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Chase Ultimate Rewards Airline Transfer Partners

Advertiser disclosure: The Miles Genie has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products.  The Miles Genie and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Editorial disclosure: Opinions, reviews, analyses, and recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any of these entities.

Transferable Chase Ultimate Rewards points hold great potential value. The best way to get the most value out of your Chase Ultimate Rewards points is to utilize their airline or hotel transfer partners. This is one of the most misunderstood topics, even for those who are not new to award travel. There are 2 ways to redeem Ultimate Rewards points for travel.

  1. Redeem miles/points at a fixed rate for travel purchases. 
  2. Transfer to airline or hotel partners. Chase Ultimate Rewards points become airline miles or hotel points. You can redeem them according to the rules and redemption prices of the airline program to which you transfer. 

There are times when using the redemption portal makes sense, but this post will focus on airline transfer partners. A lot of people don’t want to bother with this, but it’s how we stretch our points. Using transfer partners can make your points at least two times more valuable than if you redeem them in the portal.

Related: Intro to Chase Ultimate Rewards

First of all, make sure you’re earning the right type of Chase Ultimate Rewards points

There are several cards that earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points, but not all Chase Ultimate Rewards points are equal.

Important: Cards such as the Chase Freedom and Chase Freedom Unlimited earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points, but they aren’t the same as transferable Chase Ultimate Rewards points. They are basically cash-back cards. Points earned from these cards cannot be transferred unless you also have a CSP, CSR, or CIBP. With that said, pairing the no annual fee Chase Freedom Unlimited with a CSP, CSR, or CIBP is a great way to boost the amount of Ultimate Rewards points you earn on everyday spending. Click here for more information.

Transferable Chase Ultimate Rewards points can be earned from welcome bonuses and everyday spending on these 3 cards:

Tip: You can also earn bonus points by making purchases online in their shopping portal.

Earn your first 60,000 transferable Chase Ultimate Rewards points by opening a Chase Sapphire Preferred card

Chase Sapphire Preferred 2019 Best credit card offers

Current offer: Earn 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months. The annual fee is $95. Earn 2 points per dollar on travel and dining, and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.

Chase Ultimate Rewards airline transfer partners

Transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards to airline partners is how you can potentially get more value out of your points than 1.25-1.50 cents per point. You can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to these 10 programs at a 1:1 ratio:

Indirect partners: You aren’t limited to these 10 airlines

Although a majority of Chase Ultimate Rewards airline transfer partners are foreign airlines, you can still book flights operated by US common carriers including American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Delta, and Hawaiian Airlines, even though they are not Ultimate Rewards transfer partners. Click here for more about using Chase Ultimate Rewards partners to book flights operated by over 50 different airlines.

Example: American Airlines

This is possible because British Airways and Iberia, transfer partners of Ultimate Rewards, are both in the Oneworld alliance. American Airlines is part of the Oneworld alliance. As a result, you can book American Airlines and other Oneworld partner flights with British Airways and Iberia.

To clarify, you’re using the miles of the partner to which you transfer the Ultimate Rewards.

For example, you can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards to British Airways Executive Club. Then, you can use Executive Club Avios (their name for miles) to book flights operated by American Airlines. You cannot transfer British Airways Avios to American Airlines.

I’ll go over each of the 10 airline partners, their partners, and more information about each program, but first, it’s important to discuss award ticket pricing. This is where things can get a little confusing, but it’s actually really simple. The price of an award ticket booked with Ultimate Rewards by transferring to an airline partner is determined by that airline partner.

Important: The price may be different than that of the loyalty program of the airline operating your flight. So if you’re using British Airways Avios to book an American Airlines flight, your redemption price is determined by British Airways Executive Club, not American Airlines AAdvantage. In many cases, this is a good thing. British Airways has lower redemption prices for several AA routes than AAdvantage.

Each airline program has a different way of pricing award tickets.

