Where in Europe do you want to go to? Greece, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Croatia? There are so many fabulous European destinations, and most beginner traveler hackers start with earning Chase Ultimate Rewards, so let’s talk today about using Chase Ultimate Rewards for European flights.
First off, there are 11 airline transfer partners that you can transfer to – not all are perfect for flights to Europe, but there are several that are. NEVER, EVER transfer to a partner until you have confirmed that there are seats available. Transfers are one way – you can’t return them to Ultimate Rewards once transferred!
When traveling on a long-haul flight or transcontinental, we usually get a better value by transferring to a partner than using the travel portal. Here is a post that will help you when you are ready to transfer to a travel partner. Ultimate Rewards airline transfer partners include:
The travel portal is great for domestic travel, and we encourage people to compare both prices. You will get 1.25 cents per point in the portal, so sometimes, especially if you are looking at economy tickets, it may work out better.
The following cards all earn Ultimate Rewards. Remember that the Freedom Flex and Freedom Unlimited are cash-back cards unless you have one of the top three cards. The same goes for the business cards – you must have one of the top three cards to earn Ultimate Rewards instead of them being cash-back cards.
This was how I booked all of my flights to Europe for years. It is simple and straightforward. I usually can find roundtrip economy flights for 60K miles and business class seats for under 90K miles one way if I have flexibility. Summer and holiday travel is usually more expensive. I do love that United has very low surcharges too, which is why I have used them so often. However, going out of London you will always pay more!
One of the best deals is one of the fifth-freedom flights. Here is an option for 87K miles on Emirates from New York City to Athens. With this flight, I would position to New York. Positioning flights are a great way to take advantage of good flight deals.
This flight in economy is only 38,750 and $53 in taxes and fees. Emirates is an incredible flying experience.
Economy to Europe for less than 20K miles on Air France – what a deal! Business class, as always, took a jump up to 134K miles and much less availability. I have flown Air France business class from Denver to Paris for fewer miles in the past. Again, flexibility is key. Check out their promo awards each month for even more savings. At this time, Miami to Paris is only 12,750 miles on certain dates!
Alex and I are flying to Amsterdam in business class on a 65K point redemption this Spring from Salt Lake City. We are then taking a cheap carrier to Milan. That is a great way to get to Europe – find a cheap flight to Europe and then position to the European city you really want to go to. Amsterdam is a great destination. This is a great way to use Ultimate Rewards for European flights!
If you are going to Spain, Iberia is your airline for cheap redemption. 34K from some cities in business class is an awesome redemption. I would even fly to Spain and take a cheap European carrier like Ryan Air or EasyJet to get to another city I wanted to visit in Europe.
Whether you travel in economy class or business class, Singapore Airlines is a treat to fly with. There are a couple of Fifth Freedom flights where you can find some great award redemption, JFK- Frankfurt and Houston -Manchester, England are great options. Singapore also offers Spontaneous Escapes, where you might find an even cheaper promo fare, like below:
Here’s an option in economy to Manchester, England. It would be a short train ride to get to London. (Jess thought Manchester was super cute)!
Virgin Atlantic is another great partner to use Ultimate Rewards for European flights. Sometimes transfer bonuses will make your points go further, which is always a win-win. Flying from the east coast to London can be particularly cheap. Just look at how cheap these flights are (even without a transfer bonus!)
Chase Ultimate Rewards for European flights is a no-brainer for travel hackers as there are so many travel partners that you can use to book your flights. Check out this list the next time you want to go to Europe and share other good deals with us!
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