Ultimate Rewards Transfer Changes Would Hurt, But These Have Been On The Rumor Mill For 7 Years; Should You Consolidate Your Points Every Month?

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Several people have asked me to write about the rumors on several blogs that Chase will kill the ability to freely transfer Ultimate Rewards points between cards and between household members.

I rarely post about rumors, I fail to see the point in most cases. While some blogs made post after breathless post before the Marriott merger about them possibly killing all award charts, killing suite upgrades, breakfast, and 4pm checkout for Platinums, adding a spend requirement for elite status, or killing all airline transfers without notice, I’d rather take a wait and see approach and then analyze it when the details come out. Why spend the time analyzing alternate solutions for something that may or may not happen?

I do have some background info here though, so I suppose I’ll share it.

From 2011-2014 I was invited to an annual Chase cocktail reception or luncheon for bloggers at their headquarters and got to pick the brains of the executives of each card and the Ultimate Rewards program. For some years I would ask DDF members for suggestions on what to bring up to the various executives.

I peppered them with questions and shared responses on DDF like:

  • Why not have transfer bonuses or transfer ratios besides 1:1 like AMEX does? They preferred a consistently solid program with valuable partners over limited time bonuses and confusing transfer ratios. They also preferred having a smaller number of more valuable partners than other programs.
  • Why kill Chase Exclusives that awarded bonus points for cardholders that also had a Chase checking account? They had a hard time communicating those offers to the public and they were grandfathered for many years before being eliminated earlier this year.
  • Why not have a higher tier Sapphire card? I was told that it was back-burnered in 2012, but of course it became a smash hit in 2016.
  • Why were signup spend thresholds trending from making one purchase to spending thousands of dollars? They wanted people to spend on the cards and not just signup for them and stop.
  • They did listen to some of my suggestions. One DDF member suggested adding groceries to Freedom’s quarterly categories. I brought that up with the head of the Freedom and sure enough, it was added later that year.
  • We spoke about Ultimate Rewards transfers between cards. They said that it’s always been an internal debate about whether they should allow points earned from a Freedom card to be transferred to their transferable cards at the time, which were the Ink Bold and Sapphire Preferred. On the one hand that made the cost of the points even greater as mileage transfers cost Chase more than 1 cent per point. On the other hand, they like it when a customer’s wallet is full of Chase cards and not cards from the competition.

Clearly that internal debate still rages on as their rumor has continued to pop up over the years.

Chase cards that earn Ultimate Rewards points include:

  • Chase Freedom Click Here to get more details on this card and compare to other cards! 
  • Chase Freedom Unlimited Click Here to get more details on this card and compare to other cards! 
  • Chase Sapphire (No longer offered for new applications)
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred Click Here to get more details on this card and compare to other cards!
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve Click Here to get more details on this card and compare to other cards! 
  • Chase Ink Bold (No longer offered for new applications)
  • Chase Ink Cash Click Here to get more details on this card and compare to other cards!
  • Chase Ink Business PreferreClick Here to get more details on this card and compare to other cards!
  • Chase Ink Classic (No longer offered for new applications)
  • Chase Ink Plus (No longer offered for new applications)
  • JPMorgan Reserve (Offered for JPMorgan Private Bank clients only)

 

If Chase does kill the ability to transfer points between cards it will suck much of the life out of cards like Freedom Unlimited. The ability to transfer points earned from the Freedom, Freedom Unlimited, and Ink Cash cards into more valuable miles or Sapphire Reserve points is why Chase has commanded so much spending and wallet share from mileage obsessives.

Without that ability everyone will have to reassess which cards they have and what they use for spending.

It’s definitely not the worst idea to consolidate all of your points to a card like Sapphire Reserve that can belong to you, you spouse, your authorized user, etc. You can do that over the phone or online here by clicking on combine points. You can combine between cards and between household members. However, I highly doubt Chase will kill the ability to transfer points without warning. Would they start limiting only new cards from transferring, but grandfather in older cards? Would they give new cards a full year’s notice? It’s hard to say for sure at this point.

