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One of the best ways to get the most value out of your credit cards is by using cards that can work together so that ALL of your purchases earn rewards that work for you. For instance, several Chase credit cards earn Ultimate Rewards® points that can be redeemed in several ways, with the most redemption value coming through award travel. One question that comes up is if you can use the no annual fee Chase Freedom Unlimited® with the top travel Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card? The answer is YES, not only can you use the cards together, we encourage you to do it!
Chase has cards that don’t have an annual fee but still earn rewards that can be combined with some of their other cards. More specifically, the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, the Chase Sapphire Cards, and the Freedom Cards can pool together to give cardholders the most Ultimate Rewards points (known as the Chase trifecta).
As an example, here’s how and why you should transfer your Freedom Unlimited points to the Sapphire Preferred for better redemption options.
Chase Freedom Unlimited Benefits
You might think that the Chase Freedom Unlimited doesn’t seem to offer the most exciting benefits at first glance. But, you can earn more on non-bonus spending when your go-to Chase Sapphire Preferred only earns the base rate of 1 point per $1.
Earn Up to 5 Ultimate Rewards per $1
Chase Freedom Unlimited cardholders earn unlimited:
- 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- 3% cash back on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services
- 3% cash back on drugstore purchases
- 1.5% cash back on all other purchases
Each Chase Freedom Unlimited® purchase earns between 1.5 and 5 points per $1.
Earning 1.5% cash back instead of just 1% cash back can quickly add up!
However, the Freedom Unlimited points are only worth 1 cent each when redeemed for award travel booked on Chase Ultimate Rewards and for cash redemptions. Gift cards and online shopping credit rewards are only worth 0.8 cents each. Plus, you cannot transfer Ultimate Rewards points to the 1:1 airline and hotel transfer partners via Freedom Unlimited. But, you can transfer to the Sapphire cards, which can then transfer to the Chase travel partners (more on that below).
Chase Freedom Unlimited Signup Bonus
New Chase Freedom Unlimited® cardholders can earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything they buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) – worth up to $300 cash back! That means new cardholders can enjoy:
- 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards® (Chase’s premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards, and more)
- 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases
- 4.5% on dining at restaurants (including takeout and eligible delivery service)
- 3% on all other purchases
New cardholders earn this extra 1.5% cash back on up to $20,000 spent in the first year.
Related: Chase Freedom Unlimited Review
Chase Sapphire Benefits
The Chase Sapphire Preferred earns up to 5x points per $1 on purchases but has more valuable redemption options. The Chase Sapphire Preferred earns unlimited:
- 5x points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards® (excluding hotel purchases that qualify for the $50 Anniversary Hotel Credit)
- 3x points on dining (including eligible delivery services, takeout, and dining out)
- 3x points on online grocery purchases (excluding Target®, Walmart®, and wholesale clubs)
- Also, 3x points on select streaming services
- 2x points on all other travel purchases
- 1x point per $1 spent on all non-bonus purchases
There is a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit. It comes in a statement credit that will automatically be applied to your account when your card is used for hotel accommodation purchases made through the Ultimate Rewards program, up to an annual maximum accumulation of $50. This can be one of the best credit cards for hotels if you like flexibility but don’t use hotels too often.
Plus, you’ll earn bonus points equal to 10% of your total purchases made the previous year on each account anniversary. So, if you spend $25,000 on purchases, you’ll get 2,500 bonus points.
Each point is worth 25% more (1.25 cents each) when booking award travel on Chase Ultimate Rewards. You can also transfer Sapphire points to airlines and hotels at a 1:1 ratio.
As you can see, transferring your Freedom Unlimited points to the Sapphire Preferred can help you get the maximum value from your Ultimate Rewards when you earn and redeem them.
Chase Sapphire Preferred Signup Bonus
New Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card cardholders can earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $750 when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
Related: Chase Sapphire Preferred Review
How to Transfer Freedom Unlimited Points
It’s easy to transfer your Freedom Unlimited points to a Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve®. The process can also be the same if you have the Chase Freedom® (no longer open for new applicants) or Chase Freedom Flex℠.
If you’re thinking about applying for the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you can continue accumulating Freedom Unlimited points now and transfer them to your Sapphire account later.
It’s free to transfer your points, and there isn’t a transfer minimum like the 1,000-point minimum for the Ultimate Rewards travel transfer partners.
Here’s how to transfer your rewards.
Step 1: Log Into Chase Freedom Unlimited Account
The first step is to log into your Chase account at Chase.com or use the Chase mobile app.
From here, you go to your Chase Freedom Unlimited® account.
Step 2: Choose “Combine Points”
Under the “Earn/Use” button, once you access your Ultimate Rewards account, tap the “Combine Points” option.
Step 3: Enter Sapphire Preferred Card Details
The next step is entering the cardholder’s last name and card number of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.
You will need to certify if the Sapphire Preferred card belongs to you or another person in your household.
