Ultimate Rewards Transfer Partners (2020)
To redeem your Ultimate Rewards points, you need to visit UltimateRewardsPoints.Chase.com or click on the Ultimate Rewards button when you are looking at your credit card account.
Before you use your points from your Freedom Unlimited (or other Chase cards), you need to transfer them to the account that belongs to your Sapphire Reserve card. There is no charge, and you can transfer points as frequently as you want.
- 1 Purchasing travel with your Ultimate Rewards points
- 2 Transferring your Ultimate Rewards points to travel partners
- 3 Booking Hyatt hotel rooms
- 4 Southwest and JetBlue: Fixed value airline programs
- 5 Using your Ultimate Rewards Points for frequent flyer tickets
Purchasing travel with your Ultimate Rewards points
The easiest way to use your points is to purchase travel through the Chase website. Because the site is powered by Expedia, you can use your points for a wide variety of travel purchases, including tourist activities, cruises, and vacation rentals.
When you book, you can use any combination of points and dollars. Each point you use is worth 1.5 cents (when using the Sapphire Reserve card account) or 1.25 cents (when using the Sapphire or Ink Preferred cards).
You'll get the same prices on the Chase site as you'd get on the Expedia site, including lower "Expedia member prices". However, you'd often be able to get a better deal elsewhere on the web, particularly for hotels and car rentals. For these categories, always check prices elsewhere, before using your points. Expedia's prices for airfare and cruises are typically as good as you'd get elsewhere, so these are almost always good options for booking through Chase.
Transferring your Ultimate Rewards points to travel partners
You can usually get more than 1.5 cents in value when you transfer your points to partner award programs.
- When you transfer your Ultimate Rewards points, you receive the same miles or points as you would normally earn in the partner's program. For example, when you transfer 25,000 Ultimate Rewards to United Airlines, you'll receive 25,000 United frequent flyer miles, that are the same as any other United miles. They go into your existing United Airlines account, and are added together with any other United miles you might already have.
- You can wait to transfer your Ultimate Rewards points until just before you need to use them. That's one of the big advantages of Ultimate Rewards. Rather than locking yourself into points with any particular program, you can transfer them to the best program, at the moment you need them. Because you CAN'T transfer them back, you don't want to transfer them until just before you know you are going to use them.
- You'll need to have an account with the partner's reward program. For example, if you want to transfer your points to the British Airways program, you'll need to set up a British Airways account first. If you haven't transferred points in the past, you'll need to provide your partner account information to setup a link between Chase and the partner program.
- Besides Hyatt, it is generally not worth transferring your points to Ultimate Reward's other hotel partners. IHG points are typically only worth about .5 cents each, and can be inexpensively acquired using the cash & points trick. Marriott points are only worth .7 cents. It will be extremely rare for you to get more than 1.5 cents per point by transferring to these programs.
- You can only transfer Ultimate Rewards points to your own loyalty program accounts (plus up to one authorized cardholder). For example, if you and your spouse are not authorized cardholders on at least one Chase card, you can't transfer your points to their United Airlines account. However, most frequent flyer programs will let you purchase tickets for someone else. So, you can transfer the points to your own United airlines account, and then book a ticket for your someone else.
- Points need to be transferred in units of a 1,000.
- Most point transfers happen instantly. However, transfers to Singapore airlines can take up to two days. If you call Singapore, they will usually put the tickets on "hold", while you wait for your points to transfer. Transfers to IHG and Marriott can also take one to two days, but as discussed above, you will generally never want to transfer to these programs.
Booking Hyatt hotel rooms
Don't be surprised if the main way you wind up using your Ultimate Rewards points is by transferring them to Hyatt to book hotel rooms.
On many trips, Hyatt "award" nights provide significantly more value than the 1.5 cents per point you'd get by booking travel on the Chase website. And because Hyatt doesn't significantly adjust the award pricing or limit availability during periods of high demand, it is much easier to use Hyatt points for hotel nights than to use frequent flyer miles for award tickets.