Award Ticket Pricing

The amount of Chase Ultimate Rewards points you will need to transfer to book an award flight is determined by the program with which you are booking. For example, if you use Flying Blue miles to book a Delta flight, the amount of points you will need is determined by Flying Blue, not Delta. This is because you’re using Flying Blue program. Delta’s loyalty program, Skymiles, does not determine the price.

Most airline programs fall into one of 4 categories.

  1. Region/Zone based 
  2. Distance-based
  3. Fare-based
  4. Dynamic pricing

Click here for more details about the different types of award ticket pricing, including advantages and disadvantages of each.

British Airways Executive Club

  • Alliance: Oneworld
  • Notable non alliance partners: Alaska Airlines, Aer Lingus, Air Italy
  • Award ticket pricing: Distance-based
Oneworld alliance member airlines 2019

You can redeem British Airways Avios (their name for miles) for several partner flights. The most notable is American Airlines, but you can also book flights on other Oneworld partners with British Airways Avios.

British Airways award ticket pricing

British Airways has distance-based award ticket pricing for all award flights. To determine the total, British Airways calculates the cost per segment, so nonstop flights are going to be ideal. Any connection adds more Avios. If your flight has a connection, Iberia may be the better program.

The pricing for flights operated by British Airways, Iberia and Aer Lingus is slightly different than if the flight is operated by a partner flight. Click here to see the charts.

Best ways to redeem British Airways Avios
  • Nonstop American Airlines and Alaska Airlines flights
  • Nonstop partner flights to almost anywhere except Europe
  • Short-haul nonstop business class flights on American Airlines
Other things to know about redeeming British Airways Executive Club Avios

One way tickets are allowed.

You can transfer avios between Aer Lingus, Iberia, and British Airways. Note that this is not normally an option. You usually cannot transfer airline miles from one airline to another. These 3 airlines just happen to have a unique partnership that does allow transfers.

Avoid transatlantic routes (due to high fuel surcharges). Other routes on AA metal do not have fuel surcharges. Some partner routes may have fuel surcharges, but they are usually reasonable.

British Airways Avios to book AA flights
We use British Airways Avios to book AA flights to Canada for less than what AAdvantage requires!

Aer Lingus Aer Club

  • Alliance: None
  • Notable non alliance partners: British Airways, Iberia, Vueling
  • Award ticket pricing: Distance-based

You can redeem Aer Lingus Avios for flights operated by these airlines:

  • Aer Lingus
  • British Airways
  • Iberia
  • Vueling
Aer Lingus award ticket pricing

Aer Lingus has distance-based award ticket pricing. Note that this chart found on the Aer Lingus website has zones, but it seems that the zones correspond with distances.

Aer Lingus calculates the cost per segment

This is the same way British Airways calculates redemption costs.  To calculate how many Avios you need, you will first need to figure out your route.  Then you will want to check the distance of each segment.  For example, Boston to Dublin is a nonstop flight.  But if your destination is another city in Europe, such as Paris, you would need to calculate Boston to Dublin PLUS Dublin to Paris.  Boston to Dublin falls into the 5th tier, so that’s 13,000/20,000 (off-peak/peak).  Dublin to Paris falls into the first tier so that’s 4,000/4,500 (off-peak/peak).  The cost would be 17,000/24,500 (off-peak/peak) each way.

Best ways to redeem Aer Lingus Avios

The best ways to redeem Aer Lingus Avios are to book nonstop flights operated by Aer Lingus.

Other things to know about Aer Lingus Aer Club Avios

One way award tickets are allowed.

It requires an extra step, but you can actually book Oneworld flights if you have Avios. You would first have to transfer the avios to British Airways or Iberia. Since British Airways and Iberia are one world members, you can then use those to book Oneworld partners such as American Airlines. Remember, this is not normally an option. You usually cannot transfer airline miles From one airline to another. These airlines just happen to have a unique partnership.

Aer Lingus does have fuel surcharges, but they are more reasonable than British Airways. Depending on the paid fare of your route, fuel surcharges may or may not be a deal breaker.

