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.
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.
When you're ready to transfer Chase points to British Airways, follow these steps:
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.
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:
Here's what you need to know about purchasing award tickets with Avios:
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).
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.
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.
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.
We’re firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers. The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team. The Motley Fool has a Disclosure Policy. The Author and/or The Motley Fool may have an interest in companies mentioned.
The Ascent is a Motley Fool service that rates and reviews essential products for your everyday money matters.
Copyright © 2018 - 2021 The Ascent. All rights reserved.