Transfer Ultimate Rewards When Canceling a Linked Credit Card

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:

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.

Why?

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”.

transfer ultimate rewards

3.  Click on “Combine Ultimate Rewards”.

Ultimate Rewards Combine Points

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.

ultimate rewards transfer

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.

Comments

    • says

      Charles,
      Thanks for the article link. I sure hope that goes through.

      Next week I have a post on exactly how I applied for the Chase Sapphire Preferred MasterCard even though I already had the Visa. Can you wait till then?

  1. jamie says

    Just to clarify – you are okay as long as you have one of the ultimate rewards cards still open, right? So if I have sapphire preferred and ink and cancel sapphire preferred, do I need to do anything if I’m keeping ink open?

    • says

      Jamie,
      Yes and no. If you have another Ultimate Rewards card open you can transfer the points from one account to another. It doesn’t happen automatically. You need to transfer the points associated with your Chase Sapphire Preferred account to the points associated with your Ink account.

  2. Paul S. says

    Craig,
    How do you transfer to your spouses UR account? It’s not listed under the Point Transfer tab on the website and when I was discussing a recent transfer with a rep on the Sapphire UR desk last week, I asked if i could transfer to my wife’s UR account and they said that I couldn’t transfer to other UR accounts.

    Also, when you cancel your Sapphire Pref Visa and get the Sapphire Pref Mastercard, do you need to wait 2 years between the two applications to get the sign up bonus since they’re both Sapphire products?

    • says

      Paul,
      In the example above at step number 3 click on “Program rules and regulations”. That’s were you’ll see the allowance to transfer to a spouse.
      When you transfer the points to a spouse just put his or her credit card number (associated with Ultimate Rewards) and their last name.

      You don’t need to wait two years because they are completely different products. Chase allows you to get the bonus for each card. I’ll have a detailed post about it next week.

  3. John says

    Are you able to downgrade to a Chase Sapphire card if you already have a Chase Sapphire card? I did not see this addressed in your post.

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