You’ll have lots of options to get to these majestic destinations if you collect Chase Ultimate Rewards points.
I’ll share a step-by-step guide for using Chase Ultimate Rewards points to book award flights to Europe on Star Alliance airlines.
Your Memorable Adventure to Europe Is Possible With Flexible Chase Ultimate Rewards Points
You can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points directly to United Airlines. Then, find and book an award flight to Europe on United Airlines or more than a dozen Star Alliance partner airlines, including Lufthansa, LOT Polish Airlines, or SWISS.
Your departure airport will impact how many flight options are available to your desired travel destination. But chances are good you can save money using Chase Ultimate Rewards points for an award flight to Europe.
6 Step Guide to Using Chase Points for Flights to Europe on a Star Alliance Airline
Before searching for award flights, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the Star Alliance airlines that fly to Europe. This will make it easier once you’re ready to book flights!
These are the 13 Star Alliance airlines with routes between North America and Europe:
- Air Canada
- Air New Zealand
- Austrian Airlines
- Brussels Airlines – Team member Scott transferred points to fly non-stop New York to Brussels for a trip that included trains to Paris & Amsterdam
- Ethiopian Airlines
- LOT Polish Airlines – Scott has also used miles to fly non-stop from New York to Warsaw!
- Lufthansa – Here’s the video of Emily & me on First Class ~5 years back!
- Scandinavian Airlines
- Singapore Airlines
- TAP Portugal – Scott has transferred points to fly non-stop from New York to Lisbon
- Turkish Airlines
- United Airlines
And you can book award flights on any of these airlines by redeeming United Airlines miles, which you can get by transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards points!
Note: There are other Star Alliance member airlines that only fly within Europe, including Aegean Airlines and Croatia Airlines. So depending on your travel destination it’s possible your itinerary might include flights on 2 different airlines.
One of the perks of booking award flights through United Airlines is you’ll use the same amount of miles from anywhere in the continental US, Alaska, and Canada. This is good news for folks on the West Coast.
But keep in mind, the award flight cost depends on if you fly on United Airlines or a Star Alliance airline partner. One-way Saver award flights cost:
- 30,000 United Airlines miles in coach on United Airlines and partner airlines
- 57,500 United Airlines miles in Business Class on United Airlines (increasing to 60,000 United Airlines miles after November 1, 2017)
- 70,000 United Airlines miles in Business Class on partner airlines
- 80,000 United Airlines miles in First Class on United Airlines
- 110,000 United Airlines miles in First Class on partner airlines
Note: The transatlantic portion of your flight must be on a United Airlines plane to book at the lower Business Class or First Class price.
Transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards points to United Airlines is NOT the only way to use these flexible points for award flights to Europe. But it is a simple way!
Here’s a guide to making it happen!
Step 1. Check If Star Alliance Airlines Fly From Your Home Airport
Do Star Alliance airlines fly from your home airport? This will be the biggest factor in determining whether you can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to United Airlines miles to book an award flight.
Even if a Star Alliance airline doesn’t fly directly to Europe from your airport, you might be able to connect through a gateway city like Chicago, New York, or Washington, DC.
Here are some ways to check if the 13 airlines I mentioned earlier have flights from your airport:
- The airport’s website (for example, there’s an “Airlines & Flights” section on the website for my hometown Austin airport)
- Google Flights (enter your departure city, destination, travel dates, and filter to see only Star Alliance flights)
- ITA Matrix (very useful if you have a travel destinations in mind, because they’ll list most of your flight options)
- Wikipedia (for example, the Wiki for Newark airport lists the airlines that fly there)
I think Google Flights is the quickest way to see if a Star Alliance airline flies between your home airport and desired travel destination. Just enter your departure city and where you want to go. Then, apply a filter to view flights on Star Alliance airlines.
Step 2. Collect Chase Ultimate Rewards Points With These Cards and Offers
Once you confirm there are good flight options to Europe on a Star Alliance airline, it’s time to start collecting Chase Ultimate Rewards points. In a later step, I’ll show how you can transfer these flexible points directly to United Airlines to book an award flight to Europe.
Here are 3 cards to consider if you’re looking to earn these valuable points.
|Card||Sign-Up Bonus & Minimum Spending Requirements|
|Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card||80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $5,000 within the first 3 months of opening your account|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred||50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 within the first 3 months of opening your account|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve℠||50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 within the first 3 months of opening your account
You can also earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points with no annual fee cards like the Chase Freedom and Chase Freedom Unlimited. But you can NOT transfer points from these cards directly to United Airlines. I’ll explain more in Step 5.
