Do you have a credit card that gets you access to the Chase Ultimate Rewards mall, or are you thinking of getting one? If so, here are 5 tips and tricks for getting the most out of it.
If you are new to Chase Ultimate Rewards: This is the credit card rewards program from Chase. It allows you to redeem the points you earn on purchases for practically anything you want: cash back, travel with no blackout dates or restrictions, merchandise, gift cards and more.
Trick #1 – Combine these bonuses to score a windfall of points!
Did you know that you can transfer points between Chase credit card accounts? You can do this within your own accounts or you can even transfer UR points to someone else.
This means you can sign up for multiple bonus offers on multiple cards and combine them. For example if you already have the Freedom, then you can sign up for the Sapphire bonus offer and combine those points with your existing UR account.
Here are the cards you can do this with and their best sign-up offers for 2014 (I constantly update this list). Consider signing up for the cards you don’t already have:
- Chase Sapphire Preferred Card: Use this link to earn 40,000 points
(after you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months from account opening)
- Chase Freedom: Use this link to earn 20,000 points
(after you make $500 in purchases in your first 3 months from account opening)
- Ink Plus® Business Card*: Use this link to earn 50,000 points
(after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months from account opening)
*The Ink cards are business cards, but you can still apply for them if you are an individual in business (sole proprietor). When you do that, you use your Social Security number for the tax ID field, and your legal business name will be the same as your legal name (i.e. “Jane Smith” would be your biz name if that’s your name).
Think about it… when combined, the above offers equal well over 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points. Think how long it would take for you to earn that many points with normal spending (several years, probably). But by signing up for a bonus or two while they last, you can fast-track the process and earn a pile of points very quickly.
Trick #2 – Use the online mall to earn even faster
The Chase Ultimate Rewards Mall gives you extra points for shopping online. Just use the online “mall” to click through to your favorite merchants’ websites – you will earn up to an extra 10 points per dollar spent. That’s the equivalent of earning up to 10 percent cash back for your online purchases!
There are hundreds of merchants participating:
Stores: There are more than 100 popular retail stores, from Macy’s to Best Buy. Whatever you’re buying, chances are you will find a place to get extra points for it.
Travel: Don’t forget to use the mall whenever you book travel. You’ll earn extra points with various popular travel companies, hotels, airlines and online travel agencies. Just log in to Ultimate Rewards, and search for travel on your preferred dates to see your options.
Service Providers: Many long-time Ultimate Rewards users aren’t even aware of all the services that participate. Past ways to earn bonus points have included opening up a new Netflix account or AT&T account. There have even been bonus points offered for using TurboTax. You can check your account to see the latest UR offers for service providers.
Trick #3 – Multiply your savings using promo codes
When shopping online through the Chase Ultimate Rewards mall, you might be able to use retailer promo codes, too.
If details for a listed merchant says “cannot be combined with any other offer” then you probably can’t use a coupon code and get your Ultimate Rewards at the same time. However some retailers may have no such restrictions on combining offers.
*Important* If you are going to be using a retailer’s promo code, make sure you look up and gather the codes before you enter the Chase Ultimate Rewards Mall. Why? Because most coupon websites make money when you click on the coupons they have listed (they put a cookie on your computer so they can get a commission on your purchases for that store).
Those cookies that the coupon websites use could replace the cookies from the Chase Ultimate Rewards Mall if you click on the coupon site afterward. So make sure you have your codes looked up beforehand.
Trick #4 – Did you know about the auctions?
October 2014 update: Chase announced in Sept. 2014, that it is discontinuing this benefit.
We all know auctions can be a great way to buy something for less than face value, but did you also know that the Chase Ultimate Rewards program has their very own auctions?
You can use your points to bid on auctions available only to the holders of Chase credit cards (that aren’t in default) with Ultimate Rewards. Last I checked there were more than a hundred auctions going on … everything from a private golf lesson with a PGA pro instructor to a Chesapeake Bay cruise for two. Auctions are organized by category, point value and location for your convenience.
These auctions can be a excellent way to score a deal and experience significant savings.
Trick #5 – Use points to buy unique experiences
You can also redeem your points for unique experiences that you might not be able to buy on your own.
At any given time there are tons of experiences available, ranging from VIP access at events, culinary experiences, concerts, sports and leisure activities, and more. A cool one that caught my eye was going in an Indy race car at 180 mph!
Updated Oct. 2, 2014