Yet Another Incredible Use Of Chase Ultimate Rewards Points: Transfer To Korean For Flights On Alaska, Hawaiian, Or Emirates!

Chase Ultimate Rewards has some great transfer partners that they transfer to at a 1:1 ratio:
Airlines: United (Star Alliance), British Airways (Oneworld), Korean (Skyteam), and Southwest (which can in turn transfer to Airtran).
Hotels: Hyatt, Marriott, Priority Club, and Ritz Carlton.
Trains: Amtrak.

The most valuable partners in my opinion are United (which never charges fuel surcharges, allows free date changes, has flexible routing rules, allows one-way awards, and has dozens of partners to fly on) and Hyatt (where you can stay in incredible hotels that charge $1,000 per night with awards as low as 5K and up to a maximum of only 22K points per night).

Most foreign carriers tack on huge fuel surcharges on award tickets, however Korean is worth taking a 2nd look at.  They are partners with some airlines outside of the Skyteam Alliance that they don’t collect a fuel surcharge on.
These include Alaska, Emirates, and Hawaiian. Here is a link to their non-alliance partner award chart.

These are some amazing values here.

Hawaiian Airlines Route Map Linky

Seeing this I looked on AA.com for a first class flight from JFK to Honolulu.  By limiting the search on the calendar page to non-stop flights only I was able to narrow the calendar down to only show dates with Hawaiian availability as they have the only nonstop flight in that market (starting in June).  On AA.com the first class Hawaiian flight can be found by clicking on the business/first option.

I then called up Korean’s Skypass office in Los Angeles at 800-438-5000 (and then prompts 2, 4, and 0) to confirm the rate.  They saw the same availability as I had found on AA.com and confirmed that the round-trip ticket in coach from JFK to Honolulu would be just 30,000 miles and in first would be just 60,000 miles plus $5 tax!  Using AA miles it costs 35K to fly coach on Hawaiian off-peak, 45K to fly coach during peak season (which is 03/09-08/21 and 12/16-01/11 annually), and 75K to fly in first, so it’s quite the bargain using Korean miles!

Note that on Hawaiian you pay per segment, so if you want to add an inter-island round-trip to your mainland trip that will add 10,000 miles.  If you want to fly from the US to Tahiti or Pago Pago it will be 60,000 in coach or 120,000 in first.

Alaska Airlines Route Map Linky

You can also search for Alaska award flights on AA.com using the same method as with Hawaiian.  You can fly anywhere in the US, including to Alaska for just 20,000 Korean miles in coach or 40,000 Korean miles in first with no fuel surcharges!  That’s 5,000 miles less than AA charges in coach and 10,000 less than AA charges in first!

Plus you are allowed a free stopover when using Korean miles for Alaska.  Does this mean you can fly from Los Angeles to Anchorage, stopover there, and then fly to Hawaii?  I didn’t try that kind of extreme routing over the phone yet, but if you do then post a comment!  At any rate you’ll definitely be able to fly from JFK to Anchorage and stopover in Seattle for as long as you want.

For Mexico the rate is 30,000 Korean miles in coach or 60,000 Korean miles in first with no fuel surcharges. That’s 5,000 miles less than AA charges for the coach flight.

For Hawaii, Alaska flies from all over the west coast and Alaska to Hawaii and it costs just 30,000 Korean miles in coach or 60,000 Korean miles in first with no fuel surcharges.   That’s 5,000 miles less than AA charges in coach during off-peak, 15,000 miles less than what AA charges during peak season, and 15,000 less than AA charges in first!

Now it is worth pointing out that for short haul flights like from the west coast to Hawaii or to Mexico on AA or on Alaska you will be better off transferring points to British Airways instead of to Korean. With British Airways there are no fuel surcharges within the western hemisphere and a flight like LAX to Cabo will be just 15,000 miles and a flight from the west coast to any of the Hawaiian islands will be just 25,000 miles. Bear in mind that BA however is not partners with Hawaiian, despite the fact that AA and Korean are partners with them.

Emirates Route Map Linky

Emirates partners with just a small handful of airlines. If you’ve dreamed of flying in an incredible First class suite on the A380 with the ability to even take a shower on the plane than Emirates has the best availability for your dream. You can transfer Starpoints to Emirates, but other than that if you are flush with Ultimate Rewards points you can transfer to Korean to book you on Emirates with no fuel surcharges.  To fly round-trip from Toronto or JFK for example to Dubai in a first class suite on the A380 would be 210,000 miles.

