Looks like Chase has officially removed Korean Air as a transfer partner from their Ultimate Rewards program without any notice to its customers. I did a quick search on Twitter and Chase’s explanation to a customer was,
Apologies for any inconvenience; this was a recent change that went into effect. I’ll forward your feedback internally.
You might think removing Korean Air isn’t that big of a blow to the Ultimate Rewards program, but they are part of the SkyTeam alliance. This means you could transfer your Chase points to Korean Air and then book a flight on an airline like Delta.
Back in September, I reported that Korean Air lowered the amount of miles required to fly to Hawaii on Delta. Economy only takes 25,000 miles while Business/First is 45,000 miles. That’s the lowest redemption rate I can find anywhere to get to Hawaii on miles. So if you planned on transferring your points to Korean Air and fly to Hawaii, it looks like you’ll have to look elsewhere. You could transfer your Chase points to Virgin Atlantic and fly Delta, but that’ll take 75,000 miles to fly First Class. An increase of 30,000 miles!
I’m not a Chase customer, but my partner is. We’re taking my parents to Hawaii in January 2016 and I planned on using his Chase points to book a First class ticket on Delta via Korean Airlines! Looks like that’s not going to happen. I seriously hope Chase reconsiders making this a permanent change.
After looking at what airlines I can transfer points to, it’s starting to look pretty pathetic.
Are you reconsidering your Chase cards?