A Rundown Of The Chase Ultimate Rewards Program And Ultimate Rewards Cards

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Chase’s Ultimate Rewards has quickly become one of the premier mileage currencies in short time.
They offer instant and fee-free transfers to excellent mileage and points programs at a 1:1 ratio.

Transfer partners include:
United (Star Alliance) is one of the best mileage currencies around. They never charge fuel surcharges, they allow free date changes, they have very flexible routing rules, they allow one-way awards for half the mileage, they have a short-haul award for 20,000 miles, they allow for a stopover and an open-jaw so that you can really maximize an award trip into multiple free trips, they have an around-the-world award to visit tons of cities on one award ticket, and they have dozens of partners to fly on, most of which can be booked on their website.
British Airways (OneWorld) is awesome for short-haul awards. Just 9,000 miles for a round-trip zone 1 or 15,000 miles for zone 2 short-haul awards can be an incredible use of miles.  The zone 3 award for 25,000 miles round-trip can also be a bargain, for example for flights between the west coast and any of the Hawaiian islands. They allow one-way awards for half the mileage. There are no close-in expedite fees. Infants are only charged 10% of the miles on international trips instead of 10% of the full fare like US carriers charge. Plus they don’t collect fuel surcharges on AA within the western hemisphere, on Qantas within Australia, on Air Berlin, Aer Lingus, Alaska, or LAN and you can transfer points to Iberia to limit fuel surcharges there as well.
Korean (Skyteam) offers incredible first class availability and they also have true bargains on partner travel, just 30,000 miles to fly round-trip on Hawaiian or Alaska to Hawaii in coach or 60,000 miles in first.  And it’s just 20,000 miles to fly to Alaska in coach or 40,000 miles in first. You can even get a free stopover on the way to or in Alaska!
Southwest offers a value of about 1.95 cents per point towards award travel. Plus points can be transferred to Airtran for flat-rate awards like business class upgrades, free tickets on Airtran, or even free tickets on any carrier worldwide.
Virgin Atlantic typically has high fuel surcharges, though those have been lowered for coach travel.  An interesting use of their miles is with their Hilton transfer option.  You get 2 Hilton points for each miles transferred, so that’s 2 Hilton points per Chase point transferred to Virgin Atlantic.
Hyatt is one of my favorite hotel award program. You can stay in fantastic world-class hotels that normally cost $1,000 per night or double that in a suite for just 22,000 points in a regular room or 33,000 points in a suite. Award nights start at just 5,000 points. Plus you can funnel points through Hyatt to Southwest to qualify for a free Southwest Companion Pass.
-You can also transfer points to Marriott, Ritz Carlton, Priority Club, and Amtrak.

The beauty of miles over points or cash-back:
The great thing about being able to transfer points into airlines or hotels are the incredible values you can attain.
-A first class ticket to Hawaii can cost $4,000 but you can use 60,000 miles for that same ticket, a value of 6.7 cents per mile. If you were using Capital One points you would need 400,000 points per ticket.
-A last minute ticket or a ticket where you don’t stay for 3 nights from New York to Cleveland costs $1,200 in coach but just 9,000 miles. That’s a value of 13.3 cents per mile. If you were using Capital One points you would need 120,000 points per ticket.
-A first class ticket to Asia can cost $20,000 but you can use 140,000 miles for that same ticket, a value of 14.3 cents per mile. If you were using Capital One points you would need 2,000,000 points per ticket.
-A night at a Park Hyatt in Paris, Sydney, or the Maldives can run $1,100 with tax but you can use 22,000 points for that room, a value of 5 cents per point. If you were using Capital One points you would need 110,000 points per night.
And that’s all besides for the fact that getting a Capital One card costs 3 credit pulls whereas you can get 3 Chase or American Express cards with just 1 credit pull.

Card tiers and transferability:
There are 2 tiers of Ultimate Rewards cards. The ones with annual fees can transfer points into airlines and hotels and the ones without annual fees cannot. However you can always transfer points from a card without an annual fee into a card with an annual fee and any point in time.

