How to Get the Best Value for Chase Unlimited Points

Redeem for travel, gift cards and more, or combine with points earned on another Chase card and transfer.
JT Genter
By JT Genter 
Edited by Meghan Coyle

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The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is one of our favorite everyday cash-back cards. Cardholders earn a base rate of 1.5% cash back on all purchases plus bonus cash back on dining at restaurants, drugstore purchases and travel purchases through Chase.

As a cash-back card, cardholders may believe they can't do much to maximize their earnings from this card. However, there are a few tricks to get the best value for Chase Ultimate Rewards® points. Let's review how you make the most of your Chase Freedom Unlimited® card points.

Earning Ultimate Rewards® points

Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card
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Before redeeming points, you first need to earn them. The Chase Freedom Unlimited® welcome bonus is a good place to start: Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back!

Chase Freedom Unlimited® cardholders also earn Ultimate Rewards® points at the following rates:

  • During your first year, earn 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase portal, 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, and 3% on all other purchases on up to $20,000 in spending. After that, earn 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.

Long-term cardholders may remember when this card only earned a flat 1.5% cash back on all purchases. That changed in September 2020 with the rollout of three new bonus categories. These changes boosted an already solid card into one that made a much more compelling argument for a spot in your wallet.

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How much are Chase Ultimate Rewards® points worth?

Getting the maximum value out of your Chase Unlimited points requires some flexibility — and some luck with the timing of promotions.

Use our Chase points calculator below to determine the value of any number of Chase Ultimate Rewards® points to dollars. This is useful for comparing the value of promotions and sign-up offers or in assessing the value of an existing cache of points.

Here are the current options to get the best value for your Chase Unlimited points.

Chase Pay Yourself Back

Initially launched in May 2020 as a temporary COVID-19 measure, Chase has continued to extend its Pay Yourself back redemption option. Now through Dec. 31, 2023, Chase Freedom Unlimited® cardholders can redeem Ultimate Rewards® points at a 25% bonus for donations to select charities. That's a redemption rate of 1.25 cents per point for eligible donations.

To qualify, you'll need to charge a donation to one of the eligible charities (listed below) to your Chase Freedom Unlimited® card. Then, within 90 days of the donation, go into your Chase portal and redeem points through Pay Yourself Back for a statement credit.

Chase's current list of eligible charities for Pay Yourself Back:

  • American Red Cross.

  • Equal Justice Initiative.

  • Feeding America.

  • GLSEN.

  • Habitat for Humanity.

  • International Medical Corps.

  • International Rescue Committee.

  • Leadership Conference Education Fund.

  • NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund.

  • National Urban League.

  • Out & Equal Workplace Advocates.

  • SAGE.

  • Thurgood Marshall College Fund.

  • United Negro College Fund.


  • United Way.

  • World Central Kitchen.

Redeeming Chase Unlimited points during an Apple promotion

The Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal is an authorized reseller of Apple products. Chase cardholders can typically redeem Chase points for 1 cent per point toward Apple purchases.

However, Chase has lately offered a biannual promotion to boost the redemption value for Apple purchases. For example, from Oct. 15 to Nov. 30, 2022, Chase Freedom Unlimited® cardholders could redeem points with a 10% bonus, netting a value of 1.1 cents per Chase Unlimited point. 

Since Chase has offered these promotions reasonably often, it may be worth holding off for the next one if you want to redeem your Chase Unlimited points for Apple products.

» Learn more: Chase vs. AmEx

Use Chase Unlimited points to save on Amazon purchases

Amazon periodically offers Chase cardholders the ability to save by redeeming Chase Ultimate Rewards® points toward an Amazon purchase. Chase cardholders have saved as much as 50% through these promotions on a single purchase. The minimum points redemption can be as few as just one point — although more-recent offers have required 100 points.

Still, saving 50% by using just 100 Chase points sits up there in the ranks of the best value for Chase Unlimited points. Just keep in mind that you'll want to limit how many points you redeem. That's because you'll only get 0.8 cents per point in value when redeemed for Amazon purchases. And you can get more value by redeeming Chase Unlimited points for cash back.

Simply redeeming for cash back

Chase advertises the ability to redeem Chase Unlimited points for gift cards, travel, Amazon and more. However, the best value for Chase Unlimited points is often simply redeeming points for cash back. With this redemption option, you'll get $10 in cash back for every 1,000 points redeemed.

Sure, you can also get 1 cent per point when redeeming points for several redemption options. However, you're generally better off just redeeming points for cash back and purchasing items — from Apple products to Amazon purchases — with your Chase Freedom Unlimited®.

First, you'll earn rewards on your purchase. That means you'll effectively earn rewards when redeeming rewards. Second, you can utilize shopping portals to earn additional rewards on your purchase. Finally, you'll get card benefits — such as purchase protection and extended warranty protection — that only take effect for purchases.

Combining points with other Chase Ultimate Rewards®-earning cards

Ultimate Rewards® points earned through the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card can be redeemed for various redemption options. However, the one major restriction on Chase Ultimate Rewards points earned through the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card is that points can't be transferred to Chase Ultimate Rewards® airline and hotel partners.

The good news is that you can get around this restriction by combining the points earned through the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card with an eligible Ultimate Rewards® card. That means getting the best value for Chase Unlimited points requires that you carry another Chase card — like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.

Say that you have both the Chase Freedom Unlimited® and the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. You'll earn 3% cash back at drug stores using your Chase Freedom Unlimited® card. But you can turn that into 3x transferable points by combining these earnings with your Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card point balance.

If you want to get the best value from your Chase Unlimited points

Although advertised as a cash-back card, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card earnings can be redeemed for much more than cash back. Cardholders can redeem points for travel, gift cards, Apple purchases and so much more. The downside is that most of these redemption options are limited to just 1 cent per point in value — unless you can take advantage of a promotion.

Chase Freedom Unlimited® cardholders may get more than one cent per point in value through Pay Yourself Back, Apple redemption promotions or Amazon point redemption promotions. However, the downright best value for Chase Unlimited points is combining earnings with an eligible Ultimate Rewards®-earning credit card, unlocking the ability to transfer points to Chase's hotel and airline partners.

How to maximize your rewards

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