Chase Considering Ultimate Rewards Points Devaluation?

Chase recently sent out a survey to a customer focus group (h/t Reddit), and it sparked some speculation that Chase may be considering making changes to the Ultimate Rewards program. There may be a potential devaluation of Chase Ultimate Rewards points in the future. Here's what it means for customers. 

Disclaimer: These are speculations based on the survey and might not happen at all. Chase would have to send out an official notice to customers before these changes take place. 

Option 1. When you transfer points between Chase Ultimate Rewards (UR) earning cards, they transfer at a 3:2 ratio

For example, if you transfer 15k UR points from the Chase Freedom at a 3:2 rate to the Chase Sapphire Reserve, you would only receive 10k UR points.

If for some reason you wanted to transfer the same 10k UR points back to the Chase Freedom at 3:2 rate, you would only be left with 6.6k UR points.

You would lose points each time you transferred points to another account. To enforce a change like this, Chase would have to send everyone a notice about it. To be proactive, we recommend keeping your points in an account you know you'll redeem with.

Option 2. When you transfer Ultimate Rewards points between cards, they retain the original value

For example, if you transfer 10k UR points from the Freedom Unlimited to the Chase Sapphire Preferred or the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the points will retain $100 in value. The 1.25x/1.5x travel multiplier won't play a role. 

Option 3. UR transfers will be limited to annual fee and no annual fee cards

For example, you would be able to transfer UR points between the Chase Freedom, Chase Freedom Unlimited, and the Ink Cash, but nothing else (annual fee cards).

Likewise, you would be able to transfer points between the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Chase Sapphire Reserve, and the Ink Preferred, but nothing else (no annual fee cards). 

If any of these changes happen, it would mean that getting the Chase Freedom Unlimited would not be valuable.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited earns 1.5x UR on everything.

Option 1 (3:2 transfer)

  • 1.5x UR transfer at 3:2 = 1x UR
  • 1x UR with portal = 1.5 cents per point = 1.5%
  • OR
  • 1x UR with transfer partners = 2 CPP = 2%
  • Transfer partners is a lot more work but still feasible for value

Option 2 (original value)

  • 1.5x UR = 1.5% regardless of transfers

Option 3 (limited transfer)

  • transfer = pointless so just redeem at 1.5%

The Chase Freedom is still valuable because you can earn 5x UR points.

How it affects the Chase Trifecta:

Option 1 (3:2 transfer)

  • Best alternative = 15k UR from Chase Freedom = $150 cash out
  • VS.
  • Transfer to CSP/CSR = 10k UR, but you can use transfer partners. 
  • Transfer partners = 2 CPP (or more depending on routing)
  • 10k UR = $200 (or more) = higher than "cash out rate of $150"

Option 2 (original value)

  • The transfer is pointless

Option 3 (limited transfer)

  • The transfer isn't possible