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Sunday Reader Question on Transferring Chase Freedom Points to Get Sapphire Preferred 7% Bonus

by on December 11, 2011 · 14 comments

in Chase, Credit Cards, Sunday Reader Questions

Update: The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card sign-up bonus offer is now 40,000 points when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months.

TPG reader Bryan writes:

“I have the Freedom and Sapphire card and received a bunch of points through the Freedom card for the dining bonus they had this quarter. My question is, should I transfer the points I received on my Freedom card over to my Sapphire card to receive a greater anniversary points bonus? I’m not sure if I leave the points on my Freedom card, if Chase applies those as a bonus also.”

First off, nicely done with combining the Freedom and Sapphire Preferred cards. For those of you who don’t know, Chase will allow you to transfer points earned with the Freedom card – which are normally only able to be used for 1 cent towards travel or gift cards – to your Sapphire Preferred Ultimate Rewards account. So this means you can earn 5 points per dollar spend at the quarterly spend categories and then transfer these points to any of the Ultimate Rewards transfer partners like United, Continental, British Airways, Korean, Hyatt, Marriott, Priority Club and Amtrak. Earning 5 United miles per dollar spent is pretty spectacular – especially since I consider them to be one of the most valuable mileage currencies. I wrote about combining these two cards benefits in more detail here.
To answer your question; no, transferring them to your Ultimate Rewards account will not qualify for the Sapphire Preferred 7% annual bonus. Per my PR contact at Chase the 7% bonus counts towards all points earned in a given year regardless of how they were earned. This includes the current 50,000 point sign-up bonus – at the end of the year you’d get an additional 3,500 points deposited in your account. However, the key word is earned. Transferred points will not count, though weirder things have happened so it could happen, but I wouldn’t bank on it. If anyone has any personal experience, feel free to comment. I’ve only had my Sapphire Preferred card since August, so I can’t speak from experience.
Another tip is that you don’t need to be linked to the same account to transfer Chase points to each other. In this post, I explain why I love Ultimate Rewards and one of the reasons is that you can transfer points to anyone. My friend Lori had 2,000 random Freedom points and instantly for free she transferred them to my Sapphire Preferred Ultimate Rewards account. That type of flexibility is key when maximizing points, especially among family members.

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author.s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.

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  • Chris

    Hi, I have Freedom and Sapphire Preferred cards, as well as a Chase checking account. I’ve been thinking about what to do with everyday spending (that doesn’t fall into the 5% category for Freedom, or the travel/dining bonus for Sapphire Preferred). It seems like you’d get slightly more UR points if you used the Freedom (10% per dollar + 10 points per transaction), as opposed to the Sapphire Preferred (7% per dollar, and not until the end of the year). You would have to transfer the UR points to the more valuable Sapphire Preferred UR program, but you’d end up with slightly more.

    What do you think?

  • Anna

    Brian, can we downgrade the chase British airways card to the freedom?

    I don’t want the freedom enough for a chase hard inquiry right now (even with the bonus), but since I was going to cancel the ba in a couple months anyway, downgrading to the freedom to pair with the sapphire would be much better.

  • Anne

    And speaking of having leftover points, my husband and I each have around 7,000 Lufthansa points from a couple of years ago before we learned how the “world” worked. Lufthansa won’t let me transfer them to any other program and they expire at the end of this month. I even tried to deposit them to a charity but they wouldn’t take them, because I assume they’re international.

    Two questions. Should I just try and find some stranger to give them to??? And, if I did, would they still expire at the end of the month?

    Thanks for your help.

  • Mark Robles

    Brian, thanks for being so on-top of the UR game

    I have a short, specific question about the 7% bonus on the Sapphire Preferred. My last statement period closed on December 3, and my current statement won’t close until January 3rd. Will my activity in December count toward the 7% bonus, or are my qualifying points (for the bonus) done for the year?

    Thanks.

  • Amy

    I have been looking everywhere for the info about transferring between Chase Freedom and Chase Sapphire, thanks!

