Chase transfer partners: How to get the most value
Chase Ultimate Rewards credit cards are some of the most popular on the market today, and it’s easy to see why: they’re incredibly flexible.
Every rewards credit card from Chase lets you redeem your points for statement credits or cash back, gift cards, merchandise or experiences. You can also redeem Chase points directly for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, which partners with Expedia.
Still, travel credit cards from this issuer really take the cake when it comes to the different ways you can redeem rewards. Not only do a few premium travel credit cards from Chase boost your points value when you redeem them in the Chase travel portal, but they also let you transfer points 1:1 to popular airline and hotel partners.
If you are considering a Chase credit card and you want to know how to redeem your points for the most value, this guide can help you determine which cards work best in the Chase portal, which travel credit cards allow transfers to airlines and hotels and how to compare Chase transfer partners to ensure you’re making an optimal redemption once you’re ready to cash in your points.
Redeem for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal
Each of Chase’s rewards credit cards allows you to use points to book travel through the Chase portal, but some cards earn more than one 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||New cardmember offer||Redemption bonus||Annual fee|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card||60,000 bonus points if you spend $4,000 in the first three months||Point value increases by 25% when redeemed for travel purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards||$95|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve®||50,000 bonus points if you spend $4,000 in the first three months||Point value increases by 50% when redeemed for travel purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards||$550|
|Chase Freedom Flex℠||$150 bonus if you spend $500 in the first three months||Points are worth one cent each when redeemed for travel||$0|
|Chase Freedom Unlimited®||$150 bonus if you spend $500 in the first three months||Points are worth one cent each when redeemed for travel||$0|
|Ink Business Cash®
|$750 cash back if you spend $7,500 in the first three months||Points are worth one cent each when redeemed for travel||$0|
|Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card||100,000 bonus points if you spend $15,000 in the first three months||Point value increases by 25 percent when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards||$95|
To redeem your rewards for travel through the Chase portal, all you have to do is log into your Chase credit card account online and follow the prompts to head to your Chase Ultimate Rewards account.
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 to book with points.
While some cards earn one cent per point in value, keep in mind that several offer 25 or 50 percent more value when you book travel with your rewards. You may book any travel through the portal with points only, with cash or with a combination of the two. However, you’ll only get the 25 or 50 percent boost on the percentage of travel you book with points.
Chase transfer partners—how to get the most value
Three travel credit cards from Chase—the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve and Ink Business Preferred Credit Card—allow you to move points to Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partners at a 1:1 ratio. This means once you rack up a sizable stash of Chase Ultimate Rewards points, you can turn them into airline miles or hotel points in increments of 1,000.
What’s the best way to get superior value out of Chase transfer partners? That depends on your travel goals. Here’s an overview of Chase’s travel partners and some potential strategies you could use to maximize them, based on valuations from The Points Guy.
Aer Lingus Avios are typically worth around 1.5 cents each, although how you redeem them will determine how much value you get out of your rewards. This transfer partner offers some 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 / Flying Blue
Air France / 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.
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, and it’s fairly easy to find a flight with plenty of availability for less than 25,000 miles one way.
Air France / Flying Blue miles are typically worth around 1.2 cents each, although redemption values vary.
Air Canada Aeroplan
Eligible Chase cardmembers can now transfer Ultimate Rewards points to their Aeroplan account in increments of 1,000 at full 1:1 value. Rewards points are redeemable for every seat on every 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.
There are flexible options to pay for all or part of a trip with points and the Aeroplan’s Points Predictor Tool helps you plan out your flights based on distance. For instance, with this tool, you can see that a flight from Chicago to Toronto would cost between 6,000 and 10,000 points.
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 1.5 cents each, and this program has plenty of sweet spots. For example a short flight of less than 650 miles can set you back as little as 6,000 points in economy. Even a longer flight of up to 1,151 miles, like one from Miami to Nassau in the Bahamas, might cost as little as 7,500 points one-way.
Emirates is a newer Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partner that rewards enthusiasts are excited about. 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 normally worth 1.2 cents each, yet how you cash them in will ultimately determine their value. Fortunately, the wide selection of destinations makes it easy to use your miles.
For example, you could 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 would set you back 135,000 Skywards miles.
Iberia Avios are worth approximately 1.5 cents each, and you can use them to fly with Iberia Plus or with partner airlines like American Airlines and British Airways, among others. Sweet spots in the Iberia award chart include 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 South America. 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, miles in this program are typically worth 1.3 cents each.
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles are typically worth around 1.3 cents each, although values vary. Flight awards start at 15,000 KrisFlyer miles plus $24 USD in airline taxes and fees.
As an example of how to use your miles, consider these options:
- Book an economy award from the West Coast or Europe to Singapore for 70,000 miles one way
- Japan to Perth, Australia, for 62,000 miles one way
- 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 continental U.S. or to the Caribbean or Mexico. As of 2019, Southwest Airlines also flies to Hawaiian destinations like Maui and Honolulu.
Southwest lets customers check two bags for free, and offers one of the best cancellation and rebooking policies of any airline. It also has a fare-based rewards program, meaning that lower prices on airfare translate to cheaper award flights.
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.
United miles are worth around 1.3 cents each, and 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 can frequently 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 miles are worth 1.6 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. Redeeming Virgin Atlantic miles for one-way flights in Delta 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, are also popular options.
Standard season award flights start at just 20,000 miles with the addition of airline taxes and fees, and peak-season award flights start at just 40,000 miles round-trip.
IHG Rewards Club
Points in the IHG Rewards Club 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 destinations like the Maldives and Bora Bora. As an example, the Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives starts 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 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 fork over 85,000 to 100,000 points per night.
Marriott Bonvoy points are worth approximately 0.8 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 1.7 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 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.
World of Hyatt is probably most popular for the luxurious resort experiences you can book with very few points. For example, you can book a free night at the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome for just 30,000 World of Hyatt points.