You can allowed to transfer points to your spouse’s credit card, so you can accumulate points on Freedom and transfer to your spouse’s Sapphire Preferred. However do not transfer those points to anyone but your spouse’s credit cards as Chase has been shutting down accounts of people that transfer points to other people’s credit cards.

It’s worth noting that so far Chase has not cracked down on people that transfer points directly into someone else’s airline or hotel account. They have only cracked down on people transferring or receiving points from direct credit card to credit card transfer.

Business cards:
Getting a business card is quite simple. If Joe Smith sells items on Ebay or on Amazon, or has any other side business/hobby and wants a credit card to better keep track of business expenditures he can just open a business credit card for “Joe Smith Sole Proprietorship” as the business name.
Just be sure to select “Sole Proprietorship” as the business type and just use your social security number in the Tax Identification Number field as well as in the social security number field.

A perk of business card spending is that it doesn’t count against your credit utilization, so you don’t need to worry about the credit affect of using up a majority of your credit line, something that is bad for your credit if done on a personal card even if you pay it off every statement (which is why I pay off personal cards multiple times per month).

It’s also worth remembering that the credit line (and utilization) of business cards are not reported on your personal credit report, thus closing them also won’t effect your score.

Multiple browsers:
You can apply for multiple different cards at the same time from the same bank using different browsers, like Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome. This helps with instant approvals and it limits the number of times your credit is pulled. With American Express you can mix consumer and business cards and only get 1 pull, though with Chase it seems like you will usually get 2 pulls if you apply for consumer and business cards.

Can’t hack the spending thresholds? Amazon Payments can help with that.

I have had no problem earning the bonuses from the same Ultimate Rewards cards multiple times.


Tier 1, Cards that transfer points into miles:

-Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa
This card offers a 40,000 bonus points for spending $3,000 in 3 months. It also offer a 7% points dividend every February for the previous year’s purchases, effectively making the card earn at least 1.07 points per dollar spent. You will also earn 2.14 points per dollar spent on restaurants, airfare, hotels, car rentals, charges in airports, travel agencies, caterers, timeshares, trains, buses, taxis/limos, ferries, bridges, tolls, and parking, and 3.21 points per dollar if booking travel via the Chase booking tool. There is no foreign exchange fee. There is no fee the first year but a $95 fee thereafter.

-Chase Ink Bold Charge Card
-Chase Ink Plus Credit Card.
Both of these cards offer 50,000 bonus points for spending $5,000 in 3 months. They also offer 5 points per dollar spent on up to $50,000 annually at office supply stores, and internet/telecom/cable bills. People like to buy gift cards to stores like Amazon or even prepaid cards that they can use at any store from office supply stores, that way they can earn 5 points per dollar on all of their purchases. You also earn 2 points per dollar on gas stations and hotels. A lounge club membership with 2 annual visits is included for free. There is no foreign exchange fee. There is no fee the first year but a $95 fee thereafter.
The Bold card must be paid in full each month and has a somewhat flexible spending limit while the Plus card allows for carrying a balance and has a credit limit.

Tier 2, Cards that do not transfer points into miles, unless you or your spouse also has a card that can transfer points into miles:

-Chase Freedom Visa
This card offers 10,000 bonus points for spending $500 in 3 months. It also has rotating 5% categories where you get 5 points per dollar on $1,500 in spending per quarter in categories like airfare, hotel, gas stations, restaurants, grocery stores, and even Amazon, Best Buy, and Kohl’s.
The real beauty of this card is that if you are a Chase checking customer you also get a 10% annual bonus point dividend.  The dividend is posted to your account every January or February.
There is no annual fee.

-Chase Sapphire (Non-Preferred) Visa

This is the bare bones versions of the Sapphire Preferred card and you can downgrade to them to not pay an annual fee.

-Ink Business Cash® Credit Card
This card offers 20,000 bonus points for spending $3,000 in 3 months. It also offers 5 points per dollar spent on up to $25,000 annually at office supply stores, and internet/telecom/cable bills. People like to buy gift cards to stores like Amazon or even prepaid cards that they can use at any store from office supply stores, that way they can earn 5 points per dollar on all of their purchases.
You also earn 2 points per dollar on gas stations and restaurants. A lounge club membership with 2 annual visits is included for free.
There is no annual fee.

