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

Nov 9, 2020

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One key difference between Chase and Amex is that with Chase, the points you earn are tied to an individual card and not automatically pooled together (though you can choose to transfer them between you various 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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So what factors should Loren consider in order to decide which card to pool all of her points to? 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 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.

Related: Maximize your wallet with the perfect quartet of Chase cards

Upgrading your redemption value

If you have a card like the Chase Freedom Unlimited or Chase Freedom Flex, 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 any Ultimate Rewards earning Chase card such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve or Ink Business Preferred Credit Card, you can move your points from the Freedom Flex/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.

Related: How to maximize your Chase Ultimate Rewards points

In this case consolidating your points on an annual-fee, Ultimate Rewards-earning card is a no-brainer, and this monthly transfer is key to getting outsized returns from your Freedom Flex and Freedom Unlimited cards. 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 10 airline and three 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 (same as the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card), 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.

Related: Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card review

Personal vs. 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.

Related: A great all-around business card: Ink Business Preferred Credit Card review

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 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 plans to share them with, might push her towards one card or another but she can’t go wrong with either choice.

Thanks for the question, Loren, and if you’re a TPG reader who’d like us to answer a question of your own, tweet us at @thepointsguy, message us on Facebook or email us at info@thepointsguy.com.

Featured photo by Eric Helgas/The Points Guy.

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