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Inflation is increasing financial stress in many households, with Americans finding creative ways to make ends meet. According to a 2022 study, 49% of rewards credit card holders use credit card rewards to offset today’s higher cost of living. Almost three-fourths of Americans own rewards credit cards and at least half say they’re using their credit cards more.
If you're one of those people and you have a card that earns Chase Ultimate Rewards, here are 14 ways you can earn more points.
- How Does Chase Ultimate Rewards Work?
- 14 Ways to Earn Chase Ultimate Rewards
- 1. Sign-Up Bonuses
- 2. Grocery Purchases
- 3. Gas Purchases
- 4. Dining Purchases
- 5. Monthly Household Bills
- 6. Cell Phone Bill
- 7. Quarterly Bonus Categories
- 8. Chase Ultimate Rewards Shopping
- 9. Shopping Where You Normally Would
- 10. Chase Ultimate Rewards Dining
- 11. Booking Travel via Chase Travel
- 12. Referring Friends
- 13. Business Purchases With a Business Credit Card
- 14. Purchase Gift Cards
- Which Chase Credit Card Is the Best?
- Final Thoughts
How Does Chase Ultimate Rewards Work?
Chase Ultimate Rewards are reward points you earn and can redeem for things like travel, statement credits, gift cards, or Amazon purchases. Your purchases earn at least one point or one percent per dollar, but many purchases earn more, such as travel and dining purchases on certain Chase credit cards.
You can get more value for your points by transferring them to a Chase travel partner or redeeming them for travel through Chase. For example, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card gets you 25% more value when you redeem your points through Chase's travel portal.
Or can pay yourself back by taking a statement credit. This automatically reduces your monthly costs by decreasing your credit card balance. Paying yourself back can be a good way to keep yourself accountable, using the rewards to lower your costs rather than purchasing something you don’t need.
Chase offers several Chase Ultimate Rewards cards to make it easy for most people to qualify if they have decent credit. The key is to pick the card with the highest reward value for the purchases you make most often. In other words, if one of your major expenses is groceries, look for a Chase card that pays elevated rewards for supermarket purchases. Groceries are just one way to earn rewards, below we explore all the ways you can earn Chase Ultimate Rewards.
14 Ways to Earn Chase Ultimate Rewards
While some of these may be obvious for long-time credit card holders, others may not be on your radar. Here's our list of the best ways to earn Chase Ultimate Rewards.
1. Sign-Up Bonuses
Depending on the card, most Chase credit cards offer sign-up bonuses such as bonus cash or points. However, you must spend the required amount. For example, with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
This is an excellent sign-up bonus, but you want to make sure you can easily achieve the bonus with your regular spending activity. The bonus requirement above breaks down to spending a little over $1,333 for three months. If you have that much in monthly expenses you can put on the card, that's great. Otherwise, it's not worth overspending to get a sign-up bonus.
2. Grocery Purchases
If you buy groceries with your Chase Ultimate Rewards card, you can earn elevated cashback or points on some cards. The Chase Freedom Unlimited® pays 1.5% cashback on everything, so you don’t have to worry about categories. The Chase Freedom Flex(SM) offers 5% back on rotating categories up to $1,500 each quarter, which can give you a bonus when the grocery category is active. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers 3x points on online grocery purchases.
3. Gas Purchases
At a minimum, you can earn 1% on your purchases. However, if you use the Chase Freedom Flex(SM), you can earn up to 5% back when gas is a bonus category. Or again the Chase Freedom Unlimited® pays 1.5% back on gas year-round.
For business owners, consider using the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card which offers 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year.
4. Dining Purchases
Even when expenses are high, you need to dine out sometimes, and many Chase credit cards pay elevated cashback for it. In our list of cards that earn Chase Ultimate Rewards, you'll find five credit cards paying at least 2% to 3% cashback or 3x points on restaurant purchases.
5. Monthly Household Bills
Paying your bills with your Chase credit card can earn you 1x point or 1% back on the costs, even up to 1.5% with the Chase Freedom Unlimited®. At a minimum, if you pay your utility bill for $200, that’s $2 back. It doesn’t seem like much, but if you add up your monthly bills, the cashback can stack up quickly.
6. Cell Phone Bill
If you own a business, use your Ink Business Cash® Credit Card and earn as much as 5% cashback on your cellphone services. Even if you don’t own a business, you can earn at least 1% monthly cashback on your phone services using a personal Chase card to pay your bill.
7. Quarterly Bonus Categories
The Chase Freedom Flex(SM) offers quarterly bonuses. When you purchase something in the quarterly bonus category, you 5% cash back on as much as $1,500 in expenses. That’s a bonus of up to $75 per quarter.
