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19 Best Ways To Earn Lots of Chase Ultimate Rewards Points [2023]

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Christine Krzyszton

Christine Krzyszton

Senior Finance Contributor

Countries Visited: 98U.S. States Visited: 45

Christine ran her own business developing and managing insurance and financial services. This stoked a passion for points and miles and she now has over 2 dozen credit cards and creates in-depth, deta...
Edited by: Keri Stooksbury

Keri Stooksbury


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With years of experience in corporate marketing and as the Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Keri is now Editor-in-Chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and r...

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Chase Ultimate Rewards points rival Amex Membership Rewards points as the “holy grail” of credit card rewards.

This is evidenced by the fact that Ultimate Rewards points offer everything you’d want from a rewards currency, including the ability to earn a lot of points without limits and the option to select from a wide variety of flexible redemption options.

Chase issues a powerful collection of credit cards that earn Ultimate Rewards points, so there’s a card (or combination of cards) for every spending profile, whether personal or business.

In fact, you may need a primer on just how many ways you can earn Ultimate Rewards points. So in this article, we’ll cover why you’d want to earn Ultimate Rewards points, which personal and business Chase credit cards earn Ultimate Rewards points, and all of the ways you can earn Ultimate Rewards points.

Let’s get started!

Why Ultimate Rewards Points?

There are several types of reward currencies you can earn on credit cards, but the most valuable are those that have flexible redemption options and are relatively easy to earn.

Ultimate Rewards points are valuable because they have both of those key characteristics.

Flexibility of Ultimate Rewards

Flexible redemption options for your Ultimate Rewards points result in rewards that you can actually use!

  • Redeem rewards at any time with no minimum or maximum redemption amount per transaction
  • Transfer rewards to the loyalty programs of the Chase travel partners
  • Transfer rewards between business and personal Ultimate Rewards accounts
  • Use a combination of points and cash for travel purchases
  • Have the option to redeem points for cash, gift cards, and more

Ease of Earning Ultimate Rewards

It’s easy to earn Ultimate Rewards points on your purchases when the mix of your spending matches up with the reward-earning categories on your Chase credit card.

  • Every purchase made earns Ultimate Rewards points
  • Bonus category purchases earn up to 10x rewards
  • Generous welcome offers jumpstart your earnings
  • Earn up to 20x Ultimate Rewards through the Shop through Chase

With all the ways available to earn Ultimate Rewards, you just may need some assistance sorting through all of the options.

Let’s take a look at which Chase credit cards earn Ultimate Rewards points and the multitude of ways to earn them.

Bottom Line: Earning a lot of valuable Ultimate Rewards points creates an asset that can be used to fund a family vacation, offset business expenses, or redeem for immediate cash in an emergency.

Earn Lots of Chase Ultimate Rewards With Chase Personal Cards

Chase personal credit cards earn Ultimate Rewards that can be used to fund a dream vacation. Image Credit: Christine Krzyszton

There are plenty of ways to earn Ultimate Rewards with Chase personal credit cards. Whether your greatest spending is on travel, dining out, or shopping at wholesale clubs, you’re going to earn rewards on every purchase.

Let’s take a look at all the ways to earn Ultimate Rewards points with Chase personal cards.

Chase Personal Cards That Earn Ultimate Rewards

There are a number of personal Chase credit cards that earn Ultimate Rewards. Each one has features, benefits, and earning structures that reward specific spending patterns.

1. Earn a Welcome Bonus Offer

The fastest way to earn plenty of Ultimate Rewards points is to sign up for a Chase credit card that earns Ultimate Rewards points, complete the initial spending requirement, and earn a welcome bonus.

All Chase credit cards that earn Ultimate Rewards points offer a welcome bonus, and some are occasionally quite generous. Although offers can differ, the bonus is generally earned after reaching an initial spending level in the first 90 days after you’re approved for the card.

2. Purchase Travel

Fortunately, Chase defines travel very broadly, so nearly any travel-related purchase you make will earn extra rewards.

