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Chase losing Korean Air

Chase Losing Korean Air as an Ultimate Rewards Transfer Partner

One of the reasons we place such a high value on the Chase Ultimate Rewards points program is because of the network of transfer partners the points provide. On Monday, we learned that Chase is going to be losing one of their airline transfer partners in the Ultimate Rewards program.

As of August 25th, 2018, Chase will lose Korean Air SkyPass, a SkyTeam alliance member, as an Ultimate Rewards transfer partnerTransfers will continue to be available through August 24th as usual, but will no longer be available after this date. For a full list of Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partners see the table below.


ProgramTypeTransfer RatioTransfer Time
Aer LingusAirline1:1Instant
Air Canada AeroplanAirline1:1Instant
Air France/KLMAirline1:1Instant
British AirwaysAirline1:1Instant
Iberia PlusAirline1:1Instant
Singapore AirAirline1:112-24 hours
Southwest AirlinesAirline1:1Instant
United AirlinesAirline1:1Instant
Virgin AtlanticAirline1:1Instant
World of HyattHotel1:1Instant
IHGHotel1:11 day
Marriott RewardsHotel1:12 days


Our Analysis

Chase losing Korean Air as a transfer partner is certainly a disappointment as you never want to see transfer partners removed from transferable points currencies like Ultimate Rewards. Korean Air's SkyPass program is among one of the trickiest to take advantage of, but it does provide some good value when it comes to booking SkyTeam alliance awards such as flights on Delta for example.

Being that Air France/KLM's Flying Blue program is still a Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partner, it is still possible to book SkyTeam awards with your Ultimate Rewards points. I have used this method in the past for a flight on Delta and I personal thought it was a better experience than the Korean Air transfer option.

Korean Air does have good award availability for first class tickets on their own planes which can be booked for 80,000 points and under a $100 in taxes and fees. The best part of this is they often make 2-4 seats available at a time for award tickets which isn't common when it comes to premium cabins. Losing this option to fly Korean using points and miles hurts but it certainly isn't the end of the world.


Bottom Line

Transfer partners of the flexible points currencies are always changing, so this news doesn't come as a huge surprise. Hopefully, in the wake of Korean Air's departure, Chase looks to add another valuable transfer partner. No news on whether or not this might happen, but we sure hope it does.


Lead Photo (CC BY 2.0):  Christian Junker

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