If you spent the past year stockpiling the credit card points you earned on everyday spending, you may be starting to consider the best way to cash-in on future travel.
In addition to great redemptions on direct travel bookings made through Chase, cardholders can maximize their points with the issuer’s travel partners. With an eligible card account, you can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points at a 1:1 ratio with any of Chase’s transfer partners, in increments of 1,000.
Travel is already the most lucrative way to redeem your Ultimate Rewards points. If you’re looking for simplicity, redeeming points through Chase’s travel portal will often go far in maximizing value. But if you’re willing to do a little extra work and compare transfer options, turning your Chase points into airline miles or hotel loyalty points can help you get even more bang for your buck.
Chase Ultimate Rewards Transfer Partners
Whether you prefer domestic travel or you’re preparing for your next international trip, Chase’s airline and hotel partners offer plenty of options around the world, including itineraries within or from the United States. These partners make it easy to turn your Chase points into points within their own loyalty programs, which you can use to book airfare or hotel stays directly.
Chase Airline Partners:
- Aer Lingus
- Air Canada
- British Airways
- Flying Blue (Air France and KLM)
- Singapore Airlines
- United Airlines
- Virgin Atlantic
Chase Hotel Partners:
In general, Chase points are worth 1 cent each when redeemed for cash back or gift cards. You can boost redemption value for travel with an eligible Chase travel card — Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve® points are worth 1.25 cents to 1.5 cents when you redeem for travel.
But transferring points to Chase airline and hotel partners can be even more valuable. Depending on when you book and your specific travel plans, you can increase the value of your points by using them on specific travel routes, and you can even save on upgrades or booking premium airline cabins.
Transfer partners are also a great option if you’re already a member of an airline or hotel loyalty program, and you’re working toward securing or maintaining elite status with your preferred brand.
When It Makes Sense (or Doesn’t) to Transfer Points
If you’re already a member of an airline or hotel loyalty program, transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards points can help save on bookings you’d make anyway and help you reach elite status. For specific trips, it can also make sense to transfer points if you need to “top up” your account to make a redemption you want.
But before you decide to transfer to an airline or hotel partner for a specific trip, check your itinerary within the Chase travel portal to see if booking directly with points is a better deal.
This is especially true for hotel programs that have low point values and even lower nightly rates. Depending on the transfer value and specific details of your trip, you may find booking directly through Chase can better maximize points.
Here’s an example:
If you wanted to book the Aruba Marriott Stellaris Resort and Casino for dates in August, the cost in dollars is about $420 per night, whether you book through Marriott or Chase. For this stay, $420 is equivalent to 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. And because Chase points transfer 1:1, you’ll use 60,000 points per night if you choose to book this way.
However, you could skip transferring your points and book through the Chase portal for a lot less. Because Chase Sapphire Reserve points earn a 50% boost when you redeem through Chase’s portal, Reserve cardholders can book the same dates for just 28,600 points per night — far fewer points for the same $420 hotel booking.
On the other hand, some flights or hotel stays will cost more through Chase’s portal than directly with the transfer partner. In those cases, you may be able to transfer fewer points to the partner loyalty program than you’d pay redeeming through Chase. It can be worth taking the extra step to compare all your options to best maximize value.
Before you book a round trip flight from New York to Los Angeles, for example, compare the cost of your trip within the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and across travel partners — you may find a flight on American Airlines for fewer points than the same date and destination on JetBlue or through Chase.
Another thing to keep in mind is that booking through the Chase portal (or any other third party site) typically means missing out on any elite status benefits you might be eligible for with the hotel or airline program.
Chase Ultimate Rewards Airline Partner Programs
Chase partners with some of the largest airlines for domestic travel in the United States, as well as plenty of international carriers. Here’s more information about each of Chase’s airline partners:
Aer Lingus is a popular choice for flights to Dublin, Ireland, or for travelers using Ireland as a stopover on the way to Europe. This Chase partner is known for its inexpensive off-peak redemptions from the U.S. to Ireland with no fuel surcharges.
You can transfer points to British Airways for flights to the U.K. or to reach the rest of Europe, although very high fuel surcharges can make this an unattractive option. Generally, it’s much better to use British Airways miles for inexpensive domestic flights within the U.S. on partner American Airlines.
Emirates Skywards redemptions offer an excellent way to book flights to Dubai and the rest of the world; Emirates serves a lot of destinations in Asia, Africa and Australia. This airline is known for its luxury experience, even for travelers who book an economy class flight.
Flying Blue (Air France and KLM)
You can frequently get more value for miles within the Flying Blue program when you redeem for off-peak flights in a premium cabin. Flying Blue is the frequent flyer program of both Air France and Dutch flag carrier KLM, which both serve many destinations in the U.S. Flying Blue makes it easy to book inexpensive economy flights to Europe, with many round-trip flight options from the U.S. costing less than 50,000 miles.
