Chase Ultimate Rewards is one of the most popular transferable points currencies, which is generally the type of rewards I recommend earning for your credit card spending. This is the points currency earned on cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (review), Chase Sapphire Reserve® (review), and Ink Business Preferred (review).
For those collecting Ultimate Rewards points, you now have access to a new partner airline.
Emirates Added As Chase Ultimate Rewards Partner
Emirates Skywards has just been added as a Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partner. Points can be transferred at a 1:1 ratio, in 1,000 point increments.
At this point the Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partners include the following:
Aer Lingus AerClub
IHG One Rewards
Air Canada Aeroplan
Air France-KLM Flying Blue
World of Hyatt
British Airways Executive Club
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
Southwest Rapid Rewards
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
The State Of Chase Ultimate Rewards
What I love about Chase Ultimate Rewards points is how easy the points are to rack up, given the portfolio of cards earning Ultimate Rewards points.
The catch is that at this point I don’t think they have an advantage anymore when it comes to the quality of their transfer partners. Korean Air SkyPass used to be a transfer partner, though that partnership ended last year.
At this point Chase’s two valuable, unique transfer partners are United MileagePlus and World of Hyatt. Other than that, they largely have overlapping partners with other programs, and that doesn’t add all that much value. I’d love to see Chase add more unique transfer partners, though I also recognize there are only so many programs willing to work with a transferable points currency.
Prior to this Chase added JetBlue TrueBlue as a transfer partner, almost a year ago to the day.
Limited Value With Emirates Skywards
While I love flying Emirates, the Skywards program as such isn’t among my favorites. They have high redemption rates, and they also impose steep surcharges on many flights.
In general the best use of Emirates miles is for upgrades, but even that isn’t an amazing value most of the time.
Redeem miles to upgrade to Emirates’ A380 business class
So I hate to say it, but the Skywards program does have limited value — redemption rates are outrageously high, surcharges are high, and Emirates has limited partners you can redeem miles on.
Just to give an example, if you wanted to book an award ticket from New York to Dubai roundtrip you’d pay 145,000 miles in business class or 217,500 miles in first class, plus an outrageous $1,700+ in carrier imposed surcharges and taxes.
Redeem miles for Emirates’ A380 first class
I’m always happy to see transferrable points currencies add more partners. However, Emirates Skywards is a really low value program, and I just can’t see many situations where this represents an efficient use of points.
I wish we’d see more unique partners added to these programs, but I fear that’s not happening due to lack of interest from airlines. I’m sure the major programs have approached all kinds of airlines in hopes of getting an exclusive, without much luck.
Anyone plan to transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Emirates?