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This week TPG reader Carli tweeted:
“@thepointsguy is there any way to transfer chase freedom points to Marriott Rewards without having a chase premium card?”
Unfortunately the answer to Carli’s question is no. In order to transfer points earned from the Chase Freedom Visa, you need to also have a premium Chase card like the Sapphired Preferred, Ink Bold or Ink Plus. Those cards will enable you to unlock the value of points earned with the Chase Freeom and transfer them to partners instead of just using them for cash back.
If you currently have the Freedom card, I would suggest applying for the Sapphire Preferred, Ink Bold or Ink Plus cards so you can get more value out of your points and utilize transfers to the 11 Chase Ultimate Rewards partners. With the Sapphire Preferred, not only will your points be transferable, but also they’ll be worth 1.25 cents each towards travel (versus 1 cent apiece in cash back that the Freedom offers).
The current sign-up bonus is 40,000 points after $4,000 spent within the first 3 months, and you’ll earn 2 points per dollar on all travel and dining. If you tend to spend money in those categories, then the Sapphire Preferred is a no-brainer, especially since the $95 annual fee is waived for the first year.
The Ink Bold and Ink Plus cards currently offer a sign-up bonus of 50,000 points after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months. Bonus categories include 5x on the first $50,000 spent on office supply stores, cellular, landline, internet and cable TV services, and 2x on the first $50,000 spent at gas stations and hotels. These cards also have annual fees of $95 that are waived for the first year.
With rotating quarterly categories (soon to be gas stations and Kohl’s from July 1 – September 30, 2014) and the 20,000 point sign up offer after $500 spent within 3 months, the value of the Freedom card increases dramatically when you can combine those points with those of a premium Chase card. Once you have the Freedom card and a premium card, transferring points between accounts is extremely easy:
When you log into ultimaterewards.com you’ll be presented with your various account balances.
Click on the ‘Go to Ultimate Rewards’ link next to your Freedom account balance and you’ll be taken to the Ultimate Rewards homepage. Click on the ‘Rewards Activity’ tab at the top right, and on the left side navigation you’ll see a link for ‘Combine Ultimate Rewards points.’
From there you can choose which account you would like to transfer your Freedom points to.
Your points will be transferred instantly and at no cost – simple as that.
As always, sign up for whatever cards makes the most sense for you, and if you don’t think you’ll be able to hit the spend requirement for a sign-up bonus, then I would hold off on applying. Luckily, Ultimate Rewards points transfer instantly at a 1:1 ratio, so once you do have those transferable points in your arsenal, you’ll be able to transfer them as you wish (always in 1,000 point increments).