This is only helpful if you remember to activate your bonuses every quarter. You may even need to set up a calendar reminder and it can be worth it. If you max out your quarterly bonus, you can earn $300 a year in cash back on that category alone.
8. Chase Ultimate Rewards Shopping
If you shop through Chase, you can earn bonus points of 1 to 15 points per dollar spent. There are 450+ stores in the network for this opportunity. You'll need to log in to Chase.com or use the Chase Mobile App to access these deals.
9. Shopping Where You Normally Would
At a minimum, you can earn 1% cashback when you shop, but some cards, like Chase Freedom Unlimited®, pay 1.5% cash back on all purchases and 3% on drugstore purchases.
Business owners can even earn up to 5% cash back at office supply stores with the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card.
10. Chase Ultimate Rewards Dining
With the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, you can earn 10x points on Chase Ultimate Rewards Dining purchases. That's 10 points for each $1 spent when you book and purchase dining through the Ultimate Rewards portal.
11. Booking Travel via Chase Travel
When you book your travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, you can earn more cashback than booking with a third party using your Chase card. For example, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® and Chase Freedom Flex(SM) cards pay 5% cashback on travel booked through Chase, and the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve® pay 5x points on travel booked through Chase. The Sapphire Reserve also pays 10x points on hotels and car rentals booked through Chase. Or, you can transfer your points to Chase's partners, which could earn you even more value.
For business owners, the Ink Business Premier℠ Credit Card also earns 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase.
12. Referring Friends
Chase provides current credit card holders with a link to invite friends and family to apply for a Chase credit card. If someone uses your link and is approved, you can earn rewards. You can invite multiple people and earn rewards repeatedly, but there is a maximum amount you can earn every year depending on your card.
13. Business Purchases With a Business Credit Card
Chase business credit cards pay cashback for business purchases, such as office supply store purchases, shipping, advertising, phone, and internet bills. Business purchases earn cardholders 1.5% to 5% cashback depending on the credit card. You can see the full list of business credit cards that earn Ultimate Rewards here.
14. Purchase Gift Cards
You can purchase gift cards at a discount through the Chase portal. This means automatically saving yourself money at stores where you normally purchase items including restaurants, home improvement stores, or clothing stores. To see the full list of gift card options, you'll need to log in to Chase Ultimate Rewards.
Which Chase Credit Card Is the Best?
The best credit card varies based on your regular spending habits and needs. Many people benefit from the Chase Freedom Flex(SM). Or if you don't want to fuss with rotating categories, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® can pay you 1.5% cash back on everyday purchases, plus elevated rewards on travel, drugstores, and dining. Plus, neither card has an annual fee.
If you travel often, even a couple of times a year, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card card offers excellent travel rewards and benefits. You also get 25% more value out of your points when you redeem them for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. If you're looking for premium travel benefits, like unlimited airport lounge access, and you travel several times a year, then the Chase Sapphire Reserve® may be perfect for you.
Small business owners with regular office supply store, dining, and gas expenses may appreciate the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card. If your business expenses vary, consider the Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card to earn a flat 1.5% cash back.
Business owners that travel often should consider the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card. This card is another one that gets you 25% more value for redeeming your rewards for travel through Chase. For business owners looking to earn a big bonus and and don't mind a pay-in-full card, the Ink Business Premier℠ Credit Card is worth looking into.
To determine which Chase credit card is right for you, check out our guide on Everything You Need to Know About Chase Ultimate Rewards, where we provide a complete list of personal and business credit cards that earn Chase Ultimate Rewards. And if you're considering one or more Chase credit cards, make sure you know how the Chase 5/24 rule works before you apply.
Do Chase Ultimate Rewards expire?
Chase Ultimate Rewards do not expire as long as you have an active credit card. This means you can let your rewards stack up or redeem them monthly. If you’re using them to pay yourself back, taking a monthly credit on your credit card statement isn’t a bad idea.
How much are Chase Ultimate Rewards points worth?
Chase Ultimate Rewards are worth from 0.08 cents to 1.5 cents, depending on the card and how you redeem the points.
What’s the best way to redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards?
If you travel, you’ll get the most bang for your buck because your points are worth more through the Chase portal or by transferring them to a Chase travel partner. Otherwise, your best bet is to pay yourself back with a statement credit to reduce your monthly expenses.
Chase Ultimate Rewards is one of the easiest rewards credit cards to work with, allowing you to redeem your rewards in several ways and to squeeze maximum value from your points.
You want to choose the card that pays the most rewards for the categories you regularly spend on. The key is to use your card for everyday expenses but only charge what you can afford to pay off at the end of each month to avoid paying interest.