Earlier this week I booked two economy tickets from Milan to Boston using United Airlines miles. I had 32,000 United miles already so all I had to do was transfer 27,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points to United to complete the 60,000 mile booking.

I logged onto Chase Ultimate Rewards through my Chase Sapphire Reserve account. I tried adding United as a transfer partner but received an error message:

Special handling required. We are unable to process this transfer online. Please call the number on the back of your card for assistance.

Chase transfer error
I received this error when attempting to transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to United

Earlier this year I transferred points to Hyatt with no problem. I was at work and didn’t have time to call Chase. I decided to try transferring 27,000 points to my Chase Sapphire Preferred card and completing the transfer from there.

Luckily, this worked and I had no issue completing my United award flight booking. I took some time to look into this and realized the apostrophe in my last name is once again causing problems with award bookings. When adding a transfer partner on Chase, your name auto-populates as it spelled on your account. On my Chase Sapphire Reserve account, my last name is listed without an apostrophe. Since my Hyatt account is listed this way as well, I had no problem transferring points to Hyatt. When I went to transfer points to United where my MileagePlus account does list an apostrophe, I ran into problems. For some reason, I’ve been very inconsistent with how I write my last name. Since my Chase Sapphire Preferred account DOES have the apostrophe, that’s why I was able to complete the transfer from that account.

Successful Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer
Success! I was able to make the transfer from my Chase Sapphire Preferred account

With my apostrophe problems with Starwood (see here and here), I’ve been consistent with how I spell my name. In this case, it appears to be an IT problem on their end. The issue with Chase makes more sense since the last names actually aren’t matching up. I’ve definitely learned I need to be more consistent going forward. Since I won’t be keeping my Chase Sapphire Preferred, I need to work on changing the last name on all my reward program accounts that include the apostrophe. That’ll be fun! Let’s see what other award booking problems I run into in 2017…

7 thoughts on “Weird Problem Transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards Points to Travel Partners”

  1. As someone else whose last name includes an apostrophe, I highly recommend changing the spelling of your last name to remove the apostrophe from all listings! Most databases struggle with the apostrophe (even DMV and Passports) so you are much better off without it.

  2. British airways wont let me transfer my chase ultimate rewards points. My name is exactly the same on the chase credit card as it is on my BritAir account. The message told me to call Chase. I did, but they couldn’t do it either. They escalated the case to the “back office” a week ago, but nothing happened. I called again today. They tried again. No luck. What am I doing wrong?

    1. That’s so frustrating! It seems like some sort of glitch with either Chase or BA. If you don’t have any points in the BA account yet, perhaps you could close it and open a new one.

  3. Thanks for your response I read the article, but my name is exactly the same on chase and British airlines. So my points are still in limbo.

  4. Very timely as I just ran into this today when trying to transfer from UR to United. Never have had a problem with transfers before today. There is a space between my last name on passport, Global Entry, TSA etc. and had my United account changed several years ago to match passport. Chase doesn’t show the space.

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