The Reason You Need To Pool Your Chase Ultimate Rewards (It’s Not What You Think)

In May of 2018, I wrote an article that told everyone to pool their Chase accounts into whichever one was the most valuable because the ability to do so might be going away. It was a big story for like a week and there was plenty of hand wringing and mumbling (Sharon: “Was this all happening in the points and miles blogger world?” Joe: “Yes.” Sharon: “Oh, OK. Cuz I don’t remember wringing my hands and mumbling but I don’t do the points and miles thing, so that make sense now.”) but eventually, nothing happened. Everyone moved along to the next crisis and the issue was pretty much forgotten with no new news. And when it comes to points and miles, Gary Gnu taught me growing up that no gnews is good gnews.

 

The Great Space Coaster, but I digress. Back to the topic, combining Chase Ultimate Rewards.

At the beginning of 2019, Gary from View from the Wing (no relation to the Gnu) posted that while Chase had considered stopping customers from combining points, there was no current plans to implement such a restriction. He provided a quote from an article in the Wall Street Journal:

JPMorgan executives debated whether to stop letting cardholders pool together points from multiple cards, according to people familiar with the matter. JPMorgan’s [spokeswoman Mary Jane] Rogers said the bank has no current plans to stop cardholders from pooling points.

Like he says, this is no guarantee they won’t change their minds about this but I guess it’s still more of a positive than a negative for them, both from financial and publicity standpoints.

So why do I think it’s wise for you to combine your points into a single account?

Value

The value of your Ultimate Rewards is directly related to the account where you hold them. Points in a Freedom, Unlimited or Ink Cash account are worth 1 cent each. No more, but occasionally less. Once you transfer those points to a Sapphire Preferred, Ink Business Preferred or Sapphire Reserve, those points immediately become more valuable when used to make bookings through the Chase travel portal (1.25 to 1.5 cents each) or by transferring them to one of Chase’s travel partners where they can be used to book flights in International First Class, like these seats on Singapore Airlines.

double-suites

While I went through the whole process of how to pool your points in my previous article, Chase has revamped their website (and hidden the link to pool points in the process).

Here’s how to do it on a computer. I’m sure there’s a way to do it on the app but it might be easier on a mobile browser instead.

Log into the account where your points are the least valuable. That would be one of the no-annual-fee Chase cards.

When you have your account up, click on the link where it says “See Balance.”

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You will be shown your current balance for that card. Click on  “Redeem.” This will take you to the Ultimate Rewards page.

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On the banner on top of the page, there used to be a button to “Combine Points,” but its gone. Instead, click on that “see all” button:

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Now you can see the “Combine Points” button, hidden in the second row. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

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This will bring up the transfer screen. You’ll need information from the credit card you want to transfer points TO when you get to this next part.

The card account you are logged into will be on the left. There should not be a card on the right unless you’ve done this before. The website will prompt you for the account number and the last name on the account you want to move your points into. Enter that and then click “continue.”

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On the next screen, you’ll be asked how many points you want to move. If you’re doing this for the reasons listed above, you should move all the points from the no-annual-fee card.  Just leave the “All my points” box checked.

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The last step is the confirmation page. There’s a warning about the transfer being final and not reversible. Click on the “Confirm & Submit” button and you’re done.

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The points should transfer between accounts immediately. If you log into the account you transferred points TO, the new balance should reflect the increase from the transfer. There’s one thing I need to stress if you are going to do this.

DO NOT CLOSE THE ACCOUNT YOU TRANSFERRED THE POINTS INTO!!!

Transferable points only stay active if you keep the account open. If you’re planning on closing the Chase “premium” card with the annual fee, don’t transfer points to it. When you close an account, any Ultimate Rewards points you have in the account are gone. There are things you can do to keep your points, but that’s for another article.

Final Thoughts

So you shouldn’t transfer all of your Chase Ultimate Rewards into your most valuable account because Chase is going to prevent you from doing so. You should transfer the points because doing so makes the points more valuable.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

 

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One thought on “The Reason You Need To Pool Your Chase Ultimate Rewards (It’s Not What You Think)”

  1. Yeah…that’s the whole point.

    Conventional wisdom: We all know points are more valuable when they’re in the account of an annual fee card. Best to put them all there ASAP rather than risking Chase ever removing the ability to transfer points between Chase accounts.

    This post: Yeah, but there’s another reason to do that: the points are more valuable when you pool them under an annual fee card.

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