There’s a leaked rumors with some news for Chase Ultimate Rewards. If the rumor becomes true, it will impact the value of Ultimate Rewards points and especially the value of Ultimate Rewards earning credit cards. Frequent Miler posted yesterday that he got some reliable information that “Chase is actively looking at eliminating the ability to pool points”. That means that you will not be able to move Ultimate Rewards points from your accounts to another person in the household, or even between your own accounts.
For now this is just a rumor, and even the rumor itself says that the changes are not imminent. But I would suggest that you still take precautions and transfer points now if you need to.
Why Transfer Ultimate Rewards?
The main reason to transfer Ultimate Rewards points is to pool them together or to move to a card where they will get a better value when booking travel. One of those cards is certainly the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card. With this premium card from Chase all your Ultimate Rewards points can be redeemed for travel at 1.5 cents each when booking through the Chase portal. That means that all Ultimate Rewards points that you might earn this quarter from Chase Freedom 5X categories, or from your Chase Ink Plus on office supplies, will have a value of 1.5 cent each if you have a Chase Sapphire Reserve card.
How is Affects Chase Credit Cards
If this change is implemented, it will make all cards a little less useful, since you can not pool points together and have to accumulate enough points for a booking on just one credit card. It will definitely make you rethink the way you look at each Chase cards.
Cards like Chase Freedom, Freedom Unlimited and Chase Ink Cash will drop in value right away as they will just be cashback cards instead of Ultimate Rewards earning cards. The new Chase Freedom Unlimited offer for example, where you can earn 3X back on all purchases during the first year, goes from a potential 4.5% card to just 3%.
Then there’s the Ultimate Rewards earning credit cards. There’s less impact on these cards, but there would still be a major shift in value.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve for example would lose the ability to turn all your Ultimate Rewards points into 1.5 cents each. That means that less people would be inclined to keep the card long term with a $450 fee. The card does earn 3X on travel and dining but those are not really categories where most people rack up their most points.
The Chase Ink Plus card would definitely be a keeper now and product changing to the Chase Ink Cash would no longer be an option. Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Ink Preferred wouldn’t be impacted much but will likely be more desirable because of the bonus and since there will be less Ultimate Rewards card available.
Transferring Ultimate Rewards
If you’re not familiar with Ultimate Rewards points transfers, don’t worry. The process is quick and easy. Go to the Chase Ultimate Rewards website and log in using your credit card id and password. Select the account from which you want to transfer points. On the upper right corner you will see a link “Combine Points”. You will have the option to select an account to move points from and to.
Keep in mind that you can only move points to another Chase card with Ultimate Rewards belonging to you, or one member of your household or owner of the company, as applicable. Don’t abuse this.
This is a just a rumor for now, but it will be a huge blow to the Ultimate Rewards program if it comes true. Doesn’t seem like there will be any immediate changes, but I would still go ahead and pool your points into the most useful card that you have. If you have a Chase Sapphire Reserve for example, move all your points into that card. Even if you don’t have that card, it’s still better to have the points pooled together in one card than have them spread around in two, three or more accounts.
How would this change your strategy going forward?