When United announced it would be removing its award charts a couple of weeks ago, we were struck by how this would negatively impact the Chase Ultimate Rewards program. While we still hope Chase will add a new airline transfer partner, they took a new step today and we think it was a great move. For the first time since launching Ultimate Rewards, they announced a transfer bonus.
Transfers from Chase Ultimate Rewards to its airline and hotel partners are set at a very reasonable 1:1 ratio. The addition of a transfer bonus, though, really helps them compete with American Express and Citi ThankYou Points. In fact, Amex has run a number of transfer bonuses to British Airways. Well, now it’s Chase’s turn to help you get your hands on some more British Airways Avios.
Chase Transfer Bonus Details
Chase is kicking things off with a 30% transfer bonus. Now, unlike Amex, you won’t see the bonus miles reflected on your Chase account but they will in your British Airways Executive Club account. Let’s be honest, that’s all that really matters in the end but, hopefully, they’ll let us see it on the Chase transfer page with future transfer bonuses.
To take advantage of the transfer bonus, you must transfer Ultimate Rewards points to British Airways by 11:59 pm ET on June 16, 2019. That’s nearly two months for this transfer promotion which is truly amazing. This gives you plenty of time to see if your travel plans will require the use of Avios.
What Can You Do With British Airways Avios?
We have a whole article dedicated to the best ways you can use British Airways Avios, but we wanted to highlight a few fun ones to inspire you a little.
Short Intra-Region Flights
First up, we have short flights on partner airlines. For as few as 4,500 Avios, you can book an economy flight on partners such as Cathay Pacific, Qantas, Finnair, Japan Airlines and more.
This can be the perfect way to hop around and see more fun places during a trip. During the promo, you can transfer 4,000 Ultimate Rewards points to get 5,200 Avios which is more than enough to book one of these flights.
Upgrade To Business From British Airways Premium Economy
Another favorite for those who want to fly business class on British Airways is to book a cheap premium economy fare then upgrade with Avios. Similar to booking an award ticket on British Airways with Avios, there are peak and off-peak upgrade rates. Let’s say you book a flight from Chicago (ORD) to London Heathrow (LHR).
You could use 20,000 Avios on peak dates or 24,000 Avios on off-peak dates to upgrade the outbound premium economy ticket if you can find award space on your flight — you could also upgrade the return if you can find space for another 20,000 or 24,000 Avios. During this transfer promo, you’d need to transfer 16,000 or 19,000 Ultimate Rewards points, respectively.
These upgrades will be even better when British Airways starts flying its new business class.
Iberia Business Class To Madrid
Okay, one more just because we love this one. You can move Avios between your British Airways and Iberia accounts. Since you can book Iberia business class from Boston, Chicago or New York to Madrid for 68,000 Iberia Avios round-trip, this transfer bonus could be a killer deal for you. To get the 68,000 Avios you need, you could transfer 53,000 Ultimate Rewards points to British Airways. Once the points hit your British Airways account — it should be an instant transfer, you can then move them to Iberia to book. Tell me that’s not a great way to fly to Spain.
Count us among those who think this is a great step by Chase. With the news of United’s devaluation plus Amex and Citi putting more pressure on them every day, Chase clearly recognized the landscape and responded quickly and effectively. It’s moves like these that will keep them competitive going forward. Hopefully, you can find a way to take advantage of this British Airways transfer promo. Personally, I was just about to book some intra-Asia flights so this is perfectly timed for me. So, if you’ll excuse me, I have some flights to book.