The merchant code assigned by the credit card network will determine eligibility, but Chase lists the following examples of purchases that qualify as travel:

  • Airlines
  • Buses, limos, taxis, ferries
  • Campgrounds
  • Car rental agencies
  • Cruise lines
  • Highway and bridge tolls
  • Hotels and motels
  • Parking lots/garages
  • Passenger trains
  • Timeshares
  • Travel agencies and discount travel sites

Let’s take a look at the earning power of making travel purchases with your personal Chase credit card:

Chase Personal Credit Card for Travel PurchasesRewards
Chase Sapphire Reserve card
  • 5x total points on air travel and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 3x points on other travel
Chase Sapphire Preferred card
  • 5x points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 2x points on all other travel
Freedom Unlimited card
  • 5% cash-back (through Chase Ultimate Rewards)
Freedom Flex card
  • 5% cash-back (through Chase Ultimate Rewards)

While the Chase Sapphire Reserve card offers the highest rewards for travel purchases (and for redemption), it does come with a $550 annual fee.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card offers up to 5 points per $1 spent on travel, has a lower $95 annual fee, and still delivers 25% more value when redeeming points for travel on the Chase travel portal.

Bottom Line: If you have a premium Chase Ultimate Rewards-earning credit card, you can transfer Ultimate Rewards points to those accounts and redeem for greater value (up to 50% more) through the Chase travel portal. 

3. Use the Chase Travel Portal

While many use the Chase travel portal for redeeming Ultimate Rewards points, you can also earn points by purchasing travel via the portal.

A convenient way to do this is to pay for a portion of your travel purchase with Ultimate Rewards Points and the remainder using your Chase credit card. You will earn the corresponding Ultimate Rewards points for the amount of travel charged on your card.

4. Buy Groceries

The Freedom Unlimited card earns 1.5% cash-back on every purchase, making it a good choice for everyday purchases, including groceries.

5. Dine Out

Pay for your meal with your Chase credit card and earn lots of Ultimate Rewards points. Image Credit: Upgraded Points

Dine out a lot? Several Chase credit cards earn elevated rewards on purchases made at restaurants:

Best Personal Chase Card for DiningRewards
Chase Sapphire Reserve card3x points on dining
Chase Sapphire Preferred card3x points on dining
Freedom Unlimited card3% cash-back

6. Fill Up Your Tank

The Freedom Unlimited card earns 1.5% cash-back on every purchase, including purchases made at gas stations.

7. Pay Your Household Bills

Since all Chase Ultimate Rewards credit cards earn rewards on every purchase, you’ll earn points for paying all of your household expenses.

Personal Chase Card for Paying Household BillsBonus Spending CategoryRewards
Chase Sapphire Reserve cardAll purchases1 point per $1 spent
Chase Sapphire Preferred cardAll purchases1 point per $1 spent
Freedom Unlimited cardAll purchases1.5% cash-back

8. Earn on Quarterly Bonus Spending Categories

Earn 5% cash-back at quarterly bonus merchants. Image Credit: Chase

The Freedom Flex card has a unique earning structure with quarterly bonus categories that earn 5% cash-back!

Each quarter, there’s a different lineup of bonus category merchants. Previous bonus merchants have included department stores, restaurants, gas stations, wholesale clubs, and theaters. There is a limit of $1,500 in purchases per quarter that earn 5%.

Hot Tip: You can also earn 5x to 10x points on select Peloton purchases over $250 through March 31, 2025 with the Chase Sapphire Preferred card and Chase Sapphire Reserve card.

Earn Lots of Chase Ultimate Rewards Points With Chase Business Credit Cards

Every purchase your business makes can earn Ultimate Rewards points with a Chase business credit card. Image Credit: Upgraded Points

Chase Business Cards That Earn Ultimate Rewards

If you have a business (small or large), there’s a Chase business credit card that will match up with your business spending mix to earn the most Ultimate Rewards points possible.

Maximizing the Ink Business Unlimited Card

If you have a premium Chase credit card (a card that carries an annual fee) such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve card or Chase Sapphire Preferred card, you can transfer your rewards earned on your Ink Business Unlimited card over to those cards. You’ll then receive up to 50% more value when redeeming for travel in the Ultimate Rewards travel portal.

Bottom Line: With multiple Chase Ultimate Rewards-earning business credit cards to choose from, it’s easy to find one that matches your business spending patterns and earns the most rewards. 

9. Pay for Travel Expenses

If your business involves a lot of travel, those expenses add up quickly. Earning Ultimate Rewards on those purchases delivers tremendous value back into your business — or can help fund that much-needed family vacation.

