United Is New Chase Sapphire Transfer Partner

Effective immediately, Chase Sapphire Preferred cardholders can transfer their Ultimate Rewards points 1:1 for miles in United's Mileage Plus program.

Chase and United have a longstanding relationship—Chase issues United's Mileage Plus credit cards—and Continental was already a Sapphire transfer partner. So this latest tie-up is no great surprise. Still, it's good news for current Continental OnePass members, who will be absorbed into United's MileagePlus program early next year, and for anyone aiming to redeem miles through Star Alliance partner airlines.

In addition to United's MileagePlus, Sapphire Preferred cardholders may now transfer their points into the following programs: Amtrak Guest Rewards, British Airways Executive Club, Continental OnePass, InterContinental Priority Club Rewards, Hyatt Gold Passport, Korean Air Skypass, and Marriott Rewards.

With the move, Chase nudges the Sapphire Preferred card closer to the likes of the Starwood Preferred Guest credit card and the American Express cards linked to its Membership Rewards program. For many consumers, the signature benefit of those cards is the ability to exchange the points for miles in a range of airline or hotel programs.

Membership Rewards points can be exchanged for miles in 16 airline programs, including Aeroplan, AirTran A+ Rewards, British Airways Executive Club, Delta SkyMiles, Frontier EarlyReturns, Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles, JetBlue TrueBlue, and Virgin America Elevate. Additionally, Membership Rewards points can be exchanged for points in four hotel programs: Best Western, Hilton HHonors, InterContinental Priority Club Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest.

Starwood Preferred Guest points can be exchanged for miles in 31 airline programs, including Aeroplan, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan, American AAdvantage, British Airways Executive Club, Continental OnePass, Delta SkyMiles, Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles, United MileagePlus, and US Airways Dividend Miles.

At this point, the list of Sapphire Preferred transfer partners looks paltry by comparison. But what matters most isn't the sheer number of choices, it's the number of choices that are relevant to your needs. With two major hotel programs, and airlines representing all three major global alliances, Chase has covered a lot of bases.

Chase Sapphire Preferred card overview:

  • Annual fee: $95, waived the first year
  • Annual percentage rate: variable, currently 15.24 percent
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Cardholders earn 1 point for every $1 charged for most purchases, 2 points per $1 for travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, and up to 10 points per $1 for purchases through the Ultimate Rewards Mall.
  • Cardholders earn a 7 percent dividend on points earned during the year.
  • When redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, points are worth 1.25 cents each.
  • Points can be transferred 1:1 for miles/points in the programs of British Airways, Continental, Hyatt, InterContinental Priority Club, Marriott, United, and Amtrak.
  • Cardholders can redeem points for cash at 1 cent per point.
  • Customer service calls are "answered by people, not prompts."

New Chase Sapphire Preferred cardholders earn 50,000 bonus points after charging at least $3,000 to the card during the first three months. Assuming they are redeemed for travel—flights, cruises, etc., with no capacity controls or blackout dates—through Chase Ultimate Rewards, the bonus points are worth $625. (There's no published end date to the 50,000-point bonus, so it could be scaled back or discontinued at any time.)

This article originally appeared on FrequentFlier.com.

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