A great credit card rewards strategy isn’t choosing the perfect credit card, it’s having the perfect wallet. There’s no single card that will do everything you need. Rather, by using multiple cards that complement each other, you can drastically improve your overall earnings. That’s the beauty of building a Chase Ultimate Rewards strategy.
- There’s no perfect credit card, but you can build a nearly perfect wallet
Chase has created a series of credit cards intended to help you do just that and keep you a loyal Chase customer. The cards earn Chase Ultimate Rewards. They each play a specific role and they’re designed to fit together like puzzle pieces. We’ll explain how Chase Ultimate Rewards works and then help you build your strategy at the end.
Why This Matters for a Disney Vacation
A Chase Ultimate Rewards Strategy will save you a ton on your flights, hotel and even tickets (for a limited time). You can also use Chase cards to save on the purchase of Disney gift cards, which you can use to pay for Disney hotels, park tickets, food and more.
Chase Ultimate Rewards Strategy
Each of the Chase Ultimate Rewards credit cards is uniquely valuable for earning points. When you add a card with an annual fee, your options to redeem points increase and the points become more valuable.
The credit cards in this product line earn Chase Ultimate Rewards, the name Chase has given their points program. Each of the cards has unique strengths for earning points, including the no annual fee cards. They each earn more points in certain categories of spending than the other cards. When you add more cards, you earn more points, even though your spending stays the same. This happens by using the right card at each store to maximize the category bonuses. For example, you might use one card for dining purchases and another at a department store. Chase has designed it this way to encourage you to only carry their cards in your wallet.
- When you use cards the complement each other, you earn more points overall
Cash – Every card in this product line allows you to redeem points for cash at one cent per point. This is the least valuable way to redeem points, but also provides you the most flexibility.
- Redeeming your points for cash is your worst option
Transfer to Travel Partners – When you or someone in your household adds a card with an annual fee, it opens up the option to transfer points to 13 travel partners. They transfer at a 1:1 rate. Points you’ve earned on the no annual fee cards just need to be transferred onto a card with an annual fee. This can be done in your Chase Ultimate Rewards account.
- DON’T MISS THIS! If you have a card with an annual fee, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred, all the points on all of your cards can be transferred to any of these travel partners.
For Disney travel, the most lucrative are Hyatt, Southwest Airlines, and JetBlue. When you transfer points, you can get a lot more value than when you redeem them for cash.
Chase Travel Center – The other redemption benefit with the annual fee cards comes with travel booked through Chase. The Chase Travel Center looks a little bit like Expedia. You can book all kinds of travel with your points. When you use the Chase Travel Center (online or over the phone), they increase the value of your points. If you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, your points are worth 1.25 cents each when redeemed for travel. If you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve, your points are worth 1.5 cents each.
Note: You unfortunately can’t book Disney hotels through the Chase Travel Center, only off-site hotels in the area.
(Limited Time) Chase Pay Yourself Back – Through April 30th, 2021, Chase will allow you to redeem points to pay off purchases in certain categories. These include grocery stores, dining, and home improvement. You’ll get the same value as the travel portal, 1.25 cents per point with the Preferred card and 1.5 cents with the Reserve card. This is a simple yet fantastic way to cash out your points and use them for Disney hotels or theme park tickets.
Chase Offers is the name of a rebate program available on almost every credit card issued by Chase. You will likely have a couple dozen offers on each card and you might, for example, be offered 10% back at Staples. Since Staples sells Disney gift cards, this can be a great way to save on your Disney vacation.
To learn more about Chase Offers, read our full explanation of the program.
Build Your Chase Ultimate Rewards Strategy
The perfect strategy will vary from person to person. The most common strategy includes using the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Freedom Flex, and Chase Freedom Unlimited. You’ll pay one $95 annual fee (Sapphire Preferred), but you earn five points per dollar in rotating categories each quarter, three points on dining, drugstores, and travel, and 1.5 points on all other purchases.
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