My 90,000 point Ultimate Rewards mistake


You know that sinking knot in the pit of your stomach feeling when you realize you just made a big mistake?  Yeah, that was me yesterday morning…

I keep a spreadsheet of credit cards I’ve opened and closed, and I was doing a bit of housekeeping on the spreadsheet yesterday.  I had recently closed a couple of my wife’s cards, but hadn’t entered the cancellation dates into the spreadsheet.  Luckily, with her Chase Ink card, I knew exactly how to find the date.  I had requested her account be closed through the Chase Secure Message Center online.  I knew that I would find the date of cancellation in Chase’s Secure Message reply. 

I logged onto my wife’s business account to check the Secure Message Center.  Long ago, I had setup my own online account to show both my business and personal cards (the key is to call and ask to have your personal accounts shown within your business log-in), but I had never done so for my wife.  Instead, she has two Chase online IDs: one for her personal accounts and one for her business accounts.

Upon logging on, I was initially surprised to see approximately 90,000 Ultimate Rewards points in her account.  After all, she only had one Chase Ink business card, and that was now closed.  And, that’s when that sinking feeling hit… 

I had forgotten to move her points to another account before closing the card.

When you close an account that has an Ultimate Rewards balance, you lose the points.  Apparently, though, the points continue to show within your account for some amount of time.  I tried moving the points to my wife’s Freedom card account, but received an error.  I then tried my Freedom account and received an error again.  Same with my Ink Plus card.


I didn’t try transferring her points to a loyalty program because I didn’t have any specific use for the points in-mind at this time.  And, I was still hopeful that I could get the points back.

I went back to the secure message center to let them know what happened. I requested that the points be moved to my wife’s Freedom account or to her husband’s (my) Freedom account.  Two and a half anxious hours later, they replied:

I see that your Ink Plus credit card ending in XXXX was
closed on April 10, 2015. The option to transfer the
reward points is not available at this time.

However, in order to better assist you with reopening your
business account, I have forwarded your request to the
appropriate department for review. You will receive a
response to your email within seven days.

If you require immediate assistance, please contact
1-877-882-1890 and one of my colleagues will be able to
assist you.

I appreciate your patience and understanding in this

The gist of the message is that the points are unavailable as long as the card is closed, but that it might be possible to reopen the account.  At this point, I don’t know for sure whether or not we’ll get the points back.  My wife wasn’t available to call Chase (plus she really doesn’t want to), and we haven’t yet heard back from the “appropriate department” via the secure message center.

How to avoid this in the future

The simple solution for avoiding this problem is to not be an idiot like I was.  Make sure to use or move your rewards before cancelling a card.  To help avoid future idiocy like this, I added a page to the blog, under the Credit Cards menu: A checklist for cancelling credit cards.  There, you’ll find gems like these (with details):

  1. Stop using the card well before cancelling
  2. Check for other pending rewards
  3. Keep or cash out rewards
  4. Change automated payments
  5. Update your credit card tracking spreadsheet
  6. File or dispose of old card

What did I miss?  You can find the checklist here.

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Happening to me now. Closed my Ink Business Preferred on November 13th, forgot to transfer the points out to my other UR cards. Today, December 19th, I noticed 85k points missing from my UR balance. I am beyond the 30 days since closing – am I out of options? I have sent the Secured Message, will try Twitter now. I am open to reopening the account if necessary.


No go on all fronts – Chase will not reinstate points since it is past 30 days since closing. They will not reopen the closed account either for the same reason – 30 days since closing. Tried SM, Twitter and Phone call – no go. At this point, I am resigning to losing the 85k points 🙁 unless there is some other recourse.

