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Will I Lose My Points If I Close 1 of My 2 Chase Ultimate Rewards Earning Cards?

Will I Lose My Points If I Close 1 of My 2 Chase Ultimate Rewards Earning Cards?

Million Mile SecretsWill I Lose My Points If I Close 1 of My 2 Chase Ultimate Rewards Earning Cards?Million Mile Secrets Team

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Million Mile Secrets reader, Lau, commented:

Hiya!  If I want to close my Chase Sapphire Preferred and keep my Chase Freedom card, do I lose the Chase Ultimate Rewards points I earned with my Chase Sapphire Preferred account?

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!

Will I Lose My Points If I Close 1 Of My 2 Chase Ultimate Rewards Earning Cards
Afraid You’ll Lose Your Chase Ultimate Rewards Points? I’ll Tell You Everything You Need to Know

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, points are worth 1.5 cents each when you book travel through the Chase Portal.

Will I Lose My Points If I Close 1 Of My 2 Chase Ultimate Rewards Earning Cards
Emily and I Used the Points We Earned With the Chase Sapphire Preferred to Book a Hyatt Suite in Bangkok

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 United MileagePlus® Explorer Card or Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit 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.

Will I Lose My Points If I Close 1 Of My 2 Chase Ultimate Rewards Earning Cards
We Used United Airlines Miles to Fly to India

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

Before cancelling, consider transferring your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to 1 of Chase’s partner airlines or hotels.

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.

Will I Lose My Points If I Close 1 Of My 2 Chase Ultimate Rewards Earning Cards
Emily Likes to Use British Airways Avios Points for Short Domestic Flights to Visit Family

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.

Bottom Line

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.

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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® named a 'Best Travel Credit Card' by MONEY® Magazine, 2016-2017
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel.
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards

More Info

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Million Mile Secrets

@Sandra - Once you close an airline co-branded card, your miles will expire based on the rules of the airline (which is usually in 18 to 24 months of no activity).

@Karey - You can transfer points from the Freedom to any other Ultimate Rewards card in a 1:1 ratio!

Can I transfer points Back from the Chase Freedom to the Sapphire (once the time limit is up and I can get it again) on a one-to-one ratio?

You mentioned in this article that closing a co-branded airline card won't result in loss of points in that loyalty program. Just checking to see if this also true of Am-Ex co-branded cards. I have an Am Ex Delta card that I see myself eventually closing before I have to pay the annual fee and don't want to lose the 50,0000 bonus points I got.