One of the best travel rewards programs is getting better. Chase Ultimate Rewards members can now transfer points directly to Aer Lingus AerClub and the Iberia Plus loyalty programs on a 1:1 basis, bringing the total number of transfer partners to 13. I flew Iberia’s business class and had a good experience, so if you enjoy redeeming your points for international flights, pay attention to these new transfer options.
Both Aer Lingus and Iberia use the Avios reward currency, just like British Airways. Now you can book your flights to Ireland, Spain, or elsewhere directly from either airline instead of first going through British Airways.
Some of the Best Aer Lingus Award Flights
You might enjoy flying business class but cannot justify paying the premium prices for every trip.
Business Class to Dublin
One of the most affordable premium routes is from the U.S. East Coast to Dublin. Award seats aren’t as cheap as they were a few years ago, but, you can still avoid the fuel surcharge that British Airways will charge for their long-haul flights.
A one-way business class seat to Dublin will cost 50,000 Avios (60,000 Avios in peak season) from the following cities:
- Boston (BOS)
- Chicago (ORD)
- New York (JFK)
- Toronto (YYZ)
One-way economy seats cost 13,000 Avios non-peak and 20,000 Avios peak season when flying from the above airports.
Off-Peak Economy from Florida and U.S. West Coast
If you can’t get to Chicago or a northeastern airport, the economy flights from Florida (recently launched in September 2017) and the U.S. west coast aren’t bad either. You will still avoid the hefty fuel surcharges other Avios members charge.
A one-way off-peak economy flight costs 16,250 Avios (25,000 Avios peak season) from the following Zone 6 airports:
- Los Angeles
- San Francisco
Even though the Aer Lingus program isn’t as valuable as it was before it joined Avios, their flights can still be some of the cheapest routes to Ireland from the U.S.
Best Iberia Plus Award Flights
Iberia also has some good award options, but, you need to watch out for the fees. Long-haul flights can be quite expensive as they charge a fuel surcharge, especially if you fly business class. But, it can still be cheaper than paying cash for the whole thing.
Short-Haul Flights In Europe
Since Iberia is based in Spain, you can use them to get around the country or cross the border to a neighboring nation. Any flight 650 miles or less only costs 4,500 Avios. Flights shorter than 1,151 miles only cost 7,500 miles one-way.
If you have redeemed your Chase Ultimate Rewards for domestic American Airlines flights using Avios, you are already familiar with this concept.
Chicago to Madrid Off-Peak Business Class
The Iberia award chart is distance-based and, technically, Chicago should be in Band 6 with Miami and the U.S. west coast. Instead, it’s in Band 5 with the other northeastern U.S. cities like New York.
That means you can fly from Chicago to Madrid (or vice versa) for only 25,500 Avios one-way in Business Class which was recently upgraded. The same business class seat costs 35,000 Avios one-way in the peak season before fees.
Flying economy will cost 17,000 Avios off-peak and 20,000 miles in peak season. This isn’t as sweet of a deal as flying business class or going with Aer Lingus, but, it’s still relatively cheap to get across the ocean.
How Can You Transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards?
Only three of the Chase credit cards let you transfer your points to the 13 Ultimate Rewards travel partners.
You must own one of these cards:
- Sapphire Preferred – 5 reasons why it’s the best personal travel card
- Sapphire Reserve- 50k sign-up bonus
- Ink Preferred – $1,000 in travel
All transfers happen on an unlimited, 1:1 basis in 1,000 point increments. If you want to discover more ways to maximize the value of your Ultimate Rewards points for travel, take a look at our jaw-dropping award travel guide.
Award travel just got a whole lot easier and your Chase Ultimate Rewards credit card got more valuable. Happy travels!
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