With the great offers that Chase has with their Ultimate Rewards earning credit cards, I wanted to give you all a break down of the best transfer programs for your Chase Ultimate Reward points. Currently, the Chase Ink Bold and Chase Ink Plus cards will give you 50,000 points after spending $5,000 within 3 months, and the Chase Ink Classic and Chase Ink Cash cards will give you 20,000 points after spending $3,000 within 3 months.
The partner programs for the Chase Ultimate Reward programs (which is the currency for all Chase Ink cards) include:
- British Airways
- Korean Air
- Southwest Airlines
- Virgin Atlantic
- Priority Club/InterContinental Hotels Group
- Ritz Carlton
While I encourage everyone to utilize the program that works best for them, there are some programs that will give you the best value for your points.
Top airline redemptions:
- United Airlines – Southeast Asia: 1 round-trip economy class ticket will cost 65,000 points (this will save you about $1,5000 + give you 35,000 points left over). This is giving you a redemption value of 2.3 cents/point. Or, if you prefer business class, just a little more spend on your card and your 7% annual bonus can get you the 120,000 points needed. A paid ticket will cost about $4,500. This is giving you a redemption value of 3.75 cents/point (and this is being pretty conservative).
- United Airlines – Europe: 1 round-trip economy class ticket will cost you 60,000 points. Depending on where you are going and the time frame, this can save you anywhere between $700 and $1,300. I’ll average it out and put a redemption value of 1.6 cents per value – not a great redemption value, but still free. A business class ticket will give you a better redemption value, but requires 100,000 points for a round-trip ticket. Since paying for this ticket will cost about $4,000, the redemption value is 4 cents/point.
- Korean Air – North America to Korea: 70,000 miles round-trip for economy class during off peak times (which is 90% of the time). You can check the number of miles needed to redeem plus their peak/off-peak time table here). The cheapest non-stop I found from JFK to Seoul costs about $1,700. This gives you a redemption of about 2.4 cents per point. If you were to fly business class (125,000 miles), you could get close to 5 cents per point!
- British Airways – US domestic and international travel: Remember that flights to London have hefty fuel charges, so typically using your points on a partner airline will be your best bet. Here are my top British Airways Avios redemption awards, but check out this prior post for a Top 10 list.
- New York (JFK or LGA) to Montreal or Toronto: These tickets average about $350 roundtrip, but can many times be as high as $450 – this was the case the entire Spring. A roundtrip redemption will cost you 9,000 Avios points. This will entail you to use your British Airways Avios points on partner airline American Airlines. Assuming a $350 flight, this will give you a redemption value of about 3.333 cents/point. You can also use the cash & points option to reduce the number of points you need to use (as little as 4,500 points). You can read more on this specific redemption in this previos post here.
- Boston to Dublin, Ireland: You can redeem 25,000 Avios points roundtrip using partner Aer Lingus. Since you do not go through London the taxes and fees are extremely low at $146.28 total! While this flight is relatively inexpensive compared to other European destinations, you will still be looking at an average of $800 for this flight. This is an unbelievable use of your avios miles and will give you a redemption value of about 2.6 cents/point. You can also redeem on business class at 50,000 Avios points, which will give you a much better redemption value of about 8 cents/point since a paid ticket goes for about $4,000! This route is also available from Chicago and JFK for 40,000 points in economy and 80,000 points in business.
- Sydney to Alice Springs (the outback): Flights can be over $1,000 to go to Alice Springs (although flights to Ayers Rock can be less on Virgin Australia)! However, with your British Airways Avios points, you can redeem 20,000 points + $64.08 to fly on partner airline Qantas. Availability is great and this will allow you a quick stop to the center of the country that you might not have otherwise done. This will give you a redemption value of 4.75 cents/point! You can use your points to fly on other routes throughout Australia as well via Qantas.
- Miami to Bermuda: This is an extremely expensive route and if you want to go direct on the American Airline flight you’ll be looking at a $600+ per ticket. However, you are able to take advantage of your points and redeem 15,000 Avios points + $101.15 for this flight. Award availability seems to be pretty good too! This will give you a great redemption value of at least 3.333 cents/point. You can also redeem the same 15,000 points roundtrip to fly from JFK direct to Bermuda, although prices are about half the cost since you also have JetBlue as an option as well.
- New York (JFK) to Vail, Colorado: This seasonal route will cost you over $600, but only 20,000 Avios points + $5 in taxes. What is surprising is that availability for the winter time still seems to be great! This will give you an awesome value of using your points domestically at 3 cents/point. If you do not currently have any Avios points, but are looking for a roundabout way on purchasing points for redemption, read this previos post for US domestic travel with British Airways Avios.
- Dallas to Vancouver: You can fly direct to Vancouver on partner airline American Airlines for 20,000 points + $51.94. This flight otherwise will cost you about $650, which is absolutely ridiculous. Since this is an international destination you can also use the cash & points option similar to flying to Montreal or Toronto. You can also fly direct from JFK to Vancouver on Cathay Pacific, but will cost 25,000 points and about double in taxes. The redemption value of this flight is about 3 cents/point!