- It isn't hard to receive values of 1.75 cents per point on Hyatt award nights. Points can be worth up to 3 cents (or more) when hotel prices are higher than normal, you uncover a particularly good award rate, you have an opportunity to stay in one of their Category 1 hotels, or there is some sort of special event. You can also get very high value on paper, when you use your points to book Hyatt's most expensive hotels. But, always consider the price that the room is really worth to you, not the price they are asking.
- If there are standard hotel rooms available, you can book them with your points. Hotels can decide whether they want to make upgraded rooms available at higher award costs.
- Using points to upgrade paid stays often provides great value. You can upgrade a paid reservation to a Regency / Grand Club room for only 3,000 points per night, and to a Suite at only 6,000 points per night. Upgrading is especially valuable at more expensive hotels.
- One nice thing about Hyatt award nights is that they waive any resort fees, making award nights relatively more valuable at hotels that add expensive resort fees to the bill.
For more details see Our Complete Guide to the World of Hyatt.
Southwest and JetBlue: Fixed value airline programs
Southwest and JetBlue operate "fixed value" frequent flyer programs. That means you don't have to find award availability—you can use miles, instead of cash, for any flight. While that makes it easy to use your points, it also means that you can never get outsized value by finding particularly good redemption opportunities.
The value per point is around the same for every flight, but because of the details in the way it is calculated, it still varies within a small range.
For Southwest, you should get around 1.5 cents per point. Since you can't purchase Southwest flights through the Chase website, the ability to transfer your points to Southwest, makes it possible to purchase Southwest airline tickets, at about the same value per point as purchasing any other tickets through Chase.
For JetBlue, you might get a small amount of extra value by using your points through their frequent flyer program. But, typically you'd be better off buying tickets using your Ultimate Rewards points through the Chase website, or saving your points for a future redemption. When you purchase your tickets with Ultimate Rewards points or cash, you'll receive new JetBlue miles for the flight. When you convert your Ultimate Rewards points to JetBlue miles and use them, you won't receive any new miles.
Using your Ultimate Rewards Points for frequent flyer tickets
Other than JetBlue and Southwest, Chase partners with several other frequent flyer programs. To make it easy to sign up or get more information, we've provided links to each program's website.
|United||Air France / KLM
Which programs work with which airlines
By transferring your points to an Ultimate Rewards airline partner, you can book frequent flyer tickets on around 100 airlines.
To see which of Ultimate Reward's partner programs you can use to book flights on a specific airline, look up the airline in the following list. Any frequent flyer program with a dark blue "UR" symbol can be used. There may be multiple available options, in which case you can choose the program that offers the best deal for your tickets.
If the airline can be booked with "All Star Alliance programs", you can transfer your Ultimate Rewards points to United or Singapore. If the airline can be booked with "All SkyTeam programs", you can transfer your points to Air France's Flying Blue program. If an airline can be booked with "All Oneworld programs", you can transfer to British Airways or Iberia.
Comparing how many miles you need
You may have the choice of using different programs to book your flight. For example, you can use either Singapore or United miles to book any Star Alliance airline, and British Airways or Iberia to book any Oneworld airline. The following award charts can help you compare the number of miles required for each program.
- United. While Singapore often requires fewer miles, United usually requires less miles when heading to Asia, the Pacific, or northern South America (except first class). Plus, United never charges fuel surcharges, regardless of which airline you are flying. Particularly for non-United flights to Europe, or any other flight with expensive surcharges, it may be worth paying more miles with United to avoid these fees. Interactive Award Chart.
- Singapore. Singapore often charges fewer miles than United, especially for first class. When flying Singapore Airlines, their own program often provides greater award availability. One drawback is that they only offer round trip awards on partner airlines. For flights on Singapore and Silk Air. For Star Alliance flights. For flights on Alaska. For flights on other partners.
