This morning I received a direct message from Chase, notifying me of some changes to the Ultimate Rewards program that will take effect tomorrow. Don’t worry, it’s not a devaluation and no transfer partners have been dropped. It’s actually a good thing: Starting November 15, Chase cardholders can transfer points to the reward account of authorized users only. Why is this a good thing? Because in the past, points could only be transferred to a spouse or domestic partner. The exact wording is as follows:
Ultimate Rewards Account Affiliate with a Business Credit Card (i.e. Chase Ink Plus)
Starting November 15th, when you transfer points to participating frequent travel programs, you can only transfer points to yourself or an owner of the company who is listed as an authorized user on your card account.
Ultimate Rewards Account Affiliated with a Personal Credit Card (i.e. Chase Sapphire Preferred)
Starting November 15th, when you transfer points to participating frequent travel programs, you can only transfer points to yourself or one additional household member who is listed on your card account as an authorized user.
So basically, business cardholders can transfer their points to a co-owner of the company who is added as an authorized user while personal cardholders can transfer points to any additional cardholder as long as they’re in the same household. How they plan on enforcing the “household” rule is a bit murky since cardholders could just list the authorized user’s address as their own.
In any case, this is great news for me because it means I can start sharing points with family members. In the past, this has been tricky because if I needed extra Hyatt points and didn’t have any Ultimate Rewards points to spare, I’d simply transfer them from my dad or brother’s account to their respective Hyatt Gold Passport accounts, then submit a transfer request form with Hyatt to have the points deposited into my account.
The negative part of all this? The terms state the following:
“Once you transfer points to an authorized user, that person will be the only authorized user eligible to receive point transfers through this program.”
So if I transfer my dad’s Ultimate Rewards points to my Hyatt account, my mom (who is an authorized user on his Sapphire Preferred account) becomes ineligible to receive transfers to her Hyatt account. This isn’t a problem in our case, but it’s worth mentioning. I couldn’t find an answer to this in the terms, but I would assume if you removed an authorized user (after transferring points to their rewards account), you could add another person as an authorized user and they would become eligible to receive transfers from your Ultimate Rewards account.
These changes aren’t perfect, but they do give you more options for transferring points. So if you don’t have a spouse or partner but do want to share points with a family member who is an authorized user on your card account, you can.
What do you think of these changes to the Ultimate Rewards program?
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