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I’m a big fan of Chase Ultimate Rewards but my primary use for the currency usually revolves around transferring points across to the World of Hyatt and not for any of the other ways that Ultimate Rewards points can be used. That, however, doesn’t mean that all the other options should be ignored and one other option, in particular, is currently more attractive than it usually is.
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, there are 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 noticeably more attractive.
Spending Ultimate Rewards Points With Apple
Under normal conditions, Ultimate Rewards Points can be used to purchase Apple products directly from Apple (via the Ultimate Rewards portal) at a value of 1.00 cent per point and as I’ve already said, that’s not a great way to get good value out of your points.
Right now, however, Chase is running a promotion for holders of the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card (review) that sees the value on offer increased, and it’s increased to a level at which things start to look interesting.
Through 30 June 2021, holders of the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card are being offered 50% more value out of each point they spend on Apple products and this means they are able to redeem their Ultimate Rewards points at a rate of 1.5 cents each.
Note: 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 through Apple.
1.5 cents/point is the rate that the Ultimate Rewards portal allows Sapphire Reserve cardholders to redeem their points for travel so at a time where the travel world is far from back to normal, being able to redeem points at the same rate for Apple products will probably be an interesting option for a sizeable group of people.
As far as I can tell, the Apple store attached to the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal sells pretty much everything that the regular Apple Store sells so whether you’re looking to buy accessories like the new Air Tags…
…a wearable item like an Apple Watch…
…or larger products like a MacBook Pro or the new 24″ iMac…
…you should be able to find what you’re looking for and holders of the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card should see that they’re being offered the chance to buy all of the items using their points at 1.5 cents each.
At this point, I should point out that Apple isn’t always the best place to purchase Apple products if you’re looking for the cheapest price so even though the UR portal is currently allowing Sapphire Reserve cardholder to redeem their points at 1.5 cents each, that may not be the best place to shop.
Take the Apple AirPods Pro as an example. In the Apple Store, these are priced at $249…
For anyone who is looking to preserve cash, buying AirPods using UR points may still be a better option, but everyone else should be ignoring the Apple Store offer and buying their AirPods from Amazon (or any other reputable retailer that’s selling them cheaper).
The moral here is that you should always check the price of whatever item you’re wanting to buy at a few other retailers before committing to buying it through the Apple Store – what may seem like a great deal initially, may not be such a great deal after all.
Ordinarily, I’d probably be tempted to use some of my Ulitmate Rewards points to purchase an Apple product that I need as I have a sizeable UR balance and I’m comfortable redeeming points at 1.5 cents each. Right now, however, I’m stockpiling points for a trip that Joanna and I are planning for 2023 and as I’m pretty sure that by using my UR balance to book the Hyatt properties I have my eye on I’ll be getting considerably more than 1.5 cents/point of value, I’m going to resist the temptation to burn my points with Apple.
Overall, however, this isn’t a bad use of Ultimate Rewards points, and holders of the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card with a sizeable balance and with no immediate plans for using them should probably think carefully before using cash to buy an Apple product that they can otherwise buy with their points.
For a limited time, Chase is offering holders of the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card the option to redeem their Ultimate Rewards points for Apple products at 1.5 cents per point. While this won’t be a deal that works well for everyone, it’s certainly a deal that’s worth considering if your travel plans are still on hold and there’s an Apple product that you need to buy.