Emirates Skywards

  • Alliance: none
  • Notable non alliance partners: See below
  • Award ticket pricing: Zone-based and distance-based
Emirates award ticket pricing

Click here for more details about Emirates award ticket pricing on Emirates flights and on partner flights.

For flights operated by Emirates, the redemption prices are zone-based. For partner flights, Emirates has a different redemption table for each partner. Some are zone-based, some are distance based.

Emirates is not in an alliance but there are non alliance partners. In addition to Emirates flights, you can use Emirates miles to book these partner airlines:

  • Air Mauritius
  • Alaska Airlines
  • Copa Airlines
  • Copa Airlines Colombia
  • easyJet 
  • flydubai
  • GOL
  • Japan Airlines
  • JetBlue
  • Jetstar
  • Korean Air
  • Malaysia Airlines
  • Qantas
  • S7
  • South African Airways
  • TAP Portugal
Best ways to redeem Emirates Skywards miles

Click here for a comprehensive post about redeeming Emirates miles for Emirates and partner flights. Here are 3 valuable ways:

  • Redeem Emirates miles for first class on Emirates nonstop routes between the US and Europe
  • Use Emirates miles to save money and miles on business class seats. You can read more details in this post.
  • Redeem for premium seats on other Emirates routes from the US like Africa and the Maldives
Other things to know about redeeming Emirates Skywards miles

Emirates miles can be valuable, but they start to lose their appeal when you consider fuel surcharges and redemption costs on certain routes.

Emirates collects fuel surcharges when you redeem miles for their flights or most partner flights. This can be a total deal breaker. Also, some of their redemption prices are higher than those of other airlines.

Chase Ultimate Rewards may have other partners that can book the same flights for less miles and/or out of pocket costs (fuel surcharges, etc).

Redeeming more miles sometimes makes sense if you want to avoid fuel surcharges. Likewise, redeeming less miles but paying surcharges sometimes makes sense. For example, Virgin Atlantic has some extremely low redemption prices on tickets to London from certain cities on off-peak dates. You’ll end up paying fuel surcharges, but with the small amount of miles required, it could make sense.

Most, if not all, of the best ways to redeem Emirates miles are going to have associated costs. In my opinion, the best way to redeem Emirates miles is to upgrade an economy ticket to business class.

Athens

Flying Blue AIRFRANCE/KLM

  • Alliance: Skyteam
  • Notable non alliance partners: Japan Airlines
  • Award ticket pricing: Dynamic

You can redeem Flying Blue miles for flights operated by Delta and other Sky team alliance partners. There are also several non-alliance partners.

SkyTeam member airlines 2019
AirFrance/KLM Flying Blue award ticket pricing

Flying Blue has a dynamic pricing model for flights operated by KLM and AirFrance. This means they price flights however they feel like on any given day, although the paid fare does seem to be a factor. There are no published award charts but you can see the lowest possible amount for your route here. Dynamic pricing means that it’s not easy to predict the amount of miles required for any given route.

For partner flights, their website states “You can also use Miles to book flights for yourself or the person of your choice in Economy and Business with SkyTeam partners and other partner airlines. On all partner flights, the price in Miles is based on the booking class and flight distance.” So I guess we can say award ticket pricing for a flight operated by a Flying Blue partner is distance based? It’s unclear how distance is calculated when there are multiple segments.

Non alliance partners

Best ways to redeem Flying Blue miles

There are several. Delta and other partner flights can be a great value. Although the Flying Blue website states that distance determines award ticket pricing, there are no published award charts so it’s tough to predict exactly what your redemption price will be for flights operated by Delta and other partners.

Use Flying Blue miles to book flights operated by Delta for less than what Delta requires

This itinerary is New Orleans to Paris roundtrip with 1 connection each way. All flights are operated by Delta. The total is 58,000 miles roundtrip. There are no fuel surcharges. The only fees are the mandatory fees imposed by foreign governments.

