How to Fly to Europe Using the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

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Folks with the Chase Sapphire Preferred card can transfer their Chase Ultimate Rewards points to terrific airline transfer partners, including United Airlines, for award flights to Europe.

How To Fly To Europe Using The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

Explore Bavaria’s Capital City! Use Chase Ultimate Rewards Points for a Trip to Munich, Germany

I’ll show you how to use your points for award flights.  And how to earn points on everyday purchases!

How To Fly With Chase Sapphire Preferred Series Index

What Are Chase Ultimate Rewards Points?

Link:   Chase Ultimate Rewards Transfer Partners

Chase Ultimate Rewards points are flexible points that transfer 1:1 to certain airlines and hotels.  And until December 7, 2015, you can transfer points to Amtrak.  There are never any transfer fees and most transfers are instant.

I also like that Chase Ultimate Rewards points do NOT expire.

Rumor 100,000 Chase Ultimate Reward Point Sign Up Bonus With New Card Coming Soon

Chase Ultimate Rewards Points Transfer 1:1 to British Airways, Singapore Airlines, and United Airlines. These Are the Best Partners to Use for Trips to Europe

By transferring to airlines and hotels, you’ll often get much better value from your points than if you redeemed them for travel bookings, merchandise, or cash back.

In particular, these airlines are useful for award flights when you want to visit to Europe:

  • United Airlines
  • Singapore Airlines
  • British Airways

For trips across the Atlantic, United Airlines miles are the best, because they have reasonable award prices, and they don’t add fuel surcharges to flights on their airline partners.  Let’s take a closer look.

Note:   Once you transfer your Chase Ultimate rewards points to a travel partner, you can NOT transfer them back.  And they become subject to the airline or hotel’s expiration rules.

Using United Airlines Miles Between the US and Europe

Link:   United Airlines Award Chart

Link:   United Airlines Partners

Link:   United Airlines Partner Award Chart

Link:   The Ultimate Guide to United Airlines Miles

I’ve written about how to use United Airlines miles to Europe.  On their own flights to Europe, the lowest award rate United Airlines charges is:  

  • 60,000 United Airlines miles for a round-trip coach award ticket
  • 115,000 to 160,000 United Airlines miles for a round-trip Business Class or First Class award ticket, depending on which classes of service are offered
How To Fly To Europe Using The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

United Airlines Has Lots of Airline Partners That Fly to Europe Including Austrian, Brussels Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, and More!

And on partner award flights (like those on LOT Polish Airlines, SWISS, etc.), you’ll need:

  • 60,000 United Airlines miles for a round-trip coach award ticket
  • 140,000 United Airlines miles for a round-trip Business Class award ticket
  • 220,000 United Airlines miles for a round-trip First Class award ticket

Let’s explore specific examples.

1.   From New York to Europe

a.   Paris

I searched for award flights from New York to Paris, and found lots of options.

How To Fly To Europe Using The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

When Flying from New York to Paris, You Have Your Pick of Times, Airlines, and Cabins

Coach award flights are available on:

  • Aer Lingus
  • Air Canada
  • Lufthansa
  • SAS
  • SWISS
  • TAP Air Portugal
  • United Airlines

Don’t worry, you do NOT have to memorize which airlines fly to the places you want to visit.  They’ll show up automatically in the award search!

And keep in mind, you can use United Airlines miles to book award flights on partner airlines, but you can NOT transfer them to the other airline directly.

If you want to fly over in coach, you have your choice of airlines and flight times.  Taxes and fees are between ~$6 and ~$40, and you won’t pay more in cash if you decide to fly in Business Class or First Class (although you will pay more in miles).

Note:  You’ll pay more miles to fly in Business Class or First Class on an airline partner than on a United Airlines flight.

You might decide to fly on a partner airline because:

  • Their flights are more convenient for you
  • They have a direct flight instead of 1 that connects
  • There’s nothing available on United Airlines
  • You prefer to fly out of a certain airport (JFK instead of EWR, for example)
  • You want the experience of trying a new airline
How To Fly To Europe Using The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

If You Have the Option Between a Saver or Standard Award, Always Pick the Saver Level! It’s the Same Set of Flights, but Costs Much Fewer Miles!

Note that United Airlines sometimes mixes their cabins.  In this example, the ~1 hour flight from Newark to Washington, DC, is in coach, but the flight from Washington, DC, to Paris is in Business Class.  But always check by clicking “Details.”

And, if you have the choice between a “Saver” award or a “Standard” award for the same class of service, always choose the Saver level.  In this example, you’ll pay over double the miles for the same flights if you select “Standard”!

b.   Munich

If you want to visit Munich from New York, you also have your choice of airlines and departure times.

How To Fly To Europe Using The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

I Found Nonstop Flights in Coach on United Airlines for 30,000 United Airlines Miles Each Way

Flights are available on:

  • Aer Lingus
  • Lufthansa
  • SWISS
  • United Airlines
How To Fly To Europe Using The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

I Found a First Class Seat for 80,000 United Airlines Miles Each Way

If you fly over in United Airlines First Class, you can connect in London, then fly in Lufthansa Business Class the rest of the way to Munich.  These flights cost 80,000 United Airlines miles each way.

