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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