Tips for Maximizing Chase Ultimate Rewards

We love Chase Ultimate Rewards. We use them to purchase Disney Vacation Packages, flights on Southwest, stays at Hyatt, and even for some of our discounted Disney gift card strategies. We want to help you earn more Chase Ultimate Rewards without spending more money. Today, we’re going to talk about tips for maximizing Chase Ultimate Rewards.

10 Tips for Maximizing Chase Ultimate Rewards

With some strategy, it’s possible to earn hundreds of thousands of Chase Ultimate Rewards each year. Some of these tips will earn you a few thousand points, others can earn tens of thousands.

Bonus Categories on Spending

It’s perhaps the most obvious tip, but also the most important. Consider building a Chase Ultimate Rewards strategy and use the card that earns the most points for each purchase. Here’s a breakdown of the bonus categories for each of the current Chase Ultimate Rewards credit cards.

Purchase Gift Cards to Max Out Your Chase Freedom Category Bonus

The Chase Freedom earns 5x points in rotating quarterly category bonuses up to $1,500 spent. We often struggle to reach our cap in categories like gas. One way to fully maximize the opportunity is to purchase gift cards at locations that fall into the category bonus. For instance, many gas stations sell gift cards. You can often get a wide variety of Amazon, restaurant, and gas station gift cards. You’ll earn 5 points per dollar on these purchases until you reach $1,500 spent in that category.

It’s always wise to test this once with a small purchase to see if you get the bonus. For instance, some of the kiosks at grocery store gas stations will code as groceries instead of gas.

Pay Your Telephone, Cell, Internet and Cable with Your Chase Ink Cash

It’s easy to spend a few hundred dollars a month on bills in these categories. Plus you can set them all up on automatic payment and never think about them again. They all earn 5 points per dollar with the Chase Ink Cash. This no annual fee card gives you a great way to earn tons of points on these recurring expenses.

Use the Chase Ultimate Rewards Shopping Portal for Online Purchases

It’s easy to forget, but you can earn tons of points when you use shopping portals for your online purchases. Chase has one of the best. We always start with Cashback Monitor, a great source for finding the best shopping portals.

Get a Second Chase Freedom

An easy way to get around the $1,500 category bonus each quarter is to get a second Chase Freedom. It effectively increases your cap to $3,000. We have two and it really comes in handy when the category bonus is groceries or Amazon.

Buy Gift Cards at Office Supply Stores Using a Chase Ink Cash

We purchase $200 Safeway gift cards at Staples online using our Chase Ink Cash. It earns 5x at office supply stores, including gift card purchases. Every $200 grocery gift card earns us 1,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards.

You can also find gift cards for Amazon, restaurants, and many other categories at office supply stores. It’s a great way to earn bonus points on purchases you’re planning to make anyway.

Take Advantage of a Great Sign Up Bonus Periodically

Not every card is worth keeping forever. Sometimes it makes sense to get a card with a great sign up bonus, even though you know you may cancel it before the annual fee comes due. Keep your eye out for a lucrative sign up bonus; it could really boost your points total. Just make sure you transfer the points to another card before you cancel it.

Use the Chase Freedom Unlimited for All Non-Bonus Purchases

It earns 1.5x on all purchases, meaning you’ll earn an extra 0.5 points per dollar over another Chase card if there’s no category bonus. That may not sound like much, but in reality half of your purchases or more won’t have a category bonus. Over the course of a year, that extra half point per dollar really adds up.

OfficeMax/Depot Instant Rebate on Visa Gift Cards

OfficeMax and OfficeDepot occasionally offer an instant rebate on the purchase of Visa gift cards. The rebate is often more than the activation fee for the gift card. When you pay with a Chase Ink Cash it earns 5 points per dollar. You end up with a gift card you can use like cash and you’ve earned a bunch a points in the process.

Refer A Friend

Chase has refer a friend options on many of its cards where you can earn 5,000-10,000 per approved application. If you know someone thinking about a Chase card, you should send them a link and earn some extra points. You can check your Chase cards HERE.

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