It’s also possible to transfer your points to other consumer and business cards that earn Ultimate Rewards, including:
Step 4: Complete Transfer
The final step is to complete the transfer after linking the card accounts. The transfer should complete almost instantly.
Ultimate Rewards Transfer Rules
Current guidelines let you transfer your Freedom Unlimited points to another Chase Ultimate Rewards account that you hold or another household member has.
During the transfer process, you will check a box certifying you’re transferring your points to a qualifying credit card account.
Violating the transfer rules can result in the immediate closure of your Freedom Unlimited credit card. You may also get a temporary suspension from earning future Ultimate Rewards.
Prohibited transfer reasons include:
- Buying or selling Ultimate Rewards
- Transferring to an unauthorized non-household account
- Repeatedly opening the same credit cards for generating points
Many people convert their Freedom points into Sapphire points. A standard transfer shouldn’t raise any red flags with Chase.
Should You Transfer Points to the Sapphire Preferred?
Several reasons make sense to transfer your points to the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.
25% Travel Redemption Bonus
Each Sapphire Preferred point is worth 1.25 cents each when booking award travel using Chase Ultimate Rewards. Freedom Unlimited points are only worth 1.00 cents each.
1:1 Point Transfers
Only Chase Ultimate Rewards credit cards that have an annual fee have 1:1 point transfer capability to airlines and hotels. The Chase Freedom Unlimited® doesn’t charge an annual fee and therefore doesn’t support points transfers to travel partners.
Some of the transfer partners include:
- United Airlines
- Southwest Airlines
- World of Hyatt
- IHG Rewards Club
- Marriott Bonvoy
Related: Chase Ultimate Rewards review
No Transfer Fees
There are no transfer fees for Ultimate Rewards transfers between Chase accounts.
Chase Pay Yourself Back
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a travel reward credit card. But people are not traveling as much these days due to the global health situation.
The Chase Pay Yourself Back feature lets Sapphire cardholders get the travel redemption bonus on common daily purchases.
When Not to Transfer Points to Sapphire
Here are some instances of why you wouldn’t transfer your Freedom Unlimited points.
Redeeming Points for Cash Rewards
Cash statement credits and bank deposits for either card are only worth 1 cent each. Transferring your Freedom and Freedom Unlimited points is worth it when you can take advantage of the 25% travel redemption bonus or 1:1 point transfers.
Maximizing the limited-time Pay Yourself Back purchase credit bonus is worth it too.
Can’t Transfer to a Qualifying Card Account
It’s not worth transferring your Ultimate Rewards to an ineligible account and risking account closure. Ultimate Rewards are some of the most valuable credit card points, and closing a credit card can also temporarily damage your credit history.
Transferring your Chase Freedom Unlimited® points to a Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve® is free and effortless. If you’re transferring to another card in your wallet, you can complete the process within a few minutes and access more valuable redemption options.
No annual fee: Chase Freedom Unlimited®
60,000 Bonus Offer: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Can you transfer Freedom Unlimited points?
It’s possible to transfer Freedom Unlimited points to another credit card that earns Chase Ultimate Rewards cards. One stipulation is that you or another household member must be a cardholder.
You can’t transfer Freedom or Freedom Unlimited points to the Ultimate Rewards airline or hotel transfer partners. Only the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve®, and Chase Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card support point transfers.
Which is better? Chase Freedom Unlimited or Sapphire Preferred?
The Chase Freedom Unlimited® can be better if you want a credit card without an annual fee. It can also earn more points than the Sapphire Preferred on non-bonus purchases (1.5x points vs. 1x points).
Each Freedom Unlimited point is worth 1 cent each for award travel and cash redemptions, but 1:1 point transfers are unavailable.
You may prefer the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card if you can maximize the 25% travel redemption bonus or the 1:1 travel partner point transfers.
Each Sapphire Preferred point is worth 1.25 cents (25% more) for award travel on Chase Ultimate Rewards. You can also transfer them in 1,000-point increments to popular airline and hotel loyalty programs.
Travel purchases made directly with the travel provider or third-party booking sites earn bonus points instead of only the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.
You must decide if the enhanced points opportunities are worth the $95 annual fee.
Can I have the Chase Freedom Unlimited and a Sapphire Card?
Yes, it’s possible to hold both the Freedom Unlimited and a Sapphire card (Sapphire Preferred or Sapphire Reserve) simultaneously.
You can use the Chase Freedom Unlimited® for purchases that earn more points than the Sapphire. Then, you can transfer your points to your Sapphire account to get better award travel options.
If you currently have neither card, you can only try for one at a time. You will need to wait at least 30 days between card applications. Waiting between 3 and 6 months can be a better move as you have ample time to meet the sign-up bonus spending requirement and establish a positive payment history on your first card.
If you’re a “card churner,” keep an eye on the Chase 5/24 rule. Chase will most likely decline your application if you have 5 or more new credit card accounts that are less than 24 months old.
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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.