How To Combine Ultimate Rewards Points

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Reader Neil posed some questions on Ask Lucky this weekend about how Chase handles Ultimate Rewards points when you have multiple accounts:

I finally opened a Chase Sapphire Preferred card in early August just before the Reserve card was announced. I was lucky enough to get approved for the latter 10 days ago, and I now have both cards, and will be collecting Ultimate Reward from both cards. So some newbie questions:

  1. Are the points from each Sapphire card kept separately or are they treated as a single set of points?
  2. If the former once I combine the Preferred and Reserve points, do additional points earned on either card get added to the combined total or do I have to keep moving them from one account to the other?
  3. Assuming I downgrade the Preferred card to a Freedom card, I believe I can move the Freedom points into Ultimate rewards. Will I have to do this manually every month or can it be done automatically?

One of the great perks of the Chase Ultimate Rewards program is the combinability of points from multiple cards. Business accounts can be combined with personal accounts, and vice versa. So if you have any of the following cards —

— the points you earn on one card can be combined with the rewards balance of any other Ultimate Rewards-earning card. Each account accrues points separately, however, so you will have to manually merge them as needed.

Combining points is quite simple, though it does take a few steps. If you’ve done this before, here’s a baby otter instead.

Combining Ultimate Rewards points from multiple cards

Once you’ve logged in to your Chase account, you should see a box on the right-hand side with your Ultimate Rewards balance, and a link to the Ultimate Rewards page:

Combine Ultimate Rewards Points-001

If you have multiple Ultimate Rewards accounts, you’ll have the option to select a card to manage. For this example, I’m going to transfer points from my Ink Cash to my Sapphire Reserve, so I’ll select the Ink Cash on this screen as an example (though it doesn’t actually matter which account you start from):

Combine Ultimate Rewards Points-002

Now that you’re looking at an individual account, you’ll see a smaller points balance in the upper right of your screen. Those are the Ultimate Rewards points associated with a particular card, versus the larger balance you might have seen on your main Chase homepage:

Combine Ultimate Rewards Points-003

Select the down-arrow next to the points balance, and you’ll see the current account listed at the top, and any other accounts listed below. Below that, you’ll see a link to “Combine Points”:
Combine Ultimate Rewards Points-005

This next screen is where you actually choose what points to combine. Choose which card to move points from, and which card to move points to. It will default to moving points from the account you’re actively managing, but you can easily choose another account on this screen instead:

Combine Ultimate Rewards Points-006

It’s worth mentioning that the last card option on the bottom right belongs to my husband, which is why the formatting is different. More on transferring points between household members later.

Once you’ve selected your accounts, you can decide how many points to move:

Combine Ultimate Rewards Points-007

The system for moving points between accounts is the same as transferring points to travel partners, so there are lots of confirmation screens and opportunities to review:

Combine Ultimate Rewards Points-008

Once you hit submit, the destination account will immediately reflect the combined points balance:

Combine Ultimate Rewards Points-009

You can do this as often as you’d like, for as many cards as you have. Some people like to consolidate their balances every month, others wait until they’re ready to redeem points — it’s just a matter of preference.

Combining Ultimate Rewards points from multiple people

As I mentioned earlier, you can combine points with a designated household member. The process is identical once you’ve linked accounts, you just select their card as the destination account for the transfer.

If you haven’t linked accounts yet, the box in the bottom right will instead give you the option to transfer to another member. You’ll just enter their account number and attest to your relationship.

Chase has become progressively more strict about who you can transfer points to over the years. On the plus side, they don’t designate who the other member can be as long as they live in your household. So you can transfer points to a spouse/partner/parent/etc., provided you reside at the same location:

You can move your points, but only to another Chase card with Ultimate Rewards belonging to you, or one member of your household. If we suspect that you’ve engaged in fraudulent activity related to your credit card account or Ultimate Rewards, or that you’ve misused Ultimate Rewards in any way (for example by buying or selling points, moving or transferring points with or to an ineligible third party or account, or repeatedly opening or otherwise maintaining credit card accounts for the sole purpose of generating rewards) we may temporarily prohibit you from earning points or using points you’ve already earned. If we believe you’ve engaged in any of these acts, we’ll close your credit card account and you’ll lose all your points.

