How Chase Sapphire Preferred mile transfer works (illustrated)

by on Fri September 6, 2013 • 53 Comments
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Sapphire TransferOur favorite feature of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is the ability to transfer points 1:1, most of the time instantly, into several lucrative airline and hotel point programs. They include

  • United Airlines
  • Southwest Airlines
  • British Airways
  • Korean Airlines
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Singapore KrisFlyer
  • Amtrak
  • Hyatt
  • Marriott
  • IHG Hotels
  • Ritz Carlton

And you’re not limited to just those airlines. For example, once you transfer your points to United miles you can redeem on flights flown by its partners including Air Canada, Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian, Avianca, TACA, Thai, Singapore, ANA, Asiana, and more. When you transfer to British Airways points you have access to American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, LAN, Japan Airlines, and more.

Here’s how the transfer works…

1. Have an account set up in the partner you want to transfer into. It’s free if you don’t already have one. But if you do have one with points, make sure you find the account number for that one so you’re adding to your existing points. The account can be a family member or friend’s too if you want to add to theirs.

2. Log into your account at www.UltimateRewards.com. It’s the same login you use to manage your credit card bill with Chase.

3. Choose ‘Transfer Points to Travel Partners’

Ultimate Rewards front page

4. Select the partner to which you want to transfer points 

Ultimate Rewards partner selection

5. Enter the amount you want to transfer and the account to which you want to transfer .

Ultimate Rewards mile transfer amount selection

That’s it, your points will show up in your mileage account shortly, generally it’s an instant transfer.

A few things to keep in mind…

  • Once a transfer is executed you can’t reverse it — so make sure you’re sending it to the right account and double check the name and account number
  • You can send points to accounts in your name, as well as your spouse
  • Point transfers are generally in 1,000 point increments — consider doing a test transfer of 1,000 points before doing a bigger one to make sure you’ve entered the right account information.
  • You can transfer points from you and your spouse’s / domestic partner’s other Chase Ultimate Rewards accounts (like  a Chase Freedom or Ink Bold account) into your Sapphire Preferred® Card’s Ultimate Rewards account. That lets you transfer even more miles over to  airline and hotel partners. Read more about it here.
  • There is no fee for the transfer, and you can do it as many times as you’d like.

Read more…

Review of Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card in depth

Link to the latest bonus deal for Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

 

 

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53 thoughts on How Chase Sapphire Preferred mile transfer works (illustrated)

    1. MileCards.com

      @Monnie – No, they don’t expire as long as you have a Chase Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire, Freedom, or other Ultimate Rewards based card from Chase open.

      Reply
  1. Mohamed Elabbady

    This might be a stupid question but I just want to confirm I am correct. Delta Airline Miles CANNOT be transferred to my sapphire card?

    It wasnt listed as eligible so just making sure I didnt skip over an information.

    Thanks

    Reply
    1. MileCards

      @Mohamed – That’s right, Delta is not a partner with the Chase Sapphire Ultimate Rewards program. An additional clarification, points can’t be transferred into Chase, even from partners. They can only be transferred out to programs from Chase.

      Reply
  2. Anne lord

    Can I use the miles that I transfer to united for business class travel or am I limited to economy travel with the sapphire mikes

    Reply
  3. Ellen

    I have 230,000 points with AMEX. I have just opened Sapphire Preferred and United Mileage Plus cards and anticipate charging the required amounts to get the bonus points (50k each card) . Is there any way or any airline program with a partnered airline that I can use the AMEX, Sapphire and United points to combine for tickets for international travel (Europe)? For instance transfer points from AMEX to British Air (or other) and then transfer Sapphire or United points to BA (or other)? I also have Chase Ink cards with about 58k points accumulated thus far. What’s the best approach? Thanks

    Reply
    1. MileCards

      @Ellen- Where in Europe do you want to travel and in what class?

      With 230,000 Amex points you’re almost at the level of 2 business class tickets using Delta miles (they are 100k for flights until May 31, and 125k after). Their avail to Europe is better than it has been in the past, esp to London. It’s 60k for coach flights. No fuel surcharges there.

      With your Chase points you have about 150k which is enough for 2 roundtrips in coach, or 2 one ways in business class using United miles which don’t have a fuel surcharge.

      If those don’t have roundtrip availability consider booking with United one way and BA, Virgin Atlantic, or Air France miles the other direction via Amex.

