Chase Ultimate Rewards as an Endgame


One strategy for earning points/miles that I’ve long thought about is earning Chase Ultimate Rewards as an endgame. In other words, I think that concentrating on Ultimate Rewards as a beginner travel hacker makes a lot of sense. They are by far my favorite points and I am constantly trying to earn more of them. I primarily use them to transfer to Hyatt hotels but also use them for United and Southwest flights. Additionally, they transfer to other partners, including:

  • Aer Lingus
  • Air Canada/Aeroplan
  • British Airways
  • Emirates
  • Flying Blue (KLM/Air France)
  • Hyatt
  • Iberia
  • IHG
  • JetBlue
  • Marriott
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Southwest
  • United
  • Virgin Atlantic


So just how would this strategy work? I will explain it assuming there is a player two involved.


Step One

Player One gets the Chase Sapphire Preferred at the standard bonus of 60K Ultimate Rewards. The annual fee is $95 and the minimum spend is $4,000 in 3 months. They then refer Player Two and get a 15K referral bonus. Player Two gets an additional 60K Ultimate Rewards. They now have 135K Ultimate Rewards.



Step Two

Player One gets the Chase Freedom Flex that has a signup bonus of 20K Ultimate Rewards. There is no annual fee and the minimum spend is $500. They refer Player Two for the same card and receive a referral bonus of 10K Ultimate Rewards. Player Two completes the $500 minimum spend and they have a total of 50K from this step.

As a side note, this card earns 5x rotating quarterly categories. It’s a great card to keep in your wallet.


Light blue credit card


Step Three

Player Two refers Player One to the Chase Freedom Unlimited  (with the Flex you can refer to the Unlimited and vice versa) and receives 10K Ultimate Rewards. Player One completes the $500 spend (no annual fee) and gets 20K Ultimate Rewards. Then Player One refers Player Two to the same card, receives 10K referral points, completes the $500 spend, and gets another 20K Ultimate Rewards. They now have 60K in Ultimate Rewards from this step. 


Chase Freedom Credit Card


Total Ultimate Rewards: 245,000 Ultimate Rewards with $190 in annual fees and $10,000 minimum spent. Player One and Player Two are both at 3/24 and can now get more Chase Cards or move on to other issuers that interest them.

Let’s carry this idea of further making Chase Ultimate Rewards an Endgame and get business cards. Remember, it is easier than you think to get business cards. Start a little side gig, and you can get one. Just remember that when you apply for a card, you put your whole annual income down. Here is an article about qualifying and applying for a business card.


Step Four

The best thing about getting a business card is that it doesn’t count toward your 5/24 status. Player One gets the Chase Ink Business Cash with a minimum spend of $7,500 and a signup bonus of 75K. Here are some ideas for meeting that higher minimum spend. Player One then refers Player Two to the card and receives 20K as a referral bonus. Player Two completes their minimum spend and now has 75,000 points. This step has given us 170K Ultimate Rewards. (We aren’t adding on the points earned from spend as that can vary).


Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card

Step Five

Player Two refers Player One to the Chase Ink Business Unlimited (once you have an Ink card you can refer to any Ink card). Player Two receives 20K as a referral bonus and Player One receives the 75K signup bonus. Then, Player One refers Player Two to the Chase Ink Business Unlimited Card and receives 20K in Ultimate Rewards. In this step, they have earned 190 Ultimate Rewards.


Chase Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card


At this point, they would have a grand total of 360K in Ultimate Rewards in business cards and 245K in personal cards. 

Step Six

This is the last step. To complete this step, you need to pay your annual taxes with a credit card or have another big expenditure or many big expenditures coming up. Player One refers Player Two to the Chase Ink Business Preferred. This card will earn 100K Ultimate Rewards after spending 15K in six months and Player One earns a 20K referral bonus. Player Two refers Player One to the same card and earns 20K referral points. Player Two completes the spend and earns another 100K. The total earned in this step is 240K.


Total Earnings

The strategy with earning Ultimate Rewards as an endgame leaves you with 605,000 Ultimate Rewards through step 5. If you have a lot of expenditures and can do step 6, you would have 845,000 Ultimate Rewards. The best part is that you are still at the Chase 3/24 mark despite opening up 3 more cards each because the business cards don’t count against your 5/24. Here are some ideas of what you can do with some of those Ultimate Rewards:



Turquoise water white sand and palm trees

Earning and using Chase Ultimate Rewards is an easy way to get to Hawaii.



Bottom Line

This isn’t how I started my points/miles journey. Looking back, I can see how important Chase Ultimate Rewards have been to my travels. If I were to do it all over again,  choosing Chase Ultimate Rewards as an endgame would be a strategy I would have considered. What are your thoughts about this strategy?

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