Chase Ultimate Rewards points don’t transfer to Delta, but to show you why that doesn’t matter, look at what Delta Skymiles requires for the exact same flight: 91,000 Delta Sky miles

Even if Ultimate Rewards transfer to Delta, I’m better off using Flying Blue miles to book this itinerary.

Promo awards to Europe are also a great way to redeem Flying Blue miles. With Promo awards, you can save up to 50% of miles required for a redemption. New promo cities are released on the 1st of each month and can be booked up to three months ahead. Currently, Chicago-Europe is a promo and the savings on a business class ticket is up to 50% of the miles. I found several itineraries for 35,500 each way in business class. That’s a great deal.

Other things to know about redeeming Flying Blue miles

One way flights are allowed

KLM and AirFrance have fuel surcharges on their own metal and on some partner flights, but they are usually reasonable, especially for premium seats.

Other partner flights including Delta have no surcharges.

We used Flying Blue miles to book Delta flights to Hawaii

Iberia Plus

  • Alliance: Oneworld
  • Notable non alliance partners: Avianca
  • Award ticket pricing: Distance-based

You can book flights on American Airlines and other Oneworld partners with Iberia Avios:

Oneworld alliance member airlines 2019

Iberia also has some non alliance partners:

  • Level
  • Vueling
  • Interjet
  • Royal Air Maroc
  • Air Italy
  • Binter
  • Avianca
Iberia award ticket pricing

Iberia has distance-based award ticket pricing for award flights operated by Iberia and most partner airlines. Iberia calculates the distance by adding the sum of the distance of all segments. This results in different pricing than British Airways. You can read about British Airways vs. Iberia here.

Iberia has distance-based award ticket pricing for award flights operated by Iberia and most partner airlines. Iberia calculates the distance by adding the summing of all segments. This results in different pricing than British Airways. Iberia is generally the better program if you live in a city that is going to require a connection on your partner flight. Click here to see the charts for Iberia and British Airways operated flights.

Each Iberia partner has its own redemption table. Click here for redemption charts on Iberia partners.

Best ways to redeem Iberia Avios

Iberia Avios can be a great way to book American Airlines flights.

Compared with British Airways, Iberia is generally the better program for AA and other Oneworld partner flights if you live in a city that is going to require a connection on your partner flight. You can read about British Airways vs. Iberia here.

Other things to know about redeeming Iberia Avios

One way ticketing is not allowed on partner flights. In other words, you have to book roundtrip if you’re using Iberia to book flights operated by American Airlines. This can be an issue since award space would need to be available both ways.

Iberia has fuel surcharges, but they are significantly more reasonable than British Airways on many routes.

We use Avios to book American Airlines flights to Florida for less than what AAdvantage would require for the exact same flight!

JetBlue True Blue

  • Alliance: none
  • Notable non alliance partners: Hawaiian Airlines (but it’s not a great redemption cost for the most part)
  • Award ticket pricing: Fare-based

You can redeem Jetblue points for Jetblue flights or Hawaiian Airlines flights.

Jet Blue True Blue award ticket pricing

Jetblue does not publish redemption tables for their own flights. If you’re redeeming for a JetBlue operated flight, the amount of points required seems to correlate with the paid fare for the most part. If the paid fare is lower, the amount of points required is lower and if the fare is higher, more points are required. Click here for more info about Jetblue pricing.

If you’re redeeming Jetblue True Blue points for a flight operated by Hawaiian Airlines, there is an award chart. If you already have True Blue points, some of these routes aren’t terrible. But if you plan to transfer Amex or Chase points to get the True Blue points, you’re probably better off booking with another Amex or Chase partner.

Click here to see the Hawaiian Airlines chart for True Blue redemptions.

Best ways to redeem JetBlue points

Flights operated by JetBlue that have a low paid fare are usually going to have a lower redemption cost.

We used JetBlue points to book flights to the Bahamas earlier this year, and it was a great value!

Other things to know about redeeming JetBlue points

One way ticketing is allowed.

There are no fuel surcharges.

