Why Can’t I Transfer My Ultimate Rewards Points?

Feb 6, 2017

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Starting today, we’re upgrading our “Sunday Reader Question” series! Our new “Reader Questions” will be answered three days a week — Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays — by TPG Senior Writer Julian Mark Kheel.

Our Reader Question today comes from Victor, who sent us an email wondering why…

On the Ultimate Rewards website, when I hover over the ‘Use Points’ menu there is no option to ‘Transfer to Travel Partners.’ How can I transfer my UR points to United or another airline?

TPG Reader Victor

Now, a problem like this can be difficult to troubleshoot, since I can’t see exactly what you’re seeing on your computer or mobile device and I don’t want to start asking which browser you’re using or what model of MacBook because that road leads to endless frustration for both of us. But in this case, Victor was kind enough to send along a screenshot of what he sees when he’s on the Chase Ultimate Rewards site. It looks like this:

Sure enough, Victor doesn’t appear to have an option to transfer his points. In contrast, when I sign into the Ultimate Rewards portal, I see this:

So what’s going on here? Well, savvy TPG readers may have already noticed the other major difference in these two screenshots. Do you see it?

Take a look at the logos in the upper left corner. In Victor’s screenshot, he’s using a Chase Freedom (No longer open to new applicants) or Chase Freedom Unlimited card, while my own screenshot shows a Chase Ink card.

While your Ultimate Rewards points can be combined across all your different Chase cards, you still must have at least one premium Ultimate Rewards credit card for the points to be transferable to airline and hotel partners.

So for Victor to see the option to transfer, he must have either a Chase Sapphire Preferred, a Chase Sapphire Reserve, an Ink Business Preferred or an older Chase card that might no longer be offered but is still transfer-eligible.

But there’s one other quirk. It’s possible Victor already has one of these other cards… but in order to transfer, he also must be signed in to the Ultimate Rewards portal using one of them.

When you first log in to Ultimate Rewards, if you have more than one Chase card you’ll be asked which card you want to access. In order to transfer points to travel partners, you have to choose one of your premium cards, not your Freedom card.

Remember that you can combine points between cards, so it’s easy to move points from your Freedom to your premium card and transfer them out from there.

Hope this helps clear up any confusion and thanks for your question, Victor! We’re now answering questions three times a week here at The Points Guy, so please tweet @thepointsguy, message us on Facebook or send an email to info@thepointsguy.com if you have any questions you’d like us to address.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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