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

Nov. 22, 2021
5 min read
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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.

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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.

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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 image by (Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG featured card

Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 10X points
10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

80,000 bonus points
Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

Annual Fee

$550

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    80,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more