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Before you collect ANY miles & points, it’s good to have an idea of the return you’ll get for your trouble.
The value of most miles & points varies depending on how you redeem them. The more time you spend studying this hobby, the better you’ll learn to get the most out of your points. But one thing is certain: You WILL save big on travel when you collect miles & points, even without lengthy research.
My favorite points to collect are Chase Ultimate Rewards points from the best Chase credit cards. They’re generally worth between 1 cent and 5 cents each, depending on how you use them (though it’s possible to get even more value from them). An average value you can receive from them is ~2 cents.
Here’s How to Earn Chase Ultimate Rewards Points
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card – Our favorite card for folks just starting out in our hobby!
- Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card – Our favorite business credit card for travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve® – Our favorite travel credit card for folks who know they’ll travel a lot
And once you have one of the powerful premium cards above, consider adding 2 of these:
- Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card – Our favorite no-annual-fee business credit card
- Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card – Another great no-annual-fee business credit card
- Chase Freedom® – No annual fee and a terrific card to keep for rotating bonus categories
- Chase Freedom Unlimited® – No annual fee and simple rewards earning
What Value Can You Get When You Redeem Your Points for Cash Back?
Quick Answer: 1 cent each
You don’t HAVE to redeem your Chase Ultimate Rewards points for travel. You always have the option of redeeming for cash back at a rate of 1 cent per point.
If you have any travel aspirations whatsoever, we don’t recommend you use your points this way. Because it’s very, very easy to receive a much better value. But if cash back makes you happiest, go for it!
What Value Can You Get When You Book Through the Chase Travel Portal?
Quick Answer: Between 1 and 1.5 cents each
Depending on which Chase Ultimate Rewards points earning credit card you have, you’ll receive a value between 1 and 1.5 cents per point when you book through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal. Here’s what you can expect:
|Chase Ultimate Rewards Card||How Much Are Points Worth Toward Travel?|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve||1.5 cents|
|Ink Business Preferred Credit Card||1.25 cents|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred Card||1.25 cents|
|Ink Business Cash Credit Card||1 cent|
|Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card||1 cent|
|Chase Freedom||1 cent|
|Chase Freedom Unlimited||1 cent|
|Chase Ink Bold (no longer available)||1.25 cents|
|Chase Ink Plus (no longer available)||1.25 cents|
|Chase Sapphire (no longer available)||1 cent|
Now here’s the good news: ALL your Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth as much as your best Chase card. In other words, if you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, the points you earn with any no-annual-fee cards on this list jump from a value of 1 cent each to 1.25 cents each through the Chase Travel Portal! Or if you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the points you earn on any of these other cards are worth 1.5 cents each.
To get this value, you’ll have to transfer the points you earn on other cards to your best Chase card. Here’s a tutorial!
Pretty cool, huh??
I make a lot of purchases with my Chase Freedom and Chase Freedom Unlimited cards, because they earn lots of points for my everyday spending. And because I have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, I can redeem those points toward travel through the Chase Travel Portal for 1.25 cents each. That’s 25% better than if I redeem my points for cash.
Redeeming your points through the Chase Travel Portal is very similar to using cash, anyway. You don’t have to worry about blackout dates, award seats, or any of that complicated stuff. I’ve redeemed my points this way lots of times!
What Value Can You Get From Chase Transfer Partners?
Quick Answer: Between 0.3 and 6 cents each
When you have either the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve, or Ink Business Preferred, you can transfer the Chase Ultimate Rewards points you earn (with ANY card) to valuable Chase travel partners.
I made loads of searches and mock reservations to find a median range and value for some of Chase’s top transfer partners. The below ranges are typical values you can find for your points. It’s possible to get even more value, but it’s rare.
- British Airways – 0.7 to 5.5 cents each (typically 1.6 cents)
- Southwest – 1.4 to 1.9 cents each (typically 1.5 cents)
- United Airlines – 0.6 to 6 cents each (typically 1.7 cents)
- Hyatt – 0.7 to 4.2 cents each (typically 2 cents)
- IHG – 0.3 to 3 cents each (typically 0.6 cents)
- Marriott – 0.3 to 1.5 cents each (typically 0.7 cents)
Note: Transferring your Chase points to Marriott and IHG is almost ALWAYS a bad deal. You’re likely better off using your points to buy travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal.
