Key Links:

When you watch tv commercials for Chase’s credit cards they often talk about earning points that get you free travel.

Their card commercials really undersell the value proposition they offer. When they tell you on the commercial that the 40,000 point signup bonus you can earn with the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is worth $500 in travel, that really misses the point of the card.

Yes, it’s a generous bonus. And spending on the card earns double points on all travel and dining. And they will let you use each point as 1.25 cents towards paid travel. But if you redeem your points that way, you’re doing it wrong.

You can get a lot more value from the points by transferring them to airline or hotel frequent flyer programs. It’s simple to do that online through their website, and it works instantly for most of their partners.

Now, you can do this if you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. But you cannot do this with points in a regular ‘Sapphire’ (not Preferred) account.

And you can do this if you have the Ink Plus® Business Card or Ink Bold® Business Card. (These cards come with 50,000 points after spending $5000 within 3 months.) But you cannot do this with points in a regular Ink Cash or Ink Classic account.

Here’s how it works.

Log into your Chase account. Underneath your card account is an Ultimate Rewards logo and a link that says “Go to Ultimate Rewards” — click that.

Here’s the top left of the screen you’ll be presented with:

See, I’ve X’d out things you don’t want to do. I explained a couple of months back why you don’t want to redeem your Ultimate Rewards points to pay the retail cost of travel. You also don’t want to ‘pay yourself back’ (take a statement credit) or redeem for merchandise.

You want to “Transfer Points to Travel Partners”

Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfer one-to-one into each of the loyalty programs they partner with.

Here’s the list of partners you get to choose from:

See, this is also why earning Ultimate Rewards is so much better than earning miles with a single program: flexibility. You get to choose where to put points when you know what points you need — you know what you want to do with the points, where you want to go, what account may need a few more points, and who has the availability you’re looking for.

Click on the partner you want to transfer points to. You’ll be presented with a screen that lets you choose the number of points you want to transfer.

Adjust up or down until you get to the number of points you want to transfer. Then enter your name as it appears on your frequent flyer or frequent guest account along with your loyalty program number so they know where to send the points. Click continue.

You’ll get a chance to review the transfer:

If the details — your loyalty program account information and the number of points you want to send — are correct, click Confirm.

That’s all there is to it.

Some final things to know:

  • How long it takes to transfer. Chase’s website commits that transfers to United, British Airways, Korean, Southwest, Virgin Atlantic, Hyatt and Amtrak will all process instantly. They commit that Marriott, IHG Rewards, and Ritz-Carlton Rewards (which is effectively Marriott Rewards) will process by the next business day.

  • Only one transfer per day to Korean Air. Korean is the only program that Chase partners with that has this restriction, but it really shouldn’t get in the way.

(Note that cards in this post offer credit to me if you’re approved using my links. The content is not provided or commissioned by American Express, by Chase, by Citibank, US Bank, Bank of America, Barclays or any other company. They have not reviewed, approved or endorsed what I have to say.)

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  1. Delta Points said,

    “they will let you use each point as 1.25 cents towards paid travel. But if you redeem your points that way, you’re doing it wrong.”
    I disagree and have spent 1/2 million points just this way in two years and find great value – for me (see tomorrows post)!

  2. DBest said,

    Xs and Arrows, really? Stay classy Gary, this isn’t MMS. ;-)

  3. ABC said,

    In the world of pushing credit cards, this is a low point for you Gary. Don’t assume your readers are nincompoops. 99%> of your reads have probably done this or can handle it without your wordy post. Moreover staring with “key links” to CC applications have nothing to do with the mechanism of transferring points. Or perhaps “key” has a new meaning. I’ve been wrong before.
    Just levels with your readers “next time you consider a CC application, please use my links below so I can make some money on the side”.

  4. jorge said,

    Not again! Twice in one week? Give us some credit and salvage your cred man. Leave this stuff to MMS. Not to mention its just regurgitation of recycled info that any curious soul could find with a simple Google search.

  5. Jeff said,

    I think it’s a perfectly fine post. Guess people just don’t like you sticking “key links” in your posts, gary!

  6. StephenM said,

    Great job Gary, Your:the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is worth $500 in travel, that really misses the point of the card. It happened to me about 6 months ago. I tried to book a flight with the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card but with advice from you I transferred the miles to my United account and got double the value in the flight.

  7. Corky said,

    This is just prewritten holiday fluff so he can keep the blog active while he vacations. But better no article than this stuff. If you can’t figure out how to transfer UR you have no bsiness doing this stuff.

  8. Jorge said,

    I read on FT that someone used 100,000 MR to pay his Amex bill. Everybody was shocked, but everybody has different needs. I think UR transfers are good but the value of the external programs is diminishing one by one.

    Sooner or later I may end up redeeming for gift cards. I’d rather get a GC than redeem 250k UR for a one-way Premium Economy ticket somewhere. And looks like this will be upon us sooner than we expected…

  9. Greg said,

    You are missing who your readers really are. We don’t come here to see you wasting your energy on this.

    We come for your insightful analysis of programs and where they are heading.

    Every post like this takes away time you can spend writing one that’s really thoughtful.

  10. Tom said,

    This post really feels like it was outsourced to someone Gary hired. Totally doesn’t sound like his writing, and the graphics and markups are just amateurish. I agree, this stuff belongs on MMS, not here :(

  11. Gary said,

    Amateurish graphics? That’s how you know it was me :)

  12. Gary said,

    @Delta Points I’ll let your comment speak for itself ;) And repeat that you’re doing it wrong…

  13. PSL said,

    I wish the critics of this post would quit their beefing. There are always some new travelers who might find some of this points and miles craziness a little intimidating at first, so who cares if Gary gives them some helpful hints? If this particular post is not sophisticated enough for the naysayers’ level of expertise, they should just ignore it!

  14. JFA said,

    I agree with poster # 13- if you do not find content of interest- move on.

    you cannot write War and Peace everyday.

    i am thankful for all the amazing info that is available on a daily basis on all the great travel sites.

  15. No Way said,

    I would never, ever click on any of Gary’s link. There is no way I would want to benefit someone who totally ignores his readers’ questions. Not a cent!

  16. SJCRussell said,

    An exception to booking directly can be hotel transfers like Marriott where you typically can’t get better than 1 CPM, so booking with URM at 1.25x is a win.

    Sometimes there is even an arbitrage play. Recently I wanted 2 nights at the SF Ritz on the exec level. This comes to an eye-watering 120k + $200/night at Marriott rewards (retail rate is $699/night). It was 180k on Ultimate rewards which then drops to 144k with the 1.2x and no add-fee for the exec level.

  17. Peter said,

    I will ignore the nay-sayers and ask a legitimate question: does Chase have restrictions about who you can transfer points to? Does your name with Chase have to match the loyalty account?

  18. The 3 Most Valuable Points Currencies and How to Rack Them Up Quickly - View from the Wing - View from the Wing said,

    […] how to make the transfers, which are generally instantaneous. And here’s how to combine points from multiple […]

  19. Wandering Mexico and Swimming Cancun – a cost-free weekend! | The Flying Scholar said,

    […] Preferred cards.  Awards to Mexico are 35,000 points round trip, and Chase gives you 45,000 transferable Ultimate Reward points after signing up and spending $3000 and adding an authorized user in three months.  They all flew […]

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