At a glance, it may seem like the only reason to transfer Chase points to British Airways is taking a trip to London. While that’s one way to use British Airways Avios (the airline’s reward currency), it’s far from the only option. There are plenty of award ticket deals available through British Airways if you know where to look.
This guide will show you how you can transfer Chase points to British Airways. After that, we’ll look at using British Airways Avios and which redemptions are worth the price.
What you need to transfer Chase points to British Airways
There are only a few Chase credit cards that let you transfer points to travel partners. To make a transfer, you’ll need one of the following Chase cards:
Before you can transfer Chase points to British Airways, you need to have an account in the airline’s loyalty program. You can join the British Airways Executive Club for free through the airline’s website.
How to transfer Chase points to British Airways
When you’re ready to transfer Chase points to British Airways, follow these steps:
- Log in to your Chase Ultimate Rewards account. It’s easiest to do this through the Chase Ultimate Rewards site. If you have multiple rewards credit cards with Chase, select the one with the points you want to use after you log in.
- Select “Transfer to Travel Partners.” To see this option, first click “Earn / Use” at the top of the screen. This opens a dropdown menu with a list of redemption options.
- Go to the British Airways listing in the Airlines section and select “Transfer Points.” Chase has this travel partner listed as “British Airways Executive Club” in the airlines section.
- Choose a recipient for the transfer. You can only transfer Chase points to British Airways if the recipient is yourself or an authorized user on your account living in the same household as you. After you pick the recipient from a dropdown menu, enter the Executive Club account number.
- Choose the number of points to transfer. Chase requires you to transfer at least 1,000 Ultimate Rewards points. Transfers must be in increments of 1,000 points. There’s a 1:1 transfer ratio, so each Ultimate Rewards point is worth 1 Avios.
- Submit the transfer. The final page is a review screen where you verify the details of the transfer and confirm it.
Transfers process instantaneously. Keep in mind that after you transfer Chase points to British Airways, you can’t undo it. For that reason, only make the points transfer after you’ve picked out the award airfare you want to book.
How to book an award ticket with British Airways
British Airways is different from many airlines in that it doesn’t let you search for award airfare from its homepage. Instead, you need to log in to your Executive Club account. Then, go to your account summary. You can reach it by clicking on your name in the top right corner of the airline’s website.
Use the “Book with Avios or money” section on the left side of your account summary page to search for award airfare. Remember to choose “Book with Avios” under the “Payment type” selection.
Unfortunately, the search process with British Airways is clunky, to put it generously. Here are a few things to expect:
- Although British Airways flights can have up to four types of seats available (Economy, Premium Economy, Business Class, and First), its search tool only displays three at a time. Depending on what type of seats you search for, either economy or first class won’t be displayed. You must go back and adjust your search if you want to see those other seats.
- Ticket prices for award flights aren’t available in the flight search. Select your tickets, and then you’ll see how many credit card miles they cost (and the award ticket fees) in the “Journey” summary.
- Search results aren’t always accurate for British Airways’ partner airlines. If you know the partner airline you want to use, try searching for award availability on its site instead. Once you’ve found the flights, search on British Airways. Call in if they don’t show up (and ask them to waive the phone booking fee, since it’s a site error).
Maximizing value when you transfer Chase points to British Airways
Here’s what you need to know about purchasing award tickets with Avios:
- British Airways bases the cost of a ticket on the distance of the flight, even for bookings with partner airlines, and that can result in excellent bargains on short-haul flights.
- There are two types of award tickets, peak and (less expensive) off-peak, with the ticket type depending on the flight’s date.
- Award bookings through partner airlines always get the peak rate.
- American Airlines is one of British Airways’ transfer partners. So when you transfer Chase points to British Airways, you can book award tickets on the largest U.S. airline.
- The airline is known for heavy surcharges on award tickets, especially if the ticket is in business class or first class.
That final point is why not everyone thinks Avios are a worthwhile rewards currency. While it’s true that many British Airways awards tickets have sky-high surcharges, there are plenty of exceptions. Where Avios shine is in short-haul flights and booking award tickets with partner airlines.
For flights outside the United States and under 650 miles, British Airways charges just 4,000 Avios for an off-peak economy ticket, or 4,500 Avios for a peak economy ticket. That makes Avios extremely useful if you want to bounce around Europe, Japan, Latin America, or anywhere else British Airways or one of its partners flies.
Flights under 650 miles that start or end in the United States cost 7,500 Avios for an economy ticket. But Avios can still come in handy for flights in the States, particularly the flights that are expensive, but not very far. If you want to take the ever-popular trip from the West Coast to Hawaii, you can book an economy ticket for just 13,000 Avios each way through American Airlines or Alaska Airlines (note that you can only book Alaska flights with Avios over the phone, not online).
Should you transfer Chase points to British Airways or redeem through Chase’s portal?
You can also use your Chase points as cash for bookings with the Ultimate Rewards travel portal. You get $0.0125 per point with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or the Chase Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card. You get $0.015 per point with the Chase Sapphire Reserve®.
For the most part, I advise looking for high-value redemptions that you can book with Avios instead of going through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Once you know where those sweet spots are, you can book transfer Chase points to British Airways and book award tickets that get you $0.03 per point, $0.05 per point, or sometimes even more.
Chase’s British Airways credit card
Chase and British Airways have also teamed up on a co-branded credit card, the British Airways Visa Signature® Card. It charges an annual fee of $95 and offers:
- A sign-up bonus of up to 100,000 Avios (50,000 Avios for spending $3,000 on purchases within three months of opening your account, plus another 50,000 for spending $20,000 on purchases within the first year)
- 3 Avios per $1 on purchases with British Airways, Iberia, and Aer Lingus
- 2 Avios per $1 on hotel accommodations booked directly with the hotel
- 1 Avios per $1 on all other purchases
- 10% off British Airways flights starting in the United States when you book through the website provided in your welcome materials
- Up to $600 in reward flight credits per calendar year (credits towards taxes and fees when booking award airfare with British Airways)
- A Travel Together Ticket allowing you to bring one companion on an award flight, available every calendar year that you spend at least $30,000 with your card
Considering it has quite a few perks and one of the biggest sign-up bonuses of any airline card, the British Airways Visa Signature® Card is worth a look. Like other airline credit cards, it’s best suited for loyal frequent flyers. You can get quite a bit of value from it, but only if you fly with British Airways often.
If you don’t, pick a Chase card with Ultimate Rewards points. The Ultimate Rewards program gives you far more redemption options. You can still transfer Chase points to British Airways, but you can also send them to any other hotel or airline partner. You also have access to the Ultimate Rewards travel portal.
Using Chase points to fly with British Airways
As difficult as the British Airways website is, Avios can be useful rewards currency. You won’t find many better ways to book those short to mid-length flights for a small number of miles. They also give you a way to book award tickets with American Airlines and the other carriers in the Oneworld alliance. Overall, you won’t lack options when you transfer Chase points to British Airways.
View more information: https://www.fool.com/the-ascent/credit-cards/transfer-chase-points-to-british-airways/