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Last week I wrote about my credit card strategy to earn the most points possible from ongoing spend:
- Create a Chase hub, that means getting a Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card whose points transfer to miles.
- Then getting a variety of Chase no annual fee cards that earn at faster than 1 point per dollar.
- Moving the points from the no annual fee cards to the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, increasing the value of those points by making them transferable to airline miles and to hotel points.
That lets you take advantage of the most Chase bonus categories possible, without racking up several annual fees, and ensures you never have to earn just one point per dollar.
You can thus transfer points earned from all of the cards earning Chase Ultimate Rewards points to:
- Airlines: United, JetBlue, Southwest, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Air France KLM, Singapore Airlines, Iberia, Aer Lingus
- Hotels: Hyatt, Marriott, IHG
The viability of this strategy is contingent on Chase’s willingness to allow cardmembers to combine points from across multiple accounts. Back in April there were reports across multiple sites that Chase was considering eliminating the ability to do this. And then we heard nothing — so it remained a risk in the background.
However in a longer piece about banks trying to control rapidly spiraling rewards costs as they face risks of lower revenue from interchange (merchant swipe) fees, the Wall Street Journal contains this nugget,
JPMorgan executives debated whether to stop letting cardholders pool together points from multiple cards, according to people familiar with the matter. JPMorgan’s [spokeswoman Mary Jane] Rogers said the bank has no current plans to stop cardholders from pooling points.
This doesn’t mean Chase will never implement such a rule. And in the meantime I continue to ‘sweep’ points from my no annual fee cards into my premium card accounts each month — just in case — I don’t want to be left with big points balances in less valuable places if the music ever does stop. However it appears this is not something to be concerned about in the immediate term.