How to earn bonus Ultimate Rewards points using Shop Through Chase
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One of the most valuable types of points out there are Chase Ultimate Rewards points. But unlike with most airline and hotel points, you can’t actually earn these points from traveling. Instead, you earn them predominately by using a credit card that earns Ultimate Rewards points, such as a Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.
These Chase Ultimate Rewards cards can earn 1.5, 2, 3 or even 5 points per dollar in select categories, which adds up quickly. Those points can then be used at a fixed rate for travel, transferred to programs such as United, Hyatt, Southwest and more or used for non-travel redemptions.
However, there is a way to earn even more Ultimate Rewards points when you shop at online retailers such as Nike, Backcountry, J.Crew, Old Navy, Sam’s Club, Sephora, Saks, Apple.com and hundreds of others.
If you have an eligible Chase card, then brush up on how your next online order can get you closer to your next reward redemption with just a few extra clicks.
What is Shop Through Chase?
Shop Through Chase is a website available via your Chase Ultimate Rewards account.
Hundreds of online retailers participate in the Shop Through Chase program, and all you have to do to earn extra points is click from this part of the Chase website to your favorite retailer and then make a purchase like you normally would. The site will transfer you to your favorite retailer’s site, so there’s nothing more to do but make a purchase like normal.
If your retailer is listed as awarding 5 points per dollar in Shop Through Chase, then a $100 purchase will earn you 500 bonus Ultimate Rewards points. While it can vary a bit depending on your card, TPG values Ultimate Rewards points at two cents each, so that would be like earning $10 in rewards on that $100 purchase.
Related: How to use points shopping online
Who can access Shop Through Chase?
The Shop Through Chase site is available to those who have Chase credit cards that earn Ultimate Reward points. Some popular examples are Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, the Ink Preferred Business Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve and no-annual-fee Chase Freedom (No longer open to new applicants).
If you have a qualifying card, then head over to www.ultimaterewards.com and log in using your credit card account credentials.
How does it work?
If you have more than one Chase card that earns Ultimate Reward points, then you will need to select which account you want to earn points with when you log in.
A lot of times the payouts are the same regardless of which card you log in with, but there have been times when the payouts are higher with one card over another. You can manually check each payout by logging in with your various Ultimate Rewards-earning cards or you can use an aggregator website like cashbackmonitor.com to quickly compare rates across different sites and cards.
Once you log in to the Ultimate Rewards site, click on the “Earn Bonus Points” option at the top of the screen to get to Shop Through Chase.
You can choose “Browse by Merchant” from the drop-down to view available merchants listed in alphabetical order.
Once you find the merchant you want, click on the retailer’s name. You will be taken to a screen that verifies how many bonus points per dollar you will earn for your purchase and any restrictions or rules associated with that merchant.
Sometimes there are retailer-specific rules surrounding buying or using gift cards. There may also be rules that prohibit rewards earnings on certain products or when using coupon codes. Sometimes those rules are enforced as written and sometimes they aren’t. It never hurts to go through a rebate portal for a purchase like that, but be aware you may not always earn points.
Once you click through the screen with the rules and restrictions, you will be taken to the retailer’s website.
Assuming you are ready to make your purchase, go ahead and do it directly after you have been transferred to the retailer site by Chase. Be sure not to close out of the browser or navigate away and then back again. The cookie placed on your browser may still count the purchase even if you navigate away for a bit, but it also may not. You can always start the process over if you aren’t sure.
If you want to receive a notification when your store of choice is offering more points than normal, you can favorite them. The Chase site says that soon they’ll be able to email you when your favorites are offering bonuses.
When do I get my points?
Your points usually post with the next statement, unless the transaction is made close to the end of your billing cycle.
However, you can track the points much faster, as they are often in a pending state listed on the website within a week or so after the purchase. You can view the points you have earned via the shopping portal by selecting “My shopping details”. There you can see transactions dating back up to two years.
Why aren’t my favorite stores listed?
For years, the line-up of stores available in the Shop Through Chase and other similar cashback and airline shopping portals has varied a bit. However, during the current pandemic, the exodus of many popular retailers from online shopping portals has accelerated.
Some long-available retailer staples in the online shopping rebate world were Walmart.com, Target.com, Potterybarn.com, HomeDepot.com, etc. And while a few of those retailers remain on cash back sites, such as Rakuten, there has been a noticeable decrease across most online shopping portals since March.
The short answer to why this is happening is that retailers are trying to save cash wherever they can. And when you shop through a site like Ultimate Rewards, the retailer pays out a percentage of your purchase or similar to the referring site (which is what funds your bonus points or cash back).
In an economy where every dollar has to be conserved, we’ve seen some retailers drop off from sites like Shop Through Chase, at least for now.
My family earns tens of thousands of points and miles each year by making online purchases through shopping portals like Shop Through Chase. These points fund everything from domestic hops on Southwest Airlines to farther-flung adventures to Hawaii and beyond.
This particular shopping portal isn’t consistently as lucrative as it once was, but it is still worth a look when you are shopping online. Since Ultimate Rewards points are so valuable, you probably want to earn all these points that you can get your hands on so you are ready when it’s time to cash in for that next big trip.
Featured image courtesy of MStudioImages/Getty Images
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