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Million Mile Secrets reader, Lau, commented:
Thanks for the question, Lau!
As long as you keep at least 1 Chase Ultimate Rewards points earning card open, you won’t lose your Chase Ultimate Rewards points when you cancel a card. Just transfer all your points to the account you plan to keep before you cancel.
But your points may not be worth as much to you!
I’ll explain what can happen to your Chase Ultimate Rewards points when cancelling a credit card, and give you a few suggestions to keep your points without paying an annual fee.
Know the Consequences of Cancelling a Chase Ultimate Rewards Points Earning Credit Card
When you have 2 Chase Ultimate Rewards points earning credit cards, you will NOT lose your points if you cancel 1 of them. As long as you can transfer the points you’ve earned from 1 card to the other!
But cancelling your credit card can change the worth of your points. That’s because Chase Ultimate Rewards points have different value depending on which credit card you have.
For example, if you only have the Chase Freedom, points are worth 1 cent each towards cash back or paid travel. If you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Ink Plus, or Chase Ink Bold (no longer available), points are worth 1.25 cents each when you book travel through the Chase Portal.
And, if you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Ink Plus, or Chase Ink Bold, you can transfer your points to airline and hotel partners, potentially making them worth even more!
Want to Cancel, but Don’t Have Another Chase Ultimate Rewards Earning Card?
Nobody likes paying annual fees, but sometimes it’s worth it. If you’ve weighed the benefits of your credit card, and have decided it’s not worth the fee, it’s time to cancel. Just make sure you won’t lose the rewards you’ve earned with the card!
When you close a co-branded airline or hotel credit card, like the Chase United Explorer or Chase Marriott card, you will NOT lose any miles or points you have earned. That’s because your points accrue in your airline or hotel loyalty account, which is separate from your Chase credit card account.
However, when you cancel a credit card that earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you can lose your points! Here are some ideas for how to save your points if you need to cancel a card.
1. Transfer Points to Airline or Hotel Partners
Think about your upcoming travel plans before you transfer your points to another loyalty account. Because once you transfer your points from your Chase Ultimate Rewards account, you can’t reverse your decision!
If you don’t have any upcoming travel plans, transfer your points to a loyalty account you can easily see yourself using, like British Airways. You can use British Airways Avios points to travel cheaply around the US on partners American Airlines and Alaska Airlines.
2. Downgrade to a No-Annual-Fee Credit Card
Instead of cancelling, you can also downgrade your annual-fee credit Chase Ultimate Rewards earning credit card to a no-annual-fee card like the Chase Freedom Unlimited or Chase Sapphire (not available to new applicants). This will keep you from losing your points, and even prevent your credit score from taking a hit after cancelling a card!
Just remember, if you no longer hold the Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Ink Plus, or Chase Ink Bold, your Chase Ultimate Rewards points will decrease in value. They will be worth 1 cent each, and you will NOT be able to transfer them to travel partners.
This is only a good idea if your goal is to save your Chase Ultimate Rewards points and apply for 1 of the above cards later.
You will NOT lose your Chase Ultimate Rewards points when you cancel your card as long as you still have 1 Chase Ultimate Rewards points earning credit card open. That’s because you can transfer the Ultimate Rewards points you’ve earned with 1 card over to another card before cancelling.
But the value of your points may change. Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth more depending on which cards you have.
If your primary goal is to keep from paying an annual fee, consider transferring your points to a Chase airline or hotel partner before cancelling. Or downgrade your card to a no-annual-fee credit card and save your points for another time.