Again, this list shows the value you can often receive by transferring your points to these partners. But depending on your situation, you may value the points differently. Each transfer partner has attributes that might be more important than monetary value.
For example, Southwest and Hyatt have NO blackout dates, while other programs do. And United Airlines often charges very low fees, while British Airways often charges lots.
Here are a couple of examples of Big Travel with Chase Ultimate Rewards points.
1. Transfer to Hyatt
The Andaz Peninsula Papagayo in Costa Rica is on my bucket list. And it’s a great value for the points!
Depending on your travel dates, this hotel can cost $600+ per night after taxes & fees!
Using cash to stay here is out of the question. But Hyatt only charges 15,000 Hyatt points per night! And you don’t have to pay taxes & fees on award stays.
So by transferring my Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Hyatt, I’d get a value of ~4 cents per point by staying here (~$600 per night / 15,000 points). That’s 4X the value I’d get by redeeming my points for cash.
2. Fancy Business Class Flight With United Airlines Miles
I flew Turkish Airlines Business Class on the way back to the US from South Africa.
I transferred 70,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points to United Airlines for the trip. A similar itinerary costs $3,265. So I received a value of ~4.7 cents per point ($3,265 cash price of the ticket / 70,000 points). That’s 3.7 cents more value than I’d have received if I redeemed my points for cash back.
How Should YOU Use Your Points?
Estimating the value of Chase Ultimate Rewards travel partners goes far beyond simply how many cents per point you’ll get.
For example, you may receive a value of 1.8 cents per point by transferring them to Southwest. But if Southwest doesn’t fly to your home airport, they aren’t worth nearly as much to you!
Similarly, you might consider collecting Hyatt points because you see examples of lots of other folks getting a value of 2+ cents per point from them. But if you travel mainly to small towns or off the beaten path destinations, you might not encounter Hyatt hotels very often. So they’re practically worthless for your situation.
That’s the beauty of Chase Ultimate Rewards points. They’re flexible to meet the travel goals of just about everyone.
Remember, miles & points are supposed to make your life more fulfilled and enjoyable. So break the calculator over your knee and redeem your points in whatever way will make you the happiest!
There are levels to this hobby. You don’t have to be a fanatic to jump in. If you’re simply looking for a card that gives you cash back, that’s great!
Let’s face it: United Airlines miles, Hyatt points, and all the other currencies you can convert your Chase Ultimate Rewards points into, are all less versatile than cash. For example, you can only spend Hyatt points at Hyatt hotels. So it’s completely understandable if you’d prefer to redeem your points for that sweet sweet guac.
If you’re a casual traveler, simply looking for a free flight to gramma’s once a year, easy peasy! You can achieve that without even diving into Chase transfer partners.
If you’re planning a 5-night anniversary getaway at an all-inclusive Caribbean resort, Chase Ultimate Rewards points can make that happen, too. But you might need to spend some time reading a bunch of words. We’ll guide you every step of the way.
Chase Ultimate Rewards points are CRAZY flexible. And that makes it difficult to pinpoint their value with a single number. After making tons of mock bookings and reservations, as well as mulling over my previous experience using my points, I’d estimate that you’ll average a value of ~2 cents per point.
That’s a pretty great return, considering some Chase Ultimate Rewards points earning credit cards can earn up to 5 points per $1. That’s like receiving a 10% return on your purchases!
Just remember, this hobby can be as easy or complicated as you make it. If you’re just interested in cash back, don’t be afraid to redeem your points for a value of 1 cent each.
If you don’t want the hassle of learning about airline and hotel rules and and blackout dates, use your points for free travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal for a value of up to 1.5 cents each.
If you want a practically free 5-star hotel stay on a powdered sugar beach in the middle of the Indian Ocean, sign-up for our email newsletter!
Chase Ultimate Rewards Points Articles:
- Chase Ultimate Rewards Review
- Best Way to Use Chase Ultimate Rewards Points
- Chase Transfer Partners
- How to Earn Chase Ultimate Rewards Points
- How to Setup a Chase Ultimate Rewards Account
- How to Redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards Points
- Do Chase Ultimate Rewards Points Expire?
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