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For many, Chase Ultimate Rewards points are the entry point in the world of miles and points. With 11 airline transfer partners, there are a bunch of great ways to redeem your Ultimate Rewards points for business class flights. You might even want to redeem points via the Chase Travel Portal.
Now, let’s get into it!
Chase has several credit cards - both personal and business - which earn Ultimate Rewards points and offer lucrative bonus categories to earn points even faster. Plus, many of them come with sign-up bonuses that offer a quick injection of points.
The key is that you need a card that earns Ultimate Rewards and has an annual fee - the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve, or Ink Business Preferred Card. If you have one of these, you can pair any of the no annual fee Freedom or Ink cards and turn their cashback into fully transferable Ultimate Rewards points.
You can book Aer Lingus business class one-way for 50,000 Avios on select routes on off-peak dates (2022 & 2023 dates). You’ll want to book via Avios.com rather than the British Airways site to avoid steep surcharges.
Aer Lingus operates nonstop flights to Dublin (DUB) from Boston (BOS), Chicago-O’Hare (ORD), New York (JFK), Newark (EWR), Philadelphia (PHL), Toronto (YYZ), and Washington Dulles (IAD).
Additionally, they operate flights From BOS and JFK to Shannon (SNN) as well as JFK to Manchester (MAN) in the UK. To avoid the Air Passenger Duty (APD) fee on flights departing most UK airports, don’t book this from MAN to JFK
Air Canada’s Aeroplan program is a great option for booking business class on Star Alliance partners from the east coast and central US. Several one-way nonstop options will only require 60,000 Aeroplan points while many others will only require 70,000 points.
Aeroplan doesn’t pass on surcharges so you’ll keep the taxes/fees to a minimum. Additionally, you can include a stopover on a one-way award for an additional 5,000 points.
To book at the 60,000-mile rate, your total flight distance can be no more than 4,000 flight miles. For the 70,000-mile rate, your flight distance must be 4,001 to 6,000 flight miles. Please refer to Aeroplan’s award chart as it includes both a region-based and distance-based component.
From the east coast, you can book business class to places such as Egypt via Europe on Star Alliance partners for 70,000 Aeroplan points one-way. If you exceed 6,000 flight miles, the award rate will jump to 90,000 points.
For example, you could fly to places such as Ghana or Kenya for 90,000 points one-way.
From the east coast, you can book business class to India via Europe for 90,000 Aeroplan points one-way. Destinations further south in India such as Mumbai and Goa will bump the rate up to 110,000 points one-way so you might prefer to book a separate cash ticket from Delhi.
Whether you’re flying Etihad via Abu Dhabi or a Star Alliance carrier such as EVA Air to a destination in Southeast Asia, you can book for 87,500 Aeroplan points. If your total flight distance exceeds 11,000 flight miles, you’ll need 115,000 points.
If you want to visit Abu Dhabi, Dubai, or Oman, you can book Etihad business class for 90,000 Aeroplan points. If you exceed 8,000 total flight miles, the rate will increase to 110,000 points.
While it can be tough to find business class award space on aircraft with lie-flat seats, you can book a one-way award for 60,000 Aeroplan points if the flight distance is 4,501+ flight miles. If your flight distance is 2,501 to 4,500 miles, you’ll only need 50,000 points.
If you can keep your total flight distance to no more than 11,000 flight miles, you can book business class for 90,000 Aeroplan points one-way. This will only work on select routes starting from the west coast.
Flying Blue sets saver level award rates based on origin and destination. You can find business class awards between a bunch of US/EU city pairs for only 53,000 miles one-way. The surcharges make the taxes/fees a bit steep at ~$250-300 one-way but you can always use another program to book the other direction if you want to keep cash costs lower.
Every month, Flying Blue runs Promo Awards from select cities. While business class Promo Rewards from North American cities aren’t common, they are fantastic opportunities to book when they do release them.
At 25% off, you can take that 53,000-mile award rate and drop it to 39,750 miles. At 50% off, you’d only need 26,500 miles which is absolutely wild. The taxes/fees won’t be discounted.
China Airlines is rarely discussed but it can be a great way to fly non-stop from the US to Taipei. Flying Blue offers the best way to book at 89,000 miles one-way.
While you could book Virgin Atlantic Upper Class with Virgin points, you’d be on the hook for some insane surcharges. Fortunately, Flying Blue doesn’t pass on all of the surcharges so you can book a non-stop one-way business class award to London for 68,500 miles + $190 taxes/fees. The UK’s APD fee will increase the taxes/fees if you fly out of London.
Qatar Airways Qsuites is generally considered to be one of the top two business class products in the sky. You can book a non-stop to/from Doha for only 70,000 Avios one-way. If you want to connect within the Middle East, the rate will increase to 75,000 or 80,000 Avios.
For Qsuites to Southeast Asia, you’ll want to create a Qatar Privilege Club account in addition to your BA Executive Club account. By linking the accounts, you can move Avios between the two accounts.
Sometimes, you’ll find Qsuites awards with connections require fewer Avios via Qatar’s own program rather than via British Airways. At 95,000 Qatar Avios one-way to Southeast Asia, this extra step is worth it!
A perennial favorite among points enthusiasts is Iberia business class one-way to Madrid for only 34,000 Avios. To get this rate, there are two things you need to remember.
First, you need to find award space on off-peak dates as peak dates require 50,000 Avios one-way (still a solid option). Fortunately, Iberia provides a calendar showing which dates are off-peak and peak.
