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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 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 Regular APR Annual Fee Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Rating
N/A 16.24%-23.24% Variable Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95 0% Excellent Credit