Chase recently announced that Aer Lingus and Iberia Airlines will be joining the Ultimate Rewards program as new transfer partners. The latest list of partners airlines in the Ultimate Rewards program includes:

  • Aer Lingus AerClub
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Flying Blue AIR FRANCE KLM
  • Iberia Plus
  • Korean Air SKYPASS
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards®
  • United MileagePlus®
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

Should I transfer points to Aer Lingus?

Well that depends…although Aer Lingus and Iberia share in the Avios program with British Airways, their availability don’t quite show on each other’s websites. I took a sample search:

Dublin to LAX on April 15, 2018 and couldn’t find any availability for the direct flight on Aer Lingus through the BA site. However, when I searched on Aer Lingus, I found the direct flight at an incredible rate along with flights operated on British Airways metal:

Incredibly, the Dublin to Los Angeles route in economy costs only 16,250 points and $186! Compare that to British Airways charging 29,500 Avios + $195 for the same route with a stopover in London. Keep in mind that the Aer Lingus flight above qualifies for their off-peak award fare type.

Another sample search on a short-haul flight from Dublin to Paris runs at only 4,000 points + $70. As you can see from the zoning charts below, there are definitely some sweet spots that can be found in the Aer Lingus program:

Well what about Iberia?

Iberia also has some sweet spots in their award chart. For example, I searched JFK to Madrid on March 13, 2018 and found economy flights available for just 17,000 points + $77! 

Iberia also offers the option to combine points and cash to purchase your ticket. Rates for this flight go as low as 4,250 points + $238.

Consider if you were to purchase that flight without points…after a simple search on Google’s ITA Matrix, that same flight on Iberia in economy costs as much as $2,876! So transferring points from Chase to book this flight is a no brainer.

Or consider flying in business class for only 34,000 points and $90 instead of paying the full fare of $5,918! The best part of the Iberia program is that their fuel surcharges are incredibly low when comparing to British Airways who routinely charges up to $600 on an award transcontinental ticket.

The full fare:

Conclusion:

Surprisingly, it looks like there’s some incredible value when booking long-haul and short-haul award flights with both Aer Lingus and Iberia. Now that they’ve joined the Chase Ultimate Rewards family, I can definitely see myself transferring valuable award points to these programs to fly in business or economy for a bargain. Will you transfer your Chase UR points to one of these programs?