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Do you know all the ways you can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to get Big Travel with Small Money?
Now that the sign-up bonus on the Chase Ink Bold, Chase Ink Plus, and Chase Ink Cash cards have increased to 60,000 points for the Ink Bold and Ink Plus and 30,000 for the Ink Cash, you might be wondering how to use all those points for Big Travel with Small Money!
How Do You Get Chase Ultimate Rewards Points?
Link: Chase Ink Plus
Link: Chase Ink Bold
Link: Chase Sapphire Preferred
Link: Chase Freedom
Link: Chase Ink Cash
You’ll earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points when you use your Chase Ink Plus, Chase Ink Bold, or Chase Sapphire Preferred card and you can transfer them directly to airlines and hotels.
You’ll also earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points when you use your Chase Freedom or Chase Ink Cash card, but you can’t transfer them to airlines and hotels directly. You need to have the Chase Ink Bold, Chase Ink Plus, or Chase Sapphire Preferred card and transfer the points to 1 of those accounts first.
Remember, each of these cards has bonus spending categories where you can earn 2X to 5X points for every $1 you spend. And you can earn even more points if you shop through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Mall.
Chase Ultimate Rewards Transfer Partners
Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfer 1:1 to certain airlines, hotels, and Amtrak. There are never any transfer fees and most transfers are instant.
By transferring to airlines and hotels, you’ll often get much better value from your points than if you redeemed them for cash travel bookings, merchandise, or cash back. But read about each transfer partner and do what makes the most sense for you!
Here are some ideas of what you can do with the Chase Ink Bold and Chase Ink Plus sign-up bonus.
1. United Airlines
Transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards points to United Airlines can be a very good deal! For example, you could transfer 65,000 points (60,000 from the sign-up bonus + at least 5,000 from minimum spending) to United Airlines and get:
- 3 short-haul (less than 700 miles) round-trip coach tickets (20,000 miles each) within the Continental US and Canada (with 5,000 miles left over)
- 2 round-trip coach tickets (25,000 miles each) within the Continental US and Canada (with 15,000 points left over)
- 1 round-trip Business Class ticket for 50,000 miles within the Continental US and Canada (with 15,000 points left over)
- 1 round-trip coach ticket to Europe for 60,000 United miles (with 5,000 miles left over)
United Airlines is part of Star Alliance, so you can use their miles to book flights on any Star Alliance airline, including Lufthansa, Air Canada, and Singapore Airlines.
You can read my series on how to use United miles to see where you could go!
You might have guessed that Emily and I love Southwest. 😉 Because award tickets are based on price and not distance, transferring points to Southwest can be a very good deal, especially when they’re having a sale!
For example, Southwest has a seat sale right now with cheap fares to many destinations. Using the Chase Ink sign-up bonus (plus 5,000 points from spending), you could fly a family of 4 round-trip from Chicago to Orlando in August for 61,472 points and $20.
It’s not often you earn enough points from 1 credit card sign-up bonus to take your whole family on vacation! And you’ll have a few points left over for your next trip.
Note: Transferring points from Chase does NOT count towards the Southwest Companion pass. But here are some easy ways to get extra points that DO count!
3. British Airways
You can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to British Airways, and use them for tickets on British Airways or any oneworld airline (like American Airlines, US Airways, or Cathay Pacific). You can also use their miles to book flights on their partner airlines, like Aer Lingus or Alaska Airlines.
Folks either love or hate British Airways points! They charge high fuel surcharges on most award tickets, often in the hundreds of dollars. But if you use the points towards flights on Air Berlin, Aer Lingus, Iberia, or LAN (except some domestic flights), you won’t pay fuel surcharges.
And if you use British Airways points for travel in the US, you could do well. Their award chart is distance-based, so for example, short-haul flights under 650 miles (say from Kansas City to Chicago) cost only 4,500 Avios each way. That’s a very good value!
4. Korean Air
Link: Korean Air Skypass
Korean Air is a member of Skyteam, which includes Delta, Air France, and KLM. If you transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Korean, you can use the miles to book award tickets on Korean Air or any Skyteam airline.
