, but personally, I’ll stick to the high-yield travel redemptions I value.