Notice that’s the price of a United Airlines award flight, even though 1 of the flights is on a partner airline.  For awards to Europe, you’ll pay the cost of the longer flight.  In this case, it happens to be United Airlines.

c.   Copenhagen

There are lots of available award seats to Copenhagen from New York.

How To Fly To Europe Using The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

I Found Seats to Copenhagen Available Nearly Every Day in Early 2016

I searched for flights in early 2016, and found award seats in all cabins available nearly every day!

You can fly there on:

  • Aer Lingus
  • Brussels Airlines
  • Lufthansa
  • SAS
  • United Airlines

There are dozens of options for departure times, number of connections, and airlines.

How To Fly To Europe Using The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

Fly Non-Stop in Coach, or Connect to Fly in Business Class. First Class Seats Are Also Available

Taxes on this route are low, only ~$6 to ~$39 each way, depending on which airline you fly and which country you connect in.

Folks looking to splurge on First Class seats have lots of choices, too!

2.   From Houston to Europe

a.   Paris

Folks in Houston who want to go to Paris (1 of Emily’s favorite cities!) have lots of options on these airlines:

  • Air Canada
  • Brussels Airlines
  • Lufthansa
  • Turkish Airlines
  • United Airlines
How To Fly To Europe Using The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

Folks in Houston Who Want to Visit Paris Have Over 70 Flights to Choose From!

You’ll have no shortage of flight selection, with award trips in every cabin and every time of day possible.

I couldn’t find any direct flights, but you can choose to connect in lots of different countries, including here in the US.

Award seats start at 60,000 United Airlines miles for a round-trip coach flight, and go up from there depending on airline and class of service.  Seats are available nearly every day!

b.   Munich

From Houston, you can fly to Munich on:

  • Air Canada
  • Lufthansa
  • United Airlines
How To Fly To Europe Using The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

United Airlines Has a Non-Stop Flight From Houston to Munich, and Many Other Options

There’s a heavy emphasis on Lufthansa because they’re based in Germany, but United Airlines has their own flight non-stop to Munich.  Award seats are available nearly every day, and again, you’ll have lots of flights to choose from.

c.   Copenhagen

Fly from Houston to Copenhagen on:

  • Brussels Airlines
  • Lufthansa
  • SAS
  • United Airlines
How To Fly To Europe Using The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

There Are Lots of Coach Award Seats to Copenhagen

For this award, there’s a heavy emphasis on SAS, because they’re based in Copenhagen, but no direct flights.

I found a few Business Class awards, but most of them are in coach.  So if you want to fly to Scandinavia in Business Class, you’ll have to plan your trip a little more carefully.

2.   From San Francisco to Europe

a.   Paris

Folks in San Francisco can fly to the City of Light on these airlines:

  • Aer Lingus
  • Lufthansa
  • SAS
  • Turkish Airlines
  • United Airlines
How To Fly To Europe Using The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

Fly Direct to Paris From San Francisco on United Airlines for 60,000 United Airlines Miles and ~$85

I was able to find nonstop flights for 60,000 United Airlines miles round-trip in coach!  Or, if you want to connect to break up the trip, there are ~130 award flights to choose from on several airlines.  And none of them have fuel surcharges!

Award seats are available in every cabin, and every time of day.  I’d prefer the non-stop route, but some folks might want to add in a layover to stretch their legs and freshen up.

b.   Munich

I had trouble finding Business Class award seats from San Francisco to Munich, but I found coach seats on:

  • Air Canada
  • Lufthansa
  • United Airlines
How To Fly To Europe Using The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

There Are Lots of Award Seats Available From San Francisco to Munich, But Almost All of Them Are in Coach

This could be because Lufthansa doesn’t open up Business Class or First Class award seats until very close to departure, and award seats from the West Coast can sometimes be more difficult to find.

But if you don’t mind flying in coach, it’s very easy to visit Munich from San Francisco.  Again, most flights there are on Lufthansa.

c.   Copenhagen

From San Francisco, you can fly to Copenhagen on:

  • Air Canada
  • Lufthansa
  • SAS
  • United Airlines
How To Fly To Europe Using The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

Want to Visit Copenhagen? Fly There on United Airlines or 1 of Their Airline Partners

There are plenty of award seats in coach and Business Class, but none of them are direct.  You can connect in lots of different cities, and you have your choice of 4 airlines to get there.

So for this award, you can choose which country you want to connect in, based on how you like to travel.

Other Options

Remember you can also fly to Europe by transferring your Chase Ultimate Rewards points at a 1:1 ratio to Singapore Airlines or British Airways!

Singapore Airlines

How To Fly To Europe Using The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

It Costs 17,000 Miles Plus ~$202 in Fees From New York to Frankfurt 1-Way

You can book an award flight on Singapore Airlines between New York and Frankfurt for only 17,000 Singapore Airlines miles each way (with a 15% online booking discount).  You’ll pay ~$202 in fuel surcharges, but it might be worth it to use fewer miles.

