The $95 annual fee was due for Sharon’s Chase Sapphire Preferred card. That’s the time each year when I think about the card’s benefits vs. the cost and if I should keep, downgrade or cancel it. After giving it some thought, I decided that we’d keep the card but not for the reason you’d think.
The Sapphire Preferred is a sound card for $95 but we hardly use it anymore now that I have the Sapphire Reserve.
Chase allows you to transfer Ultimate Rewards points between family members living in the same household so we wouldn’t lose the points if I canceled the card or downgraded it to the Chase Freedom or Chase Freedom Unlimited.
The Chase Freedom cards earn cash back, not transferable Ultimate Rewards points, but as long as one of us still has a premium Chase card, it would be possible to transfer the points earned with a Chase cashback card to airlines or hotel programs.
I was almost ready to transfer Sharon’s points from the Sapphire Preferred to her Ink Cash card and then close her Sapphire card. I’m glad that I didn’t because I remembered one small point that might make a big difference down the road.
I’m an authorized user on the Sapphire Preferred card.
And yeah, I know I’ve written that I don’t like adding authorized users to cards anymore. However, we’ve had this card since before I came to that conclusion. It was also a nice card for both of us to have, at the time, because it gave bonuses on dining and travel. There are times when we might not be at the same place and it helps if each of us has a card for the account.
Why is it important that I am an authorized user on the account?
Chase has some rules about transfers. There are two major rules to remember.
- You can transfer Ultimate Rewards points, but only to another Chase card with Ultimate Rewards belonging to you, or one member of your household. (Chase business cards allow you to transfer points to a joint business holder if they are an authorized user on the account)
- You can transfer Ultimate Rewards points to other loyalty program accounts that are your own and for one additional household member who is listed as an authorized user on your card account. For Business Card accounts, you may only transfer points to yourself or an owner of the company who is listed as an authorized user on your card account.
So I NEED to be an authorized user on the account if I want to transfer points from Sharon’s Ultimate Rewards account to any of my other loyalty accounts. Here’s a list of the programs into which you can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards.
- Aer Lingus Aer Club
- British Airways Avios
- Air France Flying Blue
- Emirates Skyrewards
- Iberia Plus Avios
- JetBlue TrueBlue
- Singapore KrisFlyer
- United MileagePlus Miles
- Southwest Rapid Rewards
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
- World of Hyatt
- IHG Rewards Club
- Marriott Bonvoy
Here’s what would happen if I canceled or downgraded Sharon’s Sapphire Preferred card:
- Sharon would no longer have a premium Chase card, so to transfer her points to other loyalty programs she’d have to move the points to my account (which is allowed).
- I could then transfer the points to any of Chase partners, but only to external accounts in my name since Sharon is not an authorized user on my Sapphire Reserve account.
I could add Sharon as an authorized user to the Sapphire Reserve, but that would cost $75 a year and count against Chase 5/24 rule for new applications. Since there’s no charge for an authorized user on the Sapphire Preferred, it’s the next least expensive way for us to keep the flexibility of transferring points from Chase to either of our loyalty accounts.
I’m glad I went back and forth with myself over the benefits of the card and whether we should keep it. That helped me remember that it’s not the actual benefits of the card but the flexibility of points transfers that make it a decent value to keep it for another year.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary