If you are going to cancel an Ultimate Rewards credit card account, it is essential that you transfer your Ultimate Rewards before canceling.
In the last month, I’ve cancelled two Chase Sapphire Preferred cards. The first was my wife’s card. The second was my own. I actually cancelled my Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa in order to open up a Chase Sapphire Preferred MasterCard (with a new sign up bonus). In the process, I made two dumb mistakes.
Important: When you cancel your Ultimate Rewards associated credit card, you will lose all your points!!!!! Don’t let this happen to you.
No, I didn’t lose my points or forget to transfer them. I just want to be sure that doesn’t happen to you.
Eligible Ultimate Rewards Accounts:
Just so we’re on the same page, here are the associated cards we’re discussing in this post:
- Chase Sapphire Preferred
- Ink Bold
- Ink Plus
- Ink Classic
- Freedom (only eligible to be transferred to Ultimate Rewards if you have one of the cards above).
Ultimate Rewards Transfer Mistake #1: Don’t forget to try and downgrade to the Freedom.
I forgot to tell my wife to see if she could downgrade the Chase Sapphire Preferred to a Chase Freedom card. The Freedom card comes with no annual fee, but it also has rotating categories where you can get 5x per dollar. Currently, hotels, airlines, Best Buy, and Kohl’s all get 5x per dollar. Unfortunately, this is limited up to $1,500 a quarter. Still, it’s a nice way to earn an extra 7,500 points each quarter.
You must have a Freedom card and another Ultimate Rewards earning card to be able to transfer Freedom points to Ultimate Rewards and thus to airlines. You would transfer your Freedom points to the other Ultimate Rewards earning card.
Mistake #2: Transfer Ultimate Reward points to a spouse, if possible.
I transferred my wife’s Ultimate Rewards points to United. That’s not really a mistake, but if I had the choice of having 45,000 United miles or 45,000 Ultimate Reward miles, I’d choose to have the Ultimate Rewards.
Flexibility. At any point, the 45,000 UR points could become United miles, but United miles can’t be transferred anywhere.
How to Transfer Ultimate Rewards Miles to a Spouse
1. Go to ultimaterewards.com. Sign in using the same credentials you use to sign into your account at Chase.com.
2. On the top navigation menu, click on “Manage Ultimate Rewards”.
3. Click on “Combine Ultimate Rewards”.
Once you click on “Combine Ultimate Rewards points”, you’ll just need to fill in the appropriate information for the person where you want to transfer the points.
Important: The terms and conditions only allow transfer to/from “the same individual or business in the Program; or for the purpose of enabling spouses or domestic partners to combine points/rebates earning in their respective names”.
Best Strategy When it Comes Time to Cancel and Transfer Ultimate Rewards
Always transfer the points out of the account before canceling. If you don’t, you will lose all your points.
If you have a business account, personal account, or your spouse has a business account, or personal account, transfer your points into their account before closing your own.
The other alternative is to transfer your points to one of the travel partners (like Southwest, United, British Airways, or Hyatt) if you know that you’re going to use those points.
The Ultimate Rewards points to travel transfer section now has an extra note explaining that you can only transfer points to your own related travel account or that of a spouse or domestic partner.
I would only transfer points to a travel partner if you don’t have another eligible Ultimate Rewards account where you can transfer the points.