Should You be Worried About Transferring Ultimate Rewards Points to Other Accounts?

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Transferring Points to Airline or Hotel Partners

I’ve written before about how easy it is to transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to someone else’s hotel or airline account.  All you need is the person’s name and airline or hotel program number to complete the transfer.

You can transfer Ultimate Rewards points to select airline and hotels if you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Ink Bold, Chase Ink Plus, J.P Morgan Select or Palladium cards.

Technically, the terms and conditions limit transfers to airline and hotel programs to only your spouse, household member which I interpret to mean anyone who lives at your house, an authorized user (who may not live at your house) or an employee of your business.

 You can only transfer points to a frequent travel account belonging to you, your household member or an authorized user or employee.

However, I’ve transferred Ultimate Rewards points to airline and hotel accounts of friends who weren’t authorized users on my Ultimate Rewards cards.

Transferring Points to Other Ultimate REwards Cards

You can also transfer points from one Chase Ultimate Rewards credit card to another Chase Ultimate Rewards credit card by using the “Combine Points” option.  This is very useful to avoid losing your points by transferring points out of your account before cancelling an Ultimate Rewards card.

However the terms again say:

Transfers may only be used to combine points belonging to the same individual or business in the program; or for the purpose of enabling spouses or domestic partners to combine points.

I interpret this to mean that you shouldn’t transfer points to someone else’s Ultimate Rewards accounts unless they are your spouse or domestic partner or part of the same business.

Note that the terms for combining Ultimate Rewards points among credit card accounts are stricter than the terms for transferring Ultimate Rewards points to hotels or airline partners.

Should I Worry?

Million Mile Secrets reader Sam sent me a link to a FlyerTalk thread where the poster’s Chase Sapphire Preferred was closed because of transfers from family members.  However, the poster’s other Chase accounts are still open – only the card involved in the transfers was closed.

I’m usually skeptical that an isolated example could be extrapolated to tell everyone to not transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to other accounts.  That’s because there is no information on the frequency and volume of points transfers in the original FlyerTalk post.

I suspect that transferring large amounts of points to many different accounts (say 5 or more) in a short period of time could be suspicious.

I’ve transferred and combined points from Emily’s Ultimate Rewards account to my account (or vice versa) which is permitted via the terms and conditions.  But I’ve also made about 2 or 3 point transfers to friends (less than 20,000 points over 1 year) and haven’t had any problems so far.

If you regularly transfer Ultimate Rewards points from one of the transferable Ultimate Rewards cards (Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Ink Bold, Chase Ink Plus, J.P Morgan Select and Palladium) to an airline or hotel partner you could add that person as an authorized user to your credit card so that your transfers fall within the conditions set in the terms and conditions.

Adding a person as an authorized user does not prevent that person from receiving the sign-on bonus when he or she applies in his or her own name.

Bottom Line

I’m not worried about making transfers to Emily’s account since that is within the terms and conditions.

But be aware that while you can transfer Ultimate Rewards points to other accounts, it technically may be against the terms and conditions.

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25 Responses to Should You be Worried About Transferring Ultimate Rewards Points to Other Accounts?

  1. I, who live in Texas, recently booked a trip for a friend (lives in Ohio) using my AA miles. He then sent me 125,000 UR points. They instantly transferred into my account and are ready to use.

  2. I had a question. I have Chase Ink Cash (i.e. cannot transfer to airlines). My husband has JP Morgan Card (can transfer to airlines). If I transfer all my points to his JP Morgan rewards account….will I be able to transfer all of his points to my United account? Thanks.

  3. I was actually reading this on FT yesterday. I will not transfer UR points anymore the risk is to high. I like using my sapphire card for all my purchase. Question if my friend transfer his UR points to my united airlines account will I get in trouble or my friend sapphire will get close? This will only be a one time transfer.

    http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/credit-card-programs/1396906-chase-closed-my-sapphire-preferred-account-due-point-transfers-3.html

  4. So the recipient is an “employee” (temporarily). Problem solved.

  5. I transferred my father’s Freedom points to my Chase Sapphire account and was a little uneasy even though my parents live with me. Does this thread also apply to the Freedom card?

  6. A lot of these issues would go away if you would let another adult be an adult. It’s one thing to exchange points, miles, air tickets, and other expensive gifts with your spouse, domestic partner, minor child, or even an aged parent down on his luck who lives in your home. It seems unprofessional but it’s even sort of OK to use them for an employee. But people who get involved in giving very expensive gifts like air tickets etc. to one and all are just setting themselves up for a world of hurt, far beyond Chase closing an account. Let an adult be an adult. An adult sibling or friend should be self-supporting, and the ones who put their hands out are the very users you shouldn’t be encouraging with expensive gifts. Other people’s money, miles, and points spend easy. And the more money, miles, and benefits you waste on the users in your circle, the fewer you have for what’s really important. Now, if people are transferring the miles to all these people and then collecting cash under the table, fine, but Chase isn’t stupid, and they have given fair warning that they can choose to pull the plug in that circumstance.

