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

by on December 14, 2011 · 31 comments

in Chase, Southwest

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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).

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • Phil

    This is another great addition. I think this finally settles the argument of Amex vs Chase. Amex have some serious catching up to do.

  • Ryan

    This is excellent news!

  • Jason

    Ironically, this could finally convince me to get rid of the Chase RR Visa.

  • Dj Donahue

    Heh, I wish I knew a month ago when I booked my Southwest flights!

    So we still get the advantage of 20% less points when booking through Chase, right?

  • MM

    I wonder why “certain Ink Bold cards” and not all cards.

  • mikes

    Seems likely, but that values the points at 1.25 cents each. If you book Wanna Get Away fares, it would seem to make more sense to xfer the points to SW and use them at the 1.67 value. if you have to book any anytime fare for some reason, booking through Chase would still make sense.

  • mikes

    Well, I was pretty excited until I got the the second paragraph. I’d really like to wrangle a CP (or 2) in the first half of next year. Still, this will help pull a few extra flights (x4) out of SW before the account runs dry.

    I was just considering using 60k UR points towards a cruise at the 1.25 rate. This will be a better deal since it’ll get us to port at a higher redemption rate. Also, I won’t have to have my wife book the cruise (since she has the UR points) and I’ll be able to surprise her. (I’m assuming the xfer will be online so I can do it w/o her knowing, whereas the cruise has to be booked by phone though Chase’s TA) Thanks for the info TPG!

  • Divemistressofthedark

    Thanks for the tip on Sapphire! I just got approved and plan to start using the heck out of it – this is just another good reason, since I live in Nashville, where >60% of the flights are on WN!

  • Divemistressofthedark

    Agree. I’m a Premium Rewards Gold cardholder whom they’re always trying to upsell to Platinum…recently I mentioned that partly why I won’t do it is that Amex no longer xfers to Southwest, and recently they lost Continental/United as well. Just not spending $450 a year for a card that doesn’t earn awards for the airline I fly most frequently.

  • Divemistressofthedark

    I love Amex’ customer service, but it doesn’t surprise me that Chase has gotten this perq – since they’re also the issuer of the RR card.

  • Okcomputer2304

    Will Ultimate Rewards points earned with the Chase Freedom Card be transferable? Any idea on the ratio?

  • Brian

    They are only transferable if you have a UR card that allows it (Sapphire Preferred or Ink Bold, I believe). Non-fee cards (Freedom, regular Sapphire) don’t allow transfers.

  • Okcomputer2304

    Bummer. thanks!

  • pianodude

    I just earned my Companion Pass for 2012. I will be using my RR points to book my wife and I. Can my wife booka flight for me, using her RR points, and then I take her along as a companion? Has anyone had any personal experience with using someone else’s points and taking along a Companion?

    Thanks for the heads up on transferring UR points — this may mean even more weekends away in 2012.

  • Kelly

    Same here. I was going to hold onto it….but I just can’t see the benefit anymore. If there is something I am missing someone let me know!!!

  • Shadab Anwar

    would I be able to transfer southwest (SW) miles to UR account? I want to get a chase sapphire card with 50k UR points and then transfer my 50k SW points to UR account. Then total points in UR account will be 100k. I will transfer 70k points from UR to one pass account and I will be able to fly in business class from US to India for 70k one pass points/miles.
    But this whole planning depends on ability to transfer miles/points from SW to UR. Is it gonna work? Please let me know.


  • MC

    Does anyone know if SWA shopping portal points count towards CPQ?

  • Winecountryflyer

    Doesn’t this just make the Chase RR Visa an afterthought at this point?

  • Doc

    In the Chase/Southwest web announcement , it makes reference to Chase Sapphire and not Chase Sapphire Preferred customers. As a Chase Sapphire and Rapid Rewards visa card holder, I would welcome this transfer of points. Is my interpretation of this announcement correct?

  • Jon

    Chase RR Visa is 50K on first purchase vs. minimum spend but have to pay 1st year annual fee. Main differences I see between it and Sapphire preferred.

  • PanAm

    Indeed – if I were Amex I’d be working hard to set up with USAirways so that at least they could offer a decent *A airline to transfer to. Southwest I really don’t care about, but I keep holding out on Amex because their transfer partners have taken such a dump lately.

  • Clay

    The Chase RR Visa points will still count towards CP (I am assuming). Makes it worth putting 8.xK a month on it if you travel with a significant other. Obviously doubling the Point value…

  • DenverFlyer

    Approved! My wife and I both did Chase British Airways for 200k. My wife got the Chase Southwest Visa after a bit of hassle for 50k. This Southwest transfer option is better than the 20% Ultimate Rewards bonus as Southwest miles are worth 66% more in Southwest dollars.

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  • JP

    Most likely not. The transfer of points to FF programs are almost always one way.

  • JP

    I recently got the Platinum for the 50,000 points and 2011 and 2012 airline credits and the Premier Rewards Gold for the 1st year free, the 15,000 bonus points, and the 15,000 points for the spend threshold but I will certainly be canceling both before the next AF comes up. I will revert back to my Sapphire Preferred at that point. I like the instant transfers with no fees. Now if they ran a transfer bonus even if it’s only once or twice a year transfer bonus it would really put UR ahead of MR.

  • MJLouise

    Just get the Sapphire Preferred card, the first year is fee-free and you can transfer your Freedom Card points to the Sapphire Preferred, then on to SW or whomever.

  • thumbelina

    Have been holding off making first purchase on RR personal and biz cards until Jan 1 so can earn CP good through Dec 2013. Any chance RR may change policy on counting card bonuses toward CP before/on January 1??

    If so would make purchase before end of year and get one year less of CP (rather than no CP)

    Thanks for any insight you might be able to provide!

  • Bucketowater48

    I’m new to all of this. Both my husband and I have RR visa. We fly American to Dominican Republic. I want to know what cards have credit sign up bonus that I can transfer points to American? Any help is appreciated.

  • Pingback: Chase Ultimate Rewards adds Southwest Rapid Rewards as a transfer partner starting January 5, 2012 - One Mile at a Time()

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