Is Redeeming Chase Rewards Points for Cash a Good Idea?
Chase Ultimate Rewards points are some of the most valuable on the scene. There are a variety of ways cardholders can use their points, including travel, gift card purchases, and cash back. But are they all created equal? Not according to the redemption math.
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When it comes to rewards cards, Chase has been a long-time consumer favorite, and many of their products, specifically the Chase Freedom and Chase Freedom Unlimited cards, are known for helping cardholders earn points for everyday purchases. Of course, the ability to earn rewards is only half the battle.
For avid Chase credit card users, the measure of success is found in redemption. And while Chase does offer numerous ways for rewards members to redeem their points, is redeeming chase credit card points for cash worth it? Or, as is the case with so many other credit card rewards programs, should cardholders consider other redemption avenues if they want to maximize the value of their points.
Redeeming Chase Credit Card Points for Cash Back
If you’re considering redeeming your Ultimate Rewards for cash back, you may want to think again. When converted to cash, points maintain a value of 1 cent per point. That means 1,000 points converts to just $10, and though that’s more attractive than some other major credit cards (some of which offer a .5 cent per point redemption rate), it remains one of the least lucrative ways to use your points.
Alternatives Redemption Options
Redeeming Chase Credit Card Points for Gift Cards
Ultimate Rewards points can also be redeemed for gift cards, and Chase currently partners with a variety of retailers, including Amazon, Groupon, and Home Depot. Unfortunately, if you weren’t enticed by the cash redemption rate, then gift cards are likely to leave you equally disappointed.
Most gift cards offer the same rate; however, cardholders will occasionally have the opportunity to take advantage of gift card deals, which can sweeten the reward ever so slightly. Apple gift cards, for example, were available at a discount, with a $10 gift card only requiring 900 points (.011 cent per dollar).
Redeeming Chase Credit Card Points on Amazon
Rewards members have yet another option to redeem their points as Chase’s partnership with Amazon extends beyond gift card opportunities. Those who have an Amazon account (or an Amazon credit card through Chase) can also use their points to do some online shopping by linking their Chase card with their Amazon account.
Is it the best way to use points? Not necessarily, as point values are similar to those associated with cash back and gift card redemptions – less than 1 cent per point. Additionally, though thousands of items qualify for this redemption option, the final call is made by Amazon, meaning not all products are eligible.
Redeeming Chase Credit Card Points for Travel
While cash and gift card redemptions may not be all that enticing, things do get a bit more exciting when it comes to travel options. Chase Sapphire Preferred and Ink Business Preferred cardholders will receive a 25 percent boost when redeeming their points through Chase Ultimate Rewards, which means 50,000 points will be worth $625 within the Chase travel portal. For Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders, a 50 percent boost makes the deal even sweeter, with 50,000 points equating to $750 within the Chase travel portal.
Transferring Chase Points to Travel Partners
Though travel booked through the Chase site might be a great option for specific cardholders, those with premier cards, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Ink Plus cards, might find the best way to get the most value out of their points is to transfer them to one of Chase’s 13 travel partners. Ultimate Rewards points transfer to partner airlines and hotel groups at a 1:1 ratio, which typically means a much stronger conversion when compared to any other redemption offer.
However, keep in mind that this option is limited to those with a premier Chase card, and so many consumers who currently have one of Chase’s most popular rewards products, the Chase Freedom or Chase Freedom Unlimited card, may not have this option. If you find yourself in this position, then you may want to consider asking for an upgrade and transferring your Freedom points to the premium card.
When it comes to getting the most value out of Chase Ultimate Rewards points, redeeming the points for cash or gift cards is typically not the best option; the same is true when it comes to shopping on Amazon.com. Instead, if you really want to maximize your rewards and get the most from your points, consider booking travel within the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal, or transferring them to one of Chase’s travel partners.
Author: Jennifer Lobb
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