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Chase's First Ultimate Rewards Transfer Bonus Can Score You Cheap American Airlines Redemptions

Photo: Denisse Leon (Unsplash)

Chase Ultimate Rewards has always had one selling point that sets it apart from other transferrable rewards currencies: For better or worse, its points transfer to all of its airline and hotel partners at a 1:1 rate. From now until June 16 though, that’s changing in a very limited, but very good way.

If you transfer any of your Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card’s Ultimate Rewards points to British Airways during this promotion, BA will reward you with a 30% bonus. So every 1,000 Ultimate Rewards points you transfer will appear in your BA account as 1,300 Avios. This is the first such promotion Chase has ever offered (though it’s a common practice from other card issuers), and it could be lucrative even for U.S. domestic flyers.

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Screenshot: Shep McAllister

While using British Airways points for flights to Europe can still be expensive due to the airline’s exorbitant fuel surcharges, they can also be used to book American Airlines flights, often at a better points rate than AA offers itself, without the surcharges.

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Rates are based on miles flown per segment, and prices start at just 4,000 miles one way at off-peak times, so the sweet spot here is usually short, direct flights. I’ve used Avios to get my dad a flight from a tiny airport in Virginia to New York on less than a week’s notice for 15,000 points roundtrip, and with this promotion, transferring just 12,000 points would have done the trick. And as The Points Guy points out, you could also use this method to score roundtrip flights to Hawaii for just 20,000 points after factoring in the 30% bonus.

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To be clear, I wouldn’t transfer points to British Airways speculatively, even with this promotion. You should have a specific itinerary in mind, and use British Airway’s partner flight search tool to ensure that there’s availability. But if you have any flights on the horizon that could potentially be flown on American Airlines, this promo could certainly change your calculus.




Gizmodo Media Commerce has partnered with The Points Guy Affiliate Network for our coverage of credit products. Gizmodo Media Group and The Points Guy may receive a commission from card issuers.

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Shep McAllister

Senior Director of Commerce | Send deal submissions to deals@gizmodomedia.com