[…] intend to keep active. Once you cancel, you will forfeit any unused points in that account (See: My 90,000 Ultimate Rewards Points mistake). A product change should not affect your balance, but some people prefer moving points before a […]

[…] intend to keep active. Once you cancel, you will forfeit any unused points in that account (See: My 90,000 Ultimate Rewards Points mistake). A product change should not affect your balance, but some people prefer moving points before a […]


I had 80K points on my chase Ultimate Rewards. I closed the account and forgot to transfer points. After 30 days I called them but they said they can’t do anything and reinstate those points. I can not reopen the account. I can reply get new card but who will do it? I need a way to reinstate 80k points. Please help…

All American Amy

Had exact same problem. Called them and no help. TWEETED them and had points reinstated in 2 days. Good luck to you


I make the same mistake. Since it pass 30 days, secure message won’t help at all. Amy, when you tweet chase, did you just @chase? Did they contact you later to solve the issue?
Greg, did you eventually get your points back?


Did it pass the 30 days when you found the left behind UR points after close your account?
My UR points are still shown “available” but it actually isn’t. This is the most frustrate part. Since it pass 30days, they said I have lost all points. Crying …..

All American Amy

@chase tweet. I did not receive further contact from them, per se. Just received the points into my still open account. Best of luck to you

[…] encountered one of the bigger concerns we have in the mile and point game: losing points! He’s trying to make lemonade out of lemons and sharing his mistake so others can avoid it. […]

[…] This is likely what happened to Juli.  And Juli isn’t alone.  This is a mistake even some of the most experienced in this hobby can make.  Check out Frequent Miler’s post where the same thing happened to him. […]

[…] I wrote previously about my mistake where I forgot to move my wife’s Ultimate Rewards points before I closed her Chase Ink Card account.  My goal was to try to resolve the issue through Secure Messaging, but I wasn’t getting anywhere through that channel.  I was finally resigned to the fact that I would have to convince my wife to get on the phone with Chase when another option presented itself.  I met with a Chase bank representative for another matter altogether and told him what happened.  He shot off an email to someone, somewhere and within a day or two our points were back and deposited into her Freedom account.  They didn’t even have to reopen my wife’s account to do so (as far as I know).  Whew. […]


Call them, they will temporarily open the account for you, move the points over and close the account – all in the very same phone call.

[…] My 90,000 point Ultimate Rewards mistake – Why you should never close a credit card account before transferring the points out. […]


Chase will give the points back to you (to an currently opened account).
I just made the same mistake a couple of months ago: I accidentally closed my ink account before transferring out points, sent a secure message after I realized that, and chase credited the points to my Freedom card one or two weeks later.
Hope this helps.

[…] I described my 90,000 point mistake.  I had forgotten to transfer my wife’s points out of her Ink Plus account before closing […]


I had that same sinking feeling yesterday…

After months of looking for AA award space for a return flight from my honeymoon in Europe, I finally found 2 J class seats that were’t on BA metal. I immediately put them on a 5 day hold to wait for a better connecting flight to open up. The confirm email noted that the deadline for the hold was 4/14 @ 11:59 PM (BST). For some reason I completely ignored the BST and when I logged in yesterday to complete my purchase, I saw that the hold was gone and that someone already booked or place the same flights on hold. So now the search goes on… Woe as me…


I assume that all card churners have a permanent Freedom card in their accounts. My suggestion is to routinely move points earned from Ink and CSP to the Freedom so that you never risk losing major points when cancelling the annual fee cards. I also routinely transfer all points earned on my wife’s cards to mine. Then when it’s time to transfer to a travel program, I move the points back to whatever Ink or CSP I have at that time.


Rich People Problems:):) I feel for you…you should see my confusion trying to use all my Amex at Lowes or Hilton or whatever. I end up using some of them twice and others not all all for the offers. My frequent flyer/guest/bank point/credit card stuff is harder to keep track of than my stock portfolio.

Anyway, when you have gotten your points back (which I know you will end up doing:)), and you feel like you have dodged a bullet on that one….will you invent a method(s) for you and all the rest of us to keep track of all this stuff? The tweetdeck helps, Offerbot was great while it lasted, but we need more. Help! And thanks for all that you do:)


I had the same issue and they were kind enough to give me the points back . Just ask nicely:)