This is a continuation in the short series I have begun that goes over Chase Ultimate Rewards and the many different ways in which you can consolidate, transfer, and utilize the extremely valuable reward points.
Transferring Ultimate Rewards to a travel partner
Transferring your points to someone else
Tips & Tricks to managing your Chase points
I talked a lot about how valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards points are in my previous post. And I could do it again, because that’s how strongly I feel about the subject — but I won’t.
In that post I went over how to combine all your hard earned points into one account– giving you a massive load of points. I am writing this post with the idea that you have combined all your points (only after reading my post), and are now looking for the best way to burn those points.
Whether you earn points with the flagship Chase Sapphire Reserve, or you shy away from an annual fee and gain 1.5 points per dollar cash back on all purchases with the Chase Freedom Unlimited, I am sure you are all keen on finding the most valuable use of points. Of course I am of the belief that value rests in champagne and some fancy slippers, but others may see value as multiple round-trip economy tickets. While neither of these are wrong, for value is a very subjective matter, I think you can definitely waste points if not used correctly.
In my own, semi-biased opinion the most valuable use of Ultimate Rewards is transferring them to one of the 13 Chase travel partners. While you can redeem your points directly through the Chase Rewards portal, at potentially 1.5x the value, the real value comes when you can redeem a first class ticket to Hawaii for only 45,000 Korean Air SkyPass points, transferred over from your Ultimate Rewards stash. So let’s figure out just how to do that.
First we need to take a look at who exactly these travel partners are:
- British Airways
- Singapore Airlines
- Flying Blue (Air France/KLM)
- Korean Air
- Virgin Atlantic
- Southwest Airlines
- Aer Lingus NEW
- Iberia NEW
Few things to make note of about these programs and their relationship to Chase Ultimate Rewards:
- Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer to all of these programs at a rate of 1:1. Meaning that 1 point in your Chase account is 1 point in the awards program for any of these airlines.
- All of the airlines are supposedly instantaneous transfers, with the exception of Singapore Krisflyer, which mentions that it will reflect within the day. PERSONAL NOTE: While I have found it to be a quick process, it is has not been instantaneous for me. British Airways took almost an hour, while United was about 5 minutes. I will say, it sounds like the “system” sees your points before you do (whatever that means). So I’d be interested to see if someone could transfer and then make the redemption before the points are actually visible.
- Hyatt is the only hotel that does instantaneous transfers — I have verified this, which is in fact the quickest transfer I’ve seen (funny, considering all the “technology hurdles” Hyatt claims to face). While, Marriott and Ritz-Carlton take 2 days, and IHG takes a day.
One other note — in order to be able to transfer to one of these programs, you must carry one of these three cards — Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase Sapphire Preferred, or Chase Ink Business Preferred. I won’t go into grave detail as to why each one of these cards is super valuable in its own right (for that refer here, or here), but I will say that I think the ability to transfer to these travel partners makes having at least one of the cards invaluable. With one of these cards, and then any other Chase card, you are able to combine all your points into one of these accounts and then transfer over. Inadvertently, it makes the whole Chase portfolio that much more valuable.
Transferring the points
So now you have all your points, and you’ve found a flight or hotel from one of the participating programs above that you’d like to redeem with points with — let’s go through the process of transferring those points.
1. Obviously, first you need to log into your Chase account. From the main Chase account, you will enter the Ultimate Rewards portal from the link on the left side of the screen.
This will then prompt you to enter one of your accounts, given that you have multiple. Either way, you must enter one of the accounts that allows access to the Chase travel partners — Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase Sapphire Preferred, or the Chase Ink Preferred for Business.
2. On the top of the screen is a drop-down titled ‘Use Points’ — from there you will select the ‘Transfer to Travel Partners’ option.
Much like the other points transferring options, there is a link farther down the page as well that serves the same purpose.
3. This brings you to a page that will display all 13 travel partners.
If you have transferred points with Chase before, the system saves your particular program information — allowing you to skip the repeating of a step. As you can see, I’ve transferred points to United, Hyatt, and British Airways.
If you have not transferred points before, the programs will show up as they do below. For the sake of this demo, I will walk through the process of starting from scratch.
4. The next page prompts you to enter your account information for the selected awards program. Obviously, the process is pretty straightforward — select yourself (we will talk about transferring to other people later), then enter your account ID).
5. At this point you will be prompted to enter an amount of miles you’d like to transfer.
The points must be entered in intervals of 1,000, and you obviously cannot transfer more points then you think (?) you may have. Had to say that, as I’ve been asked before, but it still confuses me to write it.
6. The final step is confirming that the points have been transferred. As I’ve mentioned, all airline transfers are supposed to be instantaneous, though I haven’t been so lucky. In the event that you are waiting more than 10 mins, either call Chase or go ahead and book the award ticket you are targeting. I’ve heard it takes more time for the points to visually show up versus actually being in your account.
As you can see, the process is relatively straightforward. If you have one of the Chase cards that allows for transfer to a travel partner, I would highly recommend taking advantage of this process.