Other airline redemption options:
- United Airlines – US Domestic: 50,000 points can be used for 2 round-trip tickets from New York to California (or really from any two domestic cities). While this isn’t the best redemption value, it really depends on what works best for you and your family. If your goal is to travel around the US for free to visit friends and family members, then that’s great, and these points can save you about $1,400! Assuming a $350 ticket normally, this is giving you a 1.4 cent/point redemption value. *Just make sure the cost of each ticket is more than $300, or you might as well use the “pay for points option” instead of transferring to this partner airline. The “pay for points options” allows you to book travel through the Ultimate Rewards travel site where 1 point = 1.2 cents. A $300 ticket will require 25,000 points.
- Southwest Airlines – US Domestic: This program is pretty cut and dry, where each point is worth 1.67 cents when redeemed on a “Wanna Getaway” fare. This means that 50,000 Ultimate Reward points = 50,000 Southwest points = $833. If you only want to redeem for domestic travel and Southwest is your airline of choice, this is a great option. While this might not be as great of a redemption option compared to redeeming for international flights, you really do not need to worry about award availability. However, if you have the Southwest companion pass, your companion can fly with you for free doubling the value of these points! Unfortunately, transferring points from your Ultimate Rewards account to Southwest will not count towards the Southwest companion pass. Read this prior blog post on a roundabout way to transfer from Ultimate Rewards to Southwest to count towards the companion pass. Warning though, this will devalue your points greatly – but, you do get the companion pass!
Top hotel redemptions:
- Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa: A category 6 hotel and one of the most expensive Hyatt hotels available. The average rate I found when poking around different dates was about $800/night, but over Christmas time can cost you over $1,700/night! Since the number of points needed to redeem is the same regardless of time of the year, using points during a holiday time period can be huge! This 22,000 point/night hotel has a redemption value of 3.6 cents per point, and during Christmas a whopping 7.7 cents per point! Other high end redemption hotels include Paris and Tokyo.
- Hyatt Escala Lodge – Park City, Utah: This is a category 4 hotel, so requires 15,000 points for a free night. During ski season, regular rates are about $425/night. This is a great value at 2.83 cents per point.
- Bali Hyatt: This is a category 1 hotel, so requires only 5,000 points for a free night. Regular rate is about $120/night, thus a redemption value of 2.4 cents per point. This is a reminder that sometimes those low category $100/night+ hotels can actually be a decent value with points, and even a better value than Hawaii, for example.
- Priority Club Point Break Hotels: Priority Club (InterContinental Hotels Group) always has a list of hotels that only require 5,000 points. These “Point Break” hotels do change, but are a great value when available and work with your travel schedule. To use only 5,000 Chase Ultimate Reward nights for a free hotel right is a great value!! You can check out the PointBreaks list here.
Other hotel redemption options:
- Hyatt – Grand Hyatt Kauai: Another category 6 hotel, thus requiring 22,000 points. Typically, this resort goes for an average of $300/night, but I have seen it for much less as well. For many, getting a $300/night hotel room free is great, but I personally prefer to get a little more out of my Hyatt points. This redemption is about 1.4 cents per point.
- Renaissance Paris Arc de Triomphe Hotel, Paris: Category 7 hotel that cost about $400/night in the summer. This will give you a redemption rate of 1.1 cents per point. This is one of the better redemption options for Marriott hotels, so you see you won’t get the best value compared to the other loyalty partners. Or, for Marriott hotels use the “pay for points option.”
- InterContinental Thalasso Bora Bora: Requires 50,000 points a night and rooms typically go for about $1,000. This is probably one of the best places to redeem your Priority Club points. This is a redemption value of 2 cents per point and probably the best value you’ll get at an InterContinental hotel, except for those that are on the “Point Break” list.
As you can see from the list above, the highest value transfer partners are: Hyatt, United, and British Airways. While Korean Air provides great value, destinations are limited, but will work great for some! While the values I listed above are definitely more on the “high value” end of redemption, you can see that 2 cents per dollar is very do-able and is what I am valuing Chase Ultimate Reward points at. This is why I put a $1,000 value on the Chase Ink Bold and Chase Ink Plus 50,000 point offer. At the bare minimum though you can redeem through the Ultimate Rewards mall for $625. And Southwest is a cut and dry $833 value (or more if you have the companion pass).
- Chase Ink Bold charge card application – 50,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months; $95 annual fee waived for the first year
- Chase Ink Plus credit card application – 50,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months; $95 annual fee waived for the first year
- Chase Ink Classic Business application - 20,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months; no annual fee
- Chase Ink Cash Business application – 20,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months; no annual fee
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. I will only list the best credit card offers as my goal is for you to travel on a deal!