Chase Ultimate Rewards Cards:

Cards that can transfer points into miles:
-Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa Signature
-Chase Ink Bold

Cards that earn Ultimate Rewards, but requires one of the 3 previous cards to transfer the points into miles.
-Chase Freedom Mastercard,
-Chase Freedom Visa
-Chase Sapphire Non-Preferred
-Chase Sapphire Non-Preferred Visa Signature
-Chase Ink Classic
-Chase Ink Cash

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46 Responses to “Yet Another Incredible Use Of Chase Ultimate Rewards Points: Transfer To Korean For Flights On Alaska, Hawaiian, Or Emirates!”

  1. al613 Says:
    1

    Good job researching. Now we need to know if to book on Korean is as easy as on AA or as difficult as it used to be on Lan.

    ReplyReply
  2. Dan Says:
    2

    @al613:
    Thanks.

    From my phone calls today there was little hold time, and although there was a little bit of a language barrier, they were very accommodating with several requests and quoting miles+taxes without even asking for a Korean mileage number.

    Now what will happen tomorrow when hundreds of people start transferring points to Korean and calling to book awards?
    Your guess is as good as mine!

    ReplyReply
  3. Fan of Dan Says:
    3

    Dan!
    Going to Dubai?

    ReplyReply
  4. Abe Says:
    4

    Hi Dan,

    I’m very new to this mileage thing, and I appreciate your posts!.

    I have a question, I have almost 60,000 miles on a chase sapphire preferred with the first year almost ending soon (annual fee coming soon…) plus I have about 5000 ultimate rewards points on several chase cards, What would be the best thing to do since I plan to travel NYC to London by the end of August and would like to connect to Israel (5-6 days) or before or after the London trip.

    I would appreciate telling me my best options.

    Thanks a lot

    ReplyReply
  5. Dan Says:
    5

    @Fan of Dan:
    Dubai isn’t really on my hit list, but the Maldives are.

    @Abe:
    You need 80,000 points to go from NYC-London-Israel-NYC on United or one of their partners.
    Time to open another card!

    ReplyReply
  6. Mordy Says:
    6

    Hi Dan,

    Thanks for the great post.

    Is there any way to get a delta or klm flight using chase ultimate reward points?

    I’m looking for tickets to Amsterdam, and United has 10 hour layovers and no direct flights.

    Thanks.

    ReplyReply
  7. Dan Says:
    7

    @Mordy:
    Korean can book you but those flights will likely entail fuel surcharges.
    If you find out how much they are through Korean then post a comment here.

    ReplyReply
  8. Mordy Says:
    8

    jfk – ams 50,00 points and $600 charge.

    ReplyReply
  9. tt Says:
    9

    how many miles from nyc to Tahiti on Hawaiian?

    30k?

    ReplyReply
  10. Dan Says:
    10

    @Mordy:
    On Delta or KLM?

    @tt:
    Nope, but I already wrote what it would be in the post.

    ReplyReply
  11. Markie Says:
    11

    you got a sapphire preferred master card link!?

    ReplyReply
  12. Dan Says:
    12

    @Markie:
    Yup :D

    ReplyReply
  13. JPP Says:
    13

    How did u select non-stop on aa.com when trink JFK-HNL. I dont see the option even in calendar view.

    ReplyReply
  14. Isaac Says:
    14

    @Abe: transfer all your chase points to your sapphire card and have them all in one account (its easy just go to combine points) and then if you have 80k and united has availability then transfer them in.

    ReplyReply
  15. Hello Says:
    15

    how many points required JFK – TLV with korean??

    ReplyReply
  16. Dan Says:
    16

    @JPP:
    Looks like it only starts working in September and on.

    @Isaac:
    Yup.

    Or apply for the United card, currently you can match it to 55K plus $50!
    http://www.dansdeals.com/archives/21130

    @Hello:
    The fuel surcharges will make it not worthwhile.
    Transfer to United and you’ll have no fuel surcharges.

    ReplyReply
  17. lcyitz Says:
    17

    Thanks dan!

