Chase Ultimate Rewards Severely Limits Transfers To Other People

The Chase Ultimate Rewards cards have been among my favorites for a few years now.  The flexibility of how you can spend those points is a big part of the equation.  I recommend these cards frequently to friends and family because of the ability to transfer points in small or large quantities to many airlines and hotel companies, like United Airlines, British Airways and Hyatt Gold Passport.  The cards have also been historically flexible in allowing transfers of points to other people.  I’ve helped out close friends in the past here and there by sending them some points so they could book an award for a vacation.  Chase tightened up their language a bit earlier this year and cracked down on serial offenders but the opportunity was still there.

Miles To Memories has a breakdown of the new Ultimate Rewards site.  The new site does look nice.  I didn’t have a huge problem navigating the old site, but I can see where some folks will find this one easier to navigate.  Shawn goes on to discuss the new transfer procedure:

Now when you go to transfer points, you have to register the transfer-to account with the Ultimate Rewards website. During registration the site asks for the member name and number and their relationship. The only two options are “Self” & “Spouse/Domestic Partner”.

Once you “register” this account, it is stored in the system and you can transfer points to it. While this a lot more convenient than before since you don’t have to lookup and type in the account number every time you transfer, this also seemingly makes it easier for them to track your transfer-to accounts.

I logged in to test this and found it performed exactly as Shawn outlines.  Further, once you register an account as “self” or “Spouse/Domestic Partner” there does not appear to be a way to remove that registration.  I would hazard a guess to say Chase could remove it if you made a mistake, but asking them to remove one name and put in another for Spouse is either going to raise a big red flag or change your account address to Utah.

Chase Ultimate

This isn’t the end of the world for me, but it will be a big change for some.  It does prevent me from helping out close friends and family, as well as transferring points to employees who work for the businesses I maintain corporate cards for.  I can still book an award for them out of my Hyatt or United account.  But, I can’t “top them up” with 5,000 points, for example.

Life goes on….

HT: View From The Wing

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