Chase Ultimate Rewards are a wonderful points currency. Chase makes it simple to redeem your points for travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Depending on which card you have, your points are worth between 1 and 1.5 cents per point when redeeming at the Ultimate Rewards portal. This can be convenient for using points at non-chain hotels or on cheap domestic flights. If you really want to maximize the value of your points, a partner transfer could be the way to go. For this reason, we’ve created the Chase Ultimate Rewards Transfer Partner Guide. The PMM team has analyzed each transfer partner and rated them as either as either good, bad, or neutral.
Chase Ultimate Rewards Airline Transfer Partners
First we’ll take a look at the airline transfer partners. Keep in mind that all points transfer at a 1:1 ratio. For example: 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points equals 50,000 United MileagePlus miles. Please advise that most transfers are instant, with some exceptions. There’s a great thread on flyertalk that gives up to date time frames on transfers. It’s definitely something to consider if you have your eye on a specific award flight.
British Airways Executive Club:
Ironically, British Airways avios can be a great transfer option for shorter flights within the United States as Liz explains here. This is possible because British Airways bases their award redemption rates on distance flown. Just remember that this can work against you if your itinerary includes a stop since the mileage of both flights will be added together. Here’s a cool calculator that can give you an idea of how many avios you’ll need. You can use American Airlines award search tool to check for availability.
Longhaul flights are generally a poor proposition with British Airways. Not only is the chart distance based, but they are notorious for assessing high fuel surcharges on award flights. You can definitely do better than British Airways for your next award flight across the Atlantic.
Flying Blue (Air France & KLM):
Flying Blue is the frequent flyer program of SkyTeam members Air France and KLM. Overall this is a solid transfer option. Business class flights from the West Coast to Europe are only 62,500 and availability isn’t too hard to come by. Flying Blue miles can also be redeemed through partner airlines for flights within the United States. For example, a flight from the mainland US to Hawaii can be had for just 15,000 miles. Furthermore, Flying Blue has a very easy to use calculator here which is greatly appreciated.
Flying Blue does assess fuel surcharges on award flights, however the highest I’ve seen is around $250 for a business class flight to Europe. Redemptions within the US are usually well under $100. What makes Flying Blue unique is that they are a transfer partner of the 3 major points currencies (Ultimate Rewards, Citi Thank You, and American Express Membership Rewards). A couple of credit card sign up bonuses can have you flying in style in no time.
Also be on the lookout for Flying Blue rotating promos. Every few months they will offer up to 50% award redemptions throughout the network. This can lead to enormous savings if your city is on sale.
Korean Air SKYPASS:
Hidden gem alert!!! The Korean Air SKYPASS program represents an amazing value. SKYPASS is a member of SkyTeam and has an abundance of inexpensive redemption opportunities including 80,000 miles round-trip to Europe in business class. Additionally, 125,000 miles will get you a round-trip flight to Asia in business class. As a SkyTeam member you can also redeem 25,000 miles for a round-trip economy flight to Hawaii. These are all fantastic values.
Another cool feature of SKYPASS is that it allows any SkyTeam member award flights to be booked online. Most award flights require a tedious call that can last for hours. It’s nice to see more online options surfacing.
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer:
Let’s cut to the chase, the main reason you’re going to transfer miles here is to fly in the Singapore Suites product. Your own room in the sky is an amazing experience, especially if flying with a partner. Flights from LAX to Singapore start at 118,000 miles each way with no fuel surcharges. These tickets generally retail for well over $10,000, so the value here is enormous.
KrisFlyer is a Star Alliance partner, and awards can be booked within the US. That being said, the SkyTeam options listed above generally present a better value for domestic redemptions.
Like Flying Blue, KrisFlyer is also a transfer partner of the 3 major points currencies (Ultimate Rewards, Citi Thank You, and American Express Membership Rewards). A few signup bonuses can have you into a Singapore Suite in no time.
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards:
The mere mention of Southwest Airlines will elicit strong opinions. It seems like people either love them or hate them. If Southwest is your style, then an Ultimate Rewards transfer can be a worthwhile option. This is especially relevant if you are currently using a Southwest branded credit card. Instead of earning a measly 1 point/dollar on your Southwest card, you could be earning 2-3 points/dollar with a Chase Sapphire Preferred or Reserve. You can then instantly transfer your points right into Southwest Rapid Rewards.
Southwest definitely has a niche among domestic flyers. I’ve transferred points to Rapid Rewards for quick flights under a few hours. Anything longer than that, I prefer to fly airlines that allow seat selection ahead of time.
United Mileage Plus:
There’s something to be said for simplicity in award booking. United may not have the best redemption rates out there, but they sure do make it easy to book an award flight. You can easily search for award space on United’s home page and book your flight within minutes. United will also show Star Alliance availability as well.
As with most domestic carriers, your best redemption rates will be for international travel. 62,500 miles will take you one way to Europe in business class while partner awards come in at 70,000. This is definitely a little higher than other Ultimate Rewards partners, but often times you’ll already have accrued Mileage Plus miles, so it’s easier to just top off your account.
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club:
There’s hard to find much to like here. Virgin Atlantic assesses massive fuel surcharges much like British Airways. Miles can be used for short haul redemptions on Virgin America, but the cost usually comes in about 25% higher than British Airways avios. The only time I’d recommend making this transfer is for a short haul flight where using British Airways avios isn’t an option or you just need to top off an account.
Chase Ultimate Rewards Hotel Transfer Partners
Now let’s examine the hotel transfer partners. Just like airlines, all points transfer at a 1:1 ratio. For example: 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points equals 50,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points. Remember, most transfers are instant, with but there are some exceptions. The thread on flyertalk that gives up to date time frames on transfers. This usually isn’t as important with hotels since award availability is much easier to come by.
Hyatt Gold Passport:
This is definitely our favorite Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel transfer partner. With free nights starting at just 5,000 points, your next award night can be right around the corner. High end Hyatt properties can be found starting at 20,000 points per night, whereas other chains present entry level hotels at this price point.
IHG Rewards Club:
IHG Rewards Club is a great program on it’s own. Unfortunately it’s just not a viable option for Chase Ultimate Rewards transfers. IHG points are very easy to earn by the thousands. Transferring your hard earned Chase points at a 1:1 ratio just doesn’t make sense. For some perspective, this Holiday Inn Express would cost a whopping 20,000 points per night. The only scenario I could see is to top off an account to complete a reward night.
Much like the IHG assessment above, Marriott doesn’t have much to offer here. While the Marriott Rewards program does have cool perks, award nights at nice hotels can often be well over 50,000/night. Again, this doesn’t mean Marriott has a poor rewards program. However, at a 1:1 transfer ratio, it’s best to pass as a transfer partner unless you need to top off an account.
The Ritz-Carlton Rewards:
Ritz-Carlton is a member of the Marriott family of hotels. Unfortunately that means the rewards program is very similar. While the program itself has some cool perks, it doesn’t make sense to transfer Ultimate Rewards points at a 1:1 ratio unless you need to top off an account. Taking a look at The Ritz-Carlton award chart, you’ll see that free nights start at a whopping 30,000 points.