Transferring my Chase Ultimate Rewards Points to Flying Blue, and saving $2,827Posted on February 7, 2017.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card has been my primary way of booking cheap (or free) flights by using their Ultimate Rewards points through Chase.com.
The process for this is very simple and straightforward. You login to your Chase account, click on “Ultimate Rewards”, search for your flight (just like you would through Orbitz, Expedia, Travelocity, etc.), and use your points to purchase the ticket.
If you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, your points towards purchasing flights through Ultimate Rewards are always worth 1.25 cents. You can also use a combination of points and cash towards your flight. E.g. If you have 10,000 Ultimate Rewards points (worth $125), and the flight you want is $200, you can use all 10,000 points and then pay the remaining balance ($75) in cash.
The above scenario is the quick and easy way to use your points, but there is another way to use your Chase Ultimate Rewards points that will sometimes give you a much greater value than 1.25 cents per point. This is by transferring your Ultimate Rewards points to it’s travel partners.
Below, I will explain how I used my Chase Sapphire Reserve card to book two round-trip tickets from Minneapolis, MN to Lisbon, Portugal for a total of $185.52.
I was fortunate enough to snag the unprecedented 100,000 bonus points on the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, which is worth a minimum of $1,500 in flights.
Mentioned above, when booking flights through Chase.com, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth exactly 1.25 cents per point, but Chase Sapphire Reserve points are worth 1.5 cents per point.
Like I would normally do, I logged into my Ultimate Rewards account and searched for flights from Minneapolis to Lisbon. The cheapest option I found for two round-trip flights was $3,012 total. I could have used my 100,000 points (worth $1,500), and paid the remaining $1,512, but I noticed these tickets were being sold by an airline (Air France) which is a Chase travel partner.
Whereas Chase uses Ultimate Rewards points, Air France uses Flying Blue points. Knowing that I could transfer my points to a different system, I wondered if Air France would provide me with more value for my points. The next step was to search for the same exact flight on AirFrance.com, and see what it would cost using Flying Blue points.
Ultimate Rewards points transfer at 1:1. E.g. 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points are worth 100,000 Flying Blue points/miles. In other words, you are not losing any points when transferring from Ultimate Rewards to Flying Blue.
I was surprised to see that two round-trip tickets would only cost me 100,000 points/miles, plus $185.52 in fees, whereas Chase would’ve charged me 100,000 points and $1,512.00). Essentially, it would be much cheaper to transfer my points for a better value.
For reference, below is a screenshot of what it cost for one round-trip ticket. Each way cost me 25,000 miles (two tickets, there and back was 25,000 miles x 4 = 100,000), along with the fees ($23.60 + $69.16 = 92.76 (2 tickets) = $185.52).
Knowing I could book two round-trip tickets for 100,000 points through Air France and save a lot of money, the next step was to transfer my Ultimate Rewards points to Flying Blue points.
I logged back into my Chase Ultimate Rewards account, clicked “Transfer to Travel Partners”, then under Flying Blue, I clicked “Transfer Points”, and transferred the 100,000 points into my Flying Blue account.
I then logged into my Flying Blue account and saw the 100,000 points. Though I was nervous about how long the transfer might take, it happened immediately. I searched again for the same flight, followed the booking process, and spent the 100,000 points and $185.52 in fees for the two round-trip tickets.
The bottom line:
- Booking these flights without any points: $3,012
- Booking these flights through Chase.com: 100,000 points and $1,512
- Booking these flights through AirFrance.com (using Flying Blue points): 100,000 points and $185.52.
This post was to show that by using Chase’s valuable transfer program, and not simply booking your flight through Chase, you can sometimes get much more value out of your points.
In this case, I would’ve received 1.5 cents per point by booking through Chase, but instead, I received 2.82 cents per point by booking through Air France. Almost double!