Update: The offers mentioned in this post for the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Freedom, and Ink credit cards have expired. You can view the current offers here: Sapphire Preferred, Freedom, Ink Plus, Ink Bold, Ink Cash.
On Tuesday Chase offered a limited time increased bonus of up to 55,000 points for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. The offer stated that it would be pulled after one day and the current non-targeted public offer is 40,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 in the first three months and an additional 5,000 bonus points when you add an authorized user to your account. This still a great deal for 45,000 UR points worth ~$560. [Update on the 55,000 point offer: This offer seems to be targeted and you some people are still reporting seeing it. However the offer has been pulled from Chase’s website, but you still may see it if you are targeted. Just a heads up, I was able to see it if I was recently logged into my Chase account for what it’s worth.]
If you didn’t get in on the 55k offer, the current offer is still better than the normal 40,000 bonus points because you can still get 5,000 for adding an additional user. This bonus is only 5k fewer points than the current Chase Ink Bold/Plus offers and the minimum spend is $2,000 less and it is still a very hot deal in my opinion.
The Chase Freedom card bonus offer was also increased yesterday to $200 cash back, which is double the normal $100 bonus. The terms and conditions state that this offer is for a limited time, so I would apply for this deal soon if you want to make sure you get the increased bonus.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is the top fixed point earning card offer right now and if you want to use the points for any flight, they are worth 1.25 cents each. You can get more value from Ultimate Rewards points by transferring at a 1:1 ratio to transfer partners that include United, Southwest, British Airways, Hyatt, Marriott, Korean Air, Priority Club, Ritz-Carlton, Virgin Atlantic and Amtrak. The two biggest benefits of earning Ultimate Rewards points is that they allow you maximum flexibility on how you want to use your points and also protect you against specific program devaluations.
Even though United made a devaluation that affects the value of UR points, your miles are not directly devalued and you still have many valuable options for redemption. If all of your miles were part of the United devaluation when it occurred you might be forced to either liquidate a large part of your balance before the award chart increases go into effect, or you would just lose some value.
What are Ultimate Rewards Points?
Ultimate Rewards is Chase’s loyalty program for all of the cards they offer. This includes the Sapphire Preferred, the Ink Bold and Ink Plus, and the also the Chase Freedom and Sapphire cards.
An important thing to note is that even though all of these cards earn Ultimate Rewards points, the basic cards earn a different version of the bonus points. This means that the Sapphire and Freedom cards earn Ultimate Rewards points that can be redeemed directly for cash back through a check or statement credit at a value of of 1.0 cent per point.
The other type of Ultimate Rewards points are earned from Chase’s premium credit cards. These include the Sapphire Preferred, Ink Bold, and Ink Plus. The most notable difference is that these points can be redeemed either for travel at a value of 1.25 cents per point or transferred to Ultimate Rewards transfer partners at a 1:1 ratio.
One interesting thing is that if you have both a basic and premium version of Chase’s Ultimate Rewards points earning cards you can combine your points and redeem them for travel. This adds at least a quarter of a cent value to each point you earn on either the Freedom or Sapphire cards. Even if you redeem them at the 1.25 cent value through directly paying for travel on Chase’s site you are getting more value, but you can really maximize them by transferring them to a transfer partner where you can get much higher redemption values.
Since the Chase Freedom is one of the best no annual points earning cards available, it makes it the perfect card to keep in your wallet to maximize its 5x quarterly rotating bonus categories and its 10% annual bonus on all purchases. All of the points earned from this card can be used for travel if you also have one of the premium cards.
Getting the Most Value from UR Points
You can get more value out of your UR points by transferring them to one of the more valuable transfer partners. Not only will accruing Ultimate Rewards points allow you more flexibility with your travel plans because you can transfer almost immediately, but you also get the freedom to decide how you want to redeem them–flights, hotels, etc.
Ultimate Rewards airline transfer partners:
- British Airways
- Korean Air
- Virgin Atlantic
Some of the best uses of Ultimate Rewards points are to transfer to United and redeem miles before the devaluation, you can easily get 2.0 cents per points from United miles. If you transfer to Southwest you can get up to 1.8 cents per Rapid Rewards point when you redeem for Wanna Get Away fares, but remember after the devaluation scheduled in March, you will get around 1.4 cents each. By transferring points to British Airways you can get great redemption values when you redeem Avios on airlines that don’t charge a high fuel surcharge–these include Air Berlin, LAN, American Airlines, Aer Lingus, and Iberia.
Ultimate Rewards hotel Transfer partners:
- Priority Club
One of the top hotel transfer partners is Hyatt and you can get up to about 4.0 cents per point at some of the more expensive top-tier hotels. Remember that there is also a devaluation set to take effect, so you will obviously get less after that. IHG offers some amazing values during their Points Break and Flash Sale promotions and with the UR points you’re only able to transfer points if there is a specific property that you want to redeem them at.
Get 65,000 Ultimate Rewards Points
If you double down on these increased offers you could rake in 65,000 Ultimate Rewards points that you can use for travel. You can get 45,000 bonus points from the Sapphire Preferred after spending $3,000 and adding a authorized user within the first 3 months and 20,000 bonus points from the Chase Freedom after spending $500 within 3 months. At minimum these two offers combined are worth $812 when redeemed for travel through Chases website, but you can get up to ~1,300+ when transferred to valuable travel partners. The Chase Sapphire Preferred is my top recommended card at the moment with this increased offer.
Ultimate Rewards points are the crux to my flexible points earning strategy and I was able to get in on the 55,000 offer yesterday. If I didn’t already have the Chase Freedom I would jump on that offer as well, but I will have to sit that one out.
Who was able to get in on the 55,000 bonus point offer? Can you still see it?
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