You can use points transferred to Iberia to fly with the airline and a range of other partners in the oneworld airline alliance, like American Airlines and Alaska Airlines. Iberia is Spain’s flagship airline, so it’s an excellent choice if you want to explore Spain, Portugal, and the rest of Europe.
JetBlue’s TrueBlue loyalty program is fare-based, meaning points values fluctuate based on price, and you can get a better deal for your points when prices are lower. While JetBlue currently flies within the United States and to the Caribbean and Mexico and select destinations in Central and South America, the airline recently announced flights to London starting later in 2021.
A great way to maximize points you transfer to Singapore KrisFlyer program miles is by redeeming for premium flights, including those booked in the ultra-luxe Singapore Suites. This airline flies to Singapore of course, but can also open the door to destinations in Asia, Europe, Australia, and more international spots.
Southwest Rapid Rewards’ fare-based program makes it easy to score great deals on domestic flights when prices are low. Southwest also allows all customers two free checked bags regardless of whether you pay with cash or points, and offers an incredibly flexible cancellation and rebooking policy.
Frequent flyers near a United Airlines hub can transfer points to United MileagePlus program miles for the popular domestic airline, and take advantage of its partners. Because it’s a Star Alliance member, you can use your United miles to fly with more than 35 airlines to more than 1,000 destinations worldwide.
Miles you redeem within the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club let you explore the airline’s native United Kingdom and beyond. Virgin Atlantic offers flights to Asia, Africa, and Israel, along with destinations in the U.S., Europe, and elsewhere with partners like Delta Air Lines, Air France and KLM.
Chase Ultimate Rewards Hotel Partner Programs
In addition to airline partners, you can also redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards with hotel partners to reserve an upcoming stay and make moves toward elite status. Chase partners with three hotel programs, all of which offer an array of properties worldwide.
When you transfer points to the World of Hyatt loyalty program, you’ll have the option to book 950 hotels and resorts across the globe, including all-inclusive properties and wellness resort properties. Free night awards start at 5,000 points per night, but in 2021, Hyatt will begin more flexible redemptions with off-peak and peak booking options.
IHG Rewards points let you book all types of stays, from roadside Holiday Inns to luxury resorts in the Maldives and Bora Bora. In all, you can cash in your points at more than 5,000 hotels worldwide. Free reward nights start at 10,000 points.
As the world’s largest hotel chain, Marriott has more than 6,900 properties across 30 hotel brands in 130 different countries. Free nights in the Marriott Bonvoy program start at 5,000 points.
Which Credit Cards Allow You To Transfer Ultimate Rewards Points?
Three credit cards from Chase let you transfer points to Chase airline and hotel partners:
- Chase Sapphire Preferred: Earn 60,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 within three months of account opening. Also earn 5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on travel booked with Chase Ultimate Rewards®; 3x points on dining (including eligible takeout and delivery), select streaming services, and online grocery purchases; 2x points on travel not booked with Chase; and 1x points on everything else. Points earned with this card are worth 1.25 cents each when redeemed for travel through Chase. A $95 annual fee applies.
- Chase Sapphire Reserve: This luxury travel credit card charges a $550 annual fee, but in exchange you’ll get travel perks like a $300 annual travel credit, Priority Pass Select airport lounge membership, 50% boosted value when you redeem points for travel through Chase, and more. You can earn 60,000 points when you spend $4,000 within three months of account opening. You’ll also earn 10x points on hotels and car rentals booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards; 10x points on dining through Chase Dining; 10x on Lyft rides through March 2025; 5x on airfare booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards; 3x on all other travel and dining; 1x on everything else.
- Chase Ink Business Preferred® Card: Start off by earning 100,000 points when you spend $15,000 within three months of account opening with this business credit card. You can also earn 3x points on up to $150,000 in combined spending each year on shipping; social media and search engine advertising; internet, cable and phone services; and travel (then 1x points). For all other spending, you’ll earn 1 point per dollar. Points are worth 1.25 cents each when redeemed for travel through Chase, and there’s a $95 annual fee.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Intro offer:60,000 points
- Annual fee:$95
- Regular APR:20.24% – 27.24% Variable
- Recommended credit:670-850 (Good to Excellent)
- Apply Now At Chase’s secure site
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
- Intro offer:60,000 points
- Annual fee:$550
- Regular APR:21.24% – 28.24% Variable
- Recommended credit:740-850 (Excellent)
- Apply Now At Chase’s secure site
Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partners can be lucrative if you know how to use them, but don’t forget to compare the transfer value to what you may save by booking travel directly through Chase’s travel portal.
And if you’re not quite ready to book travel yet, you can rest assured that the points you’ve accumulated never expire as long as your Chase account remains open and in good standing.
*All information about the Chase Freedom Flex℠ has been collected independently by NextAdvisor and has not been reviewed by the issuer.