TPG reader question: Would I lose all my Ultimate Rewards points if I close my Sapphire Reserve and apply for the Sapphire Preferred 100,000 sign-up bonus?

Jun 21, 2021

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Editor’s note: This article is part of a column to answer your toughest credit card questions. If you would like to ask us a question, tweet us at @thepointsguy, message us on Facebook or email us at info@thepointsguy.com.


With the new, best-ever Chase Sapphire Preferred 100,000-point sign-up bonus (after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening), many previous (and current) cardholders wonder if they’re eligible for this offer.

Chase states that any current or previous cardmembers of any Sapphire credit card product who’ve received a sign-up bonus in the last 48 months aren’t eligible for this new sign-up bonus. This week, TPG reader Lori Z. asks what will happen to her current balance of Ultimate Rewards points if she meets these eligibility requirements to snag the Chase Sapphire Preferred sign-up bonus and wants to close her current Chase Sapphire Reserve card.

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What will happen to my Ultimate Rewards points if I decide to close my Chase Sapphire Reserve and open the Chase Sapphire Preferred with its new 100,000-point sign-up bonus? I don’t want to lose the points I already have in my account, but I’m unsure of the timeframe after closing an Ultimate Rewards-earning card and getting my points get stripped away.

Lori Z.

If you cancel a credit card that earns transferable points like the Chase Ultimate Rewards or Amex Membership Rewards, you will lose all your earned points. It’s critical that you either use or transfer them before canceling your card.

Lori wants to cancel her Chase Sapphire Reserve card and is wondering the best way to use or store her points. Thankfully, there are a few options.

In This Post

Option #1: Transfer your points to another eligible Chase card

The best option is to transfer your Ultimate Rewards points to another eligible Chase card. For example, if Lori is a cardholder of the no-annual-fee Chase credit card options like the Chase Freedom Unlimited or Chase Freedom Flex (or even a no-annual-fee Chase business card like the Ink Business Cash Credit Card or Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card ), she can combine her points instantly to these cards in the Ultimate Rewards portal. Unfortunately, these cash-back cards don’t allow you to transfer your points to Chase’s travel partners, but they’ll help keep all your points active until you’re ready to use them.

(Screenshot courtesy of Chase)

Plus, these cards have their own rewards rate strengths and are all fantastic players in your Chase trifecta. Then, after Lori opens her Chase Sapphire Preferred, she can transfer her points back to this card to make the most of her rewards.

Option #2: Use Chase’s Pay Yourself Back tool

(Screenshot courtesy of Chase)

If you don’t own any of these cards or don’t want to open an additional credit card (perhaps due to Chase’s 5/24 rule), you can redeem your points with alternative options instead. A great option would be to use Chase’s Pay Yourself Back tool, allowing you to pay down select balances on your card. Throughout the pandemic, Chase has allowed cardholders to pay off dining, grocery stores, home improvement stores, select charities or fund a vaccine ride with Lyft at a boosted rate of 1.25 cents each. Until Sept. 30, 2021, you have to use Pay Yourself Back for these purchases or Dec. 31, 2021, for the charity option.

Option #3: Transfer to Chase’s transfer partners

(Screenshot courtesy of Chase)

Finally, you could transfer your points to any of Chase’s 10 airline and three hotel partners. Transferring without a plan isn’t the best idea because you’ll lose not only value but flexibility with your transferable points. Ultimately, which transfer partner you send your points to depends on your travel needs and habits.

Bottom line

Closing and opening your Chase Ultimate Rewards cards to snag the new Chase Sapphire Preferred sign-up bonus can be a complicated process. Before doing so, you want to be sure that you’re eligible to receive the new sign-up bonus and that you’re diligent about not losing your hard-earned point balances.

This means you’ll want to combine your points to another Chase Ultimate Rewards card or use up your points balances with Chase’s alternative redemption options.

If you have any other questions, please tweet @thepointsguy, message us on Facebook, or send us an email at info@thepointsguy.com.

Application link: Chase Sapphire Preferred with 100,000 points after spending $4,000 within the first three months.

Featured photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy.

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