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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Chase Sapphire Reserve
Chase’s Ultimate Rewards program can offer some incredible value. It’s no surprise that the currency regularly appears near the top of TPG’s monthly valuations, checking in at 2.1 cents apiece in his most recent iteration. One of the best things about the Ultimate Rewards program is how flexible the points are, not only when it comes to your redemption options but also when you’re looking to transfer points between accounts. Today I’ll go through a quick tutorial on how to do this and provide some context for when it makes sense to do so.
Before we do that, here’s a current list of the cards that participate in the Ultimate Rewards program:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve Card
- Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
- Chase Freedom
- Chase Freedom Unlimited
- Ink Business Preferred Card
- Ink Business Cash Credit Card
The savvy readers out there may notice that there are three cash-back cards included on this list (the two Freedom products and the Ink Cash). While it’s true that these cards officially earn cash-back rewards, they do still fall under the Ultimate Rewards program, and the points you earn can be converted to full Ultimate Rewards points if you have the right combination of these cards.
When it comes to transferring Ultimate Rewards points, there are really two different types of transfers you can make:
- Transfer points between two accounts where you are the primary cardholder
- Transfer points between an account where you are the primary cardholder and one where someone else is the primary cardholder
We’ll take a step-by-step look at each of these scenarios today.
The very first thing you’ll need to do is to ensure that your Ultimate Rewards-earning credit cards are all associated with the same online account. If you haven’t set up online access at all, start off at Chase.com and click on “Not enrolled? Sign up now” at the right-hand side of the page:
If you already have a Chase account and need to add another card, sign in at Chase.com, click on “Manage Accounts” at the right and then “Add Accounts” at the top. Note that you can have other (non-Ultimate Rewards) accounts associated with the same username. I currently have my IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card and my Hyatt Credit Card on the same online account, making it easier to manage all of my cards.
Starting the transfer process
Once you’ve done that, the process for both types of transfers begins the same. From the homepage of your account, click on “Go to Ultimate Rewards” at the right-hand side of the page:
If you have more than one account, select the one out of which you want to transfer your points (skip to the next step if you only have one account):
This will bring you to the card’s homepage. At the top right, hover your cursor over your point balance and click “Combine Points” at the bottom of the menu that pops up:
Here is where things start to differ, depending on whether you’re combining points from two of your own accounts or if you want to transfer your points to someone else. The easier of the two involves combining points on two accounts where you are the primary cardholder on both.
Transferring points between your accounts
Start off by choosing the account out of which you want to transfer your points and the account into which you’d like the points deposited. Then click “Continue” at the bottom:
On the next page, choose whether to move all of your points or just a select number of them:
Unlike transferring Ultimate Rewards points to partners, you aren’t restricted to multiples of 1,000 points. You can move any number of points between your accounts. When you’re ready, click “Review” at the bottom of the page:
Review the details (including the terms and conditions at the bottom), then click “Confirm & Submit” when you are ready to process the transfer:
The next page will confirm that the transfer was successful:
Your new balance should also be reflected at the top of the page, as these transfers happen instantaneously.
Transferring to another person’s account
The second step is a bit more involved and is likely to involve a bit more scrutiny. Before going through this process and how it’s different, I want to highlight the terms and conditions of combining Ultimate Rewards points (emphasis mine):
“You can move your points, but only to another Chase card with Ultimate Rewards belonging to you, or one member of your household. If we suspect that you’ve engaged in fraudulent activity related to your credit card account or Ultimate Rewards, or that you’ve misused Ultimate Rewards in any way (for example by buying or selling points, moving or transferring points with or to an ineligible third party or account, or repeatedly opening or otherwise maintaining credit card accounts for the sole purpose of generating rewards) we may temporarily prohibit you from earning points or using points you’ve already earned. If we believe you’ve engaged in any of these acts, we’ll close your credit card account and you’ll lose all your points.”
When you transfer points among your own accounts, you’re clearly within the bounds of these terms. However, when you transfer points to someone else’s Ultimate Rewards account, he or she must be a member of your household. Chase may not notice it if you transfer points to a non-household member, but if it does, you run the risk of losing all of your hard-earned rewards.
Note that this is a bit different for cards like the Ink Business Card, since you can also transfer your points to an “owner of the company.”
Here’s how this process works. Again, once you log in to your Chase account, click on “Go to Ultimate Rewards” and then select a card (if you have more than one). From the main landing page, hover your cursor over your point balance and click “Combine Points” at the bottom. In this case, I would like to transfer points from my Ink Business Cash Card to my wife’s Ultimate Rewards account:
When I click “Combine Points,” you’ll notice that there’s an option at the bottom right to “Add household member/company owner” (note that this would only say “Add household member” if you’re trying to transfer from a personal account):
On the next page, I enter in my wife’s account number and last name and click “Continue”:
Her card then appears as an option for me to transfer points:
Once the card has been added, it will appear in my account for future transfers.
From here, the process is identical to what I outlined above. I choose how many points I want to transfer, review the details and then submit the transfer request.
When this makes sense
Now that we’ve gone through this process, you may be wondering when it actually makes sense to take advantage of one of these options. There are a few different scenarios:
1. Converting cash-back points to full Ultimate Rewards points.
As we’ve written about before, cards like the Chase Freedom are not simply cash-back cards. If you also have a premium card like the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card, you can convert these points to full Ultimate Rewards points. These are worth at least 25% more when redeemed directly for travel but can also be transferred to partners like Hyatt and United for even more value.
For example, if you have 30,000 points on the Freedom (from maximizing the card’s 5% quarterly bonus categories), those would usually be worth just $300. However, if you have the Sapphire Preferred, you can get $375 worth of free travel by combining the points from those accounts, just like I did above. If you have the new Chase Sapphire Reserve Card, the value jumps to $450. However, both of these cards also include the ability to transfer points to the program’s various travel partners. If you can redeem them for the full amount of TPG’s most recent valuations, your value jumps to $630, more than double the standard amount!
2. Boosting accounts for a specific redemption
Another reason to do this is if you have a specific redemption in mind. There are some fantastic redemptions you can book with Ultimate Rewards points, but you may not have enough points in your own account for the one you want. If your designated household member has some spare points, he or she could transfer those points to you through Ultimate Rewards so you can then book the redemption you want.
3. When you want to cancel a card
A third rationale for utilizing this transfer option is if you want to cancel a card. For example, if you have the Sapphire Preferred and were approved for the Sapphire Reserve, you may not want to keep both. While it may make more sense to simply downgrade the Sapphire Preferred to a card like the Chase Freedom Unlimited, some readers may just want to cancel. If you do this, be sure to transfer those points to another one of your accounts (or to your designated household member) so they don’t get lost when your card is canceled.
The Ultimate Rewards program is incredibly valuable, and a lot of that value comes through the flexibility of the points you earn. These can be transferred to a variety of travel partners, but you also have the ability to combine points across your accounts and transfer points to a designated household member. With many readers likely signing up for the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card (unless you’re a victim of Chase’s 5/24 rule like me), I hope this post has given you some insight into how you can extend the value of your points even further.
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