Chase Ultimate Rewards can be more valuable than you think. Below are several ways to maximize it.
Some Chase credit cards allow your Chase Ultimate Rewards to be transferred to airline miles which is potentially the most valuable way. The cards include: Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Reserve, Ink Business Bold, Ink Business Preferred.
The below usage assumes that at least one of such card is available. Please consider apply for one when there is big sign-on bonus if you only have Chase Freedom. It gives the ability of transfer to Chase Ultimate Rewards earned through Chase Freedom as well.
1. Transfer to Airline Miles and Book Flight
To transfer to airline miles and then book flight has the maximum potential. One typical example is to transfer to Virgin Atlantic and then book flight of upper class (Virgin Atlantic’s name for business/first class) from New York to London.
Compare the cost using miles vs cash above, we can calculate the value of each Virgin Atlantic mile worth more than 8.6 cents. The transfer ratio from Chase Ultimate Rewards to Virgin Atlantic is 1:1 so in the example it is also over 8.6 cents/points.
The calculated price is a little imaginary since you might not spend as much as $5501 on a trip in the first place. Redemption of miles for economy class ticket usually yields less value than business class (in a lot of cases, business class ticket usually has three to four times cash value, but only costs twice amount of miles). But it it still possible to get 2-5 cents/point. Below is the economy class ticket for similar trip:
Please be informed: The examples were found by experienced professional. Please do not set your expectations to as high as them. Also award ticket has limited availability. Generally redemption rate of 1.25 – 2 cents/point is more practical.
Chase Ultimate Rewards can be transfer to not only Virgin Atlantic, but also many other airline miles, giving your more opportunities. Learn more on airline miles by reading posts in [Miles] category.
2. Booking Flight at Chase Directly
If you happen to need travel, you may consider booking flight at Chase directly which makes the rewards 1.25 cents/point.
3. Redeem Gift Card when Promotion is on
The best promotion in the history is 30% for gift card purchase, which is very rare. With more commonly seen 10% off or 20% off, the value of Chase Ultimate Rewards could be a little more than 1.1/1.2 cents (of gift card value) each point.
4. Sell to Brokers for Cash
This option is in gray area.Chase doesn’t want you to do it, but it wouldn’t know if you do it. Brokers in the gray area is actually much more reliable and trust-able than you expect (Reason behind is that they purely rely on reputation to stay in business). One reliable broker is milesp2p.com which has great reputation online and over two thousand Facebook likes. As of now (May 2017), price for Chase Ultimate Rewards is 1.35 cents/point.
5. [Avoid] Cash out at 1 cent/point
You may request check for your rewards at 1 cent/point. Please try to avoid this option since cash value is less than above methods. It is listed just so that we’re not missing information. Really please try to avoid it.