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After last week’s #TravelTuesday post where I shared an updated list of every credit card I have in my wallet (currently, 8), I received a similar question from multiple readers. Once you accrue points and miles on your credit cards, HOW do you actually use them?
Such a good question! In my experience, this is where a lot of folks get tripped up or just plain confused. As a result, points and miles end up sitting in an account unused. The whole point of opening credit cards and maximizing the earning potential on each card is so that you can utilize the earned points and miles to travel for free!
With that in mind, you can expect a spattering of #TravelTuesday posts throughout the next few months on ways you can actually use your points to travel more! Today, we’re diving into how to book American Airlines flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards.
As you can tell from last week’s post, I’m a huge proponent of the Chase credit cards. I currently have the Chase Freedom, Chase Freedom Unlimited, Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase Ink Business, and Chase Ink Business Cash. (Check out the details on all the Chase credit cards here!) With those cards I earn a ton of Ultimate Rewards points. A question I receive often is whether or not it’s advantageous to book travel through the Chase portal. My answer: 99% of the time it’s not a good use of your points.
Chase Travel Partners
Instead, knowing how to capitalize on Chase’s transfer partners’ redemptions is the key to maximizing the return on your points. Chase has several hotel and airline travel partners.
Airline Partners // British Airways, Air France, Singapore Airlines, United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Korean Air, Iberia Airlines, and Aer Lingus.
Hotel Partners // Hyatt, IHG, Marriott, and Ritz Carlton.
Unfortunately, American Airlines is not a Chase travel partner. So you may be wondering, how do you book an American Airlines flight with Ultimate Rewards? The answer, British Airways.
How to Book American Airlines Flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards
I’ve booked three American Airlines flights in the last few weeks with Chase Ultimate Rewards, so I’m super familiar with how the process works. First, you have to know that British Airways and American Airlines are partners. They are both part of the Oneworld Alliance. Second, you have to know that you’re able to book partner award flights.
When searching for your American Airlines flight, hop on aa.com and in the search fields, check the “Redeem Miles” box to search for award availability. Once you determine that there is in fact award availability on your desired route, you’ll need to confirm the availability on British Airways site.
Hop over to britishairways.com and create an account if you don’t already have one. Sign into your account and on the left-hand side of the screen, select book with Avios. Enter your to/from destinations and your travel dates and hit search. The award flights that you found on aa.com should appear in the search results on britishairways.com too. If they don’t immediately appear, try toggling back and forth between dates around your travel date and your actual travel date. Once you confirm availability, you’ll want to triple check it by either calling British Airways directly (use the Executive Club number: 1 800 452 1201) to confirm the dates or by checking Qantas’s site (another Oneworld parter). The British Airways website is actually pretty wonky. Every once in a while it produces false positives on award availability. That’s why you want to triple check before transferring your Ultimate Rewards.
Once you have confirmed that there is award availability on British Airways, you’ll need to transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards to your British Airways account. This is super simple to do. Log into your Chase account. Click on Ultimate Rewards and then “Transfer to Travel Partners.” Select British Airways and transfer the number of points you need to book your flight. Ultimate Rewards transfer 1:1 to British Airways Avios.
The transfer process takes about 15 – 20 minutes to process. Keep refreshing your British Airways account (log out/log in) until your Avios appear in your account. Once the Avios are in your account, you can book the award flight on britishairways.com! You’ll be flying on an American Airlines plane, but you booked through British Airways. Make sense?
I hope that was helpful! I’m always happy to answer any questions on maximizing your points and miles earning potential and any questions on award bookings! Feel free to leave a comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Disclaimer: If you click and/or sign up for a credit card through certain links on this site or any of my related social media platforms, I may make a commission from that click through. The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are mine alone.