But for the time being, let’s hang in there, hope for the best especially in a post Starwood AMEX world, and reassess spending strategies like the Chase Quadfecta if an actual change is announced, not based on the rumors resurfacing yet again.

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47 Comments On "Ultimate Rewards Transfer Changes Would Hurt, But These Have Been On The Rumor Mill For 7 Years; Should You Consolidate Your Points Every Month?"

All opinions expressed below are user generated and the opinions aren’t provided, reviewed or endorsed by any advertiser or DansDeals.

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Joe

Hey @Dan,

To newbies, how do I consolidate points from multiple cards to one card?

Davidrotts63

Can wait for Citi or BoA to step in and kill it with a card not getting devalued

Eric

i’m going to consolidate all my points to my reserve right now… u know how life gets busy and u miss a post and ….

And thanks again for all your posts!!!!!

zow

Dan,
Thank You.
Two questions:
1. Did they get you KSML at the Chase events?
2. What’s the downside, other than time cost, to transferring / consolidating UR in my CSP or CSR?

M

Imo i would be smarter splitting your points between yours and your spouses accounts since chase has been shutting down accounts recently.

Point Made

Even if your account gets shut down, you still have 30 days to redeem them. So you won’t be losing your points even with account shutdown

Lea

Why not add to Chase freedom quarter, school tuition payments and donations?

Chaim

Is it worth it to sign up for the ink cash card that is offering the 50k if I may not be able to transfer it to my reserve card. They will give us at least the 3 month warning so we can spend the minimum to get the reward points..no?

Beirish

How in the world do you have so many credit cards? You must be making big bucks to be approved for so many. How does the average hard working guy get approved?

Sam

Thanks for the insights Dan. Why you keep a CSP and CSR at the same time 🙂 To me, their benefits are too similar.

Rissie Stroh

Any news in when the 50k bonus offer will expire for the ink cash? Thinking of Applying for the new marriot on 5/3. Want to be able to spend the $3k in 3 months.

Shaul

Are there any secret perks on the JP Morgan card?

Dave

Is there a way to transfer points from my chase business credit card to my chase personal Saphire ?

Sam

How did you apply for cards while you were in school, don’t you need to report income?

Trim

Why can’t I transfer points from my Ink Biz card to my husband’s Ink Biz card? For some reason it won’t let me even though we share the same address.

George

If I don’t have the CSR, whats the next best card to pool my points into?

Sasha

Hey Dan,
I downgraded my Ink plus to a Ink Cash last year. Can I still get a bonus if I apply for the current Ink Cash promo. I have never received a bonus for the Ink cash card before. Thanks!

Memphis

@ DAN. Any idea why Chase has shut down so many people recently and if there is any hope of getting these cards reopened? 7 years, no late payments, no defaults, checking and saving and all gone like that… Is this a permanent ban from Chase?

All that being said if I was solely a chase cc user what options should I consider now?

Huh

What did you do

Memphis

Just large spending on cards but always paid off the bill before it was due.

Help

Just had the same issue, any insight?

Tommy

I triple dipped on reserve and downgraded to freedom (because i dont travel that much) . i also have a plain sapphire which is pretty much worthless. If i downgrade that to freedom for a total of three freedom cards would i be able to get a new reserve starter bonus 2years from the last bonus

J

Dan, do you mind disclosing what credit cards you are currently holding?:P

Pun

100k SUB for Ink Preferred in business week 04/29-05/05? Do you know if it is only in branch or online too?

pesach

is it possible to get a card reopens after chase shut you down? and how would chase know if your the spouse if you both have your credit cards from before marriage

Eli

Dan,

Any tips what I can do with about 12K chase united points and 75K chase freedom points, if I don’t have a chase sapphire?

Thanks

weiss

what exactly are the regular sapphire ?

CS

Is there anyway to transfer to a spouse with a reserve W/o creating an additional authorized card user (75/yr) ?

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