In my opinion, the Chase Ultimate Rewards program is one of the two best programs out there (along with the Starwood Preferred Guest program). The flexibility that the program offers with numerous transfer partners – United, Hyatt, and Amtrak to name a few – along with the variety of ways that you can earn UR points through credit card sign-ups, and online shopping make it extremely useful to me. Chase has another program that can help us all boost our UR point earning by signing up for a Chase checking account: Chase Exclusives.
The Chase Exclusives program is a way for chase to reward people for having a Chase checking account. Not only does the program boost your UR point earning, but it also offers several other benefits that are unrelated to the travel hacking game. First, if you’re looking to stash some money away, you get higher rates on Chase CD’s. Chase does not publish their non-Chase Exclusives rates so I’m not sure how much better the rates are, but it seems that they are a little better than competing banks such as Bank of America and Wells Fargo. Second, if you’re looking to borrow money, they will give you a better rate or offer you cash back. For auto loans, they will offer you up to 0.75% off your loan’s rate. Home Equity Lines qualify for up to 0.50% off the current rate. For mortgages, Chase offers 1% cash back that you can either have deposited into your checking account or have applied against your principal as a way to pay off your mortgage a little faster. Because rates fluctuate so much and differ between region and bank, make sure to compare these rates with other banks!
Finally, the Chase Exclusives program can work with your Chase credit cards to help earn more points! In prior years, the program would work with the Chase Ink Bold card as well as the Chase Freedom card. However, it seems that they have removed the Ink Bold card for new participants, but existing participants are grandfathered into the program. The Ink Bold traditionally offered a 20% bonus on UR points earned, which was quite lucrative! If you’re currently getting Chase Exclusives bonuses on your Ink Bold card, I’d definitely hang onto it as it can really help you earn more UR points!
However, if you’re just signing up for the program, it will only apply to the Chase Freedom card. The Chase Freedom card earns UR points, which can then be transferred to all of Chase’s UR partners if you have a Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Ink Bold card. If you just have the Freedom card, those points can be redeemed for gift cards or statement credits at 1 CPP. The Chase Exclusives program is really great for the Freedom card. On top of the quarterly 5X bonuses in rotating categories, the program offers a 10% bonus on points earned along with 10 points per transaction. A transaction could be $100 or it could be $0.50 – it doesn’t matter. You will always earn 10 points per transaction in addition to the normal points earned! However, please be cautious with this bonus!! There have been numerous reports of people trying to abuse this by buying thousands of $0.01 items on Amazon and having their accounts closed. This is a great bonus for everyday purchases, but don’t risk having your account closed by Chase just for a few extra points!
At this point you’re probably asking yourself “This sounds great, Bryce, but how do I sign up!?” Great question! It’s really easy. All you have to do is open a Chase checking account! Once you open an account you’ll be enrolled in about 1-2 months as they have to “link” your credit card accounts with your checking account. However, when I enrolled, I sent chase a secure message asking to be enrolled and I was enrolled for my next credit card statement, which began about a week and a half after I asked, which was great! Over the next several weeks I’m going to be talking about how to maximize your credit card spend and the Chase Exclusives is going to play a big role in parts of it!
Deal of the Day
For today’s Deal of the Day FlyerTalk is giving away A FlyerTalk Luggage Tag & Hoodie combo for the best overall travel deal submitted. A great mileage run, mistake fare, partner promo, new card sign-up offer, or the special twist you figured out on a deal today. Add it to the comments section of this post (with your First Name, Last Initial, and 3 letter airport code) or this afternoon’s Deal of the Day post to be eligible to win.