Second, you’ll need to book a non-stop from Boston, Chicago, New York-JFK, or Washington Dulles to get this rate. Iberia and BA use distance-based award charts, so other routes from the US and itineraries with connections will require more Avios.
Another fun non-stop option from the east coast is Royal Air Maroc to Casablanca for 60,000 Avios one-way. It’s a great way to get to Morocco and from there you can continue to other cities such as Marrakech and Fez.
From Los Angeles and San Francisco, you can book Japan Airlines business class nonstop to Tokyo for 77,250 Avios one-way. Considering the quality of service in JAL business class, you won’t be disappointed.
Unlike many programs, British Airways Avios are actually better for upgrading premium economy flights on British Airways than booking business class award tickets outright. This is because British Airways tacks on steep surcharges which make the taxes/fees as nearly as much as a cash ticket.
If you can find a good premium economy fare deal and you also see business class award space, you could use fewer points and save some cash.
Emirates jacked up their surcharges on routes between the US and Dubai this year but, fortunately, they left the fifth freedom routes to Europe alone. A one-way business class award ticket from JFK to Milan requires 72,500 miles one-way and the taxes/fees are only ~$110.
Emirates also operates a flight between Newark and Athens but the business class cabin on their Boeing 777-300 is arranged in a subpar 2-3-2 layout. Depending on your options, this might work for you but just keep that in mind.
It’s not a big difference, but you can save a thousand points on a one-way award by booking JAL business class from Seattle to Tokyo with Emirates miles rather than British Airways Avios.
Korean Air business class isn’t the easiest award to book for a reasonable number of miles but Emirates Skywards is a solid option at 88,000 miles one-way.
Singapore KrisFlyer devalued in the summer of 2022, but it’s still the only consistent way to book business class award tickets on Singapore Airlines. If you want to give Singapore Air business class a try, I think their fifth freedom route between JFK and Frankfurt is your best bet at 81,000 miles one-way.
If you’re trying to find a fun option to Asia, you can fly Singapore Airlines from Los Angeles to Tokyo-Narita for 103,500 KrisFlyer miles.
Assuming Singapore Air brings back their San Francisco to Hong Kong and Los Angeles to Taipei fifth freedom routes, you can book either for 105,000 KrisFlyer miles one-way.
They’re not the best business class rate to Asia, but it’s a solid option if you want to try Singapore Airlines business class.
United’s 2020 devaluation of award rates on partner airlines really hurt. However, if you’re booking a non-stop business class award to Europe on United, 60,000 miles one-way is a solid way to book. Plus, United sometimes releases additional business class award space to its own United MileagePlus members.
It’s rare to find business class space on a non-stop top Australia but, when you do, United miles are a great way to book United Polaris (business class).
If it’s tough to find business class award space to Australia, it might be even tough to find space to Tahiti. With so few flight options between the US and Tahiti, jump on the chance to use 70,000 United miles for a one-way business class award. Just make sure you can find United space (or another option) for the flight back to the states!
Always a popular option, a non-stop on United to South Africa is one you should book quickly if you see business class award space as it’s a rare find. At 70,000 United miles, it’s a great way to book.
There are a few non-stop routes to Israel on United and 75,000 United miles is a great way to book. The tough part is finding saver level award space.
Similar to Israel, United operates a few non-stop flights to India at 75,000 miles for a one-way business class ticket. As with flights to Israel, the challenge if finding saver level award space.
Regardless of route, ANA provides a very nice business class experience. At 45,000 Virgin points for a non-stop one-way ticket to Tokyo, this is an amazing deal. If you can find award space on an ANA flight with their new business class (“The Room”), that will really take things to the next level.
Delta SkyMiles might be notorious for its poor award rates but Virgin points provide a great way to book Delta One non-stop between the US and Europe. Naturally, you’ll want to see if you can find a route operated by one of Delta’s Airbus A350s such as Detroit to Amsterdam so you can try their newest product, Delta One Suites.
Another tough one as Air New Zealand business class award space but absolutely worth booking. For a one-way business class award ticket at 62,500 points, this is a great option for a trip to New Zealand.
Typically, Virgin requires additional points to include a connecting flight. However, if you book Air France or KLM, you can include a connection for no extra points. The key to getting the best rate is to fly on off-peak dates from the east coast.
If you fly between the east coast (and airports in the Central US) and Western Europe, you can book a one-way business class award ticket for 48,500 points.
Before you transfer Ultimate Rewards points, make sure you check the Chase Travel Portal. In the travel portal, you’ll see cash fares that you can book with points.
If you have the Sapphire Reserve, your points are worth 1.5 cents per point in the portal. If you have the Sapphire Preferred or Ink Preferred, your points are worth 1.25 cents per point.
If a business class deal is cheap enough, you could end up using fewer points booking through the portal than if you transferred to an airline partner to book an award.
These bookings have the added bonus of allowing you to cover the entire cost with points while you’re still on the hook for taxes/fees on award tickets. Plus, you can earn redeemable airline miles since these are cash tickets.
When you factor in the many ways you can earn Ultimate Rewards points with credit cards and the many airline transfer partners, it’s no surprise that many consider Chase points to be some of the most valuable on the market. Once you have the points for a business class ticket, it’s just a matter of figuring out where you want to go.
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With my years of experience, as well as my depth of knowledge of all of the programs, my goal is to help demystify the opportunities you have to help you move beyond researching and onto booking your trips.
When booking paid hotel stays, there are tons of perks available via preferred partner booking programs. From food and beverage credits to room upgrades to complimentary breakfast, we can unlock some amazing perks for your next paid stay.