      Just note that on coach tickets the fuel surcharges on their own flights run about $250 each way and on business class about $500. If you happen to get an Iberia, Air Berlin, or American flight via BA miles the surcharges will be much less. Air France is in the middle with regard to surcharges and gives you access to Delta flights with no surcharge.

      Reply
  4. Charles

    I’ve had my Chase Sapphire for just over 2 years and up until now barely took advantage of the buying merchandise via the Ultimate Rewards (UR) mall to rack of bonus points, nor was I transferring points to airlines at 1:1. Now I try to buy via UR portal whenever possible and just signed up for the Chase Freedom to take advantage of the quarterly bonus. (Didn’t know about getting the 5x points then transferring it to my Sapphire Preferred, thanks!)

    My question though is why should I transfer points directly to specific airlines? On UR I get a 25% discount when I redeem with points…and looking at United right now, the prices are the same whether I redeem via United’s website or through the Chase UR website. So why not just redeem via UR? What are the advantages of transferring the points?

    Reply
    1. MileCards

      @Charles – You’re handling it exactly right. The only reason you would need to transfer points is if it will cost you fewer points to redeem via the airline directly. For flights, it’s a good idea to first check Southwest, then United to see how many points they are charging on the day you want to fly. Then check Ultimate Rewards itself to see if it will cost more or less. If the flights are similar and United or Southwest cost less, then do the transfer. If they aren’t or cost more then use Ultimate Rewards travel.

      Reply
  5. Nate Samueson

    I already have a United mileage plus explorer card. I was considering applying for this card and taking advantage of the bonus. Two questions. Once I transfer those points from this card to my mileage plus account do they act exactly like the other miles as far as purchasing reward travel goes? Secondly, if I get the bonus and send off the points and then close the card before the end of the year, is there a penalty? Are my transferred points (now miles) still good with United? Does this adversely affect credit?

    Thanks

    Reply
    1. MileCards

      @Nate – For your first question, yes they act just like your other redeemable United miles. For your second – it’s not a good idea to immediately cancel cards – the bank may view you negatively. But if you come close to the point where the annual fee is due, that’s a good time to think about whether the card is delivering value to you or not. There is not penalty on your United miles once they are transferred.

      Reply
  6. Koey

    My friend transfer the chase points to my united accounts yesterday, and it is still not shown in my united accounts. Does it happen before and how long can chase/united fix it cos I need to buy tickets urgently…………..

    Reply
    1. MileCards

      @Koey- That is unusual. Officially, you are only supposed to transfer to the account of a family member. Did the points get removed from your friend’s Chase account yet?

      Reply
  7. Ram

    With the new card can I buy a ticket for myself and my wife & kid to a round trip from US to Thailand? If so, either using BA or AA, can i see the combined pool of miles for my family or do they have to create their own account with the card and/or airlines?
    I do not want to be the only person earning miles and want to earn them as a family. The tickets costs that we may incur is more than $5000. Will i/we qualify to get those 40K miles in the first 3 months? If yes, how will the points get calculated (~40K + 2K)?

    Thanks,
    Ram

    Reply
  8. John Smith

    I have approximately 40,000 Chase Sapphire Preferred points and wish to transfer them to someone else’s United account. Is this possible or can I only transfer them to my own United account?

    Reply
  9. Joe

    Can I transfer the miles to United and then use them to fly with any airline in the Star Alliance? I’m interested in flying with Lufthansa.

    Reply
    1. MileCards

      @Joe – Yes, you can use them for any Star Alliance airline that has partner award availability. Not every flight will have award seats, but you can definitely book many Lufthansa flights with miles. Just search on United.com and available Lufthansa flights will be included in the results.

      Reply
  10. Karth

    If I want to transfer 40 k points from chase to British how many miles I will be getting on BA? And if want to transfer the points from chase to American what is the best option?

    Reply
    1. MileCards

      @Karth – 40,000 Chase points = 40,000 BA Avios when you transfer. As for traveling on AA…Avios are a good deal if you stick to nonstop flights. Avios charges separately for each flight segment, so if you do connecting flights you end up paying for separate flights, which can add up.

      You can see about how many Avios you will need for an American Airlines flight using this link

      http://www.wandr.me/Avios-Calculator.aspx

      Reply
  11. Simona

    I also have just the “plain jane” Sapphire card, so the “transfer” option is not available. I have other credit cards I use more, so is it possible to open the “preferred” card, transfer the points (over 25K) into that, transfer out to United…? I am not sure about the middle step…
    Thanks!

