How to Book Flights to Europe on Star Alliance Partner Airlines Using Chase Points
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Using Chase Ultimate Rewards points can make your dream of visiting Europe a fast-approaching reality. Before you know it, you can have dinner on the River Seine in Paris, or tour the majestic Swiss Alps.
It’s easy to earn a ton of Chase Ultimate Rewards points from the best Chase cards, including the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (our favorite card for beginners!), Chase Sapphire Reserve, or Ink Business Preferred Credit Card.
It only takes a few steps to find award flights – and save potentially $1,000s in the process!
Here’s a step-by-step guide for using Chase Ultimate Rewards points to book award flights to Europe.
6 Steps to Using Chase Ultimate Rewards Points for Flights to Europe
You can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points directly to United Airlines at a 1:1 ratio when you have certain cards. And then fly to Europe on United Airlines or one of its partners.
All of us at Million Mile Secrets have used this process successfully dozens of times for incredible trips all over the world!
Step 1. Check Which Star Alliance Airlines Fly From Your Home Airport
Know your options!
United Airlines has access to award seats on lots of other airlines because they’re part of the Star Alliance. Thanks to these partnerships, you can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to United Airlines, then book an award seat to Europe on United Airlines or these 13 partners that fly to Europe from the US:
- Air Canada
- Air New Zealand
- Austrian Airlines
- Brussels Airlines
- Ethiopian Airlines
- LOT Polish Airlines
- Scandinavian Airlines
- Singapore Airlines
- TAP Portugal
- Turkish Airlines
- United Airlines
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 or more different airlines.
Here’s how to find an award seat on the United Airlines website from your hometown. Even if you can’t find non-stop flights, you can always connect through a gateway city like Chicago, New York, or Washington, DC.
Step 2. Collect Enough Chase Ultimate Rewards Points to Make Your Dream Come True
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.
But the number of miles you’ll need depends if you fly on United Airlines or a Star Alliance airline partner. Each way, low level award flights to Europe cost:
- 30,000 United Airlines miles in coach on United Airlines and partner airlines
- 60,000 United Airlines miles in Business Class on United Airlines
- 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.
Once you confirm there are flight options to Europe on a Star Alliance airline, it’s time to start collecting Chase Ultimate Rewards points!
Here are 3 cards to consider if you’re looking to earn these valuable points.
|Card||Sign-Up Bonus & Minimum Spending Requirements|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred Card||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|
With just 1 of these sign-up bonuses, you’ll already have nearly (or more than!) enough for a round-trip coach award flight to anywhere in Europe!
For example, the 80,000-point sign-up bonus on the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card is more than enough for a round-trip ticket. Or you can splurge and fly there or back in Business Class!
You can also earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points with no-annual-fee cards like the Chase Freedom and Chase Freedom Unlimited. Or small business cards like the Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card or Chase Ink Business Unlimited. But you can NOT transfer points from these cards directly to United Airlines.
These cards are all impacted by Chase’s stricter application rules. So if you’ve opened 5+ cards from ANY bank (except Chase small business cards and other small business cards) in the past 24 months, you won’t be approved. And you can’t get the sign-up bonus on a Chase Sapphire cards if you’ve earned the bonus on a Sapphire card within a 4-year period.
Step 3. Consider a United Airlines Credit Card to Boost Your Frequent Flyer Miles Balance
Because of Chase’s card limits, I recommend applying for cards that earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points first. And after that, you might consider the United Explorer Card.
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 card, you’ll earn 40,000 United Airlines miles when you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening.
This card has a $95 annual fee, but both are waived the first year. And it’s also impacted by Chase’s tougher application rules.
Step 4. Search for Your Award Flights
Now that you’ve earned enough points & miles, it’s time to book award flights! Repeat the search you made in Step 1.
But this time, you’ll want to check exact routes, dates, and flight times – this is the trip you’ll soon be taking, after all!
Once you pick your flights, you can confirm the exact number of Chase Ultimate Rewards points to transfer to United Airlines to book your ticket.
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.
Step 5. Transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards Points to United Airlines
Once you confirm award flights are open (and the number of miles you need), it’s time to transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to United Airlines.
Log into your Chase Ultimate Rewards account. Click “Transfer to Travel Partners” at the top of the page.
Then, choose United Airlines as the transfer partner. And enter the number of points you’d like to transfer to your account. You must transfer in 1,000-point increments.
Remember, once you move points you can NOT move them back. So double check you’re moving the right amount of points.
Transfers typically happen instantly. So you can refresh your United Airlines account and immediately book that flight you just found! 😉
Step 6. Book Your Flight!
Go snap up your award flight to Europe!
Once you’re in Europe, you can explore more cities cheaply with flights on budget airlines or high-speed trains, like from Brussels to Amsterdam!
Earning Chase Ultimate Rewards points can save you money on flights to Europe. Because you can transfer them instantly to United Airlines at a 1:1 ratio to book award flights on United Airlines and Star Alliance partner airlines like Austrian Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines, and Lufthansa.
Here’s our guide on how to search for award seats on the United Airlines website.
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. The 80,000-point sign-up bonus on the Ink Business Preferred is more than enough for a round-trip coach award flight to anywhere Europe!
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! :)