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Update: As of April 2013, Chase Ultimate Rewards has added Virgin Atlantic as a new airline transfer partner.
Today, Chase Ultimate Rewards announced today that it has added a new transfer partner, Ritz-Carlton Rewards. Sapphire Preferred and Ink Bold cardholders will be able to transfer Ultimate Rewards points to Ritz-Carlton at a 1:1 ratio and then redeem those points towards free nights. To learn more about Ritz-Carlton’s loyalty program, you can check out a review I did for HotelChatter when the program first launched back in September 2010.
This news isn’t earth-shattering since Ultimate Rewards was already a partner with the Marriott Rewards program–Ritz-Carlton points are basically like Marriott points and free Ritz-Carlton nights start at 30,000 points and go up to 70,000–but this still makes both cards good options for travelers who have Ritz-Carlton accounts or elite status and are looking for more ways to build up their points. My favorite Ultimate Rewards hotel transfer partner is still Hyatt – also at a 1:1 ratio – because a free night redemption at a top Park Hyatt property only requires 22,000 points.
It’s also great to see Chase adding transfer partners rather than losing them. This just makes the program that much more versatile and competitive. In the future, I’d also love to see Ultimate Rewards running partner transfer bonuses as well like the ones Amex runs.
Update: The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card sign-up bonus offer is now 40,000 points when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months. Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.
Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.