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Chase Ultimate Rewards credit cards are among the most popular rewards cards on the market, and it’s easy to see why — they’re incredibly flexible. Some of the ways you can redeem points include cash back, gift cards, merchandise, experiences or travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, which includes 1:1 points transfers to popular airline and hotel partners. On top of that, some premium Chase travel cards boost your points value by 25 to 50 percent when you redeem points through the Chase travel portal.
If you’re looking to increase the value of Chase Ultimate Rewards points, transferring your points to a Chase travel partner is the way to go. In this guide, we’ll cover the top Chase cards that allow points transfers to airlines and hotels, how to redeem points for travel purchases and how to evaluate Chase’s various transfer partners to ensure you’re maximizing your points value.
Top Chase rewards credit cards
Each Chase rewards credit card allows you to use points to book travel through the Chase portal, but some cards earn more than 1 cent in value for each point you redeem. This chart shows which cards net more value for your rewards when you redeem for travel:
|Card name||Welcome offer||Travel redemption||Annual fee|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card||60,000 bonus points if you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months||
|Chase Sapphire Reserve®||60,000 bonus points if you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months||
|Chase Freedom Flex℠*||$200 bonus if you spend $500 in the first 3 months||
|Chase Freedom Unlimited®*||$200 bonus if you spend $500 in the first 3 months||
|Ink Business Cash® Credit Card||$900 bonus cash back when you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first 3 months||
|Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card||100,000 bonus points after spending $8,000 on purchases in the first 3 months||
How to redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards points
Chase Ultimate Rewards points can be redeemed for:
- Travel purchases like flights, hotels, rental cars and more
- 1:1 transfers to airline and hotel partners
- Cash back, statement credits or gift cards
- Merchandise like Amazon, PayPal and Apple purchases
- Chase dining or experiences
How to redeem points for travel purchases
- Log in to your Chase credit card account and head to your Chase Ultimate Rewards dashboard.
- From there, click on “Travel” at the top of the screen. You’ll be taken to another page where you can search for flights, hotels, rental cars, activities, vacation rentals and cruises.
- Enter your desired trip information.
- Once you find what you’re looking for, follow the prompts to book the trip. You can book travel with points, cash or a combination of the two.
It’s important to note that, while some cards earn 1 cent per point in value, several offer 25 or 50 percent more value when you book travel with your rewards. However, you’ll only get the 25 or 50 percent boost on the percentage of travel you book with points.
How to redeem points with Chase partners
To transfer your points to a Chase airline or hotel partner, you’ll follow similar steps to those mentioned above:
- Log in to your Chase credit card account and head to your Chase Ultimate Rewards dashboard.
- Click on “Transfer to Travel Partners.”
- Pick the travel partner you’re interested in.
- Link your desired airline or hotel loyalty program account to your Chase account.
- Transfer your points and follow the prompts to complete your booking.
It should be noted that, once you transfer Chase points to an airline or hotel loyalty program, you cannot transfer those points back to Chase Ultimate Rewards.
How to redeem points in other ways
Like redeeming points for travel or transferring your points to Chase partners, you’ll want to log in to your account and go to your Chase Ultimate Rewards dashboard. Then, you’ll simply select the redemption method you’re interested in, such as “Cash Back,” “Dining” or “Apple” and follow the prompts to redeem your points.
Chase airline transfer partners
Three top travel credit cards from Chase — the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve and Ink Business Preferred Credit Card — allow you to transfer points at a 1:1 ratio. This means that you can turn Chase Ultimate Rewards points into airline miles or hotel points in increments of 1,000.
Here’s an overview of Chase’s airline partners and some potential strategies you could use to maximize them, based on valuations from Bankrate:
Aer Lingus (Avios)
Aer Lingus Avios are worth around 1.8 cents each, though how you redeem them will determine how much value you get out of your rewards. This transfer partner typically offers exceptional value for flights within the U.K. as well as flights from the eastern U.S.
For example, you may be able to find an off-peak economy award flight from Boston to Dublin, Ireland, for just 13,000 Avios points, or from Dublin to Los Angeles or Miami for just 16,250 Avios points.
Air France/KLM Flying Blue
Air France/KLM Flying Blue is a popular transfer option for flights from the U.S. to Europe, and that’s especially true for people who don’t mind redeeming miles for an international economy award flight. Air France/KLM Flying Blue miles are typically worth around 1.5 cents each, although redemption values vary.
While Delta is not a transfer partner with Chase, you can redeem miles with Flying Blue to fly back and forth with Delta to various European cities like Paris or Amsterdam. It’s fairly easy to find a flight with plenty of availability for less than 25,000 miles one way.
Air Canada Aeroplan
Chase cardmembers can transfer Ultimate Rewards points to Aeroplan in increments of 1,000 at a 1:1 value. Rewards points are redeemable for any seat on any Air Canada flight and for travel with over 40 airline partners. Plus, with Aeroplan Family Sharing, families can combine points together at no additional charge.
Aeroplan’s Points Predictor Tool helps you plan out your flights based on distance. For instance, with this tool, you can see that an economy flight from Chicago to Toronto would cost between 6,000 and 10,000 points. There are flexible options to pay for all or part of a trip with points, too.
British Airways (Avios)
British Airways uses a distance-based chart that makes it possible to book shorter award flights for fewer points overall. You can also utilize this transfer partner to book flights with oneworld partners like American Airlines.
British Airways Avios are worth around 0.7 cents each, and this program has plenty of sweet spots. For example, a short flight of fewer than 650 miles may set you back as little as 6,000 points in economy.
