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TravelQuick Points: Transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points before downgrading your Chase Sapphire...

Quick Points: Transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points before downgrading your Chase Sapphire card


If you’re considering changing your Chase credit card, here’s an important step to consider before doing so.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve® are two of our favorite travel credit cards at TPG, and both offer generous welcome bonuses:

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred Card: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.

They both earn valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards points, giving you access to some of the best hotel and airline transfer partners available. You can also earn Ultimate Rewards with the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card.

Ultimate Rewards points are flexible because you can decide when and where to transfer your points and how many to transfer; however, you typically have to transfer your points in increments of 1,000.

You might decide to transfer some points to World of Hyatt to book hotel rooms for as little as 3,500 points or transfer to Aeroplan to book domestic flights on United Airlines from as low as 6,000 points.

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If you’re looking to hit another welcome bonus offer, unfortunately, you won’t be able to earn a bonus on a Chase card if you currently hold that card in your wallet or if you earned a sign-up bonus on that exact card in the last 24 to 48 months. So, if you currently hold a Chase Sapphire card, you may be considering downgrading that card to a no-annual-fee Chase card, such as the Chase Freedom Unlimited® or the Chase Freedom Flex℠, to protect your credit history as well as keep your Ultimate Rewards account active.

Related: Complete guide to downgrading and product-changing to earn sign-up bonuses on Chase Sapphire cards

However, it is important to note that you can only transfer Ultimate Rewards to travel partners if you have an active Sapphire card or an active Ink Business Preferred Card. If you downgrade your Chase card to one of the Freedom cards, you can still redeem your Chase points for discounted travel, cash back or gift cards at a rate of 1 cent per point with the Ultimate Rewards platform.

However, you cannot transfer your points to partners. Remember, if you have the Sapphire Reserve, you can redeem your points on Chase Travel℠ for 1.5 cents per point, and if you have the Sapphire Preferred, you can redeem for 1.25 cents per point on Chase Travel. But, if you utilize transfer partners, you can get a much greater redemption value, as TPG values Chase points at 2.05 cents per point.

If you are planning to downgrade your card and have a favorite transfer partner (aka one that you use frequently), consider transferring your Ultimate Rewards balance to that partner (or several) before downgrading your card, as it is easy to get more than 1 cent per point in value when utilizing transfer partners.

Otherwise, you will need to wait until you are approved for a Sapphire or Ink Business card again before you can transfer your Ultimate Rewards points.

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