Which Chase card should I use to consolidate my Ultimate Rewards points?
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Reader Questions are answered twice a week by TPG Senior Points & Miles Contributor Ethan Steinberg.
One key difference between Chase and Amex is that with Chase, the points you earn across your various credit cards aren’t automatically pooled into one account. Instead, they stay with the card they were earned with, though you can transfer them between your cards. TPG reader Loren wants to know which card she should pool all of her points to …
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
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Before we dive into which card Loren should consolidate her points to, let’s address why this is important. 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 is going to “hold” all of your points, you should make the habit of consolidating points once a month after your statement closes just to make sure you don’t get stranded if Chase changes this policy down the road.
Upgrading your redemption value
If you have a card like the Chase Freedom Unlimited or Chase Freedom, consolidating your points is very important. Both of these are billed as cash-back cards, and they earn rewards in the form of “points” that are worth one cent each. However, if you hold an annual-fee Chase card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve or Ink Business Preferred Credit Card, you can move your points from the Freedom/Freedom Unlimited to one of those cards and turn them into fully transferable Ultimate Rewards points. TPG values Ultimate Rewards points at 2 cents each, so this doubles your return over just taking the cash back.
In this case consolidating your points on an annual-fee, Ultimate Rewards-earning card is a no-brainer. But if you have more than one card that meets this 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 rates.
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. The Ink Preferred offers a 25% bonus for these redemptions, while the Sapphire Reserve offers a hefty 50% bonus. 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 this higher bonus.
Personal versus business
If we go back to Loren’s original question, comparing the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Chase Ink Business Preferred, we’ll see that this is a tough comparison and there isn’t really a right answer. I’d say she could pick either card to consolidate her points on and it wouldn’t really matter, as both offer access to airline and hotel transfers and the same 25% bonus 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.
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 offers a better bonus when redeeming through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In Loren’s case, where the two cards she’s considering are tired in both of these categories, she can pick either one and achieve the same result.
Featured photo by Eric Helgas/The Points Guy.
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