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Update (5/23/16): We’ve confirmed that Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfer instantly to Flying Blue.
Chase Ultimate Rewards is one of the best transferable point programs out there, thanks to an incredibly valuable selection of partners, many of which offer instantaneous rewards transfers. The program has just expanded to include an additional transfer option: Flying Blue, the program used by SkyTeam airlines Air France and KLM — and it looks like you can already initiate transfers to this newest partner.
This brings the total number of Ultimate Rewards transfer partners to 11, with seven airline and four hotel programs. With this news, you can now move points to Flying Blue from all the major transferable-currency programs, including American Express Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest in addition to Chase Ultimate Rewards.
The Best Uses of Flying Blue Miles
You can use Flying Blue miles to book flights on Air France and KLM as well as several airline partners, but as points and miles enthusiasts know, not all awards are created equal. Some of the most valuable options include Flying Blue’s Promo Awards, which offer 25-50% discounts over the normal rates for certain routes, with the selection updated on a monthly basis. Current Promo Awards include 25% off business-class awards from Dallas to various European cities on KLM.
Flying Blue also offers access to SkyTeam awards, which can represent decent value. Economy flights from the US to Hawaii on Delta can be a particularly good deal, starting at 30,000 miles round-trip compared to 45,000 miles and up when you book through Delta. Flights from the US to islands like Aruba, Bonair, Curaçao and St. Martin can also be a great deal, since the program considers those destinations to be part of North America and they price out at just 25,000 miles for a round-trip in economy. For more information, see Jason Steele’s post on maximizing Flying Blue.
Earning Ultimate Rewards Points
As a reminder, you have several options for earning Ultimate Rewards points, including the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card ($95 annual fee; waived the first year), which is currently offering a sign-up bonus of 50,000 points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months. There’s also the Ink Plus Business Card ($95 annual fee not waived the first year), which is offering a 60,000-point sign-up bonus after you spend $5,000 in the first three months and is an especially strong choice for office supply purchases due to its 5x bonus category.
For more information on these cards and a third no-fee option, the Chase Freedom, that can earn you 5x points on rotating quarterly bonus categories, see this post. And don’t forget about the recently introduced Chase Freedom Unlimited, which earns you a solid 1.5% cash back on every purchase — or 1.5x points if you also hold the Sapphire Preferred Card or the Ink Plus Business Card.
Chase Ultimate Rewards is a great program, and another valuable airline transfer partner only makes it better. While TPG values Ultimate Rewards points at 2.1 cents apiece and Flying Blue miles at 1.3 cents each, depending on the awards you book you can get even more value out of them.
We’ll be making a transfer to Flying Blue soon, and we’ll be updating our post on Ultimate Rewards transfer times after we find out how long it takes.
Do you think you’ll take advantage of this newest Ultimate Rewards transfer partner?
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.
- 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