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Update: As of April 2013, Chase Ultimate Rewards has added Virgin Atlantic as a new airline transfer partner.

Chase’s Ultimate Rewards program is shaping up to be a formidable competitor to American Express’ Membership Rewards. While browsing their site since I recently became a Sapphire Preferred cardmember, I noticed that Korean Airlines Skypass is now a transfer partner of Ultimate Rewards.

This is interesting, because now all three alliances are covered:
Star Alliance: Continental
Oneworld: British Airways
Skyteam: Korean Air

I’ve never given the Korean Air program much of a look because I bank all of my Skyteam miles to Delta. However, since I am currently racking up tons of Ultimate Rewards points, I am going to research the best ways to maximize Korean Air miles, so stay tuned for an upcoming deep dive into that subject.

In the meantime, there are some basics of the program you should understand:
1) For travel on Korean Air, there are many blackout dates, see chart below.

Korean Air Award Travel Blackout Dates

2) You cannot book awards online. You need to call, but you can search for certain Skyteam partner availability, like Air France, KLM and China Southern on Expertflyer or or even
3) They allow one way awards
4) They allow first class Skyteam redemptions, unlike Delta which blocks them.
5) They have a family mileage pooling option

Their Skyteam partner award chart has some hidden gems:
For example, US to Europe roundtrip is 50,000 for coach, 80,000 for business and 100,000 for First (though the only first class product you could take is Air France and that is limited to it’s own elite members).
Even the domestic award options at 25,000 for coach and 45,000 for first mirror Delta’s levels for their low level awards.
Air France’s LAX- PPT (Papeete, Tahiti flight) is only 90,000 miles roundtrip for business vs. 150,000 for the same flight using Delta SkyMiles.

Korean Skyteam Partner Chart

I tried transferring some of my Ultimate Rewards points to Korean Air so I could start playing around with their online award engine, but I got errors – which leads me to believe they aren’t 100% set up in the system yet. I’ve inquired with Chase to learn more about the partnership and will report back once my research is done.

Overall, the more transfer partners the better. I’m excited to see competition in the transferable point space and I hope we as cardmembers benefit by American Express and Chase competing to build the most valuable loyalty points program for premium credit and charge card holders.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

With great transfer partners like United and Hyatt, 2x points on travel & dining and a 50,000 point sign up bonus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
16.49% - 23.49% Variable
Annual Fee
Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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