Why Chase Ultimate Rewards Points Are Terrific for Flights to the Caribbean

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If you’re planning a Caribbean vacation, you’ll have many options for award flights using Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

With the addition of Flying Blue as a Chase transfer partner, you’ll have 4 travel partners to get to the Caribbean.  The other partners are Southwest, British Airways, and United Airlines.

Why Chase Ultimate Rewards Points Are Terrific For Flights To The Caribbean

Book Award Flights to the Caribbean by Transferring Ultimate Rewards Points to British Airways, Flying Blue, Southwest, or United Airlines!

Chase Ultimate Rewards is my favorite points program because the points are flexible and easy to earn.

I’ll show you how to get a great deal on flights to the Caribbean using Chase Ultimate Rewards points!

Using Chase Ultimate Rewards Points to Fly to the Caribbean

At the end of this post, I’ll remind you how to transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to partners.  It’s easy!

And if one of these 4 categories applies to you, you should keep reading for more details about where to transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards points:

  • Folks with the Companion Pass:  Consider transferring to Southwest
  • Departing from the West Coast, Northern US, Midwest:   Consider transferring to United Airlines
  • Departing from the East Coast, Southern US:   Consider transferring to British Airways
  • Folks in a Delta hub city (listed below):   Consider transferring to Flying Blue

Transfer Ultimate Rewards Points to Southwest

Link:   How to Fly (Almost) Free For Two Years on Southwest!

Southwest is always an easy option for award flights because there are no blackout dates.  If a flight is available to purchase, you can use Southwest points.

You’ll also get:

Southwest flies to these Caribbean destinations:

  • Aruba
  • Belize City
  • Cancun
  • Montego Bay, Jamaica
  • Nassau, Bahamas
  • Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
  • San Juan, Puerto Rico

Remember, it now costs slightly more to book an award flight with Southwest’s recent unexpected change to award pricing.

My favorite part about flying Southwest is using the Companion Pass to get 2 for 1 travel.  Because a friend or family member can fly with you for almost free on paid and award tickets for up to 2 years!

Why Chase Ultimate Rewards Points Are Terrific For Flights To The Caribbean

Transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards Points to Book Your Southwest Flight to the Caribbean and Use the Companion Pass to Bring Your Partner for Almost Free!

Chase Ultimate Rewards points you transfer to Southwest do NOT count towards the Companion Pass.

Keep in mind you might pay higher taxes and fees on certain Southwest award flights to and from the Caribbean.

For example, you’ll pay only ~$6 in taxes to fly one-way from Baltimore to Nassau, Bahamas.

Why Chase Ultimate Rewards Points Are Terrific For Flights To The Caribbean

You’ll Pay Only ~$6 in Taxes on a Southwest Award Flight From Baltimore to Nassau, Bahamas

But, for the return flight from Nassau, Bahamas to Baltimore, you’ll pay ~$96 in taxes.

Why Chase Ultimate Rewards Points Are Terrific For Flights To The Caribbean

Taxes Are $90 More on the Return Flight From Nassau, Bahamas, to Baltimore

The same return flight costs ~$218 if paid in cash (including the taxes).  So, using points will save you from paying the base fare.  But, you’ll still have to pay the higher taxes.

Transfer to British Airways Avios Points 

Link:   American Airlines Caribbean Destinations

Link:   British Airways Award Flight Calculator   

Link:   How to Fly to the Caribbean With British Airways Avios Points

You might not think of using a British airline’s loyalty points to fly from the US to the Caribbean.  But, you can use British Airways Avios points to fly to more than 30 Caribbean destinations on oneworld alliance partner American Airlines.

Why Chase Ultimate Rewards Points Are Terrific For Flights To The Caribbean

Folks on the East Coast and in the South Can Do Well Moving Chase Ultimate Rewards Points to the British Airways Program to Fly on Its Partner, American Airlines. You Can Get to Beautiful Caribbean Destinations Like Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. This Is the Majestic Colonial All-Inclusive Resort in October!

British Airways has a distance-based award chart.  That means the amount you’ll pay depends on the length of your flight.  You’ll pay:

  • 7,500 British Airways Avios points for flights under 1,151 miles
  • 10,000 British Airways Avios points for flights between 1,152 and 2,000 miles
  • 12,500 British Airways Avios points for flights between 2,001 and 3,000 miles

Because of the shorter distance to the Caribbean, folks on the East Coast or in Southern US states can find great deals to the Caribbean using British Airways Avios points!

You can use the British Airways award flight calculator or Wandering Aramean’s Avios calculator tool to check the cost of each flight.

Using British Airways Avios points to fly American Airlines to the Caribbean could save you money during busy travel times.

For example, I found available award seats on a one-way flight from Miami to Aruba for 7,500 British Airways Avios points on August 18, 2016. 

Why Chase Ultimate Rewards Points Are Terrific For Flights To The Caribbean

One-Way Award Flights From Miami to Aruba Cost 7,500 British Airways Avios Points Because the Flight Is Less Than 1,152 Miles

The same flight would cost ~$386 if you paid cash.

So, depending on your US departure city, transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards points to British Airways Avios points can be a fantastic deal to get to the Caribbean!

Transfer to Flying Blue

Link:   Flying Blue Miles Calculator

As the newest Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partner, Flying Blue can be a terrific option for award flights to the Caribbean because you can book on SkyTeam Alliance partner airlines like Delta.

