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The Chase Ultimate Reward Program Gives Younger Travelers Luxury Perks

For travelers, choosing the best travel card is one of the most important decisions to make before setting off. Some cards have a high annual fee, but reward users with luxuries and points, while others are cheaper but still offer benefits. 

One of the cards attracting younger nomads is the Chase Sapphire card, specifically what the company calls its ‘trifecta’. A treasure trove of points and rewards await those who can handle all three. 

Chase Rewards Program

Chase created it’s ‘Ultimate Reward Program’ to help cardholders reduce their collection of credit cards down to 3. Together, these help to pool rewards points from all three cards and make them available for any qualified purchase. 

The points never expire as long as one Ultimate Rewards card is active and all points are on that card. 

Chase offers basic cards for its program which include the Chase Freedom Flex and Chase Freedom Unlimited cards with no annual fees. These are also considered ‘cash back’ cards since they return value to the holder in terms of points which can be exchanged at 1 cent per point.

On the other hand, the bank also offers premium cards such as Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve. These have many features, among the most notable is the ability to transfer points to any of Chase’s 14 travel partners (including 11 airlines and 3 hotel chains). 

Points travel directly from Chase to their partners, which means that 100 points on your card equals 100 points for the partner program. Immediate points purchases also means that a Chase Sapphire Reserve credit score will also benefit since there is no delay in credit payments. 

The Chase ‘Trifecta’

The first card of the trifecta is the Chase Sapphire Preferred, the oldest of its travel cards and carries an annual fee of $95. This card allows holders to transfer points directly to partners to book hotels or flights as if they were paying cash.

Additionally, members get a 25% bonus on all purchases made through the program, which means using less points to pay. Currently, new members can earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 USD within the first 3 months of opening the account. This is a nice way to pay off a flight to another country, or an extended hotel stay. 

The next card on the list is the Chase Freedom Flex which stands out for its 5% cash back on up to $1,500 of purchases each quarter. This cash is converted to points which, again, can be used for one of Chase’s many partner programs. 

It’s important to note that the quarterly cash back bonus is only for rotating categories that change four times a year. For example, from now until the end of this month, members can earn 5% cash back on purchases made at Walmart or through Paypal. 

Finally, the Chase Freedom Unlimited card earns 1.5% of bonus points on any purchase. This means members can earn 50% bonus points on everyday purchases, unlike the Chase Sapphire cards which only earn 1 point per dollar. 

This is essentially the ‘everyday’ card that completes the trifecta, but can also be used alongside the Chase Sapphire Preferred without having to get the Freedom Flex. This is due to some users not wanting to deal with the rotating categories, although it may be beneficial for some. 

Notably, the program offers bonus points in several categories which include:

  • 3 points per dollar on dining
  • 3 points per dollar on streaming and grocery delivery services
  • 3 points per dollar on travel
  • 3 points per dollar at pharmacies
  • 3 points per dollar on telecommunication services (internet, phone, cable)
  • 5 points per dollar on special categories that change periodically
  • 1.5 points on everything else. 

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