Hot Tip: The definition of “travel” for Chase purchases is the same for personal and for business credit cards.

Chase Business Credit Card for Travel ExpensesRewards for Travel Purchases
Ink Business Preferred card3x points per $1 spent
Ink Business Unlimited card1.5% cash-back
Ink Business Cash card1% cash-back

Whether you’re purchasing an airline ticket, staying at an urban Airbnb, or taking a taxi across town, all your travel-related purchases earn 3 points per dollar spent on the Ink Business Preferred card.

10. Earning Through the Chase Travel Portal

Redeeming your Ultimate Rewards points through the Chase Travel portal with the Ink Business Preferred card gives you 25% extra value. Additionally, you can purchase travel via the portal and earn 3 points per dollar spent.

The Ultimate Rewards travel portal also allows you to pay partially with points and the remainder with your Chase credit card.

11. Pay Other Business Expenses

Your business has a lot of different expenses that may or may not fall into a particular bonus-earning category. Selecting the business credit card that closely matches your largest expenses will ensure you’re earning maximum rewards.

Here’s a sample of how Chase business credit cards earn on common business expenses.

Chase Business CardBusiness Expense CategoriesBusiness Expense Rewards
Ink Business Cash cardOffice supplies, internet, cable, phone5% cash-back, up to $25,000 in combined purchases in 5% categories every cardmember year
Ink Business Preferred cardShipping, advertising, internet, cable, phone3x points per $1 spent, up to $150,000 in combined purchases in 3x categories every cardmember year
Ink Business Unlimited cardAll business purchases1.5% cash-back

Hot Tip: If your business maximized the $150,000 limit for 3x earnings on the Ink Business Preferred card, your business would realize $5,625 worth of travel when redeeming points through the Ultimate Rewards travel portal!

12. Purchase Gift Cards

Many Ultimate Rewards bonus category merchants (such as office supply stores and gas stations) sell gift cards you can purchase to use for non-bonus category spending.

For example, you can purchase grocery store, gas, hotel, and department store gift cards and receive an elevated 3% to 5% bonus on the purchase.

13. Dine Out

All those restaurant business meetings, late-night hotel dinners, and quick bites during your road trip could be earning Ultimate Rewards points, too!

Use these business Chase Ultimate Rewards-earning credit cards for multiple rewards per dollar spent on dining:

Chase Business Credit Card for DiningRewards
Ink Business Cash card2 points per $ spent
Ink Business Unlimited card1.5% cash-back
Ink Business Preferred card1 point per $1 spent

14. Fill Up Your Tank

The Ink Business Cash card is your go-to card for gas purchases. If you’re a road warrior, you’ll earn 2 points for every dollar spent at the pump.

Using the Ink Business Unlimited card would also be a good option, as it earns 1.5% on every purchase (including gas)!

More Ways To Earn Ultimate Rewards on Chase Credit Cards

No matter which Chase Ultimate Rewards-earning credit card you have, you can earn multiple points per dollar spent on your card.

15. Go Shopping in the Chase Ultimate Rewards Shopping Portal

Earn multiple Ultimate Rewards points per $1 spent via Shop through Chase. Image Credit: Chase

An excellent way to earn Ultimate Rewards points is to utilize Shop through Chase.

You can log in to the Ultimate Rewards shopping portal using your Chase account online password.

Click on Earn Bonus Points at the top of the Ultimate Rewards home page, and you’ll see the shopping link.

Hot Tip: Earn big on dining out by purchasing certificates on Shop through Chase to earn up to 20 points per dollar spent or more during special promotions.

16. Everyday Purchases

Every purchase you make on your Ultimate Rewards-earning credit card earns points!

17. 90-Day Second Chance Welcome Offer

If you’ve signed up for a Chase credit card offer and you see a higher offer is now available, you can contact Chase and they may match that offer.

For example, say you were approved for a Chase credit card with a welcome bonus of 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points, but you now see that a 75,000-point welcome bonus offer is available.

You might be able to get that offer matched by Chase. Just call within 90 days after approval to see if they’ll consider granting the higher welcome bonus offer.

