How Can I Use Chase Rewards Points to Fly on American?

May 24, 2015

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TPG reader Kareem tweeted me to ask:

@thepointsguy– “I have a Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card but I want to redeem for American Airlines. What are my options?”

If you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card, meaning you have a bank of Chase Ultimate Rewards points, you have two main options if you want to fly American Airlines.

First, you can transfer your Ultimate Rewards points to British Airways, which is a Oneworld partner. You should be able to redeem British Airways Avios on American as long as there is MileSAAver availability, and the best way to do this is to first search on AA.com, then once you see the space book on BA.com.

There are two options to redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards points to fly on American. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

The other option is to book via Chase travel, which allows you to earn miles that you’ll need to qualify for elite status (an Avios booking does not). Each point is worth 1.25 cents, so 40,000 points will get you $500 toward travel on American Airlines. You’ll earn both redeemable and elite-qualifying miles for your flight. This may be your best option unless you are trying to get very expensive first or business-class tickets, in which case it may be better to transfer to BA. Just remember to always do the math first to make sure you are getting the best value.

If you have any other questions, please tweet me @thepointsguy, message me on Facebook or send me an email at info@thepointsguy.com.

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