Chase issues seven credit cards that earn a travel reward currency called Ultimate Rewards. Not all Ultimate Rewards, however, are created equal.
This post will teach you:
- the logistics behind moving Ultimate Reward points between accounts (your own, or between two people’s living at the same address)
- how to turn water to wine, doubling the value of more than half of these Chase cards’ Ultimate Rewards via strategic point transfers
Step 1) Login to your Chase online account.
Step 2) Choose an account. At this stage, it doesn’t matter which one.
Step 3) On the following page, click the hamburger menu in the top left corner of the screen and a drop-down menu will appear. Scroll down and click Combine Points.
Step 4) On the left, choose the account you want to move points from. On the right, choose the destination account, or add a household member or spouse to transfer your points to. Chase’s pooling rule is that you either have to live together or be married to transfer points between two people’s accounts.
Step 5) On the following page, input how many points you’d like to move between accounts.
Step 6) Review the details on final page, and then click Confirm and Submit.
And you’re done!
Advantages of Combining Ultimate Reward Points
The obvious reason is to pool your points together in order to have enough for a specific mileage redemption. Let’s say you want to fly to Buenos Aires from the US Delta’s Business Class, which costs 45,000 Virgin Atlantic miles, and you have 20,000 points in your Chase Sapphire Preferred account and 25,000 in your spouse’s Ink Business Preferred account. You’d need to first pool them all together in one of those two accounts (wouldn’t matter which), and from there transfer to the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club to book the award. If you each separately transferred your Ultimate Rewards to Virgin Atlantic, you’d need to pay fees to then pool your separate Virgin Atlantic miles (unless one of you is a Gold Elite member).
The less obvious but hugely valuable reason is to…
Boost Point Value Potential
The number one reason why you should combine your Ultimate Rewards is to increase their value. These are the credit cards that earn Ultimate Rewards, and how much their Ultimate Reward points are worth if redeemed directly from that account:
- Chase Freedom: 1 cent each in the form of cash back
- Chase Freedom Unlimited: 1 cent each in the form of cash back
- Chase Ink Business Unlimited: 1 cent each in the form of cash back
- Chase Ink Business Cash: 1 cent each in the form of cash back
- Chase Sapphire Preferred: either 1 cent each in the form of cash back, 1.25 cents each if redeemed towards travel booked through the Chase travel portal, or an estimated value (varies on which program you use and how you redeem) of 2 cents each when transferred wisely to an airline or hotel loyalty program
- Chase Ink Business Preferred: either 1 cent each in the form of cash back, 1.25 cents each if redeemed through the Chase travel portal, or ~2 cents each when transferred to airline miles or hotels points
- Chase Sapphire Reserve: either 1 cent each in the form of cash back, 1.5 cents each if redeemed through the Chase travel portal, or ~2 cents each when transferred to airline miles or hotels points
Here’s the trick: You can transfer Ultimate Rewards earned by any of the above cards to any other of the above cards, as long as either both cards are in your name, or one card is held by you and the other held by someone you live at the same address as or are married to (or if it’s a business card, you also have the option to transfer to a business partner). And moving an Ultimate Reward point to a different Ultimate Reward account turns that point into the kind of Ultimate Reward in the destination account.
In other words, move your Freedom Unlimited points to your spouse’s Sapphire Reserve account and instead of being worth a measly 1 cent each cash back, it morphs into a Sapphire Reserve Ultimate Reward point. That means you can at least redeem them for 1.5 cents each through the Chase travel portal or even more if you transfer to one of Ultimate Rewards’ airline or hotel loyalty program partners (like United, Singapore, British Airways, or Hyatt).
The Freedom, Freedom Unlimited, Ink Business Unlimited, and Ink Business Cash are marketed as cash back cards with $500 bonuses, and various percentages back for spending. But if you apply the trick of moving the points earned by those cards to a Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Reserve, or Ink Business Preferred, they turn into that kind of Ultimate Reward. That turns their 50,000 point sign up bonus from being worth only $500 (with points worth 1 cent each) to being worth more like ~$1,000, as when transferred to airline mileage programs you can often get around 2 cents of value per point on international/premium cabin award flights.
You can freely move Ultimate Rewards between all your Ultimate Reward accounts, as well as between your Ultimate Reward accounts and someone else’s in your household/spouse, by following the steps outlined above.
You should absolutely be moving any Ultimate Rewards earned by the Freedom, Freedom Unlimited, Ink Business Cash, or Ink Business Unlimited–none of which have an annual fee, by the way–to either a Sapphire Preferred, Ink Business Preferred, or Sapphire Reserve account when possible so you can then move them from there to an airline or hotel loyalty program, or at least redeem them for 1.25 cents (Sapphire Preferred/Ink Business Preferred) to 1.5 cents (Sapphire Reserve) through the Chase travel portal. That’s a much better value than 1 cent per point. You can maximize the category bonuses that suit your spending from the no-annual fee Ultimate Reward cards, increasing your earning power, move those points to one of the annual fee-charging cards, and finally utilize the higher redemption values of those cards to get an overall higher return.