    I have the Freedom but realized I’d need the Sapphire for the airline/hotel transfer ability, and was worried I’d lose all the Ultimate Rewards points I’d already accumulated.

  • Sara

    Your posts about the Freedom card seem to assume that you can’t accrue Ultimate Rewards points with the Freedom card – only the Sapphire Preferred. However, I have a Freedom card only and seem to be eligible to Ultimate Rewards as well as the hotel/airline transfers. What gives?

  • Anonymous

    The Freedom earns Ultimate Rewards points, however, you need either the Sapphire Preferred or Ink Bold to be able to make hotel/airline transfers. If you don’t have the SP or IB cards, then the Ultimate Rewards points act as cash-back points (1 cent per point).

  • Eddy

    Brian, I just used your link to apply for the Freedom card (to complement my Saphire card) and got the 10 day notice (which was not surprising since I also have a BA and UA card from them). Should I wait until I hear back or call the reconsideration line right away? Thanks.

  • Anonymous

    Typically when you transfer miles to someone the expiration date is reset since that counts as account activity. Looking at Lufthansa’s web page, it is possible to donate miles to charity but it looks like you need at least 10,000 (which is a problem if you only have 7,000 in each account). One possibility would be to transfer your husband’s miles to your account (or vice-versa) and then donate 10,000 miles. However I don’t know how much Lufthansa charges to transfer miles to a different account and if the price is high (it usually is) then you’d be better off donating the miles transfer fee to charity and letting your miles expire.
    You can also take other actions to keep the miles from expiring (subscribing to their newsletter, signing up for their credit card, etc.) but if you never plan on using the miles that might be more trouble than it’s worth. See http://www.miles-and-more.com/online/portal/mam/us/earn?l=en&cid=1000390 for more options.

  • Mike

    Does anyone have a reliable way to enroll in the Freedom 10&10 promo for people with a checking account with Chase? When I called to activate my Freedom, they sent me to a branch; when I went to a branch today, they said they couldn’t do it (because I signed up online, to get the $300 bonus, instead of through a branch), but thought it might happen automatically within two months.

  • Mike

    You really don’t think a hard inquiry is worth 30,000 UR points / $300 cash?!

  • Anna

    Nope :) may be applying for a big mortgage soon, and getting the best interest rate could be worth many thousands!

  • JP

    If you really want to maximize your points and don’t mind having to keep track of which card to use when, this is what I do (and instruct my wife to do).

    Freedom
    - The rotating 5% categories whenever they’re active. You can sign up after the 15th of the prior month for the upcoming quarter. (December 15th for Jan-Mar, March 15th for Apr-June, etc). For Q1 2012, it’s Amazon.com and Gas.
    - Dining when it’s under $10. (Technically it’s $11 since $11 purchase + 10 bonus points + 10% bonus is 21.1 points, but I round to $10 to keep my wife from going completely crazy).
    - Any purchases that cannot be returned (groceries, gas, etc).

    Sapphire Preferred
    - Dining over $10
    - All travel
    - All purchases where the extra layer of protection would give you piece of mind (electronics for double warranty, clothing for return protection, etc). I know that Freedom has similiar protection in place, but it’s easier dealing with the dedicated Sapphire customer service that’s located in the US than dealing with outsourced CS for every other Chase card.

    With my moderate spending I’m getting about 3,000-4,000 points a month from Freedom, sometimes up to 10,000 when I maximize the 5% categories and in the 4 months that I’ve had Sapphire Preferred averaging about 2,000-2,500 points. So over the course of 1 year I should be getting around 80,000-100,000 points that I can transfer into miles.

  • Alan

    Hi TPG, I love your informative blog. I have a question here: Which card should I use? I wanna purchase a set of tickets of AA for myself, about 1600 USD. I have Chase Sapphire Preferred, AMEX SPG and AMEX plat. I understand Starpoints are valuable but in terms of travel protection, does Chase Sapphire Preferred and Amex plat offer more benefit? Please help out, thanks! (One side info is, I won’t spend the entire fair with CC, since I have purchased 200 gift card of AA by using AMEX plat previously.) Thanks a lot!

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