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56 Comments On "A Rundown Of The Chase Ultimate Rewards Program And Ultimate Rewards Cards"

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good breakdown thanks alot dan


Very nice Dan! Can we get the same for AmeX and Citi anytime soon?


Dan, great round up. Loving the crapital one bashing 🙂


i’m trying to sign up for iberia ff program by=ut I cant seem to figure out how to do it. Can anybody help me? Whats the name of their ff program?


Dan, so you don’t suggest selling chase freedom points ? i was just going to sell my freedom points for some extra cash. and what about all those cash4miles” do they know how to do it safely so chase shouldn’t close my account?



Citi doesn’t have transferable points, but I can definitely do this for AMEX MR and SPG.


Note that you need to have an Iberia account for 90 days before you can make transfers from BA to Iberia.

If you want to sell then I’d recommend transferring directly into someone’s mileage account and not to someone else’s credit card as they have not punished people (as of yet) for doing it that way.


So if I wanted to do a 3bm application, which 3 consumer cards and which 3 business cards should I do? On a previous occasion I had applied for the sapphire visa and sapphire MasterCard along with the freedom Visa card. They approved the freedom and 1 of the sapphire cards saying that I can only apply for 1 sapphire card at a time. My intention is geared towards the signup bonus and not promotions of using the card once active. So what are the 3 best consumer cards and 3 best business cards?


Dan, have I mentioned that I love you yet? If not: I love you. You’re really amazing and your site has been so helpful to me! 🙂


What do you mean “shutting down peoples accounts” for transferring points to third parties? Would i forfeit all my points or would i just have to call chase to unfreeze my account?

Also, as far as you know has this happened to people making small transfers of 20K points or so or would they only flag large transfers?

Also, does it say anywhere in the Ultimate Rewards terms and conditions that transfers are not permitted? It seems from the fact they offer transfers to “other” in their “transfer points” option that they would enable such activity.



If you have Freedom MC and Sapphire MC then apply for Freedom Visa and Sapphire Visa and have them approve the new ones by closing the old ones.

Really depends what you’re looking for in a bonus though. But if you’re looking for a great vacation the Hyatt cards bonus and bennies are sweet: http://www.dansdeals.com/go/Hyatt


The terms say that transfers are only permitted to your spouse.
People that get caught are having their Sapphire cards closed immediately and given 90 days to transfer out the points.
I wouldn’t recommend doing any such transfers to anyone but your spouse.


-Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa
-Chase Sapphire Preferred World Mastercard
when you click on either one it seems to take you to the identical page there is no indication if you are applying for VISA or MASTERCARD how can you tell if you have applied for both, or just submitted a duplicate application?
Thanks, for this, and all your posts


does the world mastercard also cover cdw for additional cardholders?


The correct codes are embedded in the application links. However it can be difficult to to get them to approve you for both a MC and Visa of the same card at the same time.



Dan is the man! You stated you’ve had no issue getting the bonus for the same card multiple times. How long must one wait to apply for new card after canceling the same card to get another sign up bonus? I thought chase is very strict about this and unless its a “new product” you can’t get it?


when you close a saffire visa to get approved for a mastercard wont you lose the 7% that you get in febuary since it will be closed?


There is no time limit and I’m afraid you thought wrong…

Correct, so calculate the 7% versus a new signup bonus.


I got the sapphire preferred MC a few months ago, and I’m ready for more. I’d like to try 3bm, which cards should I do, I also have my own business with a FEIN. What do you recommend, and how many in one month should I try for? I’m married and can get separate cards for my wife.


any good cards for balance transfers?


Can you elaborate on “Plus you can funnel points through Hyatt to Southwest to qualify for a free Southwest Companion Pass.”


Say you’re 30K points short of a free Southwest companion pass (valid on paid and award tickets btw).
Transfers from Ultimate Rewards to Southwest do not qualify for companion pass but transfers from Hyatt do.
So you can transfer 50K Ultimate Rewards points to 50K Hyatt and 50K Hyatt transfers into 30K Southwest.
You lose 20K Southwest in the process, but the companion pass is easily worth more than that if you’ll use it.


