Why Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partners make the program so lucrative

The follow up to my blog about the Chase Sapphire Reserve. I expect for anyone that reads my blog to get exhausted by the amount I talk about this card. But I firmly believe this card is the unanimous leader in the clubhouse. I also know how fortunate I am to come on the scene right as this card was introduced. For many reasons, banks have made the credit card industry as lucrative as ever.

In my post introducing the Chase Sapphire Reserve I mentioned the incredibly lucrative Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partners. In this blog I’d like to dive a little deeper into that benefit.


First, the CSR is obviously not the only card you can use to earn Ultimate Rewards. Let’s go over what other cards are available to earn Ultimate Rewards:

Credit Card Brief Description
Chase Sapphire Reserve 50,000 points sign-up bonus after $4,000 in spend after 3 months. 3x points on travel and dining. $300 travel credit annually. $450 annual fee.
Chase Sapphire Preferred 50,000 points sign-up bonus after $4,000 in spend after 3 months. 2x points on travel and dining. $95 annual fee waived the first year.
Chase Freedom 5x points on $1,500 spend in quarterly bonus categories. $150 bonus after $500 in spend after 3 months.
Chase Freedom Unlimited $150 bonus after $500 in spend after 3 months. 1.5x points on all purchases.
Ink Business Preferred 80,000 points sign-up bonus after $5,000 in spend after 3 months. 3x points on travel, shipping, advertising, internet and cable. $95 annual fee.
Ink Business Cash $300 bonus after $3,000 in spend after 3 months. 5x points on office supply and internet, and 2x points at gas stations and restaurants.

To read more about each of these offers, visit Chase’s website at https://creditcards.chase.com/credit-cards/rewards.

Now that you’ve gotten one of those cards and are earning Ultimate Rewards, you need to know what to do with them to maximize your rewards. The reason the rewards are so valuable is because of their transfer partners. I haven’t gotten the experience yet to take advantage of all these transfer partners, but I will provide some success stories I’ve found.

Here are the partners:

Airline Partners Hotel Partners
British Airways Avios Hyatt Gold Passport
Flying Blue (Air France/KLM) IHG Rewards Club
Singapore KrisFlyer Marriott Rewards
United MileagePlus Ritz Carlton Rewards
Southwest Rapid Rewards  
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club  
Korean Air Skypass  

*All transfers are at 1:1 ratio.

While the Ultimate Rewards portal does offer great rewards, some of the best rewards come from transferring those points to these 11 transfer partners. The value that’s been realized by these transfers has made Chase cards the most valuable travel cards on the market right now.

To ensure no problems in the future, I would recommend signing up for all 11 rewards programs if you have not done so already. If you try and sign up for a program, transfer in a bunch of points and immediately redeem those points it could be flagged as fraud by the system. There is no fee to sign-up for any of these, and you never know where your travels will take you, so it doesn’t hurt.

Beyond these 11 partners, there are a wealth of indirect partnerships that you can take advantage of. For instance, with the recent Marriott – SPG merger, you could transfer your Ultimate Rewards points to Marriott points, and then transfer those Marriott directly to SPG at a rate of 3:1. Or you could transfer your Ultimate Rewards to United MileagePlus miles, then use one of the many members of the Star Alliance, like Lufthansa or ANA.


I will continue to elaborate on this post, as I get to redeem my ever growing Ultimate Rewards. I have already targeted Korean Air and Singapore KrisFlyer miles as some of the more valuable points to transfer to. The little bit of experience I have transferring Ultimate Rewards thus far is with hotels. I would caution you, while the Ultimate Rewards portal does offer some excellent value, if I am booking a hotel I make sure to check the hotel programs website to ensure I am getting the best value.

I personally love Hyatt hotels. I believe the company has mastered a consistently superior product. They also offer some great rewards value. For just 15k points/night, I can stay at the Grand Hyatt Melbourne (pictured below). Now the next step is getting there!


The final leg…

Chase has some of the hottest credit cards on the market right now. One of the largest reasons for that popularity is the value that Ultimate Rewards bring. So when the time comes to book travel with your Ultimate Rewards points, be sure to compare the value by transferring points to the 11 transfer partners.

Tucker is an avid points and miles enthusiast. Being fully involved in the world of credit cards and frequent flying for only a few years now, he brings a very fresh and unique perspective to the world of travel.


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