Southwest to Become Ultimate Rewards Transfer Partner on January 5, 2012

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

Chase just announced that starting January 5, 2012 you will be able to transfer your Ultimate Rewards points earned from the Sapphire Preferred and certain Ink Bold cards to Southwest at a 1:1 ratio. Southwest points can be redeemed towards any Southwest flight and each point varies in value depending on the type of fare you redeem for.

Wanna Get Away: 1.67 cents per point
Anytime: 1 cent per point
Business Select: .83 cents per point

This is a great enhancement, but note that these transferred points will not count towards qualifying for the Companion Pass, which is one of the best benefits in the airline loyalty program world. This could also be a sign that Southwest is going to be clamping down on Companion Pass Qualifying points and no longer counter hotel transfers and credit card sign-up bonuses, like they currently do. If you are holding out to transfer a ton of points to start your 2013 qualification, it may be a risk.

Southwest/Chase announcement on the Southwest website

This just further strengthens the Ultimate Rewards program. I’d love to see them continue adding partners and to also start running transfer bonuses, like American Express does (with their current British Airways 30% bonus and Delta 30% rebate).


Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

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  • Earn 50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named a 'Best Credit Card' for Travel Rewards by MONEY Magazine
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
  • Sleek metal card design
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • $0 foreign transaction fees, plus chip-enabled for enhanced security and wider acceptance when used at a chip card reader
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading frequent travel programs at full value — that means 1,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points equal 1,000 partner miles/points
  • Travel confidently with premium Travel Protection Benefits, including Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Trip Delay Reimbursement and more
Intro APR Regular APR Annual Fee Balance Transfer Credit Rating
N/A 16.24%-23.24% Variable Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95 See Terms Excellent Credit