Published in: Credit Cards | Dec. 13, 2018

Do Chase Ultimate Rewards® Points Ever Expire?

By:  Lyle Daly

We are committed to full transparency as part of our mission to make the world smarter, happier, & richer. You should know that offers on The Ascent may be from our partners - it's how we make money. That transparency to you is core to our editorial integrity, which isn’t influenced by compensation.

Wondering if you could end up losing your bundle of Chase Ultimate Rewards® points? Here’s what you need to know on whether they expire and how to keep them.

hourglass timer

Image source: Getty Images

They say nothing lasts forever, and that often includes rewards points. One of the things you always need to know when you’re earning points is if they can expire. No one wants to see their stash of 50,000 points disappear because they were careless.

That’s even more important with Chase Ultimate Rewards® points, because they’re about as valuable a rewards currency as you’ll find. If you have some Ultimate Rewards® points built up, here’s what you need to know about whether they’ll expire.

Do Chase Ultimate Rewards® points ever expire?

No, Chase Ultimate Rewards® points never expire, so you can’t lose them just because they’ve been sitting around for years.

If Chase is going to close your account for inactivity, it will notify you in writing ahead of time, giving you a chance to use the points.

Closures for other reasons exist in more of a gray area. For example, if Chase thinks you are gaming the system, they may choose to close your account. That can happen without warning, and you may not have the opportunity to redeem your points first. But if you’re using your card normally, you have nothing to worry about.

How to use your points before closing a Chase card

Let’s say that you’re going to close your Chase card, or Chase is going to close it for inactivity. Here’s how you can earn the most value with your Chase points: 

  • Shift them to another Ultimate Rewards® card -- If you have multiple Ultimate Rewards® cards, you can combine them onto one card. For example, if you’re closing or downgrading a Chase Ink Business Preferred℠, you could combine those points onto a different Chase card. This method is ideal, because you’ll retain your Ultimate Rewards® points.
  • Transfer them -- If you use a specific airline or hotel frequently, you could transfer your points there and book travel with them later. While this method works well when you don’t want to use your points yet, keep in mind that airline and hotel points usually expire after a certain amount of time, so you will need to use them before that happens.
  • Book travel through the Ultimate Rewards® portal -- This only works if you have travel you wish to book immediately. You can go through the Ultimate Rewards® portal to book in cash and receive a fixed rate for your points.
  • Redeem for cash back -- As a last resort, Ultimate Rewards® points are worth $0.01 per point in cash back. For travel rewards points, that’s a solid rate, but this method still isn’t ideal since there are higher-value options available.

Why you shouldn’t wait to use your points

Since Ultimate Rewards® points don’t expire, you could conceivably hold onto them as long as you wanted. This isn’t a good idea, though, because rewards points aren’t something that have a steady value. Redemption options can change with hardly any notice.

Ultimate Rewards® points are among the more stable reward currencies, as there’s a large lineup of transfer partners and you can always fall back on fixed-rate redemptions as well. Still, Chase could cut ties with your preferred transfer partner or make other changes to its program. That’s why you should aim to use your points within a reasonable time frame.

You don’t need to rush to use your rewards, but there’s no sense in hoarding them, either. When you have a trip on the horizon, you might as well cash in those points for a free flight, hotel, or both.

Our #1 cash back pick has a surprise bonus

This may be the perfect cash back card! That's because it packs in $1,148 of value. Cardholders can earn up to 5% cash back, double rewards in the first year, and avoid interest well into 2020. With such a deep bench of perks you'll wonder how this card packs in a $0 annual fee. Best yet, you can apply and get a decision in two minutes. Learn more with our in-depth review.

Find the right card for you