Best Airline Redemptions Using Chase Ultimate Rewards

by John Terry | Last Updated:  March 5, 2019

We’ve written about why we value transferable points, but let’s take a dive into the best redemptions using Chase Ultimate Rewards. We’re going to focus on airline awards – specifically US domestic and international awards going to/from the United States.

International Redemptions

Business Class from US to Madrid (Iberia Avios)

There’s a sweet spot for redemptions using Chase Ultimate Rewards when utilizing Iberia Avios from three American airports – Chicago, New York and Boston.

For just 34,000 Iberia Avios, you can fly one-way business class across the Atlantic off-peak. The peak price is still a steal – just 50,000 points one-way. You can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards directly into the Iberia Avios program.

While not as good, redemptions from Los Angeles, Miami and San Francisco are just 42,000 Iberia Avios one-way off-peak and 62,500 one-way peak.

Simply transfer your points at a 1:1 ratio from Chase to Iberia and book your award flight. American Express Membership Rewards also transfer into the Iberia Avios program.

First Class from San Francisco to Tokyo (United MileagePlus)

It isn’t cheap, but it’s a great value. If you can find saver award space between San Francisco and Tokyo, you fly can across the Pacific for just 80,000 United MileagePlus miles. United won’t pass along any fuel surcharges, either, so it will cost just $5.60 out of pocket.

What makes this a great deal is that this ticket would typically cost more than $10,000, so this is a great value out of the miles.

Economy from East Coast to Dublin (Aer Lingus Avios)

Flying Aer Lingus can be a great value when going from the east coast of the United States to Europe.
Aer Lingus is a great value when going from the east coast of the United States to Europe.
Photograph owned by Aer Lingus Group.

Flying off-peak one-way from the east coast to Ireland in economy will cost only 13,000 Aer Lingus Avios. East coast will include the following cities: Boston, Hartford, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Toronto, Chicago, Minneapolis (July 2019), Montreal (August 2019).

If you’re not on the east coast, there are also great options from Orlando, Miami, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco. These off-peak awards cost just 16,250 points.

The best part, though, is that you can add on an intra-European segment starting at 4,000 miles. Aer Lingus publishes a great award chart here.

Domestic Redemptions

Domestic First & Business Class on United (Singapore KrisFlyer)

Transferring points to Singapore Airlines to book a domestic flight on United is one of the best redemptions for using Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Booking a one-way business or first class ticket directly with United using MileagePlus miles will cost 25,000 and 35,000, respectively. However, if you book flights using Singapore Krisflyer miles, it will cost just 20,000 and 30,000 miles one way.

Economy on Alaska Airlines from West Coast to Hawaii (British Avios)

One of the best redemptions for using Chase Ultimate Rewards is the beautiful islands of Hawaii.
One of the best redemptions for using Chase Ultimate Rewards is Hawaii.

Finding the distance sweet spots is the key to getting a good redemption. Because the proximity of the islands from the west coast, it’s just 12,500 British Airways Avios.

You can book your flight through British Airways but fly on Alaska Airlines. Because of Alaska’s extensive west coast route network, there are many different departure options from cities like Seattle, Portland, San Francisco and Los Angeles. You must call British Airways Executive Club to book these awards as it’s not possible to do online.

Once you’re on the islands, you can also transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards to Southwest Airlines and hop between islands.

Economy on Air France North America to Hawaii (Air France Flying Blue)

You can redeem Air France Flying Blue miles for flights on Delta or Alaska Airlines for just 35,000 miles roundtrip from anywhere in the U.S. Air France is a 1:1 transfer partner of Chase Ultimate Rewards. Finding available award flights on the Air France website can be tricky, but they do have a feature allowing you to search flexible dates which will open up award availability.

It will actually cost more miles when redeeming Delta SkyMiles or Alaska Mileage Plan miles directly with their own programs.

Final Thoughts

There are many more great redemption options, but these are some of my favorite. Understanding the complex ways to redeem points by utilizing airline alliances is the key to getting the best value. Redeeming points directly with the airline isn’t always the best deal. By using airline partners, you can usually get a better deal!

If you want to learn more about different credit cards or how to start earning points and miles, be sure to check out our Beginner’s Guide.

What are some of your favorite airline redemptions using Chase Ultimate Rewards?