18. Refer-A-Friend for a Chase Credit Card

Earn big when referring friends for a Chase credit card. Image Credit: Chase

The Chase Refer-A-Friend bonus is a great way to earn more Ultimate Rewards points without spending. If you have an Ultimate Rewards-earning Chase credit card, you can refer a friend to sign up — you’ll both receive a bonus once they’re approved and make a purchase!

Bonus amounts vary depending on the card and whether there is an existing offer available. There is also an annual limit to how many points you can earn.

19. Add an Authorized User

Ultimate Reward bonuses for adding an authorized user to your credit card come and go.

You may receive a bonus offer for adding an authorized user once you’re approved for your new Chase credit card, or you can call the number on the back of your card to inquire if a bonus is available.

Everything Else You Need To Know

There is no set limit to how many Chase credit cards you can have, but Chase does have a rule about how many total credit cards you can open within 24 months.

Hot Tip: Be sure to review the Chase 5/24 rule before applying for any Chase credit card.

As Chase allows you to have only 1 Sapphire credit card, you’ll need to decide between the Chase Sapphire Preferred card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve card. Both cards are personal credit cards.

Final Thoughts

While there are plenty of ways to earn lots of valuable Ultimate Rewards points, the real fun starts at redemption time.

If you have one of the premium Chase credit cards such as the Ink Business Preferred card, Chase Sapphire Preferred card, or Chase Sapphire Reserve card, you’ll receive 25% to 50% more value when redeeming points on the Ultimate Rewards travel portal (depending on the card).

You’ll also experience enhanced value when you transfer Ultimate Rewards points to Chase’s travel partners.

For other ways to redeem your Ultimate Rewards Points for maximum value, check out our complete guide.

The information regarding the Chase Freedom Unlimited® was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Chase Freedom Flex℠ was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

Frequently Asked Questions

About Christine Krzyszton

Christine ran her own business developing and managing insurance and financial services. This stoked a passion for points and miles and she now has over 2 dozen credit cards and creates in-depth, detailed content for UP.


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April 15, 2018

Why is it always said that you must have a Sapphire or Ink card to use your points for travel? I have the Freedom cards and it gives me the option to use my points towards hotel, air etc.

Alex Miller

April 19, 2018

You need to be a cardholder of a Chase card that has an annual fee to be able to transfer your Ultimate Rewards to their transfer partners. For example, if you have a Freedom card (no annual fee) on it’s own then you’ll only be able to accrue cash-back.

However, if you also have one of the Chase Sapphire cards (which have an annual fee) then you can transfer the cash-back accrued via your Freedom card to Ultimate Rewards…thus enabling you to transfer to partners. Hope that makes sense


July 06, 2018

I got the CSR card in May. Applied for the CSP card in June and was denied because I already have a Sapphire Branded card. Is this a standard denial or should I try again?

Alex Miller

July 06, 2018

Unfortunately Chase will not allow you to get both of the Sapphire cards so I would not apply again for the CSP! If you don’t have it already, I’d combine the CSR with the CFU (/credit-cards/reviews/chase-freedom-unlimited-credit-card/) so that you can get 1.5pts/$1 spent outside of Travel & Dining purchases. That’s what Erin and I do!


July 17, 2018

Great Alex.

So if I have the CSR card and earn UR points and I get this card I can transfer the cash back to UR points? I am looking for my business expenses such as fuel, Insc, office stuff.

Sounds like a pretty good option.


Alex Miller

July 17, 2018

Yes, you can definitely do that (convert Chase Freedom Unlimited cash-back > UR points) because you already have the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

However, if you’ve got business expenses then I’d strongly recommend getting a business card instead because

a) their rewards for business expenses in general are more generous than a personal card and…
b) it keeps your business expenses separate which you’ll be happy about at the end of each month or whenever you update your accounts.

I’d recommend either the Ink Business Preferred or the Ink Cash – just scroll back up this page to the see the table and card info for more details!


July 25, 2018

Thanks Alex.

I have checked out some of the business plans but most of them have big spend requirements for the bonuses. I am a very small business with min/mod expenses. So I think the freedom might be the best option. I had not realized the freedom was not just a cash back card. I am glad that I can earn UR points. I think paired with my Sapphire, it would be a great option.

Tom K

September 11, 2018

I haven’t had a good experience with Chase Sapphire points program. They took 8+ weeks for the signup bonus to post and only posted after I called in and reminded them. I thought it might be a fluke but the same thing happened for the refer-a-friend. They also miss a lot of 2x travel/dining so I am always checking my statement. Does anyone else also find this to be the case? I have heard good things about the Amex points program.