But did you know you can use Korean Air miles to fly on Alaska Airlines, Emirates, Etihad Airways, and Hawaiian Airlines?
I haven’t written much about Korean Air, but check out this One Mile at a Time post on how to use Korean Air miles. There are some situations where it could be a very good deal, especially if you’re looking for First Class award tickets.
5. Virgin Atlantic
You can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Virgin Atlantic, then use their miles for award tickets with them or their partners (which include Hawaiian Airlines, Singapore Airlines, and Delta). But you’ll pay high fuel surcharges!
That said, it could be worth paying higher fuel surcharges in return for paying fewer miles for a trip to Europe!
I wouldn’t transfer Chase points to Virgin Atlantic unless I really needed to fly them.
Or when I want hotel points, I prefer transferring Virgin Atlantic miles to Hilton at the 2:3 ratio.
Link: Hyatt Hotels
Link: Hyatt Award Chart
One of my favorite ways to use Chase Ultimate Rewards points is transferring them to Hyatt.
You can also use Hyatt points to upgrade to a club room (3,000 points per night) or suite (6,000 points per night) on paid stays. This is a nice way to treat yourself if you have a paid stay coming up!
We’ve transferred Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Hyatt and stayed at some great hotels! For example:
- Hyatt Regency Maui
- Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach
- Park Hyatt Vendome Paris
- Park Hyatt Milan
- Grand Hyatt Kauai
- Park Hyatt Goa
- Park Hyatt Zurich
Link: Marriott Hotels
Link: Marriott Award Chart
Marriott also recently changed their award program, with many hotels costing more points and some costing fewer.
Some of the lower-end Marriott hotels (like Courtyard and Residence Inn) can be very good value at 7,500 points per night. Your Chase Ink sign-up bonus could be worth 6 to 8 nights in a lower-category hotel!
8. IHG Hotels
Link: IHG Hotels
In general, you shouldn’t transfer points to IHG Hotels because you can usually get IHG hotel points cheaper. But it does make sense to transfer points to take advantage of IHG Rewards’ Points & Cash and PointBreaks programs.
You can check out the latest PointBreaks list to see where you can stay for 5,000 points per night. You could stretch your 65,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points for a 13-night stay at a PointBreaks hotel!
However, if you’re not averse to using the Cash and Points “trick” to buy IHG hotel points, then redeem for a statement credit, you’ll do better than transferring Ultimate Rewards points at a 1:1 ratio. That’s because you can “buy” the points for less than 1 cent each with the Cash and Points trick! But only do what’s comfortable for you!
Link: Ritz-Carlton Hotels
Link: Ritz-Carlton Award Chart
Ritz-Carlton award nights are generally quite pricey, but if you’re looking to treat yourself, you could transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points and stay at a fabulous hotel like the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong!
You could use the 60,000 points for a night at the Ritz-Carlton in places such as Los Angeles, Miami, Maui, New York City, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.
Ritz-Carlton also recently changed their award program. But while some hotels became more expensive, you can still get a 5th night free after 4 nights!
Link: Amtrak Award Chart
I don’t often take the train so I haven’t written much about transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Amtrak. But there are some very good deals for short-haul (1 zone) train trips. You can travel in coach in the Northeast Zone for 4,000 points each way, or in Business Class for 6,500 points.
Even a trip coast-to-coast (if you have the time for that!) is only 10,500 points each way in Coach Class, or 12,500 points in Business Class. And if you want to travel in style, a Roomette costs 35,000 points and a Bedroom (2 to 3 people) costs 60,000 points.
This might be a really neat way to see the country! Emily, would you take a long train trip with me? 😉
You can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to partner airlines, hotels, and Amtrak. Transfers are always 1:1 and there are no transfer fees.
If you have the Chase Ink Bold, Chase Ink Plus, or Chase Sapphire Preferred card, the transfers can be made directly. If you have a Chase Freedom or Chase Ink Cash card, you must also have the Chase Ink Bold, Chase Ink Plus, or Chase Sapphire Preferred to transfer to airlines and hotels. Otherwise, you can only use the points for cash back.
My favorite Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partners are Hyatt, Southwest, and United. Which are yours?
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