Chase Eliminates Confusion with Website For Ultimate, Personalized Rewards

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In the battle of credit cards and their benefits, Chase bank may have just overtaken the rest of its competition by doing one very subtle—yet massive—move in rewarding its customers for using their Chase credit cards. That’s because the bank has just launched a new website called Chase Ultimate Rewards, which was developed to meet the many different needs that Chase cardholders have in their rewards experience. Rather than making one, very systematic rewards level for every customer, Chase has changed the game my incorporating this website, which was put together following some serious, in-depth market research.

Working in a partnership with Mercator Advisory Group, nearly 35 percent of consumers that Chase surveyed ranked an attractive rewards program ahead of any other factors in choosing a credit card like interest rates and credit lines. That’s probably not too surprising, seeing how we all like to be rewarded for things—yes, even if that come via spending money on a credit card. Heck, if consumers can earn airline miles or gift cards to their favorite stores for using a certain credit card, there isn’t any reason why most of the other factors matter in choosing a card.

In the same survey, about 55 percent of consumers actually said that they try to only use a credit card with rewards that are relevant to them. For example, all of those people you see using the exact same card over and over when traveling with them are probably using it because they are, at some point, probably going to see a return on all their purchases, which could come in the form of airline tickets or discounts at their favorite restaurants.

So what exactly does the new Chase Ultimate Rewards program actually offer? Besides a digital experience that’s both entertaining for users and informative based off their customizations, the website offers an online experience that makes understand your rewards a ton easier than before.

Unlike the small print that no one ever pays attention to when trying to figure out what types of rewards they get for using a specific card, Chase Ultimate Rewards breaks it down for users to identify exactly what’s in reach based of the amount of spending that they have already done, and what, potentially, is in the forefront for redemption.

Personally, this is a major plus for anyone with a credit card. As mentioned above, no one reads the fine print that says a cardholder must spend a certain amount of money in a certain timeframe in order to take advantage of the top reward. For instance, I’ve been in a position where I technically earned enough for a $125 check in return of my spending—which is a nice bonus to get for, well, spending money. There was one problem, though, as my specific credit card said that the amount I spent to earn the reward had to have occurred in six months of the card being active, which wasn’t the case for me.

With that specific card used as a backup in case of emergency, it had sat around for nine months prior to being used more frequently. So after my trip to Europe was all but paid for on it, I saw no rewards for the splurge I went on.

It sounds like Chase will help eliminate such confusion with this new website, which will visually detail what users can and can’t redeem with their spending points.

In addition to the detailed information for users to look at and better understand, the site also has a personalized dashboard that displays recent activity and points a user gains from their spending, both available on PCs, smartphones and tablets. So rather than fumble around with account information by seeing numbers and trying to determine what you have spent and what you have earned in rewards, it’s all clearly there to view quite easily.

Another cool feature that the site offers is an in-depth travel guide with curated travel content already built-in, meaning that all of those trips you take are tracked so that your credit card info can now provide recommendations for hotels, restaurants and activities around the world—with a specific focus on the places that you’ve already visited or often travel to.

Much like some of the other things this site does to personalize to users, I think that this is an ingenious idea by Chase, as it really pinpoints the exact places that the cardholder travels, helping them find the best places in town to sleep, eat and play—all on while using their Chase credit card. It’s killing two birds with one stone for the credit card company, who encourages spending, and getting rewarded for doing so, with suggestions on places which users can do it at.

So you might be asking yourself, “what else can this website do?” right?

Upon further research, it looks as if the site also includes a customized reward program that is tailored to the cardholders’ specific lifestyle and card activity, with the ability for users to “like” reward offerings that are suggested, which will, in turn, tailor the site’s content according to the users’ “favorites” based off of their activity.

If this isn’t the best feature of the entire website, I don’t know what is, as it takes the word “personalization” and really brings it to the forefront for users. Much like how Facebook uses algorithms that help track user activity and suggest certain ads or pages to “like,” it appears that Chase will do the same in a secure fashion based off of the tendencies of each cardholder, meaning that, while there will be a bevy of options to choose from, the ones that a user is most attracted to will stand out the most, catered to the individual based off of their spending routine.

With the rise of the economy back from the deficit it was in several years ago, one thing that consumers are obviously still high on is being rewarded for their purchasing. Thanks to Chase, it appears that they are the first credit card service to offer a unique and customized experience that will truly give consumers what they want, rather than just leave them an open template of options.

As the new Chase Ultimate Rewards website focuses on building consistency in rewards with users based off of lifestyle and spending habits, it appears that they have the leg up on the competition on not only giving people what they truly want, but also obtaining—and maintaining—customers moving forward,

Although the new Ultimate Rewards website is currently available to Chase Sapphire cardholders this week, it will be available for Ink business cardholders and Chase Freedom cardholders sometime before the end of 2014.

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images


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