Ultimate Question

When shopping through the Ultimate Rewards Mall, do you have to use your Chase credit card?


I get this question all of the time in response to my posts.  I frequently write about ways to leverage the Ultimate Rewards Mall to meet minimum spend (on any card), and to double-dip (by buying and then using gift cards).  These schemes are dependent on the answer to the above question.

The answer is NO.

You do not have to use a Chase credit card in order to earn points in the Ultimate Rewards Mall. 

I have used American Express credit cards and gift cards many times to purchase items when going through the Ultimate Rewards Mall and I’ve always received the points I expected. In fact, I’ve earned over 100,000 points from the Ultimate Rewards mall and very few of those points came from purchases made with Chase credit cards.

One point of confusion is that the Ultimate Rewards Mall suggests that you need to use your card. When you click through to a store, the mall shows a message saying “Check out with your Chase card and your extra points will automatically appear on your statement.” Note that it does not say that you must check out with your Chase card.

Another point of confusion comes from Chase itself. When people contact Chase with issues regarding the UR Mall, it is common for the Chase reps to say that using a Chase credit card is required. Not all reps have this understanding, however. Recently, for example, one reader succeeded in getting a Chase rep to award him bonus points for a purchase that wasn’t automatically posted. He had used a gift card, not a Chase card, for that purchase.

CAUTION: The risk with using a card other than your Chase card is in trying to get help when something goes wrong. If you are not awarded points or are awarded too few points you may be out of luck when contacting Chase for help.  In other words, shop at your own risk.

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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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    • Sergey: Yes, it can’t hurt. Just be prepared if they ask what credit card you used that they might tell you that you have to use your Chase card. If they don’t help you, try again (maybe one time via phone and one time via secure message). Let us know how it goes!

  1. I always use my Chase card. There have been about 5 times I have not received the points and I had to call Chase about the missing orders. It seems like the merchant failed to report the order back to Chase. So the only way for Chase to confirm the order and give me my “courtesy points” is for them to look up the charge on my actual credit card. I always wait 45 to 60 days before I can and ask for the courtesy credit after I have placed the order to allow time for merchant to report it back to Chase. As much as I really need to meet my spend requirement on my SPG Am Ex I don’t want to take a chance in losing out on the points…. if they can’t go back and check your Chase account it seems like they can’t give you a courtesy credit.

  2. My problem is how to follow up on the points. Usually they almost always show up but then there are certain times when they don’t I do not even remember which was which.

    As far as using chase card only, I think it is a temporary loophole and ultimately they will close this loophole sometime in future.

  3. I also have enough issues with missing points using a Chase card… And I don’t do that many transactions. Groupon from last week still hasn’t posted.

    @caveman – you could take a screenshot of the points page and of the cart/checkout page. That might help if you need to go back and correlate.

  4. Perhaps a log of the vendors who have had issues paying out via the UR Mall is in order? I realize that human error may be a portion of some orders failing to be credited with UR points – but on the other hand, I think some clear trends may appear. Perhaps this is already being done on one or more of the forums… But it could make for a nice blog feature section as well?

  5. Does this still work? Has anyone tried this using an Amex PRG? Say, if you book a flight through Travelocity for the 2x UR bonus and the 3 pts/$ Amex flight points, does it work? If so, that’s an astounding deal!

  6. I have two different results. I made one purchase via the portal for Lowes. One purchase was made using a combination of gift cards and my Chase card.
    Those points are showing as pending. I made another purchase using my prepaid AMEX and so far (period hasn’t closed) nothing reflecting points to post.
    If they don’t post post after the period closes, do I really have a leg to stand on if they deny me the points?

    • Patrick: That is the downside of using non-Chase cards! In the rare case that your purchase isn’t registered, it is harder to get your points. Many people (including me), though, have had success in repeatedly calling and/or private messaging Chase until they get a nice rep who awarded them points.

      • Thanks… but don’t they typically just tell you that you HAVE to use the Chase card to get your points? What’s your reply to them when they say this?

        • patrick: In my case I was honest and told them that I usually do get points when I use other cards. One person turned me down cold, the next person was excited to learn about that and gave me extra courtesy points (more than I deserved).

        • Since there was no record of your purchase on your chase CC, how did they know how many points to credit you with?
          Thanks for all the help.

  7. From reading some of the comments, I can’t help but wonder if some people aren’t waiting long enough for the points to post automatically. It is clearly stated on the UR mall travel earnings activity page that some points can take up to 8 weeks to post. More people calling Chase and complaining about missing points for purchases made with non-Chase CCs might lead to more restrictions in the future (i.e., only the UR-earning CC can be used for payment), which would be unfortunate.

    • Haloastro: I understand the concern, but I think we’re safe here. Carterra handles the UR Mall and gets purchase info from merchants. I doubt very much that the merchants report to Carterra what type of credit card was used. Even if they did, I don’t think Carterra would care: they get paid either way.

  8. I called Chase today to chat about my situation. Purchased a dryer through their portal (about 8,000 worth of points due to the 10x bonus)and didn’t get the points. I didn’t use my Chase card. We chatted a bit about how I’d gotten points in the past when I hadn’t used my Chase preferred card and that their doesn’t seem to be any explicit requirement for actually using the Chase card when going through the portal. To make a long story short, the rep gave me 5,000 courtesy points. Not as good as the 8,000 but way better than what I had. I would suggest ALWAYS using your Chase whenever going through the portal. You might not always get the “good” rep on the phone.

    • patrick: Thanks for the info. There’s no question that in the case where points aren’t awarded automatically, life is easier if you paid with a Chase card. In your case, I’d recommend calling again or sending private messages until you get the rest of your points.

  9. i called chase a few times and was told the same thing over and over again, that you can only use an ultimate rewards card like freedom, sapphire or ink bold or plus to get the bonus points on UR? Am i missing something here?

  10. Lucy: I think that’s a common misunderstanding that Chase reps have. A few people have been lucky enough to talk with reps that understand that any card will work, but most reps don’t know that

  11. And that’s the problem. If most reps don’t know that then you may never get those points even after calling over and over. And you have no proof that you purchased an item anyway. It’s not on your chase statement.

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