Transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards to United

Chase credit cards regularly lead our monthly roundup of ToP cards. The current elevated signup bonuses on the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve make either card a worthy addition to your wallet. One of the biggest benefits of Chase Unlimited Rewards is the ability to transfer the points to hotel and airline partners, including United.

Transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards to Partners

You, or someone in your household, must hold one of the following cards to be eligible to transfer Ultimate Rewards points from Chase to a travel partner:

The following cards are marketed as cash back, but also earn Chase Ultimate Rewards:

Chase Ultimate Rewards Transfer Partners

United is one of Chase's 11 airline partners, along with Aer Lingus, Air Canada (coming in late 2021), British Airways, Emirates, Flying Blue, Iberia, JetBlue, Singapore Airlines, Southwest Airlines and Virgin Atlantic. To round out the portfolio, Chase also partners with Hyatt, IHG and Marriott hotel brands.

Transferring to United

It's easy to transfer points from Chase to United. Points transfer at a one to one rate and immediately post in your United account. Follow the easy steps in our transfer guide if you are new to the process. You can also earn United points with Chase's three co-branded cards: United Quest, United Explorer and United Business Card.

United is a 1:1 Transfer Partner of Chase Ultimate Rewards.

United Redemption Sweet Spots

At the end of 2019, United moved to dynamic pricing, but there is still value to be found within the program. Outside of the United States, you can find low rates for nonstop, relatively short flights. Examples of this include: flights within Japan (Sapporo and Osaka) for 5,500,  New Zealand (Auckland to Christchurch) for 8,800 or Europe (Paris to Vienna) for 8,800 points. These open jaw flights can be a cost effective way to piece together a trip that covers a broad region.

Sample Itinerary between Sapporo and Osaka, Japan

 

The real gem of United's program is the Excursionist Perk. It can be a bit challenging to wrap your head around, but essentially the benefit allows you to add a regional flight for free when sandwiched in between a roundtrip flight. The flight must begin and end in the same region, with the middle flight in a separate region. You can review the full list of regions on United's website. The fare type of the free on-way flight is the same as the award flight preceding it, meaning that if your original flight is in business your free flight will be too.

Let's breakdown a real example. The Galapagos Islands are on many traveler's wish list, including mine, but it can be costly to get to the isolated region. Here's the price for a sample flight from Washington, D.C. to Quito to Baltra Island. Even when I removed the Quito flight, the roundtrip flight between Washington, D.C. and Baltra Island was priced at $1,493.

Sample Itinerary from Washington, D.C. to Quito to Baltra Island, Ecuador

If you use points for the flight instead of cash, you can do the same trip for 42,000 miles. That breaks down to 21,000 miles from Washington, D.C. to Quito and Baltra Island to Washington, D.C. The flight from Quito to Baltra Island, which normally costs 13,800 points or $250+, qualifies for the Excursionist Perk and is free! Suddenly, a dream trip to the Galapagos seems much more attainable. On top of that, you can visit the beautiful capital city of Quito as an added free bonus.

Cost of Same Trip Utilizing Points and the Exclusionist Perk

We've outlined additional Excursionist route possibilities in a previous article about United. Think creatively, and have fun as you brainstorm options!

Final Thoughts

You can find incredible value when you transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards to United. Ultimately, the maximum value comes when you utilize United's Excursionist Perk, which gives you a free one-way award within a multi-city itinerary. Have you transferred points from Chase to United? Where did you find the best value? Share your stories and success in our Facebook group.

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