How Can I Use Chase Ultimate Rewards Points to Fly With Emirates?

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Million Mile Secrets reader, Mike, emailed:

We have 350,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points. Is there any feasible way to transfer them to use on Emirates?  Some article suggested Alaska Airlines would be best.

Thanks for the question, Mike!

Alaska Airlines devalued its partnership with Emirates earlier this year.  And while it can still be the best option for some folks to get an award flight with Emirates because they don’t add fuel surcharges, Alaska Airlines is not a transfer partner of Chase Ultimate Rewards.

But you can transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Korean Air to book a flight on Emirates!

How Can I Use Chase Ultimate Rewards Points To Fly With Emirates
The Emirates Hub Is in the Exciting and Ever-Expanding City of Dubai

I’ll show you how you can fly Emirates with Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

Fly One of the Fanciest Airlines With Chase Ultimate Rewards Points!

Lots of folks think Emirates offers one of the best in-flight experiences.  On certain flights, Business Class passengers have their own lounge.  And First Class passengers have access to on-board showers!

How Can I Use Chase Ultimate Rewards Points To Fly With Emirates
Emirates Business Class Lounge Aboard Their A380

Even coach seats on Emirates are rated highly.  If you have a chance to fly Emirates, I definitely recommend it!

Flying Business or First Class?  Transfer Points to Korean Air

If you’re interested in flying Business Class or First Class, your best best is to transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Korean Air.

The Korean Air award chart shows you how much an award flight will cost in coach, Business Class, and First Class, per segment.  You can price your award flight based on how many segments you’ll need to take.  Just add them up!

Here’s how to find if an award seat on Emirates.  You can NOT book Korean Air award tickets online. You have to call Korean Air at 800-438-5000 or 213-484-1900.

How Can I Use Chase Ultimate Rewards Points To Fly With Emirates
You’ll Need to Pay Per Flight Segment If You Can’t Reach Your Destination With 1 Direct Flight
Note:   You can only book Emirates round-trip tickets with Korean Air miles.

Korean Air is the only Chase transfer partner you can book Emirates flights with.  And, unfortunately, they pass along steep fuel surcharges with award flights.  A round-trip Business Class ticket from the US to Dubai will cost 140,000 Korean Air miles, plus ~$1,500 in fuel surcharges!

How Can I Use Chase Ultimate Rewards Points To Fly With Emirates
Emirates Business Class Seats Are Far From Cheap!

That sounds like a lot, but Emirates Business Class seats sell for ~$6,000+.  And First Class seats can be ~$20,000+!

So you’ll basically pay ~$1,500 for a ticket that costs ~$6,000 (or much more)!  In this example, your 140,000 Korean Airlines miles cover ~$4,500 ($6,000 – $1,500) and are worth ~3 cents each ($4,500 / 140,000 points).  That’s still a great deal!

Always run the numbers to make sure you’re getting the best deal for your situation.

The Chase Travel Portal Might Be Your Best Option to Fly Coach

If you want to stretch your points, and would rather pass on the lie-flat seats and an on-board lounge, you’re better off using the Chase travel portal to book your flights.  That’s because the fuel surcharges for a round-trip coach flight can cost ~$500!

Instead of paying 70,000 Korean Airlines miles and ~$500 in fuel surcharges to fly coach, you can buy the same flight for ~$850.

When you book through the Chase travel portal, you’ll get the ticket for ~68,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points if you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Ink Plus, or Chase Ink Bold (no longer available).  Or if you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve, it will only cost you ~57,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points.  And no fuel surcharges!

Note:   You can also transfer 270,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Marriott for a Hotel + Air Package of 7 nights in a low-category Marriott and 85,000 Emirates Miles.  But this is not a good deal.  If you’d like to use Chase Ultimate Rewards on Emirates, Korean Air is the best transfer option.

Is Alaska Airlines Still the Best Option for Award Flights With Emirates?

Alaska Airlines used to be the best way to book an Emirates flight with miles.  But they changed their award prices on Emirates by a lot.

Depending on your destination, and the cabin you fly, it can cost up to 100% more Alaska Airlines miles to fly on Emirates with Alaska Airlines miles.

How Can I Use Chase Ultimate Rewards Points To Fly With Emirates
You’ll Need More Alaska Airlines Miles Than Korean Air Miles When Booking a Flight on Emirates

Still, in most cases, using Alaska Airlines miles is the better choice.  Because Alaska Airlines doesn’t pass on fuel surcharges like Korean Air!

By booking a coach ticket for 15,000 more Alaska Airlines miles miles than Korean Air charges, Alaska Airlines will spare you the ~$500 in fuel surcharges!  And by paying 25,000 more Alaska Airlines miles for a Business Class ticket, you’ll save ~$1,500 in fuel surcharges!

Bottom Line

If you have a lot of Chase Ultimate Rewards points and want to fly Emirates, you can:

  • Transfer points to Korean Air (best for folks who want to fly Business Class or First Class)
  • Buy Emirates tickets through the Chase travel portal (best for folks who want to fly coach)

You can also transfer your points to Marriott for a Hotel + Air Package, but this is not a good deal!

Korean Air tacks on big fuel surcharges, so always do the math to see if it makes more sense to buy a ticket through the Chase travel portal instead of transferring points to Korean Air.

There are better ways to redeem both your Alaska Airlines miles and Chase Ultimate Rewards points.  But if you want to experience Emirates, these are two ways to do it!

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