[Introduction] US Point-Transfer Rewards Programs: Chase Ultimate Rewards

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Introduction to US Point-Transfer Rewards Programs:

1. American Express Membership Rewards (AMEX MR)
2. Chase Ultimate Rewards (Chase UR)
3. Citi ThankYou Rewards (Citi TY)
4. Starwood Preferred Guest Starpoints (SPG)

Chase Ultimate Rewards (Chase UR)

Chase Ultimate Rewards (UR) program is one of my most frequently used point-transfer system. Chase UR system has multiple transfer partners, and the best part is that all transfer partners have point-transfer ratio of 1:1. Below is the list of all the Chase UR transfer partners, as you may see, the list includes multiple airlines and hotels system. One of the most frequently used airline loyalty program partners is United Airlines. Some other useful airlines worth mentioning are British Airways, Southwest Airlines, and Korean Air.

If AMEX MR is the point system that I use for Trans-Pacific and Trans-Atlantic travel, Chase UR is the system I will use for all the domestic travel purposes within United States. Both British Airways and Southwest Airlines are great transfer partners for domestic / short-distance flights (British Airways Avios can be used to redeem for American Airlines' flights). Below I'll list out a few highlights of why Chase UR has great transfer partners and some tips of how to use the award redemption for each of them.

1. British Airways (BA): As a member of the Oneworld Alliance, if you transfer Chase UR to British Airways, you may redeem for flights in any other Oneworld Alliance partners like American Airlines, Japan Airlines, and Cathay Pacific. British Airways' award chart is distance-based, and the best way to utilize it is to redeem for short-distance flights. For example, redeeming for Cathay Pacific round-trip flight in economy class between Taiwan and Hong Kong only costs you 9,000 Avios, which means you only need to transfer 9,000 Chase UR points to BA's program. British Airways is also the partner of Alaska Airlines. Redeeming for US west coast to Hawaii round-trip flights in economy class only requires 25,000 Avios, which means you only need to transfer 25,000 Chase UR points to BA's program.

To calculate the required miles/Avios for award redemption, you may use our tool to search for it – Flyers

Example of required miles for American Airlines' flights using British Airways Avios

2. Southwest Airlines: Southwest Airlines' Rapid Rewards program is great for it's fixed-point value (each point is worth about 1.5 cents). As long as there are available seats, you could redeem for it with points. Therefore, by transferring Chase UR points to Southwest Rapid Rewards program, you can ensure your points value at least 1 cent/point. Southwest Airlines flies to multiple US and several international destinations.

3. Hyatt: Another great redemption option for Chase UR is Hyatt. Hyatt offers very generous award chart that even their best hotel brand – Park Hyatt, which could cost over $1,000 per night, may be redeemed for with 30,000 Hyatt points per night. That is a redemption of over 3.33 cents/point! Even though Hyatt doesn't have as many properties as other major hotel brands like IHG or Marriott, redeeming for award nights is usually a great choice as long as you can find Hyatt's properties at your destination.

Two of the most common cards to earn Chase UR points are Chase Freedom and Chase Sapphire Preferred. Chase Freedom does not have annual fee, but you can't transfer points to partners if you just have Chase Freedom. One must also have an annual-fee Chase Ultimate Rewards Card like Chase Sapphire Preferred in order to transfer the points to the partners. Chase Freedom earns quarterly 5x points per dollar for spending on rotating categories (dining, grocery store, department stores… etc). However, only the first $1,500 spending at the selected categories each quarter may earn 5x points. Chase Sapphire Preferred earns 2x reward per dollar for spending on dining and travel.

There are currently 6 different Chase Ultimate Rewards products available for applying:

  • Chase Freedom Unlimited – no annual fee, earns 1.5x points per dollar for spending on all purchases.
  • Chase Freedom – no annual fee, earns 5x points per dollar for spending on rotating categories, 1x point for spending on everywhere else.
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred – $95 annual fee (waived first year), earns 2x points per dollar for spending on dining and travel, 1x point for spending on everywhere else.
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve – $450 annual fee, comes with great travel benefits and earns 3x points per dollar for spending on dining and travel, 1x point for spending on everywhere else.
  • Chase Ink Preferred (Business card) – $95 annual fee, earns 3x points per dollar for spending on selected categories.
  • Chase Ink Cash (Business card) – no annual fee, earns 5x points and 2x points per dollar for spending on selected categories. 1x point for spending on everywhere else.

To maximize the earning rate of Chase UR points, it's highly recommended to get as many Chase UR cards as you can and get the maximum reward points by choosing the right card when you make the purchases. Also, additional points may be earned by referring friends and family members to apply for Chase UR cards.

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