Alex Miller

September 12, 2018

Hi Tom – sorry that you’ve had some bad experiences with Chase. We haven’t had the same issues and I’ve not heard this complaint from other readers either…doesn’t mean that it doesn’t happen though! Has anyone else had problems like what Tom is describing?

Gaston Mckillop

September 12, 2018

I learned something new from your article.


September 18, 2018

I have the regular Chase card and I’m looking forward to the Warehouse clubs being added for Q4 this year.
But I have a question, do you know if I can take advantage of the 2% online bonus for sam’s club and also the 5% for the bonus category? I’m looking for a gift card I know they sell online so I wanted to take that approach if it was allowed, but I can’t find any details on whether Chase will allow it.

Stephen Au

September 18, 2018

Hi Michelle,

Is the 2% online bonus for Sam’s Club is offered by Sam’s Club itself? They should stack and you should be able to take advantage of both, since the 5% bonus category is on all relevant Chase purchases in those categories.


October 01, 2018

I don’t see the SWA Chase Premier (Visa) Rapid Rewards mentioned. I’ve had it a good number of years. How does it compare? Should I upgrade? Thank you.

Alex Miller

October 01, 2018

Hi Leslie – this article is focused on earning Chase Ultimate Rewards points whereas the SWA card you mentioned earns Southwest points.

As Southwest is a transfer partner of Chase Ultimate Rewards (“UR”), we much prefer to earn UR points because they’re very easy to accrue and you can transfer to multiple airline and hotel partners…thus giving you a lot more options.

Conversely, SWA points cannot be transferred and aren’t very value due to their fixed price.

For more on the value of UR, see these articles: /credit-cards/best-ways-to-redeem-chase-ultimate-rewards-points/ and /best-ways-to-use-100000-chase-ultimate-rewards/


December 03, 2018

What a great article. My dad needs to see this immediately.

Christine Krzyszton

December 03, 2018

Thank you for the comment Haley and say hello to Dad for us!


December 03, 2018

I like how the boarding pass in the first picture has the dreaded SSSS on the bottom. Everybody gets pegged eventually.

Alex Miller

December 04, 2018

haha, indeed. My green card was being renewed at the time of travel and even though I had a permit to travel, they wanted to plant the ol’ SSSS on me! That went on for a while and wasn’t super fun! All good now though 🙂


May 02, 2019

Is that a relatively new rule that Chase only allows 1 Sapphire card? I’ve had both the Preferred and Reserve cards for about 2 years now, so I guess if you already have both they’re fine with you keeping them.

Hi Robert. I did some research and it appears the rule was implemented in August of 2017. And yes, those who had more than one Sapphire card were not affected by the rule.

Debra Ryan

May 09, 2019

Does Chase debit card accrue points?

Hello Debra. Unfortunately your Chase debit card does not earn points.

Tray Hanna

June 09, 2019

I currently have the CSR card and I am thinking of getting the Ink Business Preferred to get the 80,000 bonus. Will the points be at my current reward portal or will I have to have 2 separate UR point portals?

Christine Krzyszton

June 09, 2019

Hello Tray. Each card will have its own terms for redeeming Ultimate Rewards points. You can redeem points via the CSR Ultimate Rewards travel portal for 1.5 cents per point. The Ink Business Preferred allows you to redeem points at 1.25 cents per point via its Ultimate Rewards travel portal. However, you will be able to transfer points between accounts in order to redeem your points at the higher 1.5 cents per point.


July 05, 2021

Okay, I’m a bit confused. The article says 20 best ways to earn Chase Ultimate Rewards, but several of the cards (including Freedom Unlimited which is listed as the 3rd best way to earn Ultimate Rewards) say they earn CASH back, not Ultimate Rewards points. Is the “cash” the Freedom Unlimited card earns actually in the form of Ultimate Rewards points? I’d like to know before signing up.

Christine Krzyszton

July 06, 2021

Hi Ryan. Yes, the Freedom Unlimited card earns cash-back in the form of Ultimate Rewards points. You can then redeem the points for cash-back, travel, etc. or you can transfer the points to premium Chase cards. Thank you for the question.

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