Chase Ultimate Rewards are very flexible points that can transfer to multiple airlines, hotels, and even Amtrak. Transferring points is very easy and they post almost immediately so you can finalize your booking within a few minutes.
Why Did I Need To Transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards Points to United Airlines?
My buddy David invited me to go to Germany to pick up a Mercedes Benz S550 from the factory in Stuttgart. We’d get to drive it around Europe for up to 11 days. Of course I had to say yes! Since we were going to ride around Europe in style, I wanted us to fly there in style, so I looked up some flights and found some amazing flights. Unfortunately, I only had 115,701 miles in my United Airlines Mileage Plus account. In order to fly First Class from California to Germany and Paris back to California, I’d need another 120,000 miles.
That’s where the flexibility of Chase Ultimate Rewards comes in!
How Do You Earn Chase Ultimate Rewards Points?
Chase has several cards that earn Ultimate Rewards points.
The best personal card is the Chase Sapphire Preferred because of the earning power that it has, plus the cool factor of how different it feels in your hand (it has a metal inlay). It provides 2x bonus on travel and dining, with a 7% annual bonus on all points earned each year, and has no foreign transaction fees. The annual fee is $95, but is waived the first year.
Other personal cards with no annual fees are the Chase Sapphire and the Chase Freedom. Between the two, I prefer the Chase Freedom because it offers 5x points on various stores that rotate each quarter. Here is a post on the 2013 3rd Quarter stores. With both of these no-fee products, you cannot transfer to partners unless you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Ink Plus, or Chase Ink Bold.
The Chase Ink Plus and the Chase Ink Bold are the same card, except the Plus is a normal credit card (allows you to carry a balance, if needed), while the Bold is a charge card (which requires you to pay the balance in full each month). Of course, if you’re in the miles and points game, you need to pay your balances in full each month because the rewards earned are not enough to offset the interest you’ll be paying!
With the Plus and Bold cards, you earn 5x points on office supply stores (even when buying gift cards for other stores there – hint, hint) and telecommunications (cell phone, cable, landline, internet) and 2x points on gas and hotels. Both also have a $95 annual fee after the first year.
I earned 40,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points from the Sapphire Preferred and 50,000 each from the Plus and Bold, plus the points earned from the minimum spend to earn the bonus. On top of that, my cell phone and cable/internet bills are on autopay with the Ink Plus to earn 5x points. I also buy gift cards for birthdays, holidays, and for my personal use and some household supplies from Staples to earn 5x points.
What Can You Do With Chase Ultimate Rewards Points?
You can redeem the points you earn for travel and receive 20% off the points required. For example, a $500 flight would require just 40,000 points, instead of 50,000 points if you cashed your points in for cash.
This option is the least desirable way to use your points. The best value is to transfer your points in 1,000 point increments to one of Chase’s partners.
The best option is to transfer points to your preferred airline, hotel, or Amtrak:
- British Airways Executive Club
- Korean Air SKYPASS
- Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards (does not count towards Companion Pass or A-List status)
- United MileagePlus
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, Amtrak Guest Rewards
- Hyatt Gold Passport
- Priority Club® Rewards
- Marriott Rewards
- The Ritz-Carlton Rewards
How To Transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards To United
In 8 easy steps, I was able to transfer 120,000 points from Chase Ultimate Rewards to United while booking my flights!
Step 1 – Click on “Go to Ultimate Rewards” from within your account on Chase.com
Step 2 – Select which account you want to transfer from. In my case, I chose the account with the most points in it. So, I clicked on “Go to Ultimate Rewards” on the second account.
Step 3 – Click on “Transfer Points to Travel Partners“
Step 4 – Choose which category – Airlines or Hotels & Rail Programs. In my case, transferring to United would require clicking on “Airlines“
Step 5 – Choose which airline partner you want to transfer to. Again, I want to transfer to United, so I clicked on “United“
Step 6 – Select the number of points you wish to transfer by clicking on the up or down arrows. Then, enter in your United MileagePlus account number (and confirm it on the next line), and your first and last name, and click Continue.
Step 7 – Confirm that the pending transfer is correct. Click Edit if you need to change anything. If you’re ready to transfer, click Confirm
Step 8 – Confirmation that the transfer to United MileagePlus was initiated by Chase Ultimate Rewards.
And, voila, confirmation that they were received by United.
I was able to transfer these points while creating the reservation on United.com. By the time I was ready to confirm the flight, the points had already transferred and were received!
Chase Ultimate Rewards Points are valuable currency when booking amazing trips. They transfer almost instantly and are flexible to use with numerous airline and hotel partners, including Amtrak for train rides. In the next few days, I’ll share with you the $20,000 flight I was able to book using my 235,000 points and $292.