How long do Chase Ultimate Rewards take to transfer?

Jun 8, 2020

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Ultimate Rewards points make a great foundation for an award traveler’s portfolio. Like other transferable loyalty currencies, these points can be redeemed for highly valuable awards through airline and hotel transfer partners. I currently hold several different credit cards that earn Ultimate Rewards points, including the Chase Sapphire Reserve, which earns 3x points on travel (excluding $300 travel credit) and dining, and offers an assortment of travel and purchase protections.

Like any of the transferable points programs, an important aspect of using Ultimate Rewards is knowing how long it takes to transfer them to whichever partner you want to utilize. Long transfer times make it more difficult to plan and book awards, especially when availability is limited. American Express Membership Rewards offers some instant transfers, while Citi ThankYou Rewards can take up to a week.

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To see how Chase Ultimate Rewards stacks up against the competition, we did some research for each of the program’s transfer partners. We transferred points to my corresponding individual airline and hotel partner accounts and tracked how long it took for them to show up. Here’s what we found:

Program Transfer Time Transfer ratio
Aer Lingus Instantaneous 1:1
British Airways Instantaneous 1:1
Emirates Instantaneous 1:1
Flying Blue (Air France/KLM) Instantaneous 1:1
Hyatt Instantaneous 1:1
Iberia Instantaneous 1:1
IHG Instantaneous 1:1
JetBlue Instantaneous 1:1
Marriott 39 Hours 1:1
Singapore Airlines Same Day** 1:1
Southwest Instantaneous 1:1
United Instantaneous 1:1
Virgin Atlantic Instantaneous 1:1
** While points transferred from Ultimate Rewards to Singapore Airlines processed on the same day for us, the confirmation email from Chase states that it can take up to 2 business days for Ultimate Rewards transfers to appear in your Singapore KrisFlyer account. Some readers have reported transfer times of up to 7 days.


Nine out of 13 programs transferred instantly, and we never waited more than two days for points to show up in any program. These transfer times represent our own experiences and shouldn’t be taken as hard and fast rules. However, others have reported a similar timeline when transferring points from Ultimate Rewards. Your own transfers may be faster or slower, but you can use them as guidelines when planning your trips.

Related: Best ways to use Chase Ultimate Rewards 

Before transferring Ultimate Rewards

While these results set a high bar for any transferable points program, there’s still some risk that award availability can change while you’re waiting for points to show up in your account. Transfers are irreversible, so you could be stuck with thousands of points in a program you have little use for if the flight or hotel room you were banking on disappears. Even though Ultimate Rewards offers mostly excellent transfer times, here are a few tips to help you avoid that situation:

(Photo by Luke Bender/Unsplash)
You can transfer Ultimate Rewards to Marriott to stay at some pretty amazing locations, but it’s easy to earn Marriott points in other ways, so this isn’t a great transfer partner. (Photo by Luke Bender/Unsplash)

Put your award reservation on hold prior to transferring

Not all programs allow you to do this, but those that do make things much easier. For example, Marriott allows you to book awards with an insufficient balance, so long as you earn the additional points by 14 days prior to check-in. Note that as of Sept. 14, Points Advance reservations will only lock in availability, not the award rate.

Choose flights that have more than one available award seat

This is helpful in case someone else books before your miles show up. You can use tools like ExpertFlyer to determine how many award seats are available on a flight, or you can just do a single search for three or four passengers, which should give you an idea of how many seats are open.

Select uncommon routes

You can improve your chances by flying along routes that are less popular or originate from non-hubs, since those often have better award availability. For a transpacific flight, check out ANA’s flight from San Jose to Tokyo-Narita using United miles.

Have a back-up plan

If your original itinerary is kaput because availability has dried up, have another option (or multiple options) in mind so you can still book when your points arrive.

If your original flights have disappeared, don’t panic. Keep in mind that award availability changes frequently, and can increase dramatically as your departure date approaches. Check regularly, and be ready to act quickly when seats do open up.

While transfer times may vary from one person to another, Ultimate Rewards is pretty consistent compared to ThankYou Rewards and some American Express partners. I’m confident in the award space and hotel nights I find still being available by the time my Ultimate Rewards transfers are complete.

Can you transfer Ultimate Rewards to someone else’s account?

Chase allows you to transfer points freely between your own accounts. You can even convert cash-back rewards earned with a card like the Chase Freedom (No longer open to new applicants) or Chase Freedom Unlimited to your Ultimate Rewards account. You just need an Ultimate Rewards-earning card to be eligible for this transfer option.

You can also transfer your points to another Ultimate Rewards account belonging to your spouse or household member. If you have a business card like the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card, you can transfer your points to an Ultimate Rewards account belonging to a company co-owner.

Which cards earn Ultimate Rewards points?

If you’re looking to give your Ultimate Rewards account a boost, there are currently three Chase cards offer generous rewards and a substantial welcome bonus:

Just keep in mind that Chase does enforce a 5/24 rule, meaning if you’ve applied for five cards at any bank in the last 24 months, you likely will not be approved by Chase.

The information for the Chase Freedom, Chase Freedom Unlimited, has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Related: The best ways to use your Chase 5/24 slots

Bottom line

Transferring Ultimate Rewards to airline and hotel partners is hands down the best way to squeeze the most value of out of your points. Whether you’re looking to book a cheap domestic ticket through Southwest or a first-class Star Alliance adventure, this program can help you get there. With points transferring 1:1 and instantly to nearly all transfer partners, Ultimate Rewards are worth investing in.

Additional reporting by Ariana Arghandewal

Featured photo by Skycolors/Shutterstock

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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.