Is it still working with transferring amex mr points to other people, or are they getting shut down, too?


Can you give me a action plan, I’m looking to rack up as many miles as I can. My goal is to take my family to Israel on points (10 people – I don’t even know how many points that is?).
My current status is:
– Sapphire Preferred MC (40,000 bonus)[BTW thank u, it was from your site] and additional 35k in points from spending in the last 2 mos.
-2 daughters with 41,000 miles each on Star Alliance (united).
My credit is good, I have a balance on a card around 40% of credit line (0%apr) that I’m paying off.
I have several other cards that I don’t need and don’t offer benefits (prior to my initiation into the world of Dan’s Deals). BOA Signature Visa [>10 yrs old], USAA AMEX, USAA Platinum MC, Home Depot Biz Card. [Should I close any or use them as leverage later?]
You said get 3 biz cards for a 3bm, can I also try for consumer cards, or another sapphire preferred MC for my wife, etc. I want to do this smart and my goal can be in 1-2 years if necessary. I’ll probably be able to do $150-$200k in spending on the cards per year no problem.
Would you mind giving me a priority list and timeline for how long to spread out the applications, how many per month consumer &/or biz cards?
Your site is truly amazing (I vote Dan for President 😉


Dan, Any specific reason why you dont push British Airways card? The signup seems far more lucrative than any card aside from the Saphire Preffered.


Wow, Thanks Dan for an awesome roundup.
I am waiting to pay off my cc’s this month and I will try a 3 bm for the first time using Chase.

I did not know that carrying a balance on a personal card (even if paid off in full) reflects negatively on your account.

I don’t have any business cards yet, but I will try to get a few for my large spending.

I was refused by chase for a credit line increase about 6 months ago, should I still apply for the cards?

I was not clear about one point:
You mentioned getting the bonus for these cards multiple times, how is this done?

Thanks again for the great post!


Dan, I am looking for a business CC. What is the best one that you can recommend(without an annual fee)?


From my experience in speaking to n00bs, one of the most common misconceptions is that paying a cc in full every month is very good for your credit.

People dont realize that if you max out the cc – even if you pay it in full, it will still be reported as “maxed out”.

[i]posting for awareness purposes[[/i]


Yes, the optimal thing to do is to pay off your balance multiple times per month, so that the reported figure isn’t too high.

Apply, but be ready to talk to Recon.

In my experience, you can get the bonus again by applying and getting approved for a new Chase UR card, even if you have had that card in the past.

The Ink cards in this post are great. So is Starwood Business (just add 2 free additional users and you’ll get $75 back on small business saturday to more than cover the annual fee).



I got the Chase Sapphire Preferred World Mastercard based on your earlier article. I called MC and they sent me a letter saying they cover Israel for CDW. Going to Israel next week, and will see if I can decline CDW. Will save a lot of money if this works. Thanks


Thanks for this

Can you please continue “Credit Score Part 2” please?


They will still force you to take out liability insurance, but you won’t have to take out CDW at least.



Hey Dan, thanks for post. Mind explaining What is the southwest companion pass? thanks


Hey Dan,
Thanks for such a great post. I just signed up and was approved for the Chase Saphire Preferred card – but now I don’t know if it was a good idea. It seems like starwood points are the best because they transfer at high ratio’s and everyone accepts them. Did I make a mistake??


If you earn 110,000 Southwest points in a year from select sources you get a companion pass ot bring someone along with you on paid and award flights for free.

If you transfer 200,000 Ultimate Rewards points to Hyatt and from Hyatt to Southwest in January 2013 you would have 120,000 Southwest points (good for about $2,340 in travel) plus a companion pass valid until 12/31/14. That effectively doubles the value of your points as you can bring along someone else for the price of 1 award ticket.

You can’t get United, Hyatt, or Korean points with Starwood.
But Starwood is great for transfers like American, Emirates, LAN, and USAirways with a 25% bonus.
They’re both great cards to have, why not get both?


One more thing – how do you transfer points into airline miles to get the best deals? Do I need to open credit cards from all these airlines? Or is there a simpler way? (sorry to bother you!)


Dan is it really becoming a problem to transfer to s/o else’s saphire acct? Was it it just one or 2 cases or are they really cracking down? Also has this been an issue with ink at all?