Singapore Airlines Krisflyer

  • Alliance: Star Alliance
  • Notable non alliance partners: Alaska Airlines, Virgin Atlantic
  • Award ticket pricing: Zone based
Singapore Airlines Krisflyer award ticket pricing

When you redeem Singapore Airlines miles for flights operated by Singapore Airlines, the award chart is zone-based. Like American Airlines, there are saver awards and there are Singapore’s version of AAnytime awards. These are called Advantage awards (I realize that’s confusing, because AAdvantage). Usually, saver awards are the only ones worth booking. Click here for the award charts on flights operated by Singapore Airlines.

To redeem Krisflyer miles for flights operated by Star Alliance partners, this chart applies. It is also zone-based.

Star alliance member airlines 2019

In addition to Star Alliance partners, Singapore Airlines has some non alliance partners. Each partner has its own chart you can see by clicking on the links:

Best ways to redeem Krisflyer miles

Singapore Airlines flights in premium cabins can be a great deal. Also, Singapore Airlines has better pricing on United operated flights than United Mileage Plus does for several routes.

TIP: Even if the flights you want are operated by an airline partner of Chase, I suggest looking at other partners because you may get a better redemption price!

Example: Continental US-Hawaii, operated by United

Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer directly to United. If the flight I want is operated by United, the intuitive thing to do is to transfer Ultimate Rewards to United to book the flight (after confirming availability of course). In reality, I have a better option, though. Singapore Airlines Krisflyer is also a transfer partner of Chase. As a Star alliance member, Singapore Airlines Krisflyer miles can be redeemed for United flights.

United’s lowest redemption price for US-Hawaii is 45,000 miles roundtrip. Singapore’s redemption price for US-Hawaii operated by United Airlines is 35,000 miles. I can save 10,000 Ultimate Rewards by using Singapore Airlines to book the United flight.

Other things to know about redeeming Krisflyer miles

There are no fuel surcharges if the flight is operated by Singapore Airlines or United. For other partners, fuel surcharges may be imposed.

One way tickets are allowed.

Southwest Rapid Rewards

  • Alliance: none
  • Notable non alliance partners: none
  • Award ticket pricing: Fare based

This is really simple. Southwest has no partners. The only airline for which you can redeem Southwest Rapid Rewards points is Southwest.

Southwest Rapid Rewards award ticket pricing

Like JetBlue, Southwest’s redemption prices are tied to the fare. The great thing about fare-based pricing is that you usually do not have to worry about availability. If a seat is available, you can book it with points. The problem is, a higher fare means more points. This can be an issue if you’re trying to book travel around peak times such as holidays.

Best ways to redeem Southwest Rapid Rewards points

Low fares mean low redemption costs, so Southwest fare sales are always a good time to book Southwest award flights.

Other things to know about Southwest Rapid Rewards

Note that if you transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards to Southwest, they do not qualify for the companion pass.

One way tickets are allowed.

There are no change or cancellation fees on award tickets.

You can now fly to Hawaii with Southwest!

United Mileage Plus

  • Alliance: Star Alliance
  • Notable non alliance partners: Aer Lingus
  • Award ticket pricing: Dynamic

You can redeem United Mileage Plus miles for flights operated by United, alliance partners, and non alliance partners.

Star alliance member airlines 2019

Non alliance partners

  • Aer Lingus
  • Aeromar
  • Air Dolomiti
  • Azul
  • Boutique Air
  • Cape Air
  • Edelweiss Air
  • Eurowings
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • Olympic Air
  • Silver Airways
United Mileage Plus award ticket pricing

Earlier this year, United announced a change in the way award tickets are priced. Basically, they switched to a dynamic pricing model for flights operated by United. Earlier this month, award charts were eliminated.

