If you are a long time reader you know that I love Chase Ultimate Rewards points and they are my favorite points to earn and redeem for free travel. Because of the Chase 5/24 rule, Chase cards that earn Ultimate Rewards points are usually the first cards that I recommend to beginners who want to collect miles and points.  If you are not familiar with the Chase Ultimate Rewards program, one question you might have before applying for a Chase credit card that earn Ultimate Rewards points is whether Chase Ultimate Rewards points expire. The short answer is Chase Ultimate Rewards points never expire while your account is open but you could lose them.

Do Chase Ultimate Rewards points expire?  

Chase Ultimate Rewards points NEVER expire if your Chase card account remains open.  However, if you close a Chase credit card or Chase closes your account, you can lose your Ultimate Rewards points.

How you could lose your Ultimate Rewards points
If Chase closes your account, you can immediately lose your Ultimate Rewards points.  Below is the language found in the Rewards Program Agreement:

Your points don’t expire as long as your account is open, however, you’ll immediately lose all your points if your account status changes, or your account is closed, for any of the following reasons:

    • you don’t make the minimum payment on your account within 60 days of the due date
    • you fail to comply with this or other agreements you have with Chase
    • we believe you may be unwilling or unable to pay your debts on time
    • you file for bankruptcy
    • we believe that you’ve engaged in fraudulent activity related to your account or the program
    • we believe that you’ve misused the program in any way, for example:
      • by buying or selling points
      • by moving or transferring points to an ineligible third party or account
      • by repeatedly opening or otherwise maintaining credit card accounts for the purpose of generating rewards

If your account is closed for any other reason, you’ll have at least 30 days from the date your account is closed to use your points, as long as you don’t lose them for any of the reasons described in this agreement. If you don’t use your points during that time, you’ll lose them.

Keep these rules in mind so you don’t lose your Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

What if you want to close your credit card account? How to avoid losing your Chase Ultimate Rewards points when you close a Chase credit card account

If you close a Chase credit card yourself, you will lose your Ultimate Rewards points in that account unless you use them OR transfer them to another Chase credit card account that earns Ultimate Rewards points within 30 days after your account is closed. (Unlike Amex Membership Rewards which combine all Membership points from various cards into one Membership Rewards account, Ultimate Rewards points are tied to each credit card account.)

So while Chase Ultimate Rewards points don’t expire as long as your card is open, you do have to make sure you don’t lose them by taking action before you close a Chase card account. Here are your options to make sure you don’t lose your Chase Ultimate Rewards points when you close your credit card account.

1) Transfer or combine Ultimate Rewards points to another Ultimate Rewards points credit card account.  If you have more than one Chase credit card that earns Ultimate Rewards, you can combine or transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points between your accounts. So you can move your points from the account you are closing into another open account (for example you can move any Ultimate Rewards points associated with your Chase Sapphire Preferred card to your Chase Freedom account).

Here is a list of Chase cards that earn Ultimate Rewards points (if you have more than one of these cards you can freely move your points from one account to the other):

Premium Ultimate Reward Cards -DIRECTLY transfer to airline and hotel partners:
•   Personal: Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve
•   Business: Ink Plus (no longer offered to new applicants) and Ink Business Preferred

No Annual Fee Ultimate Reward Cards (do not directly transfer to airline and hotel partners; also referred to as cash back cards):
•   Personal: Sapphire (no longer offered to new applicants), Freedom and Freedom Unlimited
•   Business: Ink Classic (no longer offered to new applicants) and Ink Cash

See How To Combine or Transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards Points Between Accounts for a step by step guide on how to move your Ultimate Rewards points to another credit card account.  

2) Transfer Ultimate Rewards points to your spouse or other member of your household.  You are allowed to transfer Ultimate Rewards points to another person but only to one member of your household or owner of the company (for business cards).  So if your spouse has a Chase card that earns Ultimate Rewards, you can transfer your Ultimate Rewards points to them.

3) Apply for a new Chase card before you cancel OR do a product change.  If you know you want to cancel your Chase card and don’t have another open Chase card, it might be a good idea to apply for another Chase card that earns Ultimate Rewards points so that you can move your Ultimate Rewards points before you close your current Chase credit card account.   The Chase Freedom is a good option because it has no annual fee but keep in mind you will not be approved if you are over 5/24 (you have been approved for more than 5 credit cards from any bank in the last 24 months) unless your online account has a selected for you offer.

If you don’t want to apply for a new card or are over 5/24, you might be able to do a product change (ask Chase to convert your card to a different card but keep the same account number).  One option is to downgrade your card to a no annual fee version for example changing your Chase Sapphire Preferred to a Freedom.

4) Use/reedeem your Ultimate Rewards points. If neither you or a household member has another Chase account or plan to open a new one, make sure to use your Chase Ultimate Rewards points. There are several ways to use your Chase Ultimate Rewards points including cash back, gift cards, Amazon and travel.   If you have a premium Ultimate Rewards card, you also transfer your Ultimate Rewards points to a travel loyalty program such as United. Here is a guide on how to transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Chase’s travel partners.

In conclusion, while Chase Ultimate Rewards points never expire as long as your account remains open, you need to make sure you don’t lose them when closing a Chase card account.

 

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