Back to Basics: How to Transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards Points
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With a new Chase card that earns Ultimate Rewards, I thought it would be a good time to go back to basics and review the Chase Ultimate Rewards program and how point transfers work.
Transfers enable you to pool a single points currency and then send them over to a host of airline or hotel partners.
There are four major transferable points currencies – this means points earned on credit cards – that transfer to airlines and hotels.
- American Express – Membership Rewards
- Chase – Ultimate Rewards
- Citi – ThankYou Points
- Starwood Preferred Guest (Only transfer to airlines)
Here are the Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partners
MV[T]P Options – MOST VALUABLE TRANSFER PARTNERS
Not all transfer partners are created equally. The best transfer partners – without getting bogged down in too much detail – are:
- British Airways Avios – For short/medium-haul flights on Oneworld partner American Airlines
- FlyingBlue – Frequent flyer program of Air France / KLM, Flying Blue unlocks SkyTeam award availability and has the cheapest option for redeeming flights to Israel
- Korean Air SkyPass – Allows long holds on award tickets
- Singapore KrisFlyer – KrisFlyer is a transfer partner of all major programs, giving you plenty of options for pooling points
- Southwest Rapid Rewards – Southwest is great for cheap flights throughout the U.S., particularly valuable if you have the Companion Pass
- United MileagePlus – Excellent for flights on Star Alliance partners, as they never pass on fuel surcharges
- Hyatt – Best hotel transfer option for Chase Ultimate Rewards points
Cards That Earn Chase Ultimate Rewards
There are currently six Chase products which earn Ultimate Rewards.
Chase Freedom – Earn 15,000 / $150.00 cash back after spending $500 in three months. Earn 5X points on various categories (rotating) every three months. No annual fee.
Chase Freedom Unlimited – Earn 15,000 / $150.00 cash back after spending $500 in three months. Earn 1.5X points on all purchases, no caps. No annual fee.
Chase Sapphire Preferred – Earn 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 in three months and an additional 5,000 points after adding an authorized user; 2X points on Travel and Dining. Annual fee $95.
Chase Sapphire Reserve – Earn 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 in three months; includes $300 travel credits per calendar year; Priority Pass lounge access; 3X points on Travel and Dining. Annual fee $450.
Chase Ink Cash (Small Business) – Currently offering 30,000 points or $300 in cash back after spending $3,000 in three months; earns 5% cash back on first $25,000 spent at office supply stores, cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV services; and 2% cash back on the first $25,000 on gas stations and restaurants. No annual fee.
Chase Ink Plus (Small Business) – Earn 60,000 Ultimate Rewards after spending $5,000 in three months. Earn 5 points per dollar spent at office supply stores, cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV services up to $50,000; earn 2 points per dollar spent at gas stations and hotels up to $50,000 per card member year. Annual fee $95.
Being Mindful About 5/24
Because of Chase’s rule restricting those who have a lot of new cards, you’d be unable to get any of these products (as of now) later in the game. My recommendation would be to make sure your first five cards are some of these specific Chase products – if you qualify, some of the above cards may be your best bet in terms of sign-up bonuses, earning structure, transfer abilities and perks and benefits.
Cash Back, Points and Transfers
If you notice, the Freedom, Freedom Unlimited and Ink Cash offers mention cash back. If you only have those cards, you can only redeem your Ultimate Rewards for cash back. But if you have a premium card with a fee (Ink Plus, Sapphire Preferred or Reserve) you can then transfer your points from the Freedom, Freedom Unlimited or Ink Cash to one of the fee/premium cards and onto the transfer partners.
While these points are being held on the no fee Ultimate Rewards earning accounts they are only good as cash back – but the ‘PTS’ or Cash Back can be transferred to my Sapphire (Preferred or Reserve or Ink Plus) at a 1 : 1 ratio.
Those points can then be transfer to the airline or hotel of choice.
Here’s an illustrated graphic.
You can transfer back and forth as many times as you want. If you are planning on cancelling one of the cards which have the ability to transfer points to airlines or hotels, be sure to hold them in a no fee card like the Freedom, Freedom Unlimited or Ink Cash.
How to Transfer
Step 1: Sign into your Chase account
Step 2: Underneath the left-hand panel, below all your Chase products, you’ll see ‘Ultimate Rewards’.
Step 3: After selecting that, you’ll be brought to a landing page that shows all your Chase Ultimate Rewards earning accounts where you can select which account you’d like to view.
Step 4: After selecting the relevant account, notice the top navigation bar says ‘Use Points’ and ‘Earn Points. Hover over ‘Use’ and then select the second option from the top ‘Transfer to Travel Partners’
Step 5: Once arrived, you’ll be prompted to add travel partners. You need to verify your name and frequent flyer number. It is usually instantaneous and that will allow you to begin the process of transferring points to partners.
Unfortunately the no fee options only provide you with a cash back option. However, coupled with a premium card like the Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Reserve or Ink Plus you’ll have unlocked the ability to transfer your points to some very lucrative airline and hotel members.
– The Miner