Person-to-person transfers are also instant, which makes it easy to combine points prior to transferring to a travel partner.

Bottom line

If you’re using the best card for each purchase, you’ll likely end up with points spread across your Ultimate Rewards accounts. Fortunately, combining points from multiple cards into a single account is very straightforward, and the option to pool with a household member is nice as well.

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Comments

  1. Tiffany

    Thanks for taking time to walk me (and others I’m guessing) through the process. Screens shots are most helpful as well. Kudos

    Neil
    — and the otter was cute as well:-)

  2. That baby otter was cute but why was it inside a house?

    Got declined for the Reserve card due to a few AMEX applications last year…headed to the branch now to troubleshoot 🙂

  3. Good post, but I have a question. If you have UR points from an Ink Plus card, and you combine them with your UR points from the new Sapphire Reserve, do all your previous points now qualify for a 1.5 cents per point redemption value through the UR travel portal?

  4. That’s interesting that all your business and personal cards show up in the same area. Chase forced me to create a separate user ID for my business cards so I have to input my business card number to transfer points. Small annoyance.

  5. Tiffany,

    Can you transfer UR points from Ink Cash to Ink Plus? I recently convince a friend of mine to get the Ink Plus but he had a large balance UR points that he earned on the Ink Cash which he was previously redeeming just cash back.

  6. @ Gaurav — Yes, that’s a quirk of the business setup. Once you have a user ID for the business cards, however, you should be able to move all your personal accounts to be under that login. I did it years ago, but I don’t remember it as being a particularly difficult phone call.

  7. Or, you can do what I did earlier this afternoon before I read this blog : I called Chase customer service, asked them to combine all my points from my cards, except AARP, which has a separate point program, convert points to cash, and do a direct deposit into my checking account. No fuss, no charge from Chase to do this.
    Now, if I had wanted to use my points differently, this is a great process to be aware of. Thanks for providing it. I likely would not have figured it out on my own. I just do not have the patience to do this. It’s easier to just pick up the phone and use an Inkcard. Chase answers right away. No frustrating menu to go through.

  8. Please add a major caveat that I never see discussed. I learned the hard way that if you close an account you must combine the points with another active account within 30 days or Chase will confiscate them. Doesn’t matter if they are identical cards such as two Freedoms, all I got from them was too bad so sad.

  9. @ Patriot546 – I understand you want to redeem your points for cash, but it’s almost always a better value to transfer Ultimate Rewards points to a hotel or airline loyalty program and redeem for travel from there. There are award booking services (PointsPros, Book Your Award, MileValue, Juicy Miles, etc) that can help you with this for a fee. Or you can read up on redemption strategies on sites like this one, View From the Wing, MileValue, etc.

  10. @A. I usually take your advice but once n you get to your destination, there are are still hotel bills and other expenses to pay. So sometines, the cash is better than the trip.

  11. Tiffany, if my wife downgrades her CSP to a Freedom Unlimited, can she transfer those to me into my Chase Sapphire Reserve UR account? In other words, does she need a premium UR card to send them to me so that I can use them in my premium UR account? Thanks.

  12. Good point on alternatives to cashing out points. What I didn’t include in my first response is I take the cash and invest it in a 529 college account for my 10 year old granddaughter. It is non taxed “bonus money” that will grow until she needs it. It adds up quickly.

  13. My parents do not live with me. Is there a way to still transfer some of my Chase points to them for a travel that’s coming up for them?

    I was thinking
    1) Change their address to match mine and then transfer points? (Would this look too obvious? Would they even catch it since as soon as I do the transfer, I was going to transfer the points out to an airline?)

    2) Could opening an Ink Business card for either me or my mom/dad work? And then adding the other as part of that business? Then I can get by the “same household” rule, no?

    Any tips will be greatly appreciated! They both have the Reserve and earned the 100k bonus but they need to get to 125k each for a business class flight from LAX to ICN. They’re about 20k short each. And I need the points by March…

  14. Rumors are swirling this weekend that Chase is considering three alternatives to devalue the combining of Ultimate Rewards points from Freedom and Freedom Unlimited with CSR UR points. What are you hearing?

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