Chase Ultimate Rewards is currently my favorite transferable points program. You can read my comparison of transferable points programs here. Unfortunately, Chase will soon lose Amtrak as a transfer partner, but hopefully they’ll add a valuable new partner to make up for it.
One great feature of the Ultimate Rewards program is that you can freely share your points with specific people: your spouse, domestic partner, or joint business owner(s). This is especially helpful when one person has a premium card that allows transfers to airline and hotel programs (e.g. Sapphire Preferred, Ink Plus, Ink Bold, etc.), but the other person does not. The no-annual fee cards, Chase Freedom and Chase Ink Cash, earn Ultimate Rewards points, but those points are not directly transferable to loyalty programs. So, a person with a Freedom card, for example, can transfer their points to a spouse, domestic partner, or joint business owner, and then that person can transfer points to a loyalty program.
To transfer points to a spouse, domestic partner, or joint business owner do the following:
- Log onto your Chase account.
- Select Ultimate Rewards.
- Click on your points balance in the top navigation and select “Combine Points” from the dropdown.
How to share with friends or family members that are not your spouse, domestic partner, or business partner
If you want to share your Ultimate Rewards points with someone else, you do have a few options:
- Use Ultimate Rewards points to book travel for your friend. If you have a premium Ultimate Rewards card, the points will be worth 1.25 cents each towards travel. To do so, log into your Chase account, select Ultimate Rewards, then click “Use Points… Explore & Book Travel”. I highly recommend comparing prices through other websites (such as Kayak.com). In some cases, Chase charges more so you won’t really get 1.25 cents per point value.
- Transfer your points to your own loyalty program and book free nights, flights, or train rides for your friend. For example, you can transfer points to your own United MileagePlus account and then book an air award through United.com. The table below shows which programs allow this and which have restrictions.
- Transfer your points to your own loyalty program and then share those points with your friend. For example, you could transfer your Ultimate Rewards points to your Hyatt account and then transfer your Hyatt points to your friend’s Hyatt account. Very few programs allow this without a fee, though. Please see the table below for full details.
|Airline Program||Book for friend or family?||Transfer to friend or family?|
|British Airways Executive Club||Yes||Share with those in the same household by creating a household account to pool all of your points together. Details here.|
|Korean Air SkyPass||Book for family members only||Share with family members by creating a Family Plan. Qualifying family include: spouse, children, parents, siblings, parents-in-law, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, grandparents and grandchildren. Details here. Note: you will have to provide proof of family relationships.|
|Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer||Yes, you may specify up to 5 “Redemption Nominees”. Details here.||No|
|Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards||Yes||Pay to transfer points (usually not a good value)|
|United MileagePlus||Yes||Pay to transfer miles (usually not a good value)|
|Virgin Atlantic Flying Club||Yes||Pay to transfer miles (usually not a good value)|
|Hotel Program||Book for friend or family?||Transfer to friend or family?|
|Hyatt Gold Passport||Yes||Transfer for free once per 30 days. Use this form.|
|IHG Rewards Club||Yes||Pay to transfer points (usually not a good value)|
|Marriott Rewards||Yes||Yes. Transfer for free. Max 50K points per year unless point transfer is used for a specific award. Details here.|
|Ritz Carlton Rewards||Yes||Yes. Same rules as Marriott. Details here (see section: Points Sharing).|
|Train Program||Book for friend or family?||Transfer to friend or family?|
|Amtrak Guest Rewards||Yes||Pay to transfer points (usually not a good value)|
Another option is to pretend that your friend is your domestic partner or joint business owner. Then you can transfer your points to their account. Do not do this. Why not? If Chase suspects you they’ll close your account and take away your points. The following is copied directly from the Chase website (bolding is mine):
Combine points with other Chase cards with Ultimate Rewards
You can move points to another Chase card with Ultimate Rewards belonging to you, your spouse, domestic partner or your joint business owner(s). If we suspect that you’ve engaged in fraudulent activity related to your credit card account or Ultimate Rewards, or that you’ve misused Ultimate Rewards in any way (for example by buying or selling points, moving or transferring points with or to an ineligible third party or account, or repeatedly opening or otherwise maintaining credit card accounts for the sole purpose of generating rewards) we may temporarily prohibit you from earning points or using points you’ve already earned. If we believe you’ve engaged in any of these acts, we’ll close your credit card account and you’ll lose all your points.
How about transferring your points to your friend’s loyalty program? Nope. Don’t do that either. Chase has similar language (as above) prohibiting that.
Could you get away with it once or twice? Yes, probably. Is it worth the risk? I don’t think so.