Chase has announced today that they are offering a transfer bonus for the first time! These bonuses are a highlight of American Express Membership Rewards (MR) point-earning cards. But Chase has decided to take their competition with Amex a step further by introducing a bonus.

 

The Bonus

Chase is offering a 30% bonus on Ultimate Rewards (UR) points transfers to British Airways! As with most other Chase partners, transfers are instant and there are no limits on how many transfers you can make. In other words, this is not a one-time bonus. The bonus lasts until June 16, 2019!

There is a minimum of 1,000 UR points that you can transfer at a time. Plus, all transfers must be rounded up or down to the nearest thousand UR points. As with other Chase partners, there is no maximum amount of points you can transfer at one time. These rules apply for all Chase transfer partners, not just British Airways.

This is very useful for flights to the United Kingdom as well as short distance coach and business class flights. Domestic and international flights to destinations where fuel surcharges are low are another great use for British Airways Avios.

The Sapphire Reserve, Sapphire Preferred, and Ink Preferred are the only UR-earning cards that let you directly transfer points to Chase’s partners. If you have another UR-earning card, you also need one of the above cards to take advantage of this bonus.

 

Analysis

Chase offering this bonus is a direct response to American Express’ transfer bonuses. Chase and Amex are the two largest issuers of transferrable points earning cards. And they each want more customers to get their cards and earn their points.

But Amex and Chase are not the only ones issuing these special cards. Citibank has the Premier and Prestige cards and both offer transfer bonuses. The Capital One Venture and Spark cards also recently started to earn transferrable points. And the former has offered at least one bonus in the past.

British Airways being the transfer partner is very interesting. This is because both Chase UR and Amex MR points can be transferred to them. This move also increases the direct competition between Chase and Amex, which is what Chase wants. Chase has also increased the sign-up bonus on the Sapphire Preferred after feeling the pressure from Amex’s 2018 revamp of the Gold Card.

 

Final Draw

This 30% transfer bonus to British Airways is nice for Chase UR enthusiasts. However, there have been better transfer bonuses to British Airways. For example, American Express has issued a 40% bonus in the past to the airline.

Either way, its nice to see Chase enter the world of transfer bonuses. I hope to see more bonuses like this one for different partners such as Hyatt and Southwest Airlines.