Chase Ultimate Rewards Points Transfer Changes have gone into effect today, November 15, 2015. I received secure messages for my Ink Plus and Sapphire accounts, and you likely have too, if you have these cards. Here are the changes for Chase Sapphire Preferred and Ink Plus cards:
Chase Sapphire Preferred Ultimate Rewards Points Transfer Changes
As of today, 11/15/15, you can transfer Ultimate Rewards points earned from your Sapphire Preferred card to an airline frequent flyer program or hotel loyalty program in your name or that of 1 (one) additional household member who is an authorized user of your card. That household member does not need to be your spouse or domestic partner, but must be an authorized user, and once you transfer points to that person, s/he will be the only authorized user eligible to receive Ultimate Rewards points transfers.
This is a change from previously, where you were allowed to transfer points to your own or a spouse/domestic partner's airline or hotel program. In practice this was not enforced, so it likely led to abuse since some members transferred to others who were not their spouse or domestic partner, or even to mileage brokers, which are prohibited transfers by Chase and every other major credit card and frequent flyer program.
Similarly, the new rules allow you to transfer Ultimate Rewards points to Chase cards you have or that another member of your household has. That member no longer has to be your spouse or domestic partner.
Ink Plus Ultimate Rewards Points Transfer Changes
For the Ink Plus, as of today, 11/15/15, you can transfer Ultimate Rewards points to airline frequent flyer and hotel loyalty programs that belong to you or to an owner of the company who is also an authorized user of the card. This is a change from previously, where you were supposed to have only been able to transfer points to frequent flyer and loyalty program accounts belonging to you, a joint business owner or a spouse or domestic partner. As with the Sapphire Preferred, this had not been strictly enforced, so the new policy is likely to crack down on abuses and mileage brokering.
Similarly, for points transfers to other Chase cards, the new rules permit you to transfer points to “another Chase card with Ultimate Rewards belonging to you or one member of your household or owner of the company, as applicable.”
These changes to the Sapphire Preferred are helpful if you're in a household where the person you travel with is not your spouse or domestic partner, for example your parent, adult child, relative or friend. The transfers for the Ink Plus have become more restrictive, but this shouldn't be an issue for most, since even if your spouse or partner is not an owner of the company, you'd be able to book award travel for them out of your account anyway, or consolidate points with a Chase Sapphire Preferred personal card before transferring points to one of your spouse or partner's frequent flyer accounts.
It's not surprising to see changes that are meant to crack down on mileage brokers, which in addition to flouting program rules, I never recommend using.
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