JP Morgan Chase Bank and Korean Air Skypass have decided to end their partnership allowing for points transfer from Chase’s popular Ultimate Rewards Program effective August 25th, 2018.
The Korean Air Sky Pass Award Chart is popular for offering decent priced redemptions for First- and Business Class travel on KE as well as domestic flights on Skyteam partner Delta.
Chase displays the following error message in their Ultimate Rewards portal:
“… your order [of a Skypass transfer] must be placed by August 24, 2018.”
So what is the way forward with this in case you have a bunch of Ultimate Rewards points you intend to use with Korean Air Skypass?
- You can still make 1:1 direct transfers until August 24th 2018
- Post August 24th you can transfer Ultimate Rewards to Marriott Rewards and convert to Skypass
- You can also transfer to and convert from World of Hyatt, however at a horrible 2:1 Ratio (not worth it)
Whatever there is currently in terms of premium award availability will probably be shortened in the coming week by folks making a run for it. I don’t expect Skypass to tweak their award chart in the near future so it can make sense to just transfer Ultimate Rewards out even without having immediate plans at the moment to book Korean Air flights.
These partnerships between different programs come and go and are usually based on a mutually beneficial relationship. Chase has to pay Skypass a healthy sum for the points transferred to them. It’s very possible that the high amounts transferred out to KE weren’t a good business model for Chase any longer depending on how much they have to pay for Skypass miles. Of course the exact opposite is also possible, namely that Korean Air tried to negotiate the price up and Chase refused, hence the cancellation of the partnership.