Ultimate Rewards, Ultimate Confusion: Shopping

This is a quick post to try to clear up one confusing aspect of Chase’s Ultimate Rewards program: shopping

How can shopping be confusing?  Well, with Chase you can shop at the Ultimate Rewards Mall or via Ultimate Rewards Shopping.  They are not the same. 

If you have a Chase credit card with access to the Ultimate Rewards program, then you’ll see a link like this when you log into your Chase account:


When you click through that link you will find yourself in the Ultimate Rewards Home page:


Now, suppose you want to go to the Ultimate Rewards Mall so that you can earn bonus points when making purchases at online merchants.  Any reasonable person would think that the next step would be to click on “Shopping”:


But the “Shopping” link won’t take you to the Ultimate Rewards Mall for earning extra points.  Instead, it will take you to Chase’s online mall for spending your points.  This is where you can trade in points for merchandise.  In general, this is a bad idea!  Even if you want to use your points to get something, you are usually better off trading in your points for cash and then going through the Ultimate Rewards Mall to buy the item at an online merchant.  In that way, you’ll earn more points and you’ll probably pay less as well.

So, now that I’ve shown you what not to do, I’ll show you two ways to get to the Ultimate Rewards Mall for earning points:

Option 1: Browse to Ultimate Rewards (as shown above) and then click on Earn FasterEarn Bonus Points at the Ultimate Rewards Mall:


Option 2: Simply browse to http://ultimaterewards.com/mall

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About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

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  1. Nice guide for those just getting into it. There can be some good redemptions on there for UR points, but it’s like AMEX MR points, you have to wait for the good sales. I saw several reports with some nice deals last December the day all Best Buy items were like 25% off for UR point redemptions. Not that most readers here would do it, but something to keep one eye open for.

  2. Just to clarify – do you need to use your chase card to get the extra UR points?

    On that note, do you need to use a citi thank you card to earn points from the thank you shopping portal?

    • JL: jcmitchell21 is right. You do not need to use your chase card to get the extra points, but if you have a problem with getting points credited to your account you may have trouble getting Chase to help you.

      Steelsnow: Good point. There are times when buying stuff with points is a good value, but in general it is not.

  3. I am a newby churner. I have been approved but have not yet received the Bold and Sapphire. I went into the UR to check it out but could not get in because I did not have a card number yet. I noticed in the home page a 4 point bonus for Office Depot. If I go to Office Depot and use my Bolt card (5x for office supplies) can I actually buy debit cards at 9 times? 4+ 5? Tx

    • Magic Man: No, to get the 4 bonus points you have to shop through the Ultimate Rewards Mall online. Unfortunately, few online stores sell debit cards. The best you could do is Staples which sells $100 Visa gift cards online, but they do charge for shipping and other fees that negate much of the extra points. Best bet is to go in person to Office Depot to find the lowest cost debit option and pay with your Ink Bold for 5X

  4. This is such a gas. Thanks

    Can I go into Staples and get 5x with the Bold or only Office Depot. I would assume that there is no limit on how much I could spend on debit cards ($10k?) and no expiration date. Correct?

    • Magic Man: Any office supply store will give you 5X with the Ink Bold. As to “no limit”, even though this is a charge card, Chase does have a limit in mind above which they may or may not approve the purchase. Most gift cards have no expiration dates per se, but some states take back the value of gift cards if they go unused for several years.

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