This might be good news if you live in one of the following Delta hub cities:

  • Atlanta
  • Boston
  • Cincinnati
  • Detroit
  • Los Angeles
  • Minneapolis
  • New York (JFK and LaGuardia)
  • Salt Lake City
  • Seattle

You’ll find one-way flights from the US to Caribbean destinations for:

  • 15,000 Flying Blue miles in coach
  • 30,000 Flying Blue miles in Business Class

But, depending on your departure city, available award seats can be extremely limited.

For example, you can find multiple dates in July to book a one-way award flight from New York (JFK) to San Juan, Puerto Rico, for 15,000 Flying Blue miles in coach.

Why Chase Ultimate Rewards Points Are Terrific For Flights To The Caribbean

You Can Book a One-Way Award Flight From New York (JFK) to San Juan, Puerto Rico for 15,000 Flying Blue Miles

However, if you search award flights to San Juan from Delta’s West Coast hubs like Los Angeles or Seattle, there are no available award seats in coach.  The same goes for other Delta Caribbean destinations like Aruba, St. Maarten, or Turks and Caicos.

You’ll have the best options using Flying Blue miles from the US to these Caribbean destinations:

  • Aruba
  • Bonaire
  • Cancun
  • Cozumel

Flying Blue considers these destinations in North America, so it will only cost 12,500 Flying Blue miles one-way in coach.  That’s a great deal!

Transfer to United Airlines

Link:   The Ultimate Guide to United Miles

Link:   United Airlines Award Chart

United Airlines charges the same number of miles for flights to more than 20 destinations in the Caribbean, no matter which city you’re starting from in the continental US, Alaska, or Canada.  To the Caribbean, you’ll pay:

  • 17,500 United Airlines miles one-way in coach
  • 30,000 United Airlines miles one-way in Business Class
  • 40,000 United Airlines miles one-way in First Class

You can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to United Airlines and fly to the Caribbean on:

  • Air Canada
  • Cape Air
  • Copa Airlines
  • Silver Airways
  • United Airlines

If you’re a long distance away from the Caribbean, transferring Ultimate Rewards points to United Airlines can be your best option because you’ll pay a set amount of miles for award flights.

For example, you can fly from Seattle to Aruba for 17,500 United Airlines miles in coach.

Why Chase Ultimate Rewards Points Are Terrific For Flights To The Caribbean

Transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards Points to United Airlines to Fly From Seattle to Aruba for 17,500 United Airlines Miles in Coach

That’s the same amount of miles you’d use even if you were at a closer departure city like Orlando.

Earn Ultimate Rewards Points

Link:   Chase Freedom

Link:   Chase Freedom Unlimited

Link:   Chase Sapphire Preferred

You can transfer Ultimate Rewards points earned from the Chase Sapphire PreferredChase Ink Plus, or Chase Ink Bold to airline and hotel partners.

Or you can transfer Ultimate Rewards points from the Chase Freedom, Chase Freedom Unlimited, or Chase Ink Cash if you also have 1 of the other 3 cards.  

If you’re new to miles and points, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is the top card I recommend.  And, it’s currently offering a 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards point sign-up bonus when you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening your account.

For those of y’all with a small business, consider the public offer for 70,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points when you apply for the Chase Ink Plus in-branch.

Or if you can’t get to a branch or prefer to apply online, use our link to earn 60,000 bonus points.  

Bottom Line

For award flights to the Caribbean, you can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points at a 1:1 ratio to airline programs like British Airways, Flying Blue, Southwest, and United Airlines.

British Airways Avios points are a great option for shorter flights from the US to the Caribbean because you’ll use fewer points.

Flying Blue is a good option if you’re flying from the US to Aruba, Bonaire, Cancun, and Cozumel because you’ll only need 12,500 Flying Blue miles for a one-way flight in coach.

If you have the Southwest Companion Pass, using Southwest points for Caribbean flights can be an amazing deal because you’ll get 2 for 1 travel!

United Airlines award flights to the Caribbean cost the same no matter which city you depart from in the continental US, Alaska, or Canada.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Neither the responses below nor the editorial content on this page are provided or commissioned by the bank advertisers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertisers. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the bank advertisers. It is not the bank advertisers’ responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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5 responses to “Why Chase Ultimate Rewards Points Are Terrific for Flights to the Caribbean

  1. Once you are in the Caribbean you can also use 4,500 Avios to island hop.

  2. Chase has stopped matching enrollment bonus/offer since June, as seen in other blogs and from my recent experience in July. It’s weird that they’ll target someone with a better offer after he/she applies for their cards. But due to large volume of matching requests, they stop doing that. Makes no sense.

  3. @Angela – which islands are common to hop between that are available to use british airways avios? I have checked briefly once before and had trouble finding ways to hop between islands without first stopping in Miami, which would defeat the purpose.

  4. I would recommend using American Airlines from the West Coast to the Caribbean instead of United. This year they lowered the miles needed for one way flights from 17.5K to 15K. Also, if you’re a Citi AAdvantage cardholder you received 10% of your miles back on your award flights up to 10K/year. So my wife and I can both get round trip flights for 54K total miles (15K times 4 = 60K minus 10% = 54K). That’s a lot less than the 70K needed with United!

  5. My bad…. just realized that American isn’t a transfer partner for Chase UR and that you can only purchase American flights through Chase Travel for 1.25 cents per point (no transfer of points)…..