    ReplyReply
  18. raj Says:
    18

    Does anyone know whether points transfer from Ultimate rewards to Korean air are instant or not?

    ReplyReply
  19. MJL Says:
    19

    Do the non-SkyTeam partners mix with SkyTeam partners? I don’t live in a city served by HA or AS. Would I need to buy a revenue ticket to get to LAX or SEA or wherever?

    ReplyReply
  20. Jo Says:
    20

    Dan

    Could i do lax-sea(stop)-yvr-lax for 20k rt? Can you do open jaw and stopover with Alaska?

    ReplyReply
  21. Dave Says:
    21

    I am flying on Korean in a month. Do I just accept their skypass miles or can I (should I?) give them my Delta # (don’t have many miles).

    I expect to pick up the Sapphire Pref card later this year. I am ultimately trying to build up Marriott points for an trip reward (hotel + miles). Can I transfer Korean to Sapphire to Marriott?

    Sorry if this is basic stuff. Still learning.

    ReplyReply
  22. Asen Says:
    22

    Does Korean Air allow one-ways?

    ReplyReply
  23. Tassojunior Says:
    23

    AS flies from DCA to LAX and SEA, connecting to Hawaii.

    Hawaiian will start non-stops from NYC to HNL in a couple months on sweet new planes.

    At 30K rt either is a great bargain to Hawaii.

    ReplyReply
  24. Dan Says:
    24

    @raj:
    It’s instant but you can only make 1 transfer per day.

    @MJL:
    I doubt they’ll mix as they have separate award charts.

    @Jo:
    It’s not Alaska’s rules, it’s up to Korean. The page says a stopover is permitted but doesn’t mention an open jaw.
    I would guess that it’s not permitted, but I’d love to be proven wrong!

    @Dave:
    You can’t transfer Korean to Sapphire. It’s a one-way street.

    @Asen:
    No.

    @Tassojunior:
    Sure is!
    Now let’s see who will be able to get Korean to book the craziest Alaska stopover award for the fewest amount of miles!

    ReplyReply
  25. jo Says:
    25

    Very interested in the Korean/Hawaii deal from NY, but naive and confused. You say you found the Hawaiian Airline flight by looking for the only non-stop. But if I’m willing to do stopovers/connections in order to get a 30,000 mile trip, how do I know which Hawaiian Airlines flight have eligible seats available for any particular set of dates? Does Korean Airlines charge to call and just ask about a set of dates? And do they allow a stopover. Thanks so much!

    ReplyReply
  26. Tassojunior Says:
    26

    Non-stop Hawaiian JFK-HNL for 60K rt in First Class.

    You NY’ers, especially the honeymoon types, should be eating that up.

    ReplyReply
  27. ILoveURPoints Says:
    27

    Awesome..although I’m a little confused if you don’t live in NYC or Houston..so if I am leaving from RDU does it cost more miles to use to go RDU-JFK-HNL? Do most people just buy the ticket to JFK (In this case example I could alsouse 9000 BA miles RT to get to NYC?(lga).. Thanks

    ReplyReply
  28. silver springer Says:
    28

    Great post Dan!
    Two questions:
    –can you get a one-way AS award SEA-DCA and what would it cost in economy and first
    –I have an aspirational trip to go to Maldives as well. What would be the points and cost for Emirate from the DC area in business and first (assume at least part of trip would be in A380)
    Thanks

    ReplyReply
  29. Dan Says:
    29

    @jo:
    Korean doesn’t allow connections/stopovers on Hawaiian, nor are there even any connections available from JFK to HNL on Hawaiian.
    If you want to book a partial AA and partial Hawaiian ticket it would need to be with AA miles.

    @ILoveURPoints:
    Correct, you have to get a Hawaiian or Alaska air gateway city.
    Using BA miles to get to a city that they serve (which you can find on their route map) is a great idea.

    @silver springer:
    One-ways are not allowed by Korean.
    If you want a one-way you should use AA miles.

    You would need to add the cost to fly from the US-UAE (70/140/210) and then UAE-Maldives (35/70/105).
    If you have a lot of Starpoints it would be more cost effective to use those to transfer to Emirates where you wouldn’t need as many miles.