For flights operated by Star Alliance partners, United originally stated that partner charts will remain as is. However, their website was updated to state “The partner award chart will remain in effect for travel through November 14, 2019. For travel on or after November 15, 2019, there may be flights that require a higher number of miles than the amounts indicated on the award chart. When you search for awards while booking, you’ll see the applicable award level.” So, partner flights may or may not have dynamic pricing moving forward. At the time of publishing (November 27), Star Alliance redemption prices can still be found here. Remember, these flights are subject to availability.

Best ways to redeem United miles

I feel like this needs a whole post. It’s tough to say due to the switch to dynamic pricing. But premium cabins to Europe are still a great way to redeem. Transatlantic carriers such as Lufthansa typically come with steep fuel surcharges. United never collects fuel surcharges, so using United miles saves on out of pocket expenses.

Other things to know about United Mileage Plus

One way tickets are allowed.

No fuel surcharges. United does not collect fuel surcharges on their own flights or on any partner award flights.

United generally has decent saver award availability, especially in economy.

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

  • Alliance: no alliance
  • Notable non alliance partners: Delta
  • Award ticket pricing: Zone based

You can use Virgin Atlantic miles to book flights operated by Virgin Atlantic or their partners.

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club award ticket pricing

Virign Atlantic’s chart for Virgin Atlantic flights is zone-based. When you redeem Virign Atlantic Flying Club miles for Virgin Atlantic flights, there are two different charts. One is for peak season and one is for standard (off peak). Both are an excellent value, but keep in mind that these redemption prices will also require you to pay some potentially expensive out of pocket fuel surcharges and fees.

This is the standard chart:

virgin Atlantic off peak chart 2019

In addition to flights operated by Virgin Atlantic, you can use Flying Club miles to book flights operated by partner airlines. Each has different pricing, but all are zone-based.

Best ways to redeem Virgin Atlantic

Off peak flights operated by Virgin Atlantic are an excellent value in terms of miles required. The problem is fuel surcharges. Since redemption costs are so low, it may be worth paying the fuel surcharge.

Delta flights have no fuel surcharges (outside of the UK). Using Flying Club miles to book Delta flights can be a great value in both economy and business class.

Virgin Atlantic miles are also great for first class to Japan. This is one of the best deals in award travel. You can redeem as little as 110,000 miles for ANA first class ROUNDTRIP! The catch is that you have to book roundtrip. This means you have to find availability roundtrip, which is a challenge.

Other things to know about Virgin Atlantic

If the flight is operated by Virgin Atlantic, fuel surcharges can be pretty remarkable. Delta flights do not have fuel surcharges. Other partners may or may not have fuel surcharges.

One way tickets are allowed if Virgin Atlantic or Delta is operating the flight. For partners, it varies.

Virgin Atlantic miles can book some fancy flights to Japan if you’re lucky enough to find ANA availability!

Final thoughts

Flexible points like Chase Ultimate Rewards not only have potential for a valuable redemption, they also give you more airline options than you would have if you only use an airline co-branded credit card.

Even though some US common carriers are not transfer partners of Chase Ultimate Rewards, you can still redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards for flights operated by these carriers:

American Airlines (Oneworld)
  • British Airways
  • Iberia Plus
Alaska Airlines (no alliance)
  • British Airways Avios
  • Singapore Airlines Krisflyer miles
  • Emirates Skywards miles
Delta (Skyteam)
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles
  • KLM/AirFrance Flying Blue miles
Hawaiian Airlines (no alliance)
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles
  • JetBlue TrueBlue points
JetBlue (no alliance)
  • Chase Ultimate Rewards (transfer directly)
  • Emirates Skywards miles
Southwest
  • Chase Ultimate Rewards (transfer directly)
United (Star alliance)
  • Chase Ultimate Rewards (transfer directly)
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer

Earn your first 60,000 transferable Chase Ultimate Rewards points by opening a Chase Sapphire Preferred card

Chase Sapphire Preferred 2019 Best credit card offers

Current offer: Earn 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months. The annual fee is $95. Earn 2 points per dollar on travel and dining, and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.

Advertiser disclosure: The Miles Genie has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products.  The Miles Genie and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.

Comments below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. The comments have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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