How to rent a car using Chase Ultimate Rewards

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Chase Ultimate Rewards logo

I’m planning a weekend getaway with the family to visit a couple of Kimpton properties in Florida, so we need to rent a car.  Rather than pay cash for them, I’m using some of my Chase Ultimate Rewards points to keep our vacation expenses low.  Here’s how to rent a car using Chase Ultimate Rewards in 5 simple steps.

 

What are Chase Ultimate Rewards points?

Ultimate Rewards are the points currency created by Chase.  These points can be redeemed for cash and gift cards, used towards travel, or transferred to one of several hotel and airline partners.  Among travel circles, Chase Ultimate Rewards are seen as one of the most valuable of all the bank proprietary points’ programs.

 

How do you earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points?

You can earn Ultimate Rewards points from a good selection of personal and business credit cards offered by Chase.  The latest and greatest card is the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, which currently is offering a 100,000 point sign-up bonus!  You can also earn Ultimate Rewards points by shopping through their shopping portal.

Here are the current cards being offered by Chase where you can earn Ultimate Rewards points: (with current bonus offer in parentheses – as of September 1, 2016)

Personal Cards

  • Chase Sapphire Reserve (100,000)
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred (50,000)
  • Chase Freedom Unlimited (15,000)
  • Chase Freedom (15,000)

Business Cards

  • Chase Ink Plus (60,000)
  • Chase Ink Cash (20,000)

Take note that points earned from both Freedoms or the Ink Cash cards can only be redeemed for cash unless you also have one of the more premium Sapphire or Ink Plus cards.

If you’d like to get one of these great cards, we appreciate it whenever a reader uses our referral link to apply.

 

How to book a rental car using Chase Ultimate Rewards points

Now that you have a Chase credit card that earns Ultimate Rewards points, the fun part is how to spend them.  My goal is to spend as little as possible while enjoying amazing travel experiences with family and friends.  With that in mind, I’m using a few of my Ultimate Rewards points to book our car rental for an upcoming trip to Florida, where we’ll be staying at the Kimpton Tideline Ocean Resort & Spa in Palm Beach and the Kimpton EPIC Hotel in Miami.

 

Step 1 – Log into your Ultimate Rewards account

Once you’ve logged into your Chase Ultimate Rewards account, either by going to Chase.com or directly to Chase.com/ultimaterewards, you’ll be able to see your account.  If you have multiple accounts, you will be asked which account to access.

 

Step 2 – Explore and Book Travel

Hover over “Use Points” and click on “Explore & Book Travel” to access the ability to book travel using your Ultimate Rewards points.

Chase Ultimate Rewards to rent a car - explore and book travel

 

Step 3 – Book rental car

Click on “Cars” and enter your rental information – pick-up location, pick-up and drop-off dates and times, and driver’s age, then click “Search.

Chase Ultimate Rewards to rent a car - enter car rental details

 

Step 4 – Choose your rental car

Once you click search, you will be given a list of rental car options.  You can sort by price, car class, or company.  The results can also be filtered by company, car type, and car options.

Chase Ultimate Rewards to rent a car - rental car options

As a side note, I also checked with Priceline and Costco Travel before booking my car rental reservation through Ultimate Rewards.  Not only did I save money by using points instead of cash, the price for renting my car in Florida was cheaper through Ultimate Rewards than either Priceline or Costco for the dates I searched!

 

Step 5 – Pay with points, cash, or a combination

While you’re looking at the various options available, you will notice that the price is listed in both dollars and Ultimate Rewards points.  The beauty of the Ultimate Rewards portal is that you can pay with either!  By moving the slide back and forth, you can pay 100% cash, 100% points, or anywhere in between.  It’s up to you.

Chase Ultimate Rewards to rent a car - pay with points or cash

When you redeem points for the car rental, you will be getting a redemption value of $0.0125 per point.  In round numbers, a redemption for $100 will cost you 8,000 Ultimate Rewards points.

Pro Tip: One of the exciting benefits of the Chase Sapphire Reserve is that your points are now worth $0.015, which makes them 20% more valuable than before!

Once you decide how many Ultimate Rewards points to use, click to purchase and you’ll receive both an online and email confirmation of your rental car reservation.  Super simple!

 

The Bald Thoughts

Chase Ultimate Rewards can be earned from 6 personal and business credit cards.  You can redeem them for cash, transfer to hotel and airline partners, or you can use them to book travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal.  Booking a rental car using Chase Ultimate Rewards is easy and can be done in 5 simple steps.

Have you used Ultimate Rewards points to book travel?  Do you find the process to be this easy?  What is your favorite use for Chase Ultimate Rewards points?


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26 COMMENTS

    • That’s unfortunate. Every site has limitations. If you’re having problems booking online, Chase customer service is usually very helpful and they should be able to book it for you.

    • I called them last night and the representative confirmed that one way rentals are not an option when booking through Chase Ultimate Rewards. I was able to use the Avis Link/code that is provided under member benefits to get a great rate on Avis Website for a one-way rental.

      • Glad things worked out for you, even though you weren’t able to use your Chase UR points. That’s one of the reasons I keep a card like the Barclay Arrival to offset travel expenses that can’t be paid for with points.

  1. I was wondering, is what you pay in Ultimate rewards points all you pay? should I expect some other fees or charges when I show up to get the car? thanks in advance!

    • You shouldn’t. It is just like if you bought the rental on Priceline or Hotwire, the entire reservation is paid for as if it were cash instead of points. Effectively, you’ve given Chase back some of their points, then they pay the rental car company the cash for the rental. Everybody wins.

  2. I’m having the same issue as Matt mentioned. Specifically, no results show up for locations outside of the U.S. Locations inside the U.S. work fine, even when they’re only a few miles away from international ones that didn’t work. For example, I get results as usual for Buffalo, NY, but not Toronto, ON. I also tried London, Zurich, Paris, etc. and they all returned no results.

    • Thanks really odd. I did a search similar to Matt and found cars available. I also searched Toronto and found a car. I emailed you a sample. Maybe it is the dates you chose or a cookie issue with your browser?

    • Every rental car company and location is a little different. Some allow one-ways, while many do not due to inventory restrictions. Keep searching and you may find what you need.

  3. There’s a schism over whether a CSR-holder booking with UR points gets the benefits of CSR insurance. MMS and TPG say yes, Flyer Talk is more skeptical. What’s your take? If I book a car rental entirely with UR points, will I get the benefits of CSR car rental insurance? If not, would I get them buy paying for some de minimis amount on the card?

  4. Great post!
    If you book through ultimate rewards is it possible to get a car upgrade through Avis/Hertz if you have plus stays with them?

    • Sasha, I haven’t tried, but I imagine that you can because these bookings are treated the same as cash. If you try, please write back and let us know your experience.

  5. Late to this thread….
    I see a good rate for an Alamo rental at FLL….
    BUT I am concerned one of the ‘local fees’ might not be included?
    Before I call UR help number can someone offer advice from experience?
    I am betting there will be a ‘surprise’ at the counter…
    Also saw no place to add my Alamo Insiders # online?
    Thoughts before I call for help? thank you.

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