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Transfer Ultimate Rewards Points – How To Benefit From It?

by Mr Credit Card

Here’s a tip for those who have Chase rewards card. Their Ultimate Rewards program points from different cards can be combined (or rather have points transferred from one account to another). And points can be transferred to another person’s frequent flier or guest account. Here are the main features:

  • You can transfer UR points to within your different credit cards
  • You can transfer UR points to another person’s account (spouse and family members)
  • You can transfer UR points to another person’s frequent flier or guest account
  • The reason why this is important is because of the different tiers within the program for different cards. And different Chase cards have different formulas for earning rewards. The ability to combine Ultimate Rewards into one account means you can use different Chase rewards cards to boost your ability to earn more points. But first, let’s examine how the Ultimate Reward Points differ.

    How Ultimate Reward Points Differ? – There are two tiers in the Ultimate Rewards program. The lower tier version is used for the Chase Freedom® Visa, Chase Sapphire and Ink Classic business cards (ie the Chase Rewards Card without annual fee). The higher tier version is present in the Chase Sapphire Preferred(SM) and Chase Ink Bold(SM) with Ultimate Rewards (which all have annual fees).

    The difference between the two versions is that with the higher tier version, you can transfer points to airline and hotel partners. Their airline partners include Continental United, SouthWest, British Airways and Korean Air Skypass. Hotel partners include Marriott, Hyatt, Priority Club and also Amtrak.

    Different Ways To Earn Extra Points – The real benefit of being able to combine Ultimate Rewards account arises because the different cards have different ways to earn extra points. Let’s look at how this works.

    The Chase Freedom® Visa is a typical cash back card. You can earn 5% rebates (or rather 5 points). You can also earn extra points by shopping at the Ultimate Rewards shopping mall.

    The Chase Sapphire Preferred(SM) Card, on the other hand, allows you to earn double points on restaurant and travel expense and you get a 7% annual “dividend” for the points to earn.

    The Chase Ink Bold® Charge Card allows you to earn double points on travel.

    Example of how to combine cards to max out your UR points – The best way to earn more reward points is to actually combine the Chase Freedom with the Chase Sapphire Preferred(SM) Card. Why? The reason is because you can earn more points with these two cards than with just either cards. The first way you can earn more points with Chase Freedom is their 5% rotating categories. Below is a list for the 2012 categories.

    chase freedom 2012 rotating categories

    These categories are not available on the Chase Sapphire Preferred(SM) Card. Hence, for everyday spending, the Chase Freedom® Visa is the card to use. On the other hand, the Sapphire Preferred allows you to earn double points on travel and restaurants. If you travel abroad, there is no foreign transaction fees. The best perks is that you can transfer points to airline and hotel partners that we have mentioned earlier.

    Below is a screen shot of the page where you transfer points.

    transfer ulimate reward points

    Points Can Be Transferred To Spouse and Family Members As Well – There are a few ways you can transfer UR points. Firstly, you can obviously transfer points if you have different Chase reward cards. But you can also choose to transfer UR points to someone else like your spouse and family members. This is a great perk to have because you can help your family member top up points.

    Points Can Be Transferred To Other Members Frequent Flier or Guest Program – Here is probably the best perk of all. You can transfer UR points to not just your own frequent flier or guest program, but also your spouse or family members program directly from your UR account.

    Implications: You Can Allocate Points To The Right Program To Get Your Perks – Because you can transfer points to your spouse account and Ultimate Rewards has various airline and hotel partners, you can allocate your points to the right account. Let’s use an example to explain. Let’s say you have 50,000 in your United Mileage Plus account and you need 60,000 points for a flight award that you want to redeem for. But you do not have 10,000 UR points, but your spouse has. Then you can get your spouse to transfer 10,000 UR points directly into your United Mileage Plus account.

    Here’s another example. You and your spouse each have 35,000 United Mileage miles in your individual accounts. You need 60,000 miles to get your award flights. One of you have 60,000 UR points in your account. You could transfer 25,000 UR points each to both the accounts and be able to book your award flights.

    Transferring Points To Accounts With Elite Status – Another way you can make use of the UR transfer policy is to transfer points to frequent flier or guest accounts with Elite Status. An example would be that both you and your spouse have either a Hyatt or Marriott frequent guest membership. You are thinking of booking a a hotel with points, but one of you is an elite member while the other is not. The most sensible thing to do is to transfer your UR points (does not matter which account it is transferred from) to the account with Elite status so that you will get whatever perks Elite Status members get on your booking and stay with the hotel.

    Summary of Benefits – We’ve covered quite a bit of ground today, so let’s do a quick recap. Ultimate Reward points can be transferred from one card account to another. It can also be transferred from one person’s person’s account to another. You can also transfer UR points from one person’s account to their airline or hotel partners account of another person directly. This flexibility offers tremendous advantage in the way you can manage your credit card and frequent flier or guest reward program.

    Firstly, you can combine two chase cards to earn even more points. So far, the best combination appears to be the Chase Freedom and Sapphire Preferred combo. The Freedom and Ink Bold is also a good combination. The combination works because of Freedom’s rotating category and Sapphires double points payout on travel and dining. Points earned from using your Chase Freedom cannot be transferred to airline or hotel partners. But when you transfer them to your Sapphire Preferred UR account, you can transfer those points.

    Secondly, you can help your spouse, partner or family member top up their frequent flier or guest miles or points directly from your Chase accounts. You can also transfer points to an account with Elite status to do your bookings so you get the status benefits.

    This flexibility to transfer points is more of the great feature of the Ultimate Rewards program. And not every reward program allows you to do that. For example, Membership Rewards has tiers just like UR. The Membership Rewards Express is the lower tier version for their no annual fee cards like the Blue (and also the Zync). The Express version does not allow you to transfer points to the “regular MR” points for their green, gold and platinum charge cards. The regular MR version allows you to transfer points to their airline and hotel partners whereas the “Express” version does not. So, in this aspect, the Ultimate Rewards is better than Membership Rewards because it gives you so much more flexibility to earn and manage your points.

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    2 Responses to “Transfer Ultimate Rewards Points – How To Benefit From It?”

    1. Kevin Says:

      The Ultimate Rewards was a meh-at-best program at it’s inception – since it replaced the once top-of-the-class original Chase Freedom’s top-3-category and more importantly Chase Freedom Plus’s top-6-category cash back programs.

      With the ability to combine points across Chase products, SP’s discounted redemption rate on travel, expending point transfer partners, Freedom’s discounted gift card redemption, etc, Ultimate Rewards may help Chase to re-gain that top position among cash back programs.

      Now if there is an Ultimate Rewards card that offer cash back on grocery, drug store, phone/internet, etc (the missing categories from the original Freedom), I can finally ditch the AMEX Hilton and return all of my spending too Chase…

    2. Mr Credit Card Says:

      Kevin

      It is unlikely to happen. The days of 5% cash back on “everyday spending” or even 3% are “almost long gone”. Amex Blue Cash Everyday still has non tier categories but it is 3-2-1 percent, not 3% flat. But I guess we can all hope!

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