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12 Transfer Bonuses This Month from American Express
Last September, Amex rocked the point world with twelve transfer bonuses at once for the whole month.
Unexpectedly, they are doing an encore – though with different bonus rates.
Here’s the complete list:
|Current Transfer Bonuses|
(Last Updated Sept 1, 2022)
|Amex||25% Bonus when you transfer American Express Membership Rewards to Aeroplan||September 30, 2022||58,500 Amex points each way for Business Class on a Star Alliance carrier from the Central and Eastern US to most of Europe (flights up to 6,000 miles) using Aeroplan (25% bonus). No surcharges; just a $39CAD booking fee.|
|Amex||15% Bonus Bonus when you transfer American Express Membership Rewards to Avianca LifeMiles||September 30, 2022||Notes: Known for the best way to fly First Class to Europe on Lufthansa with no surcharges and other good deals. Also see: Downsides of LifeMiles program|
|Amex||20% Bonus when you transfer American Express Membership Rewards to HawaiianMiles||September 30, 2022||The only way to book nonstop flights from the US to Hawaii on Hawaiian Airlines. Prices are variable.|
|Amex||30% Bonus when you transfer American Express Membership Rewards to Hilton Honors||September 30, 2022||Useful for topping off your account, especially 5th night free. Not worthwhile in most other cases but do the math vs. a paid reservation.|
|Amex||25% Bonus when you transfer American Express Membership Rewards to Aer Lingus Avios||September 30, 2022||Aer Lingus has some sweet spots as well, like the US to Ireland for 13,000 – 16,250 Avios with no surcharges or 50,000 Avios – 62,500 Avios each way in Business Class. This would be if you find space on Aer Lingus metal. The lower pricing is from the East Coast, the higher is West Coast.|
Combinable with other Avios programs like BA.
|Amex||25% Bonus when you transfer American Express Membership Rewards to Air France / KLM Flying Blue||September 30, 2022||FlyingBlue rates are variable, so run a search before transferring.|
|Amex||30% Bonus when you transfer American Express Membership Rewards to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club||September 30, 2022||Best used to book ANA First Class for 42,500 – 47,500 Amex points (30% bonus). For First Class, round trip, you’ll pay 85,000 Amex points from the West Coast or 93,000 Amex points from the East Coast. The transfer bonus will give you the 110,000 (West Coast) – 120,000 (East Coast) Virgin miles required for the trip. One way flights are now allowed, thus my 42.5k – 47.5k range each way.|
Also great for US-Europe redemptions on Delta which price at 50,000 miles if you can find space.
|Amex||20% Bonus when you transfer American Express Membership Rewards to Aeromexico||September 30, 2022||Rarely a good use of miles but does have expanded inventory for Delta flights (again, rarely at a good price) and they can do a SkyTeam Around the World award (but in practice it's nearly impossible to piece together).|
|Amex||25% Bonus when you transfer American Express Membership Rewards to British Airways Executive Club||September 30, 2022||Fly between 651 and 1,151 miles with American Airlines or Alaska Airlines using British Airways Avios. This is 9,000 Avios or 7,200 Amex points during this bonus.|
Keep in mind that besides great deals on short-haul flights on Oneworld carriers like BA and AA, you can also freely transfer to Qatar's Avios: See Avios Now the 2nd Best Way to Book QSuites
|Amex||25% Bonus when you transfer American Express Membership Rewards to Choice Privileges||September 30, 2022||Better deal than normal, but remember that a Citi Premier card transfers 2:1 all of the time. Choice can also book some Preferred Hotels and Resorts which can be a decent bargain.|
|Amex||20% Bonus when you transfer American Express Membership Rewards to Marriott Bonvoy||September 30, 2022||This is almost never a good transfer unless you are topping off for an award you are ready to book. Amex point are worth 3X what a Bonvoy point is worth.|
|Amex||20% Bonus when you transfer American Express Membership Rewards to Qantas Frequent Flyer||September 30, 2022||You can book Emirates First and Business class flights with Qantas. Compare against the Emirates Skywards program before transferring.|
My table gives my brief thoughts on each program and I expect some lively discussion in the MilesTalk Facebook group, so I’ll just recap my thoughts from last year:
Sensory Overload: How to Approach This?
As always, that depends on you! Don’t get sucked into any groupthink. For instance, someone might tell you to transfer a ton to Virgin Atlantic to book ANA First Class. While that is one of the best redemptions in miles and points, it’s not helpful if you don’t plan to fly to Asia any time soon!
So here’s my methodology on this:
- What programs do you already use and use frequently? If one is above and you are consistently (even now!) spending, then grab the bonus.
- Check which programs expire points and how often. Make sure you know the rules to extend expiration if they expire. Luckily none of the above programs “hard expire” like ANA and Singapore do, for example.
- Don’t purely transfer speculatively. I say this on every points transfer post and it’s always true. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do a well-reasoned speculative transfer. I personally am likely to at transfer to Aeroplan for which I can’t recall a recent transfer bonus. The program was revamped just last year and I don’t suspect they will devalue quickly – and they don’t have dynamic partner awards. They do expire after 18 months unless you have activity, so I’ll make a calendar reminder to extend at that time. This bonus brings an Aeroplan award from New York to most of Europe down from 70,000 miles to a very reasonable 58,500 points.
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You can find credit cards that best match your spending habits and bonus categories at Your Best Credit Cards.
New to all of this? My “introduction to miles and points” book, MilesTalk: Live Your Wildest Travel Dreams Using Miles and Points is available on Amazon and at major booksellers.