I get a lot of questions about the logistics of upgrading and downgrading cards that can potentially earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points.
The three cards that directly earn Ultimate Rewards points are the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card, and Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card. However, you can supplement those cards with the Chase Freedom® Card, Chase Freedom Unlimited®, and Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card. While those are technically cashback cards (where each point can be redeemed for one cent cash), you can transfer points earned on any of those cards to Ultimate Rewards at a 1:1 ratio.
This is why a combination like the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card and Chase Freedom Unlimited® is so powerful. By having both of those cards you earn 3x Ultimate Rewards points on dining and travel, and 1.5x Ultimate Rewards points on everything else. Since Ultimate Rewards points on the Sapphire Reserve can be redeemed for 1.5 cents towards the cost of a travel purchase, that means you’re getting a value of 4.5% on dining and travel, and a value of 2.25% on all other purchases, which is awesome.
Combining these points is easy, and can be done directly on the Ultimate Rewards website. There’s one question I frequently get regarding the logistics of upgrading or downgrading cards.
For example, sometimes readers have the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and want to downgrade it to the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, and then apply for the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card (the order of this is important, since you can’t be approved for the Reserve if you currently have the Preferred, or have received a new cardmember bonus on it in the past 24 months).
The question is what happens to your Ultimate Rewards points when you downgrade to the Freedom Unlimited, since you won’t have a card that earns Ultimate Rewards points anymore. The good news is that the process is easy. Let’s use the above scenario as an example:
- When you convert your Sapphire Preferred to the Freedom Unlimited, your points will automatically be transferred over; however, those points will no longer be Ultimate Rewards points, but rather will be points that can be redeemed for one cent cash back
- Once you apply for the Sapphire Reserve (or whatever other card earns Ultimate Rewards points), you can then transfer those points back to the card, and they will once again become “full” Ultimate Rewards points
If you have multiple cards you’re canceling, just make sure you first transfer the points to a card that you’re keeping or a card that you’re directly product changing.
When you do this you’ll temporarily not have access to the full potential of the points, but that problem will be solved once you again open the card that earns Ultimate Rewards points. It really is a very straightforward process.