Transferable points are points you earn from a credit card that you can transfer to many different types of airline miles or other points. They are valuable because they give you so much flexibility. Each airline program has strengths and weaknesses in terms of the number of miles you need and the availability from point A to point B. Collecting transferable points ensures that no matter where you decide to go, you can always transfer your points to the type of airline miles that is best for the award you want.

Since award space can be a scarce resource, it is important to note that not all transferrable points transfer to their partners instantaneously.

This is the first post of a four part series going over how long it takes each type of transferrable point to transfer to its partners. Today’s post is about the transfer times between Ultimate Rewards and each of its seven airline partners and four hotel partners. 

Ultimate Rewards Transfer Times

Ultimate Rewards transfer to almost all the airline partners instantaneously except for Singapore. People report different spans of time for how long it took their Ultimate Rewards to hit their KrisFlyer account after initiating a transfer. Many say within a day, others two days. I haven’t seen many people report it taking any longer than two.

Putting Awards on Hold

Of course, the transfer times above are what you will almost always see, but occasionally there may be a mishap with a transfer and you’re left waiting in limbo. These cases are not common, but if it happens to you, here are some tips about how to put Ultimate Reward’s transfer partners awards on hold.


United allows you to pay to hold an award via their FareLock option. Price depends on the award but is generally anywhere from $10 to $30.

A member of our Award Booking Service team also came up with a simple hack for putting United awards on hold for free. I haven’t tried this in a while, but I assume it still works.


Singapore doesn’t “officially” allow holds, but supposedly it is possible to put a Singapore award on hold for free. Some say you have to have 50% of the required mileage already in your account, others say 30%, and others have reported needing none. I think this is a case of YMMV. If you don’t get a good agent, call back until you find one that will hold your award.

Upon Arriving has a post with tips outlining how to put a Singapore award on hold.

Flying Blue

Flying Blue is known for holding awards for free for up to 48 hours, but this is also going to depend on the agent. If you don’t like what you hear, hang up and call again.

Korean Air, Virgin Atlantic

Award holds are allowed for free with Korean Air and Virgin Atlantic, no tricks or tips needed! You can put a Virgin Atlantic award on hold for 48 hours. Korean Air awards can be held for longer, weeks and maybe even months for awards flying their own planes.

Bottom Line

Luckily there isn’t lag time with the majority of Ultimate Rewards’ airline transfer partners. You may have to wait a bit for hotel points to hit your account, but hotel award space is not usually as scarce a resource as airline award space so that shouldn’t be a problem.

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