How to earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points

Mar 22, 2020

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

The first step to booking (mostly) free flights or booking luxurious hotel rooms is earning the points and miles required for those redemptions. And while booking travel isn’t a priority right now, you can still rack up points and miles on purchases today to use on a fantastic trip in the future.

Chase Ultimate Rewards points are among the most valuable reward currencies you can earn. TPG values each point at two cents each, putting them at the top of the pack alongside American Express Membership Rewards points. This is partly due to how flexible Chase points are. You can redeem them for maximum value by booking travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal or you can transfer to one of Chase’s travel partners.

There are three ways for you to rack up Chase Ultimate Rewards points, but it all comes down to having Chase Ultimate Rewards credit cards.

Chase Ultimate Rewards credit cards

Chase currently offers three credit cards that earn Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

Annual fee: $95

Sign-up bonus: 60,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for beginners. You’ll earn 2x on travel and 3x on dining purchases — two categories that Chase defines broadly. And right now, you’ll also earn 5x on Lyft purchases. The 60k sign-up bonus isn’t insignificant, either — TPG values it at $1,200 in value. The Chase Sapphire Preferred only charges a $95 annual fee, which makes this a budget-friendly card to add to your wallet.

You can redeem points by transferring to partners or through the portal for 1.25 cents each.

Check out our full card review.

Chase Sapphire Reserve

(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)

Annual fee: $550

Sign-up bonus: 50,000 points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months

If you are someone who is looking for luxury travel perks like lounge access and travel credits, the Chase Sapphire Reserve may be a better fit for you. You’ll earn 3x on all travel and dining purchases, plus 10x on Lyft. The card also comes with a $300 travel credit, Priority Pass lounge access and a number of other benefits. Just keep in mind that this card does charge a high $550 annual fee, so it won’t be worth it for those who don’t take advantage of both the earning capabilities and the other perks that come with the card.

You can redeem points by transferring to partners or through the portal for 1.5 cents each.

Check out our full card review.

Ink Business Preferred Credit Card

Annual fee: $95

Sign-up bonus: 100,000 points after you spend $15,000 in the first three months

The Ink Business Preferred is a great all-around card for small-business owners. If you own a business that can hit the $15,000 spending requirement, you can score 100,000 points with the current sign-up offer. You’ll also earn 3x on the first $150,000 in combined spending across these categories: travel, shipping purchases, cable, internet and phone services and advertising on social media sites and search engines.

You can redeem points by transferring to partners or through the portal for 1.25 cents each.

Check out our full card review.

Pairing other Chase cards

While the three aforementioned cards are the only cards that earn Ultimate Rewards points on their own, Chase does let you pair other Chase cards to maximize your spending. If you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve or Ink Business Preferred, the rewards you earn with Chase’s other credit cards can be used as Chase Ultimate Rewards.

For example, let’s say you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Chase Freedom Unlimited. Normally, the Chase Freedom Unlimited earns 1.5% cash back (1.5x points) that can only be redeemed at a 1 cent value (essentially like cash back). But since you also have the Chase Sapphire Reserve, those Chase Freedom Unlimited points can be used as full Ultimate Rewards points — you can transfer them to partners or redeem through the portal at 1.5 cents each.

For this reason, having multiple Chase cards can be incredibly valuable. Here are the other Chase cards (all of which come with no annual fees) that you can pair with Ultimate Rewards cards to maximize your earning:

The information for the Chase Freedom has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Related reading: Maximize the Chase trifecta

Referral bonuses

Another way to earn Chase points is through referral bonuses. If you have one of these Chase credit cards, you can refer a friend or family member for the same card and earn bonus rewards (though there is a cap to how many you can earn per year):

If you have a Chase Freedom or Chase Freedom Unlimited, you can refer people for either card, regardless of which you have in your wallet. For the rest, you’ll need to have the card you are referring to others.

Keep in mind that if you have a Chase Ultimate Rewards card as well, those cash back bonuses are actually point-bonuses. So The Chase Freedom and Freedom Unlimited will earn 10,000 points for each referral, and the Ink Business Unlimited will earn 15,000 points for each referral.

Chase shopping portal

At TPG, we love shopping portals. One way you can rack up bonus points across purchases that may not otherwise earn points is through the Chase shopping portal. It works like any other points and miles portal such as the AAdvantage portal. You sign into your account on the portal, pick what online store you want to shop with and then click through the Shop with Chase link to go to the store. You don’t have to use your Chase credit card to make the purchase, but if you have a card like the Chase Freedom Unlimited that earns rewards on every purchase, this is a way to double dip on earning Chase points.

There are a ton of stores to shop from that offer anywhere from 2-6x on purchases. At the time of writing, you could earn 6x at Under Armor and 3x on Living Proof products, for example.

Bottom line

Chase points are incredibly valuable to have on hand, and there are plenty of opportunities to earn them with Chase credit cards. While redeeming those points may be a ways away, that shouldn’t stop you from racking up points for a stellar redemption down the road.

Related reading: Best Chase credit cards

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.