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Chase announced Tuesday that Air Canada's loyalty program Aeroplan is now available as a Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partner.
That means if you earn Chase Ultimate Rewards with cards such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve® or the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, you will be able to add one more loyalty program to your list of travel booking options.
Select analyzed the news, what this means for Chase cardholders, and how you can earn more Ultimate Rewards.
Aeroplan gives members the ability to book flights on Air Canada and its Star Alliance partners such as Lufthansa and United Airlines. With over 40 partner airlines, this move continues to open up more opportunities for Chase cardholders to maximize the value of their points.
Cardholders will be able to transfer their Ultimate Rewards points to Aeroplan at a 1:1 ratio.
While the Star Alliance partners include ones that already have existing relationships with Chase, such as Singapore Airlines and United Airlines, it gives more opportunities to stretch the value of your points.
For example, if you have an ideal flight in mind on Singapore Airlines, you can weigh the difference between booking through the Chase travel portal, sending the points to Singapore Airlines' Krisflyer loyalty program or sending the points to Aeroplan. By doing this, you can find the redemption that costs the fewest amount of points and charges the least amount of taxes and fees.
While a bit time consuming, this strategy can help you stretch the value of your points, as each program offers flights at different prices.
Air Canada recently revamped its loyalty program, and there are quite a few sweet spots in its award chart and benefits that make it worthwhile for travelers to consider.
One to consider is domestic U.S. short-haul flights. Economy flights under 500 miles on United cost 6,000 Aeroplan points each way.
Another great redemption is flying from the U.S. West Coast to Hawaii. For the 60,000 points earned from the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card welcome offer after spending 4,000 in the first three months of account opening, you can book one round-trip business class flight on United.
In addition, the fuel surcharges are minimal when redeeming through Aeroplan, especially compared with some other airline's loyalty programs.
Once you find the redemption that works best for you, simply log into the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, and follow the prompts to transfer your points to Aeroplan. In most cases, the points transfer instantly to travel partners.
The addition of Aeroplan is worth caring about because it builds onto the value of the Chase Ultimate Rewards program. Having more transfer partners allows your points to be even more flexible and valuable, which is key when booking award travel, since you can take advantage of different loyalty programs' sweet spots.
Aeroplan gives members access to a long list of airlines, including: Aegean Airlines, Air China, Air India, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, Avianca, Brussels Airlines, Copa Airlines, Croatia Airlines, Egypt Air, Ethiopian Airlines, EVA Air, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, SAS, Shenzhen, South African Airways, SWISS, TAP Air Portugal, Thai Airways and Turkish Airlines.
Because Air Canada is part of the Star Alliance, there are nearly endless opportunities to use your Chase Ultimate Rewards to fly all over the world, adding value to an already compelling rewards program.
Right now is one of the best times to earn points and miles, including Chase Ultimate Rewards. There are ample opportunities to earn heaps of points with the program.
For instance, with the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, new cardholders can earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. That's $750 when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
$50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3X points on dining, 2X points on all other travel purchases, and 1X points on all other purchases
Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
17.49% - 24.49% variable on purchases and balance transfers
Balance transfer fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
Foreign transaction fee
The Chase Sapphire Preferred also offers 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3X points on dining and 2X points on all other travel purchases, travel insurance, a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, flexible spending categories, and no foreign transaction fees. All the benefits and features of the card, along with the low annual fee of $95, makes it one of the best travel credit cards available to consumers.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve is a step-up in annual fee from the Sapphire Preferred, but the benefits can quickly help compensate for it. The card comes with a 60,000 welcome bonus offer after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening, 5X points on air travel and 10X total points on hotels and car rentals purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards (after spending the $300 annual travel voucher), 3X points on other travel and dining, 1X point on all other purchases, Priority Pass airport lounge access, Global Entry/TSA PreCheck fee credit, travel insurance and more. The annual fee is $550, and $75 for each authorized user.
Earn 5X total points on air travel and 10X total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3X points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases plus, 10X points on Lyft rides through March 2025
Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
18.49% - 25.49% variable
Balance transfer fee
5%, minimum $5
Foreign transaction fee
However, keep in mind that Chase has the dreaded 5/24 rule, which may restrict some potential applicants for its cards.
Chase also will be launching a co-branded Aeroplan® Credit Card in the U.S. later this year, and if you sign up for the card's waiting list now, you'll be eligible to earn 10,000 Aeroplan points in addition to the launch offer, upon card approval.
Chase's addition of Aeroplan continues to expand the value of the Chase Ultimate Rewards program. It is still extremely competitive with the likes of American Express Membership® Rewards and the Citi ThankYou rewards program. For travelers who fly with Air Canada or its Star Alliance partners, this announcement should be considered when evaluating the best credit card loyalty program for your travel strategy.
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