Just keep in mind these cards are impacted by Chase’s stricter application rules. So if you’ve opened 5+ cards from any bank (except these business cards) in the past 24 months, it’s unlikely you’ll be approved.
Step 3. Consider a United Airlines Credit Card to Boost Your Frequent Flyer Miles Balance (Optional)
Because of Chase’s card limits, I recommend folks apply for cards that earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points first. But after that, you might consider the United MileagePlus® Explorer Card (personal or small business).
Plus, the sign-up bonus on this card can boost your United Airlines miles balance. Pairing this card’s sign-up bonus with one of the Chase Ultimate Rewards cards gives you enough miles for multiple round-trip award flights to Europe. This is great strategy for couples or families looking to save money on flights.
With the Chase United personal or small business card, you’ll earn 50,000 United Airlines miles when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. And another 5,000 United Airlines miles after adding an authorized user and making a purchase within the same timeframe.
The Chase United cards are also impacted by the bank’s tougher application rules.
Step 4. Search for Award Flights Using United Airlines Website
After you earn miles & points, it’s time to search for an award flight.
Note: You can NOT search for Singapore Airlines award flights on the United Airlines website. Instead, try searching for award seats using the Air Canada Aeroplan website. When you find the seats you want, call United Airlines at 800-864-8331 to book.
For example, I searched for a round-trip award flight from Los Angeles to Warsaw in October 2017.
I found a round-trip, non-stop Saver award flight on LOT Polish Airlines for 60,000 United Airlines miles.
Step 5. Transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards Points to United Airlines and Book Flight
Once you confirm an award flight is available to your destination, it’s time to transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to United Airlines and book.
Log-in to your Chase Ultimate Rewards account. Under the “Use Points” tab, click “Transfer to Travel Partners.”
Then select United Airlines as the transfer partner. And enter the number of points you’d like to transfer to your loyalty account. You must transfer your points in 1,000-point increments.
Remember, once you move points you can NOT move them back. So double check to confirm you’re moving the right amount of points.
Transfers typically occur instantly. This is good news if you’re looking to book a last minute flight.
You can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points directly to United Airlines if you have one of these credit cards:
- Chase Ink Business Preferred
- Chase Sapphire Preferred
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase Ink Plus (no longer available)
- Chase Ink Bold (no longer available)
If you also have a no annual fee card like the Freedom, Freedom Unlimited, and Ink Cash, you can move points to one of the card accounts I’ve listed above that allows you to transfer them directly to United Airlines at a 1:1 ratio.
Step 6. Book Your Flight!
After the miles appear in your United Airlines frequent flyer account, you can follow the process from Step 4 to search for and book your award flight.
Tricks to Earn Miles Faster for Star Alliance Award Flights!
Besides earning lucrative credit card sign-up bonuses, you can take advantage of these methods to boost your balance of Chase Ultimate Rewards points and United Airlines miles: .
- Credit miles from paid flight on a Star Alliance partner airline to United Airlines
- Shop online or in-store at popular merchants through the MileagePlus X app to earn bonus United Airlines miles
- Earn 7,500 Chase Ultimate Rewards points each quarter by spending $1,500 on 5X bonus categories with the Chase Freedom card
- Put small business expenses on the Ink Business Preferred and earn 3X Chase Ultimate Rewards points when you spend on travel, shipping purchases, internet, cable and phone services, advertising purchases made with social media sites, and search engines (up to a maximum of $150,000 in combined purchases per account anniversary year)
And keep an eye on our Recent Deals page where we’ll be sure to share any offers to earn miles and points!
Earning Chase Ultimate Rewards points can help you save money on flights to Europe. Because you can transfer these flexible points instantly to United Airlines and book award flights on Star Alliance partner airlines like Austrian Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines, and Lufthansa.
To see if any Star Alliance airlines serve your home airport, I suggest using Google Flights. Then, you can search on United Airlines to check for available award flights on your desired travel dates.
You can earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points to book these award flights with cards like the Ink Business Preferred, Chase Sapphire Preferred, and Chase Sapphire Reserve. For example, the 80,000-point sign-up bonus on the Ink Business Preferred is more than enough for a round-trip coach award flight to Europe!