How To Use Chase Ultimate Rewards To Fly On The 10 Largest Airlines

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How To Use Chase Ultimate Rewards To Fly On The 10 Largest Airlines

How To Use Chase Ultimate Rewards To Fly On The 10 Largest Airlines

We previously looked at how to do this with American Express Membership Rewards, so today we will examine how to use Chase Ultimate Rewards to fly on the 10 largest airlines in the world. We’ll outline the 10 largest airlines in the world, then we’ll see how to book and fly on all of them with Chase Ultimate Rewards. For many of these airlines, we’ll use their alliances and partnerships. It’s possible to fly all 10 of them using Ultimate Rewards points earned from credit cards.

What Are The 10 Largest Airlines In The World?

As stated previously, out of the many ways we could make this list, I prefer annual revenue. This will show airlines going to lots of places, carrying lots of people, and selling lots of tickets to repeat customers. The 10 largest airlines in the world by annual revenue are:

10. Air China
9. All Nippon Airways (ANA)
8. China Southern
7. Southwest Airlines
6. International Airlines Group (British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia, & Vueling)
5. Air France-KLM
4. United
3. Lufthansa
2. American Airlines
1. Delta

How Do I Earn Chase Ultimate Rewards?

Chase Ultimate Rewards are a favorite of many in this hobby. Ultimate Rewards (or UR, for short) are earned from Chase credit cards. The easiest way to get a lot of them is from welcome offers on their credit cards. Here are some current offers to take advantage of:

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred – The starter card for most people in this hobby, it has a low fee, good travel protections, and earns double points on travel & at restaurants. The card has a $95 annual fee. For new cardmembers, you can earn 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in your first 3 months.
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve – Those looking for extra perks can receive Priority Pass lounge membership, $300 in annual travel credits, reimbursement for Global Entry / TSA Pre-Check application fees, and 3x points on travel & at restaurants. It has a $550 annual fee. For new cardmembers, you can earn 50,000 points after spending $4,000 in your first 3 months.
  • Ink Business Preferred – For those with business expenses, this is the go-to card for its massive welcome offer and great perks. Earn 3x points on travel & most business expenses, plus enjoy purchase protection and multiple types of insurance. The card’s annual fee is $95. For new cardmembers, you can earn 100,000 points after spending $15,000 in your first 3 months.

Why Chase Ultimate Rewards?

A key perk of Ultimate Rewards is that you can transfer them to numerous partners. They have 10 airlines and 3 hotel programs you can transfer points to. This allows us to use multiple different airlines for travel, rather than having points with only 1 airline or hotel program. Now that we have them and know how to combine points in your Chase and / or airline accounts, we’re ready to book travel on the 10 largest airlines in the world.

Booking The 10 Largest Airlines Using Chase UR Points

From 10th place to 1st place, here’s how you can fly on the 10 largest airlines in the world using your Ultimate Rewards points. Not all bookings are created equal, and we previously looked at maxing out the value of Ultimate Rewards or even what you could do with just 1 Chase credit card bonus. Without considering “sweet spots” or ideal routing, here’s how we can fly on the 10 largest airlines.

10. Air China

Air China is a member of Star Alliance. I cannot transfer my Ultimate Rewards points directly to an Air China account to make bookings. However, I can transfer my UR points to their partners United Airlines & Singapore KrisFlyer. Using their programs, I can book flights on Air China.

Best Option: United Airlines

Transfer Ultimate Rewards to United to book ANA flights

9. All Nippon Airways (ANA)

ANA also is a member of Star Alliance. As with Air China, I will book through their partners Singapore or United. This is because I cannot transfer points directly to ANA.

Best Option: United Airlines

8. China Southern

China Southern is a former member of SkyTeam that still partners with some of its airlines. I can’t transfer points directly from Chase to China Southern. Instead, I can transfer to their SkyTeam partner Flying Blue, which is the loyalty program of the Air France-KLM partnership.

Best Option: Air France-KLM

Transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards to Southwest or use "pay with points"

7. Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines is not a member of any alliances. However, we’re in luck, because you can transfer your Ultimate Rewards points straight to Southwest Rapid Rewards. Your Chase UR points also can be used to pay for purchases, so you can buy your flights from the Southwest Airlines website directly. Wait for the charges to post to your account, then call the number on the back of your card. They can help you “pay with points” for the purchase. Now you can buy Southwest flights with Ultimate Rewards!

You can Use Chase Ultimate Rewards to fly on British Airways

6. International Airlines Group (British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia, & Vueling)

London-based International Airline Group owns British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia, and Spain’s low-cost carrier Vueling. I can transfer my Ultimate Rewards directly to British Airways, Iberia, and to Aer Lingus. I can also book flights from the account of one of these airlines to fly on the others, because of their partnerships.

5. Air France-KLM

Flying Blue, the rewards program from Air France-KLM, is a transfer partner of Ultimate Rewards. I can send my points straight to my Flying Blue account and then fly on Air France or KLM flights to my destination of choice.

Transfer Chase UR points to MIleage Plus and fly on United Airlines

4. United

United has credit card agreements with Chase, so you not only have the option of transferring your Ultimate Rewards directly to United MileagePlus, you also have options for United-branded credit cards from Chase. Here’s what I’d do with 100,000 United miles in my account.

3. Lufthansa

Because of its credit card partnership agreements with Barclays, Lufthansa is not a transfer partner from Chase. Again, we will use Star Alliance partners to fly on Lufthansa. Transfer points to United or Singapore Airlines to book Lufthansa flights using points & miles.

Best Option: United

Using oneworld partners, you can use Chase UR and fly on some of the largest airlines in the world

2. American Airlines

American Airlines is a member of oneworld alliance. Because of its credit card agreements with Barcalys and Citibank, they’re not a transfer partner from Chase. Instead, I will transfer points to their partners British Airways or Iberia. Then, I can book my American Airlines flights through the partners.

Best Option: British Airways

Transfer your Ultimate Rewards to their partners to fly on Delta

1. Delta

By annual revenue, Delta Airlines is the largest airline in the world. They’re a founding member of SkyTeam and have credit card agreements with American Express. That means you can’t transfer Chase points to your SkyMiles account. Again, we’ll leverage their partnerships. Transfer points to Air France-KLM’s Flying Blue program or even use Virgin Atlantic Flying Club.

Best Option: Virgin Atlantic for Europe & Middle East, Flying Blue for elsewhere

Final Thoughts

There we have it. That’s how to use Chase Ultimate Rewards to book and fly on the 10 largest airlines in the world. We looked at what those 10 airlines are and whether they’re transfer partners with Chase. When they aren’t, we looked at how to use partners or even “pay with points” to book these flights using points & miles. Enjoy your trip!

Ryan S
Travel hacker in 2-player mode, intent on visiting every country in the world, and can say "hello" or "how much does this cost?" in a bunch of different languages.

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