Ultimate Rewards Adds Aer Lingus & Iberia As Transfer Partners

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Yesterday we learned that Avianca’s LifeMiles program became a Citi ThankYou transfer partner, which is an awesome development. It looks like that’s not the only transferable points currency picking up some new transfer partners in the past 24 hours.

Chase Ultimate Rewards — the points currency of cards like the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card and Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card — has added both Aer Lingus AerClub and Iberia Plus as transfer partners. Points transfer at a 1:1 ratio, just like with all of Ultimate Rewards’ other transfer partners.

With this development, Ultimate Rewards has the following 13 transfer partners, including nine airline programs and four hotel programs:

Aer Lingus Aer ClubIHG Rewards ClubSingapore KrisFlyerWorld Of Hyatt
Air France KLM Flying BlueKorean Air SkyPassSouthwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
British Airways Executive ClubMarriott RewardsUnited MileagePlus
Iberia PlusRitz-Carlton RewardsVirgin Atlantic Flying Club

I’m happy to see Ultimate Rewards add both Aer Lingus AerClub and Iberia Plus as transfer partners, though this development isn’t quite as exciting as it may initially appear. That’s because Ultimate Rewards is already transfer partners with British Airways Executive Club, and British Airways Avios can be transferred to both Aer Lingus and Iberia at a 1:1 ratio. All three airlines have the same owner, and eventually IAG even plans to create a single loyalty program for all the airlines (this could happen as early as the middle of next year).

While points are transferable between programs, your accounts need to be active for 90 days in order to do so, and on top of that there are sometimes technical issues.

There are some minor differences between each of the Avios programs, even though the programs on the surface collect the same points currency. Here’s a post Tiffany wrote a couple of years ago explaining some of the advantages of Iberia Plus compared to British Airways Executive Club. The program can be especially useful if redeeming directly for travel on Iberia, since the fees are much lower.

As far as Aer Lingus AerClub goes, the only advantage I’ve been able to find is the ability to redeem for travel on Aer Lingus through their website, rather than having to call British Airways to book. Otherwise it’s not a terribly lucrative program.

Bottom line

While I’d ultimately prefer to see Ultimate Rewards add some unique transfer partners, I’ll take Aer Lingus and Iberia over nothing. There are situations where Iberia Plus can be especially useful, and in those cases it’s great to be able to transfer points directly, rather than having to wait up to 90 days, deal with Iberia’s bad IT, etc.

What other transfer partners would you like to see Ultimate Rewards add?

(Tip of the hat to @IadisGr8)

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Comments

  1. This is also useful because Avios are not transferrable if one is in a Household account (I think that there are some work arounds but they are cumbersome)

  2. One useful thing is that with direct transfers to Iberia Avios, its much easier then to redeem for tickets on Royal Air Maroc. Iberia is one of the few programs that can redeem on AT.

  3. I keep waiting to see which transferable currency will add Lufthansa. Currently, only SPG transfers to LH, but that option may disappear with the Marriott-Starwood loyalty program merger coming sometime in late 2018/early 2019. I assumed Citi ThankYou would add Lufthansa, but perhaps Ultimate Rewards would be able to be it done.

  4. I’d like to see them bring back Amtrak, but that’s not likely as Bank of America sponsors Amtrak’s credit card now.

  5. @Bill – Rumor is that Barclays is interested in starting a transferable points program. And for the US market, they are the issuer for the Lufthansa Credit Cards. So, most likely it’ll be Barclays.

  6. Luv to ‘see’ Barclays card get into the Mix…
    Personally LH would be appreciated for visiting
    ‘Northern Europe’…..

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