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…

2 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.

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