Yesterday we learned that Avianca’s LifeMiles program became a Citi ThankYou transfer partner, which is an awesome development. It looks like that’s not the only transferable points currency picking up some new transfer partners in the past 24 hours.
Chase Ultimate Rewards — the points currency of cards like the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card and Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card — has added both Aer Lingus AerClub and Iberia Plus as transfer partners. Points transfer at a 1:1 ratio, just like with all of Ultimate Rewards’ other transfer partners.
With this development, Ultimate Rewards has the following 13 transfer partners, including nine airline programs and four hotel programs:
|Aer Lingus Aer Club||IHG Rewards Club|
|Air France/KLM Flying Blue||Marriott Bonvoy|
|British Airways Executive Club||World Of Hyatt|
|Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards|
|Virgin Atlantic Flying Club|
I’m happy to see Ultimate Rewards add both Aer Lingus AerClub and Iberia Plus as transfer partners, though this development isn’t quite as exciting as it may initially appear. That’s because Ultimate Rewards is already transfer partners with British Airways Executive Club, and British Airways Avios can be transferred to both Aer Lingus and Iberia at a 1:1 ratio. All three airlines have the same owner, and eventually IAG even plans to create a single loyalty program for all the airlines (this could happen as early as the middle of next year).
While points are transferable between programs, your accounts need to be active for 90 days in order to do so, and on top of that there are sometimes technical issues.
There are some minor differences between each of the Avios programs, even though the programs on the surface collect the same points currency. Here’s a post Tiffany wrote a couple of years ago explaining some of the advantages of Iberia Plus compared to British Airways Executive Club. The program can be especially useful if redeeming directly for travel on Iberia, since the fees are much lower.
As far as Aer Lingus AerClub goes, the only advantage I’ve been able to find is the ability to redeem for travel on Aer Lingus through their website, rather than having to call British Airways to book. Otherwise it’s not a terribly lucrative program.
While I’d ultimately prefer to see Ultimate Rewards add some unique transfer partners, I’ll take Aer Lingus and Iberia over nothing. There are situations where Iberia Plus can be especially useful, and in those cases it’s great to be able to transfer points directly, rather than having to wait up to 90 days, deal with Iberia’s bad IT, etc.
What other transfer partners would you like to see Ultimate Rewards add?
(Tip of the hat to @IadisGr8)