Chase Not Planning to Stop Cardholders From Pooling Points From Multiple Cards

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Last week I wrote about my credit card strategy to earn the most points possible from ongoing spend:

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.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Chase might quite easily set a ratio at anytime
    e.g., 1.25 UR on freedom is 1 UR on your Ink Plus/Preferred / Sapphire
    and 1.5 UR on freedom is 1 UR on your Sapphire Reserve
    I suspect for now it is a technology issue
    Once the redemptions get more savvy overall, I am sure they will fix it
    Most people likely just get cash back, all the blogs notwithstanding

  2. I don’t think they will as long as Amex doesn’t do the same thing. (Although you don’t need to ‘sweep’ in Amex.) Fingers crossed!

  3. Some really dumb comments on the Wall St Journal article (on their site). I’m glad people continue to think credit cards are stupid – that will keep this going longer. Yes I’m sure I spend a little more because I’m not paying cash but I’m pretty sure I don’t spend an extra $7k/ year to offset the net travel benefits I earn every year…..

  4. A great, reasonable middle ground: Neither ignore the risk nor to be worried sick about it! Happy New Year!

  5. For me I’m much more interested in the “why” of JPM not tightening the ecosystem transfer options. My guess is that it’s purely a face saving measure.

  6. @SK, Amex has non-transferable MR in other countries (MR select)

    Citi TY points earned via banking cannot be transferred

    So it’s not unthinkable for it to happen in usa

  7. Did Marriott hire Baghdad Bob to defend the SPG card devaluation? The card offers much less value by all measures except for the category 1-4 certificate which doesn’t take you very far in the US. Spend on the card is virtually worthless now and I’d be surprised if Marriott doesn’t already see how much spend on the card has dropped in the last quarter.

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