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Update: You can no longer transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Amtrak.
The Chase Ultimate Rewards program allows you to transfer points to various partners, including Continental, British Airways, Hyatt, Marriott, Priority Club, and Amtrak.
But did you know that you can transfer Chase Ultimate Reward points from your account to airline and hotel partner accounts in someone else’s name and that the transfer will take place instantly?!
Emily recently received 50,000 extra Chase Ultimate Reward points on her Chase Sapphire Preferred card. We want to use Emily’s Ultimate Reward points, in addition to my existing Hyatt points, at the Park Hyatt in Paris next year.
So I tried transferring 1,000 Chase Ultimate Reward points (the smallest transfer amount) from Emily’s account to my Hyatt account.
It worked! The points transferred to my Hyatt account instantly!
I then tried to transfer another 1,000 Chase Ultimate Reward points from Emily’s account to my British Airways account.
Once again, they transferred instantly!
How can you use this flexibility for your travel?
1) Not enough miles
Suppose you and you partner both have 40,000 Continental miles each, for a total of 80,000 miles, but you each need 60,000 miles for a return economy award ticket to Europe.
Transferring all your 50,000 Ultimate Reward points to your Continental OnePass account will give you 90,000 Continental miles (40,000 +50,000), but that is not enough for 2 return award tickets to Europe (2 x 60,000 = 120,000 miles).
But you know that you can transfer Ultimate Reward points to anyone’s account instantly, so you transfer 20,000 Ultimate Reward points to your Continental OnePass account and another 20,000 Ultimate Reward points to your partner’s Continental OnePass account.
You’ve now got 60,000 miles in each account (the 40,000 miles which you started with + the 20,000 miles which you transferred) ,which is enough to book award travel to Europe for 2 persons.
2) Elite Status Benefits
You have elite status, but your partner does not.
For example, you are a Hyatt Diamond elite, but your partner is not, and you want to book a Hyatt reward night.
You could transfer your partner’s Ultimate Reward’s points to your Hyatt account and then make the award booking. That way, the hotel knows that the booking is made by a Hyatt Diamond elite, and will likely assign you a better room than if your non-Hyatt elite partner had made the same reservation.
The same principle works with airlines.
Instead of booking separate tickets with either Continental or British Airways (the Ultimate Rewards airline partners), try to transfer Ultimate Reward points to the account which has elite status and book all the air tickets from that account.
That way, both you and your travel partner will be able to take advantage of lower (or no) fees to make changes or cancel your award ticket, in addition to not paying checked-baggage fees.
If you’re thinking of transferring points to someone else’s account, I recommend starting with only 1,000 points at first (the smallest transfer amount) just to make sure that the transfer is successful. You can transfer the rest of the points once the initial transfer is successful!
Bottom Line: Transferring Chase Ultimate Reward points to someone else’s account right away, is a nice option to have and will let you have Big Travel with Small Money!
As always, you shouldn’t transfer the points to a partner unless you have an immediate need for the points.
The only exception may be transferring points to Continental airlines, since we don’t know if United will replace Continental as a transfer partner once the merger between United and Continental is complete – though I’d bet that United will replace Continental as the transfer partner because of Chase’s long relationship with United.
Disclosure: You should know that I do have a banking relationship with Chase. However, I don’t get any referral bonus or commission from Chase or anyone else for this post or for the links to the Chase Sapphire Preferred card in this post. I also do not have a direct financial interest in JP Morgan Chase, NA.