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Update: This new policy only affects external transfers to frequent traveler programs. The process for transferring points from one Ultimate Rewards account to another remains unchanged.
Chase announced a minor change to its Ultimate Rewards program today. The update involves the eligibility of Ultimate Rewards transfers to frequent traveler accounts belonging to someone else; previously cardholders could transfer points to spouses and domestic partners, but now only authorized users (living at the same address) will be eligible to receive transfers from the primary cardholder’s account.
The new policy states that one additional household member who is an authorized user (it doesn’t explicitly specify spouse or domestic partner), can receive transfers to his or her own frequent traveler account. Keep in mind that the Chase Sapphire Preferred card offers a 5,000-point bonus for adding your first authorized user, so there is already some incentive to add someone else to your account.
Business cards such as the Chase Ink Plus also have their own set of updated restrictions. Cardholders can now transfer to their own loyalty programs (such as United MileagePlus or Hyatt Gold Passport) or to those of an owner of the company who is also listed as an authorized user on the account.
These new changes take effect on Sunday, November 15, so there’s still time to make last-minute transfers that will no longer be eligible after Sunday. These changes further add to the transfer rules associated with Ultimate Rewards, but the program is still incredibly valuable, thanks to its 11 transfer partners, including British Airways, Marriott and Southwest — note, however, that the number of transfer partners will drop to 10 once Amtrak leaves the program next month.
For now, here’s a complete list of transfer partners, along with the amount of time it will take for points to show up in a partner program account:
|Singapore Airlines||Same Day|
Ultimately, this is a pretty minor change to the Ultimate Rewards program, but it’s certainly worth noting if you frequently transfer points to a spouse or domestic partner. Additionally, note that you can always add an authorized user without physically handing a card over to that person — though it may take a few days before you’re able to transfer points once the change takes effect on Sunday. Finally, it may be necessary to re-add your frequent traveler programs once Chase flips the switch this weekend, but as long the name on that program matches the one on your account, you should be good to go.
Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
- No foreign transaction fees
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
- No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards