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Chase shared with me that Ultimate Rewards would no longer partner with Korean Air SkyPass after August 24. You have through August 24 to make these transfers.
Chase Sapphire Reserve and Preferred and Ink cards with an annual fee allow you to transfer their points to airline and hotel programs. The remaining partners will be:
- Airlines: United, Southwest, Singapore, Air France KLM, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Iberia, Aer Lingus
- Hotels: Marriott, IHG, Hyatt
You’ll see a notice from Chase if you set your computer’s clock to tomorrow (Wednesday).
Chase simply describes the change as a “mutual decision.” This is disappointing because while most points transferred from Chase are to United’s MileagePlus program, Korean offers some of the most unique value.
- 80,000 mile business class roundtrips between the US and Europe on SkyTeam airlines
- Cheap awards to Hawaii on Alaska, Delta, and Hawaiian
- China Eastern and Saudia first class awards
- Access to Korean’s first class seats, something you cannot book with Delta SkyMiles (and Korean flies to more US gateways than any other Asian carrier, plus offers first class not only on long haul flights but intra-Asia as well).
Korean Air First Class
Since Chase has so much invested in the Ultimate Rewards program I look forward to seeing what they add. Virgin, Air France, Iberia and Aer Lingus weren’t original transfer options and have been added in the last several years.
In the meantime I have to decide how I feel about my current Korean Air points balance. It’s a good, useful program so I may want to put more miles in that account. Korean Air miles do expire — after a generous ten years — additional account activity does not extend your miles. (They wanted to introduce five year expiration of miles but got South Korean government pushback.)
I suspect I’ll be adding a bunch of points to my SkyPass account which has a couple hundred thousand in it already prior to August 25th.