Chase Ultimate Rewards Strategy

Best Rewards Cards for Disney Vacations

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.

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

You can earn tons of points with a Chase Ultimate Rewards strategy. AND, there are some great ways to use them on Disney vacations. This includes options to cover your flights and hotel stay on points.

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.

Earning Points

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. Chase has designed it this way to encourage you to only carry their cards in your wallet.

In addition, all of the cards in this product line have access to the Chase shopping portal. When you use the portal to make online purchase with participating retailers, you typically earn between one and 20 extra points per dollar spent. This is above and beyond whatever you would earn for using the card itself.

You can also read our post with tips on how to maximize earning Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Redeeming Points

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.

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.

For Disney travel, the most lucrative are Hyatt, Southwest Airlines, and JetBlue. Hyatt points are worth about two cents each. Southwest and JetBlue points are worth about 1.5 cents each. 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 or Orbitz. 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 or Chase Ink 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.

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, and Chase Freedom Unlimited. You’ll pay one $95 annual fee (Sapphire Preferred), but you earn two points per dollar on travel & dining, five points in rotating categories each quarter, and 1.5 points on all other purchases. 

Combine the points you’ve earned into the card with the best redemption options.

Read Full Reviews for Each Card

Want to read more about one or more of these cards? Here are links to the full reviews for each of the Chase Ultimate Rewards credit cards.

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Chase Freedom

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  • What kind of points: Cash
  • Sign Up Bonus: $150 after spending $500 in three months, and another $25 for adding an authorized user
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • How to Earn Points: 5% cash back up to $1,500 each quarter in rotating categories, 1% cash back on everything else
  • Value of a Point: 1.0 cents
  • How to Spend Points: Redeem for cash or combine with Chase Sapphire Preferred points
  • Our favorite Use: Combine with Chase Sapphire Preferred points and use for stays at Hyatt hotels