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Warning: Chase closing Sapphire Preferred accounts for point transfer violations

by on Mon October 15, 2012 • 9 Comments

chasesapphirevisaOur favorite feature of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is the ability to transfer the Ultimate Rewards points it earns 1:1 into partner airline and hotel programs, including United, Southwest, Hyatt, Marriott, and more. It also lets you combine the points you earn from other Chase Ultimate Rewards® credit cards like the Chase Freedom® and Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card into your Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card’s points account.

But according to reports on FlyerTalk some people have had their Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card accounts closed recently for point transfers that broke Chase’s rules [see thread].


They made transfers to or received Ultimate Rewards points from someone who wasn’t a spouse or domestic partner.

A lot of people thought it was okay to combine points among friends and family’s Ultimate Rewards accounts. Unfortunately that’s against Chase’s Ultimate Rewards terms and conditions for combining points, which say only spouses or domestic partners can combine:

  • Note: Once points are transferred, they cannot be credited back. Transfers may only be used to combine points belonging to the same individual or business in the program; or for the purpose of enabling spouses or domestic partners to combine points. Chase will not make the transfer if the credit card account(s) or checking account(s), as applicable, are in default at the time of the transfer.

Now, for transferring points outside Ultimate Rewards to United, Hyatt, etc. the rules as posted in Chase’s Ultimate Rewards FAQ are a little more lax:

  • You can only transfer points to a frequent travel account belonging to you, your household member or an authorized user or employee.
  • When completing a point transfer transaction, you must provide the name and account number associated with the frequent travel account.

So, in addition to a spouse, you can transfer points to the point transfer partner account of any household member, anyone who is an authorized user of your credit card account, or if you have a business card like the Ink Bold (offer not available), an employee.

What does Chase do when it discovers a violation?

In the cases on FlyerTalk, they’ve closed the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card credit card account altogether, with no option to re-apply, and given 90 days to use or transfer the points. A harsh penalty, but at least they’re not confiscating the points…

Also, for now the reports of closed accounts are only for instances of combining points within Ultimate Rewards, not for transferring outside the program.

What’s puzzling is some of the people who had their accounts closed said they did the point combining transactions over the phone, with Chase agents, who authorized the transfer and made no hint of it being against program rules.

That’s concerning. And it looks like they are getting more aggressive this month.


The following two tabs change content below.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Miles dont expireas long as card is open
Learn more

Partner Offer

50,000 bonus points

Intro Offer

$0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $95

Annual Fee


Foreign Transaction Fee Waived

Yes - transfer to United MileagePlus, Southwest Rapid Rewards, Marriott Rewards, and more

Points Can Transfer to Airline Miles ?

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9 thoughts on Warning: Chase closing Sapphire Preferred accounts for point transfer violations

  1. Zach

    I had transferred points from my chase sapphire card and added them to another Chase Ultimate rewards card by mistake. When I moved All the points from the Ultimate Rewards card back to my sapphire my account was closed after that purchase with my reward points, used for travel. I have three credit cards, three business accounts and one personal account wth chase. All of my chase accounts were recently closed and they would not give a reason why. Has anyone ever heard of this? I’m assuming this is what the issue is. Your help is appreciated.

  2. Twilliams

    I want to close my account. Looking for a card that won’t charge me just to carry it.
    I Chose the wrong type of card.
    None of the “rewards” or “benefits serve me any purpose.


      @Twilliams – Give a call to the number on the back of your card. They can either switch you to a different card with no fee or close the account altogether.

  3. Alexandra

    I don’t get why they let us make transfers over the phone if they were against the rules. They need to make it clearer on their website too.

    1. MileCards

      @Jack1983 – Looks like that’s not permitted for combining points. External transfers are okay if her address is the same as yours on the mileage account.

  4. Jeff

    What I’m wondering is…how would they know someone’s say, Korean Airlines or Marriott account belongs to someone not in the household?


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