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How Can I Use Chase Rewards Points to Fly on American?

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TPG reader Kareem tweeted me to ask:

@thepointsguy– “I have a Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card but I want to redeem for American Airlines. What are my options?”

If you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card, meaning you have a bank of Chase Ultimate Rewards points, you have two main options if you want to fly American Airlines.

First, you can transfer your Ultimate Rewards points to British Airways, which is a Oneworld partner. You should be able to redeem British Airways Avios on American as long as there is MileSAAver availability, and the best way to do this is to first search on, then once you see the space book on

There are two options to redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards points to fly on American. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

The other option is to book via Chase travel, which allows you to earn miles that you’ll need to qualify for elite status (an Avios booking does not). Each point is worth 1.25 cents, so 40,000 points will get you $500 toward travel on American Airlines. You’ll earn both redeemable and elite-qualifying miles for your flight. This may be your best option unless you are trying to get very expensive first or business-class tickets, in which case it may be better to transfer to BA. Just remember to always do the math first to make sure you are getting the best value.

If you have any other questions, please tweet me @thepointsguy, message me on Facebook or send me an email at

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 a 'Best Credit Card' for Travel Rewards by MONEY Magazine
  • 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