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@SpencerForMiles started a rumor Friday that Chase would be adding either American or Delta as a points-to-miles transfer partner.
- Airlines: United, British Airways, Korean, Singapore, Southwest, Virgin Atlantic, Air France KLM
- Hotels: Hyatt, Ritz-Carlton, Marriott, IHG Rewards Club
The most recent program that they added was Air France KLM Flying Blue back in May. It took a full year, I’m told, from the time the agreement was signed for the program to come online as a transfer partner because of the insistence that transfers happen instantly. The IT work took time.
I’m highly skeptical that Chase will be able to bring on American AAdvantage or Delta SkyMiles as transfer partners. It seems impossible with respect to Delta and merely extremely unlikely with respect to American.
American Express has exclusivity with Delta. I don’t see how Delta could become a Chase transfer partner during the current Amex-Delta contract that was re-upped at the end of 2014. That contract set a new bar for co-brand agreements at $2 billion a year.
American AAdvantage sure seems unlikely, but without having seen the new co-brand agreements let me describe a path.
Citibank and Barclaycard will become joint issuers of new Aemrican AAdvantage credit cards. Citibank wouldn’t pay enough for total exclusivity, and I’m told they wouldn’t pay what American demanded for ThankYou points transfers. Citi certainly did want transfers.
I’d expect that the deals they signed with Citi and Barclaycard precluded American from doing card-related deals with any other US banks.
However since neither bank bought AAdvantage points transfers, it’s at least imaginable that those remain a product on the table for American to sell. It’s a very long shot that they could sell that to a bank that isn’t one of their two US co-brand partners, but since I haven’t seen the contracts I cannot rule out the possibility with certainty.
I’m skeptical, though I’d love to be wrong on both counts of course.
Even without American, Chase has British Airways as a transfer partner and BA can redeem for travel on American and other oneowrld airlines. And without Delta, Chase has both Korean and Air France as transfer partners which are great for SkyTeam redemptions. In many ways, Korean Air SkyPass is one of the most useful programs in the world already so I’m not dying for SkyMiles transfers and Delta partner Air France is strategically useful with access to far more award space on Air France than Delta offers its own members.