If you have one of Chase’s cobranded credit cards, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve, Ink Business Preferred Credit Card or Chase Freedom Flex, you will be able to earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points, which you can redeem through the Chase travel portal or by transferring them to airline and hotel partner programs. Chase points can typically be transferred at a 1:1 ratio for most partners.
However, taking advantage of transfer bonuses is one of the best ways to stretch your stash of points and miles for more trips and bigger savings. But one thing you should know is that not all transfer bonuses are a good deal.
In fact, some are offensively rotten. Don’t be drawn into utilizing a transfer bonus just because the transfer ratio looks generous.
Case in point: You’ll receive a 60% bonus when you transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to IHG One Rewards. The offer is currently valid until March 1. While that may sound like a no-brainer, we’ll show you why it’s not the best value for your points.
Get a 60% bonus when you transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to IHG
Here’s the simple reason transfer bonuses are sometimes a bad idea: All points are not created equal.
For example, TPG valuations find that Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth 2.05 cents each — while IHG One Rewards points are worth just 0.5 cents each.
Related: What are points and miles worth?
Chase is currently offering a 60% bonus when transferring Ultimate Rewards points to IHG. You can transfer points in increments of 1,000. Therefore, 1,000 Ultimate Rewards points would equal 1,600 IHG points. But based on TPG valuations, that’s like trading $20.50 worth of Ultimate Rewards points for $8 worth of IHG points.
Overall, it’s quite a bad deal unless you need just a few thousand more points for a particular award stay.
Take the Holiday Inn Express Columbus — Ohio Expo Center. You can reserve the hotel for 24,000 IHG points (or by transferring 15,000 Chase points to IHG during this transfer bonus).
TPG valuations estimate 16,000 Chase points to be worth $328. But the cash rate for this same room is just $164 (not including taxes and fees). In other words, even with this 60% bonus, the value you’ll get for your Chase points is below average.
In this scenario, you’ll save 2,139 Chase points by forgoing the transfer bonus and simply booking the stay with points through the Chase travel portal. Chase points are worth a fixed rate of about 1.25 cents apiece when redeemed this way.
Even cashing out your points at a rate of 1 cent each would save you thousands of points over using the current transfer bonus.
There are a few Chase Ultimate Rewards partners that are rarely a good transfer option — even with a healthy transfer bonus. IHG One Rewards is one of those partners.
To decide if a transfer bonus is a good idea, consult TPG’s monthly valuations and do the math to see if the value you’re getting is above or below the value of our average points.
That said, some transfer bonuses are excellent deals. Be sure to bookmark our transfer bonus page, which is updated regularly. We’ll let you know when a showstopper pops up.