How to transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points between accounts
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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 cents apiece in our 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.
In fact, it’s among the most customer-friendly transferable points programs along these lines. So, today I’ll go through a tutorial on how to combine Ultimate Rewards points between accounts and discuss when to consider doing so.
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Understanding the Ultimate Rewards program
Before we get started, here’s a list of the major cards that participate in the Ultimate Rewards program:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
- Chase Freedom (no longer available to new applicants)
- Chase Freedom Flex (new card as of Sept. 15, 2020)
- Chase Freedom Unlimited
- Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
- Ink Business Cash Credit Card
- Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card
The savvy readers out there may notice that there are five cash-back cards included on this list (the three Freedom products along with the Ink Cash and Ink Unlimited). While it’s true that these cards officially earn cash-back rewards, they do still fall under the Ultimate Rewards program. And they become particularly valuable when you hold them in conjunction with the Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase Sapphire Preferred or Ink Business Preferred.
That’s because you can combine the rewards you earn across all of your Ultimate Rewards cards into a single account. As such, you can convert all of the rewards earned by these cash-back cards into fully transferable Ultimate Rewards points if you have a Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase Sapphire Preferred or Ink Business Preferred. This is the enduring power of my favorite combination of credit cards, what I call the “perfect Chase quartet.”
Even better? You can do this with a household member as well.
When it comes to transferring Ultimate Rewards points, there are two different types of transfers you can make:
- Transfer points between two accounts where you’re the primary cardholder.
- Transfer points between an account where you’re 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.
Setting up your Ultimate Rewards account
The first thing you’ll need to do is ensure that your Ultimate Rewards-earning credit cards are all associated with the same online account. If you haven’t set up online access, start 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 applied for a new Ultimate Rewards card, it should automatically appear shortly after getting approved. To make sure, log in to your account and click on “Account Activity.” Scroll down and look for the new card.
Note that you can have other (non-Ultimate Rewards) accounts associated with the same Chase username. I currently have several others on the same online account, making it easier to manage all my cards.
Starting the transfer process
Once you’ve set up your online account, the process for both types of transfers begins the same. Start by logging in to the Chase account from which you want to transfer points — be it yours or a household member’s account. Click on an Ultimate Rewards card from the homepage and then click “Redeem” next to your reward balance.
Clicking on “Redeem” will launch the Ultimate Rewards portal. At this point, if you have more than one card on the account, you’ll need to select the one from which you want to transfer your points (you can skip to the next step if you or your household member only has one card).
This will bring you to the card’s homepage. At the top, you’ll likely need to click the “Earn / Use” section to expand the menu and see the various icons for what you can do. From there, find and click on the “Combine Points” option:
Here is where things start to differ, depending on whether you’re combining points from two of your 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’re the primary cardholder on both.
Transferring points between your accounts
After clicking the “Combine Points” option, choose the account from which you want to transfer your points and the account into which you’d like the points deposited. Note that in this screenshot, TPG’s Katie Genter is transferring points from her Chase Sapphire Preferred to her Ink Business Preferred:
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 don’t have to stick 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
Before transferring points to another person’s account, read 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 or manufacturing spend, 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.”
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 accounts, they must be a member of your household (or an owner of the business for Chase Ink cards).
Currently, the first time you transfer points to another individual’s account, you’ll need to call the number on the back of your card. Explain to the agent that you’d like to combine your points with a member of your household. The agent will ask for the card number of your household member, but then you will be able to initiate a transfer.
After calling, your household member’s account should appear as an eligible account to transfer points to online. So, you’ll only need to call once unless you or your household member decide to remove the account.
Once you’ve added a household member’s account, the process is identical to what I outlined above. You’ll choose how many points to transfer, review the details and then submit the transfer request.
When to transfer Ultimate Rewards points between accounts
Now that you know how to combine Ultimate Rewards points into a single account, you may wonder when it makes sense to do so. Here are three times when you’ll want to consider combining Ultimate Rewards points into one account.
Converting cash-back rewards to Ultimate Rewards points
As I discussed earlier, cards like the Chase Freedom Unlimited are not simply cash-back cards. If you also have a premium card such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Sapphire Preferred, you can convert your cash-back rewards into Ultimate Rewards points. Ultimate Rewards points are worth at least 25% more when redeemed directly for travel, but you can also transfer to partners like Hyatt and United for even more value.
For example, let’s assume you have $300 of cash-back rewards on your Freedom Unlimited. If you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you can get $375 worth of travel by combining the rewards from your Freedom Unlimited with your Chase Sapphire Preferred. If you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve, 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 $600 — double the standard amount.
This is also a great option if your partner or spouse only has cash-back cards with no annual fee — which is precisely the case with my wife and me. She can use her Ink Cash and Freedom Unlimited cards and periodically transfer her rewards into my Chase Sapphire Reserve account. I can then use these points for select redemptions at a rate of 1.5 cents per point, both for travel purchases and through the program’s Pay Yourself Back feature.
Boosting accounts for a specific redemption
Another reason to combine points is if you have a specific redemption in mind. You can book some outstanding awards with Ultimate Rewards points, but you may not have enough points in your account for the one you want. If your designated household member has some extra points, they could transfer those points to you through Ultimate Rewards so you can then book the redemption you want.
When you want to cancel a card
A final rationale for combining points is if you want to cancel a card. For example, if you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred and want to pick up the Chase Sapphire Reserve, you can’t have both at the same time. While it may make more sense to downgrade to a card such as the Freedom Unlimited, you might want to cancel instead. But before doing so, transfer your rewards to another of your accounts (or to your designated household member). That way, you don’t lose your rewards.
The Ultimate Rewards program is incredibly valuable, and a lot of that value comes through the flexibility of the points you earn. You can transfer to various travel partners, but you can also combine points across your accounts or transfer points to a designated household member.
If you’ve recently signed up for a new Ultimate Rewards-earning card like the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, I hope this post has given you some insight into how you can extend the value of your points even further.
Additional reporting by Katie Genter.
Featured photo by MStudioImages/Getty Images.
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