Save Your Points! Here’s What to Know Before You Transfer to a Travel Partner

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For folks new to our hobby, the concept of how to earn miles & points is fairly straightforward.  But actually knowing how to make the most of your rewards can be more difficult to understand!

Million Mile Secret Agent Wendy asked:

I’m well on my way to earning miles & points.  But how do I transfer the Chase Ultimate Rewards points I earn to United Airlines and Singapore Airlines?

Great question, Wendy!  I’ll remind you of the basics of earning and using Chase Ultimate Rewards points.  And some important factors to consider when deciding which airline to transfer your points to!

Save Your Points Heres What To Know Before You Transfer To A Travel Partner
It’s Important to Figure out Which Chase Ultimate Rewards Airline Transfer Partner Offers the Best Award Ticket Prices BEFORE Transferring Your Hard-Earned Points

Transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards to Airline Partners

Link:   Why Chase Ultimate Rewards Is My Favorite Points Program

The most important thing to remember when transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards points to airline (or hotel!) partners is, once the transfer is complete, you can NOT transfer your points back.  It’s a one-way deal!

This is important because you wouldn’t want to transfer your hard-earned Chase Ultimate Rewards points to an airline partner only to realize the same ticket costs fewer points with a different one!

So, consider the 3 major airline alliances and each airlines’ partners before transferring your Chase Ultimate Rewards points – or any flexible points for that matter!  Because airline partners do NOT always charge the same amount of miles for the same ticket.

The 3 airline alliances and the Chase Ultimate Rewards airline transfer partners within each alliance are:

1.   Oneworld

  • British Airways
  • Iberia

2.   SkyTeam

  • Air France / KLM
  • Korean Air

3.   Star Alliance

  • Singapore Airlines
  • United Airlines

Ultimate Rewards transfer partners Southwest, Virgin Atlantic, and Aer Lingus are NOT part of any alliance.  Though Virgin Atlantic and Aer Lingus do have agreements with other airlines.

Now that you know which Ultimate Rewards airline transfer partners are in each alliance, you can begin to determine your best award flight options!

Airline Partners Do NOT Always Charge the Same Prices for Award Tickets

For example, you can use both Singapore Airlines and United Airlines miles for Star Alliance flights.  But a one-way flight on United Airlines from the mainland US to Hawaii using United Airlines miles costs 22,500 miles.  And that same flight would cost only 17,500 Singapore Airlines miles.

In this case, save those valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards points and transfer them to Singapore Airlines instead of United Airlines!

Or, take a look at the Oneworld alliance transfer partners.

Because British Airways and Iberia are part of this alliance, you can redeem points from either program for award flights on partner airlines like American Airlines or Finnair.  But the airlines have different award charts and redemption rules!  And Iberia Avios points can oftentimes be more valuable than British Airways Avios points for short-haul partner award flights in the US.

Save Your Points Heres What To Know Before You Transfer To A Travel Partner
Taking a Short-Haul Flight Within the US to a Spot Like the Vibrant City of Baltimore? Make Sure You’re Making the Most of Your Points By Choosing the Optimal Chase Ultimate Rewards Points Transfer Partner

For example, a short-haul flight from Charlotte to Baltimore on American Airlines would cost just 11,000 Iberia Avios points instead of 15,000 British Airways Avios points!

You can read more about the differences between the British Airways Avios points and Iberia Avios points here.

Which Cards Let You Transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards Points?

Remember, in order to transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to airline or hotel partners, you must have the Chase Sapphire Preferred CardChase Sapphire Reserve, Ink Business Preferred Credit Card, or the Ink Plus or Ink Bold (no longer available).

Points you earn with the Chase Freedom, Chase Freedom Unlimited, and Ink Business Cash Credit Card can NOT be transferred to airline and hotel partners unless you have 1 of the previously mentioned cards.

Plus, airlines often have partnerships outside of the alliances.  So there are a few “unofficial” Chase Ultimate Rewards airline transfer partners, too. 😉

And be sure to check out our step-by-step guides for everything miles & points related!  Including how to get to your favorite destinations and make your travel dreams a reality!

Bottom Line

Have you figured out how to earn miles & points but still learning the best ways to use them?

A great first step is to become familiar with the 3 airline alliances and which airlines partner with one another.  From there, you can figure out which partner charges the least amount of miles or points.  Just because airlines are partners does NOT mean they charge the same price for an award seat!

This strategy works if you’re deciding how best to use your Chase Ultimate Rewards points, or any other type of flexible points!

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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