Now that Chase has removed Korean Air as an airline from their Ultimate Rewards program, I need to start planning how I’m going to use my partner’s Ultimate Rewards points to book his ticket to Hawaii in January 2016. Granted this is over a year away, the availability to book the award ticket will open up in February 2015, which is just a couple months away. I planned on transferring his Chase points to Korean Air and book his First class ticket for only 45,000 points. Now it looks like it’ll cost an extra 30,000 points via Virgin Atlantic for 75,000 points. Ouch!

Chase currently has 5 airlines you can transfer your points to:

  1. British Airways
  2. Singapore Airlines
  3. Southwest Airlines
  4. United Airlines
  5. Virgin Atlantic

Out of these 5 programs, I could not find any award availability on British Airways’ website when looking for next August – October. Southwest doesn’t go to Hawaii. United Airlines requires 90,000 miles for a First class ticket and Virgin Atlantic wants 75,000 Flying Club points to book your First Class ticket on Delta. Looks like Virgin Atlantic is the winner! If you don’t want to fly First class, then 45,000 Flying Club points is required for Economy class.

Before transferring your Chase Ultimate Reward points to Virgin Atlantic, call them first to make sure there’s availability for the dates you need. You can call Virgin Atlantic at 1-800-365-9500. You’ll want to speak to their Flying Club team when you listen to the prompts. I actually didn’t have Virgin Atlantic look for availability on Delta since I’m not going to Hawaii until January 2016. You can only look 331 days in advance, so we didn’t even have the option to search.

If anyone has a better way to redeem Chase points to fly to Hawaii First class for less than 75,000 points, please let me know! I’m not too familiar with Chase since I actually don’t carry any Chase credit cards.