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I’m a big fan of Chase Ultimate Rewards but my primary use for the currency revolves around transferring points across to the World of Hyatt and using them for stays at some of my favorite properties and not for any of the other ways that Ultimate Rewards points can be used…but that doesn’t mean that the other options should be ignored.
The most commonly discussed uses of Ultimate Rewards Points include transfers to airline and hotel partners and the purchasing of flights or hotel nights through the Chase travel portal, and that’s because those are unquestionably the two best ways for most people to use their hard-earned points.
But there are other options too…quite a few of them.
The reason why most of these other options go (mostly) unmentioned is that they involve using Ultimate Rewards points at a value of 1.00 cent per point and that’s not a very good rate of return.
When Ultimate Rewards Points can be used at between 1.25 cents and 1.50 cents each on travel booked through the Chase Travel portal and when they can potentially get a cardholder even more value when transferred to a partner program, why would anyone choose to redeem them for just 1.00 cent each?
More often than not, most alternative uses of Chase Ultimate Rewards Points are a poor deal but right now Chase is offering a bonus that may make one of the alternative uses of Ultimate Rewards Points look marginally more attractive.
Spending Ultimate Rewards Points With Apple
Under normal conditions, Ultimate Rewards Points can be used to purchase Apple products directly from Apple at a value of 1.00 cent per point and, as I’ve already stated, that’s not a great way to get good value out of your points…but right now Chase is running a promotion for Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders that may change things a little.
Through 15 November 2019 Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders can redeem Ultimate Rewards Points for Apple products at a rate of 1.2 cents/point and for some cardholders this may actually be a reasonable deal (full terms and conditions have been reproduced at the end of this post).
There’s no link for this offer, Sapphire Reserve cardholders will simply see it when they log into their Ultimate Rewards accounts and choose to spend points though Apple.
For a lot of Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders, the idea of redeeming Ultimate Rewards points for 1.2 cents each is verging on sacrilege when they can just as easily get 1.5 cents/point when booking a hotel of paying for an airfare…and that’s fair enough.
I’m in the group of people who wouldn’t consider using their Ulitmate Rewards Points in this way, but that doesn’t mean that this is a bad idea for everyone.
Ultimate Rewards Points is a currency and it’s a currency that we all use in place of cold hard cash when we’d like to get a good deal or when we’d really prefer not to see our bank balances go down (those are, after all, two of the most important reasons why we collect miles and points in the first place) so there will be circumstances in which parting with Ultimate Rewards Points at 1.2 cents each is a perfectly ok thing to do.
Specifically, if you have a high Ultimate Rewards balance that never seems to go down because you earn points quicker than you can spend them, there’s nothing wrong with burning some points in the place of cash if you have gifts to buy for the upcoming holidays.
Yes, you’re not maximizing the value of each point if you’re only getting 1.2 cents of value out of each point, but if all your points are doing is sitting in your account month after month, year after year, they’re not doing you much good are they?
Ultimate Rewards Points may well have a theoretical value of at least 1.5 cents each but they’re not worth anything if they’re just sitting untouched in an account.
Also, not everyone’s financial situation is the same and as we approach a time of year when a lot of people’s spending suddenly starts to shoot up, it may be prudent for some cardholders to keep money in the bank and instead use some of their Ultimate Rewards points to pay for a few things that would otherwise have taken cash.
Once again, this wouldn’t be a particularly efficient way for a lot of people to use their Ultimate Rewards Points balances but it’s still aperfectly acceptable way of using points if ties in with how a person’s other finances sit.
If you’re in the middle of a major home renovation or if you’re looking to buy a home it’s probably going to be more important to you to see your savings balances stay healthy and less important to you that you maximize the value out of every Ultimate Rewards Point that you spend…and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.
For most people this latest promotion from Chase will be a non-starter because it’s relatively easy for Chase Sapphire Preferred cardholders to get more than 1.2 cents of value out of each point by buying travel through the travel portal or by transferring points to one of Chase’s partners…but “most people” doesn’t mean “all people”.
Loyalty points should be used to make your life easier, cheaper and happier and if using Chase Ultimate Rewards Points at 1.2 cents each achieves any one of those goals (hopefully more than one of those goals) then there’s nothing wrong in using them in this promotion…just make sure you’re aware of the decision you’re taking at the other options open to you.
Full Terms & Conditions Per Chase
1 Limited-Time Offer for Chase Sapphire Reserve cardmembers: Each point you redeem for Apple merchandise in the Apple® Ultimate Rewards® Store from 10/11/2019 – 11/15/2019 is worth $.0120, which means that 100 points equals $1.20 in redemption value. If you choose to use points and your Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card to pay for your purchase, each point will be worth $.0120, but your credit card will be charged the full remaining dollar amount. For example, if you choose to buy a $120 item and pay for half using points, you would use 5,000 points and your credit card would be billed $60.
2 These benefits are available when you use your card. Restrictions, limitations and exclusions apply. Most benefits are underwritten by unaffiliated insurance companies who are solely responsible for the administration and claims. There are specific time limits and documentation requirements. Please refer to your Guide to Benefits for a full explanation of coverages, or call the number on the back of your card for assistance.
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