Can we use Korean for first class on Air France ?


Thank you Dan. We did go to Isreal on miles last year and we are working to do it again! What does 3bm mean? can you also clarify, when my the annual fee is due on my chase saphire card, how do i transfer credit to a new card and not close it down?


If you are a Chase Private Client customer you get 50000 points for having spent $2000 in first three months. Joining Chase Private Client requires $100K in deposits/investments/retirement in household (not including business accounts) with intention to bring total household balances up to $250K within a year.


Tried doing 2BM, it’s my first, I did SPG AMEX business and Chase Ink Bold, the SPG said there system isn’t working right now when I hit submit and the Chase Ink Bold said they need to review and give me an answer in writing in 2 weeks!!! Did I screw something up? And is there a number to call to expedite this? Also, can I apply for any other cards this month either personal and/or for my wife or do I need to wait until next month? Thnx

Steve K

Hi Dan! As one of your very grateful readers, I would like to share this information:
1) It seems the Chase Application reconsideration number was disconnected (at least that is what the recording said), so I called the Credit Analyst reconsideration line regarding an application for a Sapphire MC.
2) I spoke to two Credit Analysts about the possibility of having both Visa and a MasterCard Sapphire Cards, and they said it was not possible. So, I transferred all my Sapphire Visa points to my Ink card, and asked for a reconsideration of my Master Card app, and it was approved. Visa was closed, and I got confirmation that the MC bonus would be mine so long as I met the spend.
If anyone is in a similar situation, but does not have an Ink card to transfer to, you can transfer your points to your Freedom card, and when you have the Sapphire MC you can transfer the points to your new card. If you have no Freedom nor Ink cards, then you would have to redeem the points to avoid losing them.

And again, a big thanks to you, Dan, you have the best deals and advice!


applied for the sapphire MC was declined, spoke to recon said reason cuz i have a big balance on my united card that i swiped this month (the biggest since i have the card) so i should pay it off and will see!! how does it sound to u?


what is the february dividend thing all about? (i have a chase saphire preffered credit card)


Looking to sell my chase and amex points. have LOTS. know anyone who can match or beat this offer? Thank you for helping!

amex: 1.5 cent/pt
chase: 1.9 cent/pt


Thanks for the info on Visa and Mastercard options for the Sapphire and Freedom. Can we do the same for the INK cards and other Chase cards such as United, BA, Priority etc..


Can someone direct me to the thread that discusses and has user feedback about Chase Ink/Office Supply stores and Prepaids?


Dan, anyway I can get an SPG platinum or gold status without travel. I have reservations at st regis bal harbour and would like late checkout and free room upgrade…any ideas?


Dan, I know you hate Capital One points. I do gather most of my points on a Membership rewards Card but i also have a Cap One CC on which ive accumulated 18,000,000 points.

What can I do with these points? Any help appreciated! tnx.


Holy crap!!!!! What a waste 🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁


Dan is there anyway to transfer amex points or AA miles to a Korean air account?


Hey Dan quick question, Seems like they have grandfathered the Chase exclusives for the Chase Freedom cards. If you already got it before they did that, would you qualify for the Ink bold Exclusives or fall into it?


I have over 300,000 hilton honors points. Any advice on how to swap them. would prefer miles on delta, or other carrier for israel or domestic travel.

All these Chase, bluebird, ink cards…way over my head (at the moment.)
Thanks. Appreciate suggestions.


Really trying to catch on to all of this. We need some 1:1 guidance, by phone. Happy to compensate. Dan, can you help us? Or recommend someone?
MJ Kanner


AS Dan pointed out United is the best currency for long haul Israel flights or Avios (BA) for short haul US flights. Not sure if Hilton transfers to them or not though.

To try to get more help on this try posting to DD Forum and reading responses there.


To have only one credit pul from chase for a few cards at ones I will have to submit all applications in the same second ?


I have accumulated a lot of chase sapphire points and would like to sell them as I did in the past. If I sell them to someone who buys CC points (he usually transfers the points to his or another CC) am I at risk of getting shut down?
If so, how can I get cash for my points?