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Million Mile Secrets reader Edvard emails:
When attempting to transfer some of my Chase Ultimate Rewards points to a friend’s Hyatt account, I noticed a change on the Ultimate Rewards site. Have you been made aware of this? If so, do you think there will be issues with transferring to a non-spouse or domestic partner?
Chase recently redesigned their Ultimate Rewards website. Most of the differences are cosmetic, but there’s a big change in how you transfer points to airline, hotel, and rail partners.
While Chase’s policy has always been that you can only transfer points to travel partner accounts in your own name or that of your spouse or domestic partner, this rule wasn’t always enforced.
But now you have to specify your relationship when you make the transfer!
I’ll explain the updates to how folks can transfer their Chase Ultimate Rewards points. And I’ll show you better ways to help out friends and family with travel.
Link: Chase Ultimate Rewards
You can earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points from the following credit cards:
|Personal Cards||Business Cards|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve||Chase Ink Plus|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred||Chase Ink Bold (No Longer Available to New Applicants)|
|Chase Freedom||Chase Ink Cash|
|Chase Freedom Unlimited|
|Chase Sapphire (No Longer Available to New Applicants)|
|Note: Points earned from the Chase Freedom, Sapphire, and Ink Cash cards can only be transferred to travel partners if you also have a Chase Sapphire Preferred, Ink Plus, or Ink Bold card.|
You’ll notice the new website design when you sign-in to your Chase Ultimate Rewards account. Click on the account you want to view.
The next thing you’ll see is your account balance, pending points, and earning summary (including bonus spending categories) for the selected account.
To transfer points, click the “Use Points” menu at the top of the screen, then select “Transfer to Travel Partners.”
Then choose “Transfer Points” next to the airline, hotel, or rail partner you wish to transfer to.
You’ll need to 1st add a frequent travel program account by entering the name and account number. But there’s a new field to fill in!
Now, you have to specify if the transfer is to your own account, or to a spouse or domestic partner’s.
I added my own British Airways account, then Emily’s.
However, once you’ve added your details, the account information is saved. So you don’t need to re-enter your information if you make another transfer at a later date.
Strangely, after I added myself and Emily, the option to add an account was blanked out! So choose your spouse or partner wisely, because you can now only transfer Ultimate Rewards points to them!
So now, Chase wants you to declare that you’re only transferring points to yourself or a spouse or domestic partner’s account. This isn’t new, but maybe it’s their way of encouraging customers to be honest.
Chase’s terms and conditions haven’t changed:
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.
But in the past, many folks got away with transferring points to friends’ and family members’ accounts. Some did have their accounts shut down by Chase.
You could try to enter someone else’s account information, but you’d have to lie and say they were your spouse or domestic partner.
This seems to be a clear signal from Chase that they want to crack down on folks who abuse the system and transfer points to “unauthorized 3rd parties.” It’s not worth the risk of having your account shut down and losing all your points!
There Are Better Options
If Edvard wants to help his buddy out with Hyatt points, his best bet would be to transfer points to his account. And then book a hotel stay for his friend instead of trying to transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points.
That’s because it’s easy to book award nights for others using your own points!
But if Edvard’s friend just needs a few extra points to top-up his account for an award, it’s probably not a good idea for him to transfer the points to his friend’s account by claiming that his friend is his spouse or domestic partner.
But he could help other friends and family out by booking them an airline award ticket with his points.
Don’t risk your points and good relationship with Chase by trying to transfer points to folks who aren’t your spouse or domestic partner. Just use your points to book award nights and airline tickets for them!
Chase has redesigned the Ultimate Rewards website. And with that they’ve changed how folks transfer points to frequent traveler accounts.
You’ve always been restricted to transferring points to accounts only in your own name, or the name of your spouse or domestic partner. But now you have to specify exactly where the points are going!
It’s not worth lying and saying the points are going to a spouse or domestic partner when they’re not. Chase is clearly cracking down on those who’ve been breaking the rules. And you could have your account closed or lose all your points.
But you can still use points to book hotel nights and award tickets for others! That’s a safer bet.
What do you think of the updates to Chase Ultimate Rewards?