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If you have an American Express card that earns Membership Rewards points, such as the American Express® Gold Card, The Platinum Card® from American Express or The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express, transferring your points just got a lot more interesting.
For a limited time, American Express is offering a 15% to 40% bonus on points transferred to 12 different airline and hotel loyalty programs. Frankly, we’ve never seen such a large set of bonus transfers all at once. Typically, only one or two Amex partners have a transfer bonus at any given time, making this promotion a pretty big deal.
Here’s the complete list of American Express airline and hotel partners that are currently offering a transfer bonus, along with the amount of the bonus.
The bonuses for airline partners are available on points transferred between now and Sept. 30, while the bonuses on the two hotel partners — Marriott and Hilton — are available until Oct. 31.
Great opportunities for great redemptions
While there are many great loyalty programs on the list, here are three partners we think are worth taking a look at while this transfer bonus is available.
British Airways Executive Club
If you’re looking to book a flight of 651 miles or less within the United States, one good place to transfer your American Express points right now is British Airways, which has a frequent flyer program with miles known as Avios.
The reason British Airways is a good place to transfer your points for domestic flights is that the carrier is a member of the OneWorld airline alliance, which means you can redeem British Airways Avios for flights on American Airlines, which is also a OneWorld member. And thanks to the British Airways award chart, flights of 651 miles or less within the US only cost 7,500 Avios.
But with the 40% bonus that American Express is currently offering on British Airways transfers, that deal gets even better, because you can transfer 1,000 Membership Rewards points and get 1,400 British Airways Avios on the other end. This means for a short round-trip flight that’d normally cost 15,000 Avios, you’ll only have to redeem 11,000 Amex points.
Air Canada Aeroplan
If an international destination is in your future, it’s possible to use Air Canada Aeroplan points to fly there on a United Airlines flight. That’s because in the same way that British Airways and American Airlines are both members of the same airline alliance, Air Canada and United are both part of the Star Alliance, along with 24 other international airlines.
Air Canada’s Aeroplan frequent flyer program has an award chart that can be very useful for international redemptions. For instance, for flights within North America between 501 and 1,500 miles in distance, Aeroplan charges 10,000 points, while flights between 1,501 and 2,570 miles cost 12,500 points.
So if you’re based in Houston or New York — or anywhere in between — getting to the Caribbean or Mexico by using Aeroplan points can be extremely cheap even without the transfer bonus. But with the current promotion, you could transfer as few as 17,000 Amex points to Aeroplan for a round-trip flight to the Caribbean, thanks to the 20% bonus available on Air Canada transfers right now.
Typically, transferring American Express Membership Rewards to the Hilton Honors program isn’t the best way to use your points, because Hilton Honors points aren’t worth very much. But now, since you’ll receive a 30% bonus when you transfer to Hilton, there could be situations where it makes sense.
Normally, you’d get 2,000 Hilton Honors points for every 1,000 Amex points you transfer, but with the current promotion, you’ll get 2,600 Hilton Honors points for those 1,000 Amex points. According to frequent flyer site The Points Guy, Hilton points are worth 0.6 cents apiece. That means you’re effectively getting 1.56 cents in value for each Amex point you transfer to Hilton right now.
While this is still less value than you get can by transferring your Amex points to other partners, it still might make sense if you have Hilton elite status and can get the fifth night free on award stays.
For example, if you’re looking to get away this winter, you can book the Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino hotel for 80,000 Hilton points per night. If you have Hilton elite status and can get the fifth night free on award stays, that comes to a total of 320,000 Hilton points for five nights.
But by utilizing this American Express transfer bonus, you’d only have to transfer 124,000 Membership Rewards points to Hilton to score that five-night stay. Depending on what you’d normally pay for those five nights in cash — and this hotel can easily cost over $400 per night — that could potentially be a pretty great deal.
Is it a good idea to transfer your Amex points with this bonus?
While we typically don’t recommend transferring points to an airline or hotel partner before you’re ready to actually book a specific flight or hotel room, this might be one time it’s worth breaking that rule — as long as you know for sure that you’ll use the points in the near future. Since award charts change frequently (and typically not in the traveler’s favor), you’ll want to make sure you aren’t transferring your points to a program where they’ll just sit for the foreseeable future.
But if you have a trip you’ve been getting ready to book, now’s the time to take a look and see if one of these transfer bonuses can be the right fit for your travel plans. So if you’re ready to start booking, put your American Express points to good use and travel for even less with these impressive transfer bonuses.
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