10 Ways to Earn Chase Ultimate Rewards

10 Ways to Earn Chase Ultimate Rewards

1. Credit Card Sign-up Bonuses

This is the fastest way to earn tons of Chase Ultimate Rewards. If you have opened relatively few credit card accounts over the past 2 years, it should also be one of the easiest.

For most Chase cards, a few thousand dollars of spend within the first few months will net you tens of thousands of bonus points. Chase has recently implemented the so-called “5/24 rule” which makes it difficult to get approved for new Chase cards if you have opened 5 or more credit card accounts within the past 24 months.

This is not a hard and fast rule – some people report getting approved even though they are over the 5/24 threshold. It may be easier to get new business cards, especially if you apply in branch with the help of a banker who can try to get the application pushed through the approval process. Also, Chase Private Clients are able to get approved regardless of the rule. The table below presents the current offers for Chase’s lineup of cards, along with the minimum spend required to earn each bonus. (Note that while some cards are advertised as “cash back” the points you earn are still Ultimate Rewards and can be combined with points earned with other cards).

Credit CardCurrent Sign-up BonusMinimum Spend Requirement
Freedom Unlimited15,000 UR$500 in the first 3 months
Freedom15,000 UR$500 in the first 3 months
Sapphire Preferred50,000 UR$4,000 in the first 3 months
Ink Plus Business card60,000 UR$5,000 in the first 3 months
Ink Cash Business card20,000 UR$3,000 in the first 3 months
Sapphire Reserve100,000 UR$4,000 in the first 3 months

2. Everyday Spend and Bonus Categories

Of course, simply paying with your Chase cards for everyday spending is an easy way to earn Ultimate rewards. Many people offer to pay restaurant and other bills for their friends and family in exchange for cash. If you have multiple Chase cards, it is important to maximize your bonus categories. Below is a handy chart to reference which card will earn the highest bonus for each category. Note that some of these bonus categories have annual or quarterly caps, so be sure to check the terms for each card.

Credit CardCategory and Bonus
Chase Freedom UnlimitedAll purchases: 1.5x Bonus Points
Chase FreedomRotating quarterly categories which change from year to year: 5x Bonus Points
All other purchases: 1x Bonus Points
Chase Sapphire PreferredTravel/Dining: 2x Bonus Points
All other purchases: 1x Bonus Points
Chase Ink Plus (Business)Gas: 2x Bonus Points
Office Supplies: 5x Bonus Points
Cellular/Landline/Cable: 5x Bonus Points
All other purchases: 1x Bonus Points
Chase Ink Cash (Business)Restaurants/Dining: 2x Bonus Points
Gas: 2x Bonus Points
Office Supplies: 5x Bonus Points
Cellular/Landline/Cable: 5x Bonus Points
All other purchases: 1x Bonus Points
Chase Sapphire ReserveTravel/Dining: 3x Bonus Points
All other purchases: 1x Bonus Points

3. Set Up Automatic Payments for Recurring Bills

Most people have bills such as cell phone service, TV service, internet service, etc. that can be paid with a credit card for no fee. Many of these can be further maximized if you have a card with a category bonus for your bill, but even if not it is easy to set up recurring payments and rack up points month after month.

4. Shop Through Chase

Shop Through Chase is the name of Chase’s online shopping portal. When you log into your Chase account, simply click through to the Ultimate Rewards site, click the “Earn Points” drop-down menu, and click Shop Through Chase. Typically, offers range from an extra 1-5 points per dollar. You can browse the featured stores, or search for specific retailers of your choice.

shop through chase
Choose from a wide range of retailers and earn rewards

5. Retention Bonuses

If you call to cancel your card, banks often offer retention bonuses in order to keep you as a customer. These can come in the form of points, statement credits, or “mini sign-up bonus” style offers that require a minimum spend for a given number of points. However, you can receive these types of offers even if you have no intention of cancelling your card. A common strategy is to call around of the time of the annual fee posting, mention that you’re not sure if the benefits of this card are worth the annual fee, and ask if there are any offers on your account.

6. Sign-up Bonus Offer Matches

Sometimes you will sign up for a card, only to see Chase offer a higher sign-up bonus within weeks of your application! However, if you contact Chase and ask them to match the higher offer, they will often oblige if you applied within the last 90 days.

7. Manufactured Spending

This technique will not be for everyone, but can be a lucrative way to generate high volumes of Ultimate Rewards. More details on manufactured spending, gift card churning, or reselling on the internet will be featured in a future post.

8. Pay Bills You Can’t Normally Pay with a Credit Card

The biggest expenses in many people’s budgets are their mortgage and car payments. There are online services, such as Plastiq.com, that allow users to pay bills with a credit card for a fee (typically in the 2-2.5% range). While this is not the cheapest way to earn Ultimate rewards, it can result in a significant number of points and may be worth it if you have a big redemption planned.

earn membership rewards when paying bills

9. Pay Expenses Tied to a Reimbursable Account

If you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or a Health Savings Account (HAS) it is often possible to pay your medical bills or insurance premiums with a credit card, and then withdraw funds from these accounts for reimbursement.

10. Donate to Charity Using a Credit Card

Many charities accept credit cards as an alternative to checks and cash. Anytime an organization is asking someone to give away money, it helps to make it convenient for them to do so! If you have a charity to which you would like to give, research the payment options and see if you can pay with a credit card (often through an intermediary such as PayPal).