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Nick over at Frequent Miler posted some interesting information he received from a source over at Chase…that Chase is continuing to pursue limitations on internally transferring Ultimate Rewards between accounts – this was originally a rumor based upon a survey reported by DOC. I’d suggest reading either of their posts as they go into detail, but the long and short is that Chase may prohibit transferring 1:1 between Freedom, Unlimited, Preferred, Cash, Reserve, etc. The replacement program would create proportional transfers equal to the redeemable amount of a point at Chase Travel ( or even worse case just cash back for Freedom, Cash, etc).
Transferring between accounts is one of the most favorable aspects of the program, and why we advocate the practice of maximizing Freedom quarterly bonuses, etc. If they were to restrict those transfers I’d stop using Freedom. But, the future is uncertain and we want to hedge ourselves against the worse. So yes, you should go ahead and transfer as a precaution, but where will we be transferring ours?
I’ll be merging mine, but I don’t think I’ll be moving my points to Reserve
Simply put…I don’t know if I want to marry myself to the Reserve indefinitely. Lemme explain:
My thinking/strategy assumes that points remain universally transferrable to partners 1:1 ( Singapore, Korean, etc) – which is how I use my points, i.e. all current Ultimate Rewards point earning cards remain equal in their ability to transfer to partners.
It also considers my preference of redemption: I don’t exercise redemption at 1.5 cents, even though I hold a Reserve, as I prefer to aim towards aspirational redemptions that effectively get a much higher point valuation than 1.5 cents.
So yes, I know that Reserve effectively values Ultimate Rewards the highest for Chase Travel redemptions, and if this is your cup of tea, consider transferring them there, but I don’t, and I want to maintain the most flexibility. The future scenario has a lot of variables. The most important in my decision being: we don’t know if Chase will limit the TOTAL amount of points that could be moved between accounts, regardless of the ratio. If that happened, and you pre-emptively moved a lot of points to Reserve, you would be locked into having a Reserve for quite a long time, or risk having to make a forced transfer.
- For instance, if Chase limits the internal transfer amount to say 100k, and you don’t wish to keep your Reserve, but have a balance of 300k UR, you’d have a decision to make. Transfer 100k to say a Biz Preferred, and then either transfer the remaining balance to partners, cash out at 1.5 cents, or keep the card until your balance is transferred or exhausted.
As a result, I’m heavily considering a transfer to my Ink Business Preferred. A $95 annual fee is something I’m pretty comfortable being locked into, and if they devalued Ink Cash transfers, I’d probably cancel it for my both my businesses. All my Chase Business purchases would end up on my Ink Business Preferred.
This would then let me be a true Reserve free agent. If they keep the benefits of the card strong, I’d keep it, if not, I’d look elsewhere knowing full well I wouldn’t have to make a forced decision because of a large point balance.
Regardless of your decision, and I’d love to hear your strategies, it’ll be a sad day if/when Chase does this, but making a move to protect those valuable UR is a prudent one to make.
Afterall…if it never happens, you don’t lose anything by having consolidated points.
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