    Reply
  12. Bob

    If I cannot spend $3,000 required to get the 40,000 bonus miles within the 3 months, do I receive a pro-rated amount of miles? For example, how much bonus would I receive if I was able to spend $2,000 within the 3 month time frame?

    Reply
    1. MileCards

      @Bob- Unfortunately no, there is no pro-rated amount…you just earn the points for the spending itself. So if you spend $2,000 you’d get 2,000 points from spending, but no bonus.

      Reply
  13. Galina T

    If my husband has United mileage account what’s the maximum amount of miles can I transfer to his account if I have 100,000 points on my sapphire preferred card. Can I transfer all 100,000?

    Reply
  14. Chang

    My Reward home page don’t have “Transfer Points to Travel Partners” (step 3). What happened?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. MileCards

      @Chang – Are you sure your card is a Sapphire *Preferred* level? The regular Sapphire doesn’t offer the Transfer Points to Travel Partners option.

      Reply
  15. Sam Kumar

    Hi,

    Can I set up the Sapphire card to automatically link to my United Mileage account and transfer the miles automatically? or do I need to do it manually?

    Thanks

    Sam

    Reply
  16. GARY

    IF I USE THE CHASE SAPPHIRE TO MAKE MY HOUSE MORTGAGE PAYMENT AND THEN PAY CHASE THROUGH MY BANK ACCOUNT, WILL I EARN MILES?

    Reply
    1. MileCards

      @Gary – If your mortgage provider accepts credit cards as a form of payment (which is rare due to the interchange fees they face) yes you would earn miles. But be careful to make sure your mortgage provider isn’t charging a separate interchange fee for the payment, in which case you’re basically paying for the miles with that fee.

      Reply
    1. MileCards

      @Theresa – You’ll need to call the number on the back of your card directly to get payment options.

      Reply
  17. james parkerson

    i have 75000 miles on united airlines. can i transfer them to this credit card and then use them on any airline

    Reply
    1. MileCards

      @James – Unfortunately no it only works the other way around. You can add to your existing United miles from the card.

      Reply
    1. MileCards

      @Meredith – It’s unlikely as Delta has an exclusive arrangement with American Express for several years to come.

      Reply
  18. Bill

    Is the mile transferred eligible for upgrading the membership tier in a particular airline?
    Example: I have 25k points in chase, then I transfer all of them to united airlines. My membership level in united is normal membership, but since now I have 25k, will my membership be upgraded to premier (require 25k miles flown).

    -Bill

    Reply
    1. MileCards

      @Bill- Unfortunately, no. The miles for earning tier status are counted separately from those that can be used toward free flights. The points you transfer from the Sapphire Preferred count toward those that can be redeemed for flgihts and awards, but not gaining elite status.

      Reply
  19. Vineet

    Once i complete $3000 spending, how soon does the points get deposited. Is it only after 3 months or is it instantly deposited?

    Reply
    1. MileCards

      @Vineet – No need to wait 3 months. The bonus points will post on the statement closing date for the period in which you met the spending requirement. You can ask to set a specific day of the month to be your statement closing date when you call to activate the card.

      Reply
      1. Cindy

        Hi, thank you for sharing your knowledge. Quick question regarding hitting the minimum requirement.
        If my statement cycle ends Nov 1, 2013, and I meet the 3K requirement on Oct 31, 2013. Assuming it’s still within the 3 months limit since I opened the card, will I get the points by Nov 2? Or would it be when the bill is due (probably Dec 1)?

        Thank you again!

        Reply
        1. MileCards

          @Cindy – Guessing it will hit after your November statement, so early December. That’s because you’re hitting the minimum spend requirement so close to the end of your October statement.

          Reply
  20. Martin

    Is there a decent way to use Chase Sapphire points on American Airlines? (I know I could transfer points to British, and then book through their partner airlines options, but the BA booking system for alliance airlines is awful). Any suggestions??

    Reply
    1. MileCards

      @Martin – You could use the “points as cash” style option to book a flight but you’re limited to the 1.25 points per dollar value.

      At this point, now that BA has changed its program to be distance based the only worthy redemption on AA is flights 1500 miles or less nonstop on AA (though that value can be quite good).

      Reply
    1. MileCards

      @Jim — Unfortunately once miles are in a specific airline’s account you can’t transfer miles from one airline to another. You can transfer your Sapphire Preferred miles into one or both of BA or Continental / United.

      Reply

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