  7. This is great! I haven’t spent much time learning the ins and outs of the Chase credit cards. This is perfect timing because my wife needs to transfer her 60k points to my account so we can close her card before the yearly fee! Great to know that we can do this!

  8. @Peach – why do you assume sending points to others is some sort of handout? And then give an oh-so-tiresome sermon about self-sufficiency? Get a grip.

    Anyone sending points surely knows the value of those points – either they are selling them (discussions about that no FF boards among others) or they expect something in return (perhaps hotel points for reservations made in their name?). The most egregious abuse comes from transfers to strangers, in what an outsider would view as an unusual (and unwarranted by the terms of the T&Cs) transaction – likely for a cash payment.

    To stop the abuse, CC companies should require people to only allow pre-selected accounts to receive points – like health care companies do with yearly enrollment periods – you make your selection once a year and then have to live with who you’ve nominated. That would all but eliminate most abuse – and keep the ability to transfer open to everyone not abusing the system.

  9. @Lively – You can transfer your points to your husband’s JP Morgan card and from there transfer to your United account.

    @Jeff – I’ve made transfers to friends and still have my accounts open, but you’ve got to asses the risk for yourself.

    @Patty – Transferring points from the Freedom to the Sapphire would be included in the “Transferring Points to Other Ultimate Rewards Cards” section.

  10. Hi Ron, mainly because it’s being promoted on certain forums as some kind of hand out for feckless friends of friends and relatives of relatives. And also because I have seen upclose and personal how a generous person was pretty much looted of everything he had…but if the person doing the transfer is getting value for money *I* have no problem with it altogether. I think Chase has a problem with it, but I don’t. Your idea would stop the Craigslist sellers which would protect Chase…but it wouldn’t protect the naive and kind person. Hence my post. In case you can’t tell, I’ve seen someone very badly victimized by their own kindness and would not wish to see it again.

  11. Hi Daraius!

  12. Apparently, the comment board thought all I wanted to do was say hi. I wanted to stop in and say that I love your site and that I was browsing through some of your old posts and since I’m from India, the ones about your trip caught my eye – and as I was reading, I realized that I was at same wedding. Sharda is an old family friend – and I vaguely remember seeing Emily at the reception, and thinking how pretty she looked in her sari. Small world!

  13. @Naina – Small world indeed! Gaurav and I went to school together since we were 4 years old! Are you from Atlanta? Thanks for reading and for your comment.

  14. @Naina – Wow that is so cool! I loved the wedding and Sharda looked especially beautiful. Mansi (Drupal’s wife) helped me pick out my kurta and Daraius’ mom helped me with the sari. Indian clothes are so gorgeous! Hopefully we can meet up with you sometime! :)

  15. Although this comment just refers to transfers between spouses… Some time ago, I added Mike as a joint cardholder to my Freedom card. That allows me to swap points back and forth between us, as the Freedom shows up on both of our online profiles. Makes transferring really easy !

  16. @PatMike – Good tip – thanks for sharing. However, I don’t believe that joint cardholders are eligible for the sign-up bonus again, which could be okay since the Freedom has a low sign-up bonus of 10K points.

  17. If I add someone as an authorized user to my CSP, can they then transfer their points from a Freedom card into that account? It’s my brother so it’s not strictly legal to transfer directly but is this a loop hole?

  18. @Bruce – No, it is still against the terms and conditions, but you may get away with it.

  19. What I found is that if you have an Ink Bold or Plus account, they will not shut you down, because it also allows tranfers to employees, and it’s hard for Chase to prove otherwise. This is what I always did, was not shut down, my friend transfered from his SP, and got shut down.

  20. URPointLandingZone

    I have a Chase Ink Bold attached to a Chase Business Banking account. I’d like to transfer UR points to an authorized user. I was thrilled when I read this article but upon reading the terms for myself, I believe they recently changed. Here is the current verbage:

    Anyone else have experience with transferring miles to an authorized business user recently?

  21. URPointLandingZone

    Sorry, guess I couldn’t use the HTML tag for the citation. This is what they read:

    Ultimate Rewards point transfer features are designed to allow our cardmembers to take advantage of the rewards they earn. The features are not intended to allow transfers to third parties other than a spouse or domestic partner of the cardmember. Transfers to unauthorized third parties or any other abuse of the Ultimate Rewards program may result in suspension or termination of the ability to participate in the program and forfeiture of points already earned.

  22. Pingback: sharing miles and points | Traveling Well For Less

  23. Hi Darius

    Wanted to know your thoughts on the following. If My Dad signs up for the Ink Bold under the same business name that I already have an Ink Bold with, will he:
    A) get the 50K bonus
    B) Can he then transfer those 50K points to me?

    Thanks

  24. @Sanka Naak – He should be able to get the 50,000 point bonus as well.

  25. Thanks for replying … could you also answer part B of that question on whether he would be able to transfer those points into my account or not?

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