|by Mr Credit Card|
We conclude our ongoing series of credit card online shopping portal review with the Ultimate Rewards shopping portal from Chase. I personally have the Chase Freedom card and I’ll take you through the portal with the help of some screen shots from my account. Like the Capital One Perk Central, Chases’ online shopping portal is partner of the Ultimate Rewards program and is not a standalone feature like Citi Bonus Cash Center, Add It Up or Shopdiscover. That means that rather than earning “cash rebates”, you earn points which you can exchange for cash back, travel, merchandise or gift cards.
I have had the Chase Freedom card for a few years and I’ve watched the Ultimate Rewards program grow from strength to strength.
To access the Ultimate Rewards Mall, you will first have to log into your account from www.chase.com. The screen shot below shows my chase account (you can see my Chase Freedom and British Airways Visa). Simply click the “Ultimate Rewards” link and it will take you to the UR page.
From the Ultimate Rewards home page, look for “earn faster” button on the top navigation. Under that button, you simply click on the “UR Mall” and you will get to the UR Mall.
Once you are at the UR Mall, you can either “browse all merchants” or simply search via category. You will also see “special deals on this page.
To demonstrate how the “Mall” works, we are going to pretend that we will shop at Sears.com. So we’ll just click on the Sears.com icon and link and it will take us to a page where we will be able to read the terms and conditions.
In this example, Home Delivery Charges, Auto Services, PA & Installation, Master Protection Agreements and Protection Plans are not eligible for the extra points that you can earn with sears.com. Purchases at Sears auctions, Landsend.com, PartsDirect, Craftsman, Kenmore or Outlet are also not eligible to earn the extra points. In addition to that Sears Marketplace products with “Go to Site” button are not eligible. However, products with “Add to Cart” button are eligible. Great Indoors & Kmart products (including Kmart.com purchases) are eligible.
If you are happy with and understand the terms and conditions, you can click “start shopping” button and you will be taken to the Sears.com site where you purchases will be tracked by Chase. It will take approximately 45 days for the extra points to show up in your account.
Ultimate Rewards Mall Basic Facts – The UR Mall has 360 online merchant partners. Of the 360 partners, 91 of them give (or matches) the highest rebates paid by the same merchant in other portals. It only has online partners, unlike Citi Bonus Cash Center, Perks Central and Add It Up, which has both online and off line stores as partners.
Like Capital One’s Perk Central, it is also part of a larger reward program rather than a standalone one.
Credit Cards with Ultimate Rewards Program (including Mall) – Chase has a few cards which has the Ultimate Rewards program. The Chase Freedom, Sapphire, Sapphire Preferred, Ink Classic and Ink Bold® Charge Card all have UR as their program.
How Good is the UR Mall – The UR Mall stands in the middle of the pack when it comes to the number of merchants they have. They have more merchant partners than ShopDiscover and Perk Central and lose out on Add It Up and Citi Bonus Cash Center. They also do not have off line store partners.
However, most folks who choose a Chase Reward Card will not be choosing it based on the UR Mall at all. For example the Chase Freedom is one of the best cash back credit cards around. The Sapphire Preferred and Ink Bold allow you to transfer points to airline and hotel partners that are almost exclusive to Chase.
Hence, while the UR Mall isn’t in the top of it’s class, it is still a very good shopping portal. You wouldn’t choose a Chase credit card based on this feature at all. But if you have their cards, there is no harm checking it out once in a while because you can earn extra points when you do your online shopping.