Transferring your Ultimate Rewards points to one of Chase’s travel partners can be an excellent way to maximize your rewards if you choose a partner that offers a high point value.
If you are serious about maximizing your Ultimate Rewards points, then you’ll want to take a deep dive into Chase’s list of travel partners.
If you own a premium Ultimate Rewards card, including the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve® and Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, you have the option to transfer points to 13 outside loyalty programs – including 11 airline partners and two hotel partners – at various rates. This list includes several major airlines – such as United and Southwest Airlines – giving you a lot of options for travel.
Top Chase Ultimate Rewards cards
No annual fee
|5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Walmart or Target purchases, on up to $12,000 in spending in your first year)|
5% cash back on Lyft purchases (through March 2022)
5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
3% cash back on dining
3% cash back on drugstore purchases
1.5 % cash back on all other purchases
$200 cash back after you spend $500 in the first three months
|2 points per dollar on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide|
1 point per dollar on all other purchases
60,000 bonus points if you spend $4,000 in first 3 months
|3 points per dollar on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide|
1 point per dollar on all other purchases
50,000 bonus points if you spend $4,000 in first 3 months
Note that Chase Freedom credit cards, including the Chase Freedom Unlimited® and Chase Freedom Flex℠, are advertised as cash back cards. However, coupled with a Chase Ultimate Rewards card, they offer an opportunity to convert your cash back into points at a 1:1 rate.
As you can see from the chart below, point transfer is a convenient and valuable option. Most transfers take place instantaneously, and you can get a very high return on your points if you have the patience and flexibility to find an available seat or hotel room that falls within the sweet spot of a loyalty program’s rewards chart:
Ultimate Rewards travel partners
|Transfer partner||Estimated point value|
|Singapore Airlines||2.36 cents|
|World of Hyatt||2 cents|
|Iberia Plus||1.7 cents|
|Southwest Airlines||1.6 cents|
|JetBlue Airways||1.53 cents|
|United Airlines||1.52 cents|
|British Airways||1.4 cents|
|Emirates Skywards||1.1 cents|
|Air France/KLM||1 cent|
|Aer Lingus||1 cent|
|Virgin Atlantic||0.8 cent|
|Marriott Bonvoy||0.8 cent|
|IHG Rewards Club||0.55 cent|
Once you transfer your Ultimate Rewards points to an outside loyalty program, you are subject to the rules, fees and price charts of that program. Unlike the Ultimate Rewards portal, which doesn’t enforce any seating limitations, you may also have to deal with blackout dates and other limitations on rewards seats.Which means, you’ll want to take extra care to check availability before you transfer your points – since your point transfer is non-reversible, you may find yourself stuck if the seat disappears before you have a chance to book your rewards flight.
Airline alliances can take you almost anywhere
Your flight options extend beyond the list of airlines partners above. Several of Chase’s airline partners are part of an airline alliance, giving you access to an even wider network of airlines. Using the rewards charts and rules of a particular airline’s loyalty program, you can use your points to book flights on any of the partners within that airline’s alliance.
Ultimate Rewards airline alliances
|British Airways||Oneworld Alliance|
|Singapore Airlines||Star Alliance|
|Iberia Plus||oneworld Alliance|
|United Airlines||Star Alliance|
|Air France/KLM||SkyTeam Alliance|
|Aer Lingus||oneworld Alliance|
|Virgin Atlantic||oneworld Alliance|
These three alliances cover most of the world’s airlines, which means you have the potential to find rewards seats practically any place you want to travel.
Learn the guidelines for each transfer partner
Finding the best partner to transfer your points to can be a tricky affair. Not only do you have to deal with blackout dates, seating limitations and complicated rewards charts, but loyalty programs (especially airline programs) often come with a dense list of guidelines that limit how you can use your rewards. You’ll need to familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of each program – for example, whether you can book one-way and open-jaw tickets, routing restrictions, hidden costs and fees (many airlines include fuel surcharges that can equal the cost of your airfare) – to find the best value for your rewards.