Chase Rolls Out Ultimate Rewards, New Credit Card Rewards Program

At a time when credit card companies are jacking rates and rolling back benefits, Chase has decided to launch a new credit card rewards program dubbed Ultimate Rewards. Is it any good?

At a time when credit card companies are jacking rates and rolling back benefits, Chase has decided to launch a new credit card rewards program dubbed Ultimate Rewards.  Is it any good?

Under the program, customers earn points for every dollar spent with the card.  The redemption rate is is 1% cash back on general purchasers and 3% cash back on purchases in certain categories that change every quarter. For now, the program will only be available on two of Chase's higher end cards, the Chase Freedom Card and the new Saphire card.

Older Freedom Card customers, who had an even richer rewards program will be moved to this revamped rewards program.  In addition, many Freedom Card holders will have to pay an annual fee of $30.  The annual fee for the Saphire card is $95.

The $30 annual fee will turn off many but if you spend enough on your card then it might be worth it.  At the same time, there are other rewards cards that provide even better redemption rates.  The Costco Amex Business Card offers 5% gas, 3% restaurant, 2% travel, 1% others while the Schwab Visa offers 2% back on every purchase. 

Sam Cass
Sam Cass: Sam Cass, MBA, JD, University of Texas at Austin. Always a fan of Leonardo Da Vinci.

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Comments

  • Thomas

    July 09, 2011

    I'll be canceling my account with Chase after my first attempt to navigate the new Ultimate Rewards web site. It's no longer possible to simply trade your points for statement credit, now you must redeem them for individual purchases made in the last few days. The site dose not streamline the process, it doesn't give you a list of eligible purchases. You need to click back and forth between the rewards page and your statement, and enter the date, and amount of the purchase one by one.

    When I called Chase, to ask if there was some way around the poorly implemented new system, it took 20 minutes to navigate though their phone tree. When I finally spoke to a live person it was someone who spoke English poorly, and told me that generic statement credits had never been possible. An obvious lie, I've been using my credits for statement credits for years.

    Chase, you used to be the best credit card in the business, now you are just a sad mockery of your former self.

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