Best ways to book flights to Europe with Chase Ultimate Rewards:
All of these options involve transferring Ultimate Rewards to an airline transfer partner and then booking the flight.*
*Another option is to use the Chase Ultimate Rewards redemption portal to book. This is essentially using your points as cash to book but you can read more here. Usually you will get more value out of your points by transferring to partners and booking award tickets, but the booking portal may be a good idea if you find a paid ticket to Europe with a low fare.
1. Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer to book Singapore Airlines flights for 22,500 miles each way in economy
Singapore Airlines only has two routes between the US and Europe. These are JFK-Frankfurt and Houston-Manchester so if you live in Houston or New York, you’re in luck.
2. Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer to book United/Star Alliance partner flights in economy at 27,500 miles each way
It costs less miles to book a United flight with KrisFlyer than with United Mileage Plus. With United, it would be 30,000 each way in economy. Some partners may come with a fuel surcharge but United does not. United generally has good saver award availability from the US to Europe in economy no matter what your home airport is.
3. KLM/AirFrance FlyingBlue to book KLM, AirFrance, and Delta flights between the US and Europe for 25,000 miles each way in economy
FlyingBlue usually has good availability at the saver level for economy tickets between the US and Europe. Award tickets booked with FlyingBlue but operated by Delta do not have fuel surcharges on transatlantic flights. Flights on KLM and AirFrance do have a charge. For comparison, Delta’s own program (Skymiles)charges 30,000 each way at the saver level for these flights between the US and Europe.
4. KLM/AirFrance FlyingBlue to book Promo Awards on KLM and AirFrance
If you’re able to take advantage of a promo award, you can save between 20% and 50% on the amount of miles required. Promo Awards are select destinations that are offered for a reduced number of miles. The list of destinations is updated every month and availability is limited. You can get deals on economy and business class tickets!
5. United Mileage Plus to book United flights for 57,500 each way in business class
You can book other Star Alliance flights with United miles, but partner flights are 70,000 miles each way. Considering the fact that United does not pass on carrier imposed fuel surcharges for award tickets even on partners, some people prefer to book partners such as Lufthansa with United miles to avoid these charges, even though 70,000 miles is higher than other programs would charge for that flight in business class.
6. Korean Air Skypass to book KLM, AirFrance, or Delta flights from the US to Europe in business class for 80,000 miles roundtrip
This is a great deal, but there are a few catches. First of all, Korean Air will collect fuel surcharges on these partners for transatlantic flights. For example, a Delta flight I found from Detroit to Paris in business class booked with Korean Air miles showed a charge of just under 300$ in carrier/fuel surcharges roundtrip. This is not terrible compared to what some airlines charge. The other catch: Korean Air only allows roundtrip award tickets so there must be availability both ways.
7. Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer to book Singapore Airlines Suites in their fancy A380 for 76,000 each way
Keep in mind there are only 2 routes between the US and Europe on Singapore Airlines. These are JFK-Frankfurt and Houston-Manchester. Only the JFK-Frankfurt and Frankfurt-JFK flights are operated by the A380, so this is the only route between the US and Europe for which you can book a Singapore Airlines suite. You can add a United flight from your home airport to JFK as long as United has saver availability. If you have to add a United flight to get from your home airport to JFK, you will be subject to the partner airlines chart so it will be 80,000 miles each way. That’s still a great deal considering you only have to fork over 4,000 more miles if you do not live in New York.
8. Singapore Airlines to book partner flights for 80,000 each way in first class
Remember, while Singapore Airlines does not impose any extra fuel surcharges on their own flights for award tickets, you may be subject to these charges on partner flights. For example, if you use Singapore Airlines to book a Lufthansa first class ticket, you will be charged an extra ~$400.
9. British Airways Avios for flights between the East Coast and Europe for as low as 13,000 Avios each way in economy
Since British Airways is part of the OneWorld alliance, Avios can be used to book flights on American Airlines, airberlin, Finn Air, as well as British Airways. Also, Iberia, a carrier based in Spain is part of the OneWorld alliance. In addition to being OneWorld partners, Iberia and British Airways have a unique partnership because they are under the same parent company. I will go into more detail in Part 4 of this series, but you can actually transfer British Airways Avios to Iberia. This means that you can indirectly use your Ultimate Rewards to use Iberia’s loyalty program. Iberia’s carrier-imposed charges are a little more reasonable than British Airways, so this could save some out of pocket costs.
Here is a list of all Chase Ultimate Rewards airline partners
Not sure how to transfer? See how to transfer Ultimate Rewards to partners post.
For more detailed information about all of these options plus even more options, check out my 5 part series about booking flights to Europe with Chase Ultimate Rewards.
- Part 1: Introduction
- Part 2: Star Alliance-Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer and United
- Part 3: SkyTeam Alliance- KLM/AirFrance FlyingBlue and Korean Air
- Part 4: OneWorld Alliance-British Airways
- (coming soon) Part 5: Virgin Atlantic (no alliance)