Chase issues some of our top picks for credit cards with traveler rewards. Most of those picks are cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred®, which rewards cardholders with Chase Ultimate Rewards points. While cardmembers earn a certain number of points per dollar based on which Chase card they use and which spending category they're spending in, it can be tough for consumers to put a value on the points they're earning.

Here's a breakdown of how to earn those Chase Ultimate Rewards points and how much they're worth.

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How to earn Chase Ultimate Rewards Points

There are a handful of cards that earn Ultimate Rewards points from Chase.

Some cards, like the Freedom Unlimited, earn a flat rate per dollar. Others have bonus spending categories that earn multiple points per dollar. And the Chase Freedom has rotating categories every quarter that earn 5x points per dollar. If you want to maximize your Ultimate Reward Point earning power, make sure you pay attention to which purchases will earn you bonus points.

The lowest-value redemption

Any Ultimate Reward point-earning cardholder can redeem points for a flat $0.01 per point. Regardless of whether you use a no annual fee card like the Chase Freedom Unlimited or a super-premium card like the Chase Sapphire Reserve, you can always get $0.01 per point as a statement credit.

Points can also be redeemed toward various gift card options for the same $0.01 per point rate. However, that option makes very little sense considering a statement credit redemption provides much more flexibility in how you spend your points.

Redemption through the Chase travel portal

In order to redeem points through the Chase travel portal, you must have one of Chase's annual-fee Ultimate Rewards credit cards. The following will qualify:

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® -- $95 annual fee
  • Chase Ink Business Preferred -- $95 annual fee
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve -- $450 annual fee

Points can be redeemed for a flat value through the portal based on which card you have.

Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred®/
Chase Ink Business Preferred

Chase Sapphire Reserve

Value

$0.0125

$0.015

The good news is cardholders can combine points from all of their Ultimate Rewards earning accounts to their highest-value card. So, even if you earn points on a no annual fee card, you can transfer them to an annual fee card to redeem them through the travel portal.

It's important to note the Chase travel portal has limited options, and you might not always find the best deal. In fact, it may be worthwhile at times to book through another travel portal and redeem Ultimate Rewards points for just $0.01 per point through a statement credit (or save them for something else).

Transferring points to maximize value

Cardmembers will achieve the greatest value per Ultimate Reward point by transferring them to Chase's travel partners. Point transfers are limited to the same credit cards as the Chase travel portal, so you'll need at least one card with an annual fee.

Here's a list of Chase's airline partners:

  • British Airways Avios
  • Air France/KLM Flying Blue
  • Korean Air Skypass
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
  • United MileagePlus
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

And here's its hotel partners:

  • IHG Rewards Club
  • Marriott Rewards
  • The Ritz-Carlton Rewards
  • World of Hyatt

All Ultimate Rewards points transfer to travel partners rewards programs at a 1-to-1 rate. Some programs have higher values per point than others, so it takes a considerable amount of research in order to get the most value out Ultimate Rewards points through Chase's travel partners. Most travel programs don't use a flat value per point, so consumers may even find the value of points change based on where they're flying or staying.

Personally, I've used Chase Ultimate Rewards points transferred to the World of Hyatt program to redeem for a value of around $0.03 per point. I've also redeemed points through Southwest Airlines for just $0.014 per point. Transferring points doesn't always make sense, but it can help get a lot more value out of the Ultimate Rewards program than standard statement credits and travel portal redemptions.

At a minimum, Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth $0.01. But savvy travelers willing to do some research can get much more value from points by using Chase's travel portal and travel partner programs wisely.

Adam Levy has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Marriott International. The Motley Fool recommends Hyatt Hotels. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.