    ReplyReply
  30. joseph Says:
    30

    Dan – I want to do LAX-SEA(stop few days)-YVR(Destination)-LAX
    Is that possible?? Thanks.

    ReplyReply
  31. Dan Says:
    31

    @joseph:
    Absolutely!
    Check for nonstop availability on each of those routes separately on AA.com and then call Korean to book.

    ReplyReply
  32. mike Says:
    32

    i found about these redemptions last year and made some posts on FT but had no response to anyone who had actually attempted these redemptions. when i read the Korean website i recall it said you had to go into a Korean Air service center to book partner flights. that seemed ridiculous to me, so im glad to see you can book over the phone. i am most interested in Alaska from west coast to Hawaii. i rec’d a fairly decent targeted cc offer from Korean last year and that is when I started lookin around for more info.

    ReplyReply
  33. Daniel Says:
    33

    Is the Chase Sapphire preferred MasterCard made of metal now? I saw somewhere you said they converted your card but it was lacking the Metal that the preferred Visa was made out of. Let me know weather I should convert the card. I just got both the regular sapphire and sapphire preferred both as Visa’s.

    ReplyReply
  34. Dan Says:
    34

    @Daniel:
    It is made of metal.
    They had mistakenly downgraded me to the non-preferred version which isn’t metal and then they upgraded me to the preferred metal version again.

    ReplyReply
  35. Daniel Says:
    35

    @Dan: Alsome so I will be converting to the preferred World MasterCard now I assume I should wait till I reach my 3,000 in spend first and my 50k bonus comes thru because I am half way there already. I am so happy this summer I will be renting a Car in Israel B”H” now I don’t have to pay F.T? fees on my rental car while taking advantage of the World M.C. Insurance. Which insurance can I decline and which one will they charge me for? fYI its at Budget or Thrifty I have reservations at both the same prices this way I’m covered.

    ReplyReply
  36. Dan Says:
    36

    @Daniel: You can decline CDW but they will force you to buy liability at about $15 per day.
    Did you ask Noach if he can beat your quote?

    ReplyReply
  37. Ally Says:
    37

    I want to travel on Korean using Hawaiian points. Does Hawaiian’s business class (only first class option) translate to Korean’s prestige class or first class? These are code shared flights on Hawaiian’s website, but operated by Korean Air.

    ReplyReply
  38. Toby Says:
    38

    Want to accrue miles to get to airline tickets from CLE or CAK exclusively, focusing on tickets to Israel. Which credit card or combination of cards is the best to get?

    ReplyReply
  39. Joshua Says:
    39

    Dan, is there a good way to check availability of Alaskan award tickets? I attempted to call Korean and they stated there was no availability for my requested dates. However, when I check on the Alaskan site their lowest fare shows available.

    ReplyReply
  40. Dan Says:
    40

    @Joshua:
    AA.com

    ReplyReply
  41. Mohammad Says:
    41

    Hey @Dan:

    Sorry if it s a dumb question. Are you saying I transfer my UR points to Korean and then buy an award ticket from Korean while the actual flight is on Alaska for example?

    I have ~55K UR points and ~5K starwood points and would like to buy round trip tickets from San Diego to Hawaii for me and my wife. Do you think it’s possible? I plan to travel in March which is the cheapest time I think.

    Thanks.

    ReplyReply
  42. Dan Says:
    42

    @Mohammad:
    Correct, call Korean to book.

    Though from SAN you would be better off transferring to BA as they charge only 25K round-trip on Alaska to Hawaii.
    Call BA to book that.

    ReplyReply
  43. Mohammad Says:
    43

    @Dan: Do I need to created to BA rewards accounts and transfer 25K to each? and buy two tickets separately?

    ReplyReply
  44. Dan Says:
    44

    @Mohammad:
    You can transfer 50K to one BA account and book them both from there.

    ReplyReply
  45. Junkyardunz Says:
    45

    Link is dead

    ReplyReply
  46. Nick Says:
    46

    Hi There -

    I recently flew Business with Emirate and got 40k Skyward miles, I have about 65k miles with Chase Sapphire Preferred. How can I transfer those to Emirates ? Do I have to xfer them to Korean ? in that case would Korean will be away of my 40k miles currently in Skyward with Emirate ?

    Thanks!!!

    ReplyReply

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