While Emirates is popular for its flights within the Middle East, you can also use this airline and its partners to fly from major U.S. cities like Chicago and New York to Europe, Africa, Australia and many other destinations worldwide.
Emirates Skywards Miles are typically worth 1.2 cents each, but how you cash them in will ultimately determine their value. Fortunately, it’s easy to use your miles given the wide selection of destinations. For example, you may be able to fly round-trip from Dubai to London with 45,000 miles with an economy Saver award, while a first class Flex award for the same flight may set you back 135,000 Skywards Miles.
Iberia Airlines (Avios)
Iberia Avios are worth approximately 0.9 cents each, and you can use them to fly with Iberia Plus or with partner airlines like American Airlines and British Airways, among others. You may be able to find sweet spots in the Iberia award chart, like off-peak business class flights from Chicago to Madrid for 34,000 Avios, or short trips around the U.S. (flights under 6,000 miles) for just 11,000 Avios one way.
Also note that Iberia Plus has peak and off-peak dates, with off-peak dates offering exceptionally better value for rewards. For example, you’ll stretch your Avios further during most of October or November versus the rest of the year.
JetBlue is another transfer partner that can offer exceptional value, although this airline only flies to select destinations within the U.S., the Caribbean and Central and South America, plus London, England and Vancouver, British Columbia.
There is no specific award chart, but it’s not uncommon to see award flights to destinations in the Caribbean for as little as 15,000 miles one way. While values can vary, JetBlue TrueBlue miles are typically worth 1.3 cents each.
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles are worth around 1.6 cents each, although values vary. Flight awards typically start at 15,000 KrisFlyer miles (not including airline taxes and fees).
When thinking of ways to use your miles, you may want to consider options like booking an economy award from the West Coast or Europe to Singapore for 70,000 miles one way or from Singapore to the Middle East for 55,000 miles one way.
Southwest Rapid Rewards
Southwest Rapid Rewards is a popular transfer partner for people who want to fly within the U.S. (including Hawaii) or to Central America or the Caribbean. Generally speaking, Southwest Rapid Rewards points are worth around 1.5 cents each. And during one of Southwest’s big sales, it’s not uncommon to see one-way domestic flights for less than 8,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards points.
Southwest lets customers check two bags for free. It also offers one of the best cancellation and rebooking policies of any airline and a fare-based rewards program, which means that lower-priced airfare translates to cheaper award flights.
United Airlines MileagePlus
United miles are worth around 0.9 cents each. You can use them to fly with an array of Star Alliance partners including Lufthansa, ANA, TAP Air Portugal and Turkish Airlines.
While the United MileagePlus program no longer follows a traditional award chart, you may be able to find one-way domestic flights for as little as 12,500 miles or one-way flights to Europe from the U.S. for as little as 30,000 miles.
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
Virgin Atlantic miles are worth 2.6 cents each, and there are plenty of ways to redeem them for popular routes between the U.S. and Europe or for flights to Asia. For example, you may be able to redeem Virgin Atlantic miles for one-way flights in business class for just 50,000 miles, or for one-way business class flights between the U.S. and Asia for just 60,000 miles.
Standard season award flights usually start at about 20,000 miles (not including airline taxes and fees), and peak-season award flights usually start at roughly 40,000 miles round-trip.
Chase hotel transfer partners
Similar to Chase airline partners, Chase Ultimate Rewards points will vary in value depending on which hotel partner you redeem points with.
IHG One Rewards
IHG One Rewards points are estimated to be worth about 0.7 cents each, so they aren’t one of the better redemption options. Points can be used for InterContinental Hotels Group properties, which range from Holiday Inn Express hotels to Hotel Indigo, InterContinental Hotels and Resorts and even Kimpton Hotels and Resorts. Free nights start at just 10,000 points, and this program promises no blackout dates.
While you can cash in IHG Rewards Club points for free nights at small-town Holiday Inns, you can also use them for all-inclusive resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean or for luxury resorts in the Maldives and Bora Bora. For example, at Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives, you may be able to find a stay starting at just 45,000 points per night.
Marriott Bonvoy includes a wide range of resort brands ranging from Ritz-Carlton properties to Westin Hotels and Resorts. Free nights typically start at just 5,000 points during the off-peak season, although that’s for a Category 1 property. For a Category 8 property, the program’s highest tier, you’ll likely fork over 85,000 to 100,000 points per night.
Marriott Bonvoy points are worth approximately 0.7 cents each, and Marriott also offers its PointSavers program, which lets you book award nights for 20 percent off in select destinations at various times throughout the year.
World of Hyatt
World of Hyatt points are typically worth around 2.3 cents each. This hotel brand has a smaller footprint worldwide than others with large loyalty programs, but you can get significant value from your hotel points and from building loyalty with World of Hyatt.
Free nights at Hyatt properties usually start at just 5,000 points for a Category 1 property, but they can cost up to 40,000 points per night for a standard room in a Category 8 property. However, World of Hyatt is probably most popular for the luxurious resort experiences you can book with very few points. For example, you may be able to book a free night at the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome for just 30,000 World of Hyatt points.
The bottom line
Transferring your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to a Chase airline or hotel partner is the best way to get the most value out of your points. Depending on the transfer partner and your travel goals, you should be able to get more than 1 cent in value out of your points, making it the most lucrative redemption option. Plus, if you have a premium Chase travel card, you’ll be able to increase the value of your points by 25 to 50 percent when you redeem through the Chase travel portal.
*The information about the Chase Freedom Flex and Chase Freedom Unlimited® has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.