- Air France. The Flying Blue program is usually your only Ultimate Rewards option for SkyTeam airlines. They have dynamic pricing, rather than a fixed award chart. You'll need to actually use the Air France website to find the required number of miles for your specific flight options. Another resource is a Flying Blue Award Chart painstakingly produced by the Travel is Free blog.
- British Airways. British Airways calculates the number of points you need based on the miles you are flying. Short flights, particularly those that cross traditional regional boundaries, like the East Coast to the Caribbean, or the West Coast to Hawaii, are particularly good deals. Prices for First Class on longer flights is extremely high. Award Chart.
- Iberia. For flights on Iberia's own flights, they use a distance-based award chart very similar to the one used by British Airways and Iberia. You save money if you fly on off-peak dates.
- Aer Lingus. Aer Lingus has the same award charts as British Airways, but a different set of partners.
- Virgin Atlantic. Virgin Atlantic charges low mileage amounts for their own flights, especially during off-peak dates and with companion tickets, but has extremely high fuel surcharges. All flights are priced separately, so you are generally paying for a flight to London, and then a flight from London to your final destination. Award Chart.
Using United miles is also the only way to get a frequent flyer ticket on United, when there is no "saver" space available, whether you are flying domestically, or trying to connect with an international flight that departs another city.
Prices for off-peak flights on British Airways's own planes require fewer miles. If your itinerary combines multiple Oneworld airlines, other than British Airways, they use a different award chart, and charge based on the total distance traveled.
The partner award chart is based on round trip travel. As long as you are travelling round trip, Iberia is cheaper than British Airways for very short flights (under 300 miles each way), short flights that start and/or end in the United States (under 1,000 miles each way), most flights where you need to make a connection, flights on American Airlines to Europe (where British Airways would add on a fuel surcharge), and some premium cabin flights. Even when Iberia requires slightly more miles than British Airways, it can often be a better deal due to lower fuel surcharges.
On the other hand, if you only need a one-way ticket, Iberia is usually much more expensive.
Virgin Atlantic uses separate award charts for each partner. For Delta, they currently only publish mileage information for flights to/from the UK, but you can use Virgin Atlantic points for any Delta flight. Since their prices are sometimes very good (and often much better than Delta's own pricing), it is always worth doing a search on Virgin Atlantic to check.
Here are some Ultimate Reward's frequent flyer redemptions that are particularly good deals. All prices are round trip.
- Short flights in the US. With British Airways, you can fly up to 1,150 miles each way for a total of 15,000 points. With Singapore, many shorter flights on Alaska are also 15,000 miles.
- Hawaii. Only 24,000 Singapore Airline miles for Alaska non-stops. 25,000 British Airways Avios on American Airlines non-stops from the Western US (50,000 points for business class). As low as 35,000 Flying Blue miles for Delta flights, but pricing can be variable. 35,000 Singapore miles for any fights on United (60,000 in Business).
- Mexico, Caribbean, and Central America. Flights of up to 1,150 miles each way only require 15,000 British Airways Avios (30,000 in Business). Even flights of up to 3,000 miles are only 25,000 Avios. Flights on Alaska to Costa Rica and Mexico can cost as few as 24,000 Singapore Airline miles.
- Europe. Flying Blue offers promotional awards to Europe that can be a very good deal. Virgin Atlantic only requires 20-30,000 miles to London during non-peak travel times, but you will pay fees of over $500. Using Virgin Atlantic to fly Delta can be an even better deal. The required number of Virgin Atlantic miles is similar and you don't need to pay fuel surcharges. Flights on Aer Lingus to Dublin, only require 26,000 miles during off-peak times, and don't include expensive fees. Often the best deal is just to pay a higher rate with United and avoid fuel surcharges on every Star Alliance airline.
- Short flights anywhere. British Airways requires as few as 4,500 Avios for short distance flights (up to 650 miles) anywhere that doesn't touch the United States, and requires 7,500 Avios for flights of up to 1,150 miles. United only requires 8,000 points for flights of up to 800 miles (within a single region). Singapore Airlines only charges 12,500 miles in economy and 20,000 in business for any flight within South America.
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