TPG reader credit card question: Which Chase card should I use to consolidate my Ultimate Rewards points?

Nov 22, 2021

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information. 

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.

For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

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:

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.

Bottom line

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.

Let us know if you have any head-scratchers you’d like answered for our weekly reader question series. You can tweet us @thepointsguy, message us on Facebook or email us at info@thepointsguy.com.

Featured photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants in the first three months of card membership.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

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.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.