TPG reader credit card question: Which Chase card should I use to consolidate my Ultimate Rewards points?
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One key difference between Chase Ultimate Rewards and American Express Membership Rewards is that with Chase, the points you earn are tied to an individual card and not automatically pooled together across your accounts, though you can choose to transfer them between your various cards. With Amex, your points from all your linked cards are combined into one balance, which can make them easier to manage.
TPG reader Loren has a couple of Chase cards and wants to know which account she should pool all of her points in:
I have both the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and Ink Business Preferred Credit Card — which card is better to consolidate all my points to?TPG READER LOREN
Chase allows you to transfer your Ultimate Rewards points between your different credit cards with very few restrictions. And while we have no reason to believe that they’ll change this policy, they might decide to one day. Once you’ve decided which card will “hold” all of your points, you should get into the habit of transferring points to that card every month when your statements close, so you don’t get stranded if Chase changes this policy down the road.
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Upgrading your redemption value
If you have a card like the Chase Freedom Unlimited or Chase Freedom Flex, the ability to consolidate your points can be very important. Both of these are publicized as cash-back cards, and they earn rewards in the form of “points” that are worth 1 cent each.
However, if you also carry an Ultimate Rewards-earning card, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve or Ink Business Preferred Credit Card, you can combine the points from the Freedom Flex and Freedom Unlimited with those from your more premium card and they become fully transferable Ultimate Rewards points, which we value at 2 cents each, potentially doubling your return over just taking the cash-back route.
In this case, consolidating your points with the ones from one of those three Ultimate Rewards-earning cards is a no-brainer. But if you have more than one card that fits the bill, how do you decide?
Say you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card. Both have their own merits when it comes to perks and bonus categories, but they each offer access to the exact same airline and hotel transfer partners — at the exact same transfer ratios of 1:1.
The key difference on the redemption side comes when you try to use your points to book flights, hotels and other travel directly through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal. In that case, your points are worth the following values, depending on the card you have:
- Ink Business Preferred: Each point is worth 1.25 cents toward travel.
- Chase Sapphire Preferred Card: Each point is worth 1.25 cents toward travel.
- Chase Sapphire Reserve: Each point is worth 1.5 cents toward travel.
Even if you don’t frequently use this redemption option, you should consider storing all of your points on the Sapphire Reserve to take advantage of its higher redemption rate, just in case you decide to use your points for booking travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal.
Personal vs. business
Going back to Loren’s original question, comparing the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Ink Business Preferred, there isn’t really a right answer. She could pick either card to consolidate her points on and it wouldn’t matter much, as both offer access to airline and hotel transfers and the same 1.25-cents-per-point rate when redeeming directly through the Chase portal.
One thing she might want to consider is whether she plans on sharing these points with anyone else. On personal cards like the Sapphire Preferred, you can only transfer points to someone in your household, while Ink business cards let you also share points with another owner of the business. So depending on what other plans Loren has for the points, it might better to choose one over the other.
When deciding which Chase card to consolidate your points on, you’ll want to focus on the redemption options available to that card and specifically which card offers a better bonus when redeeming through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In Loren’s case, where the two cards she’s considering are tied in both of these categories, she can pick either one and achieve the same result. Whether she plans to use these points for personal or business expenses, and who, if anyone, she intends to share them with, might push her toward one card or another — but she can’t go wrong with either choice.
Featured photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy.
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