How To Fly To Europe Using The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

Or, you can book a First Class award in a Singapore Airlines Suite for only 57,375 Singapore Airlines miles and ~$203 each way!  That’s including the 15% miles discount for booking online.  If you want to fly in style, you can’t beat the price of this award!  With walls around your cabin, it’s like a mini-hotel room!

You can only book Singapore Airlines suites using Singapore Airlines miles (not through their Star Alliance partner airlines like Air Canada or United Airlines).  But fortunately, Singapore Airlines miles are very easy to get!

Because not only can you transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Singapore Airlines, but also points from American Express Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou, and Starwood.

Singapore Miles award flights are 1 of my Top 10 best travel deals!

British Airways

Another option is to use British Airways Avios points.

The main feature of British Airways Avios points is they have a distance-based program, so they’re fantastic to redeem for expensive short-haul flights.

The best use of British Airways Avios points is NOT on British Airways flights.  That’s because they add nasty fuel surcharges on their own flights.

How To Fly To Europe Using The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

With the Chase Sapphire Preferred, You Can Transfer Your Points to British Airways. But Instead of Flying to Europe on British Airways With Their High Fees, Fly on 1 of Their Reasonably-Priced Partners Such as Air Berlin.

But, you can book a flight to Europe on their partners like American Airlines or Air Berlin with more palatable taxes and fees.  You’ll pay taxes and fees on the ticket, but the price is minimal compared to award flights on British Airways!

Again, because Avios is distance-based, you’ll pay fewer miles from the East Coast than from other US destinations.  For example, New York to Berlin costs 40,000 miles round-trip plus $96 for a coach award flight.

Be sure to read my guide about how to use British Airways Avios points to fly to Europe.  And how they’re useful for travel within Europe, so you can see more places when you visit!

How to Earn More Chase Ultimate Rewards Points for Your Award Flights to Europe

Link:   Chase Sapphire Preferred

Link:   Chase Ink Plus

Link:   Chase Ink Cash

Link:   Chase Freedom

You can currently earn 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points when you sign-up for the Chase Sapphire Preferred and spend $4,000 on purchases within the 1st 3 months of opening your account.  And the $95 annual fee is waived for the 1st year.

With the Chase Sapphire Preferred card you get 2X Chase Ultimate Rewards points on travel and dining. 

Because this card has NO foreign transaction fees, it’s a great card to travel abroad with, and to use when you try new restaurants in Europe!

How To Fly To Europe Using The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

Earn Chase Ultimate Rewards Points With the Chase Sapphire Preferred for Everyday Spending, Like Dining. And Take It With You When You Travel, Because It Has NO Foreign Transaction Fees!

How Combining the Ink Plus, Ink Cash, & Freedom With Sapphire Preferred Can Get You to Europe Faster

If you have the Chase Ink Cash, Ink Bold, or Chase Ink Plus small business cards, you’ll earn 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1 you spend (5% cash back) at office supply stores and on cell phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services.

The office supply store category is useful for much more than printer paper!

Office supply stores can also keep your small business stocked with coffee, candy, tissues, and more.

Of course, it’s a good idea to use your Ink cards for regular purchases, too.  Remember you get 2X Chase Ultimate Rewards points using your Ink Cash or Ink Plus at gas stations.

Use the Freedom 5X Categories!

The Chase Freedom card has rotating quarterly categories that earn 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points.  For instance, you can earn 5X points (5% cash back) at Amazon from October 1, 2015, to December 31, 2015, on up to $1,500 in spending.

So you can earn up to 7,500 Chase Ultimate Rewards points each quarter by taking advantage of the rotating 5X bonus.

The Ink Plus, Ink Bold (not open to new applicants), Ink Cash, and Freedom cards are all fantastic options for earning more points on your daily purchases.  And all of them work well together with the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

Note:  The Ink Plus has an annual fee of $95, waived the 1st year.  The Ink Cash and Freedom have NO annual fees.

If you also have a Chase Ink Plus, Chase Ink Bold, or Chase Sapphire Preferred card, you can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points earned from the Chase Ink Cash and Freedom cards to airline and hotel partners like British Airways, Hyatt, and United Airlines!

Bottom Line

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is fantastic for earning valuable and flexible Chase Ultimate Rewards points, which you can transfer at a 1:1 ratio to airline programs like United Airlines, Singapore Airlines, and British Airways for travel to Europe.

United Airlines miles are the most convenient way to visit Europe, because United Airlines and its strong network of airline partners (like Lufthansa, LOT Polish Airlines, etc.) have many flights to Europe every day.  And United Airlines never adds fuel surcharges to award tickets.

You can also use Singapore Airlines miles and British Airways Avios points to get to Europe.  Each program has their own sweet spots.

Use your Chase Sapphire Preferred to earn 2X Chase Ultimate Rewards points on travel and dining.  And take it with you to Europe because it doesn’t have foreign transaction fees!

When you pair it with other cards that earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points, like the Chase Ink CashChase Ink Plus, or Chase Freedom, it’s easy to earn even more points on your everyday spending for Big Travel to Europe.

That’s because when you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred (or Ink Bold or Ink Plus) you can combine all your Chase Ultimate Rewards points.  And then transfer them to airlines for flights to Europe!

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