American Express, Cathay Pacific, Marriott

Two New Point Transfer Bonuses (With Analysis)

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The last couple of days has brought two new transfer bonuses. Let’s take a look:

American Express Membership Rewards –> Marriott Bonvoy: 30% bonus

With this transfer bonus, you’ll get 1,300 Marriott Bonvoy points for each 1,000 Membership Rewards transferred.

💳 If you are in a cash crunch, you should avoid travel rewards credit cards until you are caught up. Here are our favorite credit cards for Intro 0% APR offers and for balance transfer offers

Is it a good deal? On the surface, no. I wouldn’t myself unless topping off for an award. But topping off for an award )vs buying points) is certainly a time when it makes sense.

marriott bonvoy american express transfer bonus

Decreased earning opportunities for Bonvoy points

If you value Marriott Bonvoy points, whether for 5th night free award redemptions at high end properties like the W Maldives, or to transfer to airline partners (60,000 Bonvoy gets you 25,000 airline miles on 41 partners including many that you cannot transfer to from any other program, like Asiana), your non-hotel methods for earning Bonvoy was greatly reduced after the SPG merger.

With the Marriott Bonvoy credit cards now offering just 2 points per dollar on every day spend (the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card earns 4x Bonvoy points at US restaurants, gas stations, shipping, and wireless telephone service), you could easily earn more Marriott points by earning, for example 4X points at grocery stores and on dining with the Amex Gold card and transferring with this bonus for a 5.2 Bonvoy points per dollar yield vs. 2 on the Marriott Bonvoy credit cards. Even the Amex Blue Business Plus would earn 2X Membership Rewards per dollar X 1.3 in this promo for 2.6 Bonvoy points per dollar vs. 2 on the Marriott Bonvoy credit cards.

Long story short, while you are definitely not maximizing your American Express Membership Rewards credit card points with this deal, it may be worthwhile for some Bonvoy point addicts.

Cathay Pacific 10% Transfer Bonus from Amex/Citi

Many people use Cathay Pacific to book Oneworld flights, especially if they aren’t rich in American Airlines miles. The biggest downside with Cathay Pacific’s AsiaMiles program (in my view) is that no points transfer to them instantly and they won’t hold awards. They are also The way to Lower BA Business Class Surcharges by 42% or More

Until this week, points also had a firm expiration date that couldn’t be extended, but that changed January first with a new policy allowing for points expiration to be extended indefinitely with activity.

People also complain about long call center times, but I’ve recently found their online chat to be very fast and efficient. It’s a great addition to AsiaMiles.

This transfer bonus is a bit different than normal. 

It’s Cathay Pacific itself offering the bonus when you transfer from an eligible bank. While a variety of bank partners are eligible globally, Amex and Citi are the relevant ones. They are not including Capital One transfers in the offer.

You’ll need to pre-register at this link.

As well the points won’t transfer instantly. “The Extra Miles will be credited to Registered Member’s Asia Miles account within 8 to 10 weeks after the end date of the Promotion Period. Members shall notify Asia Miles Limited if they do not receive the Extra Miles by 31 May 2020.”

So, it’s nice to get extra AsiaMiles, but if you need 90,000 miles for an award now, you can’t transfer 82,000. You’d still need to transfer 90,000 and then you’d wind up with a bonus 9,000 miles later.

What I’m *really* hoping for is a Citi transfer bonus to come along during the offer period. They have offered 15-20% bonuses before on their side and it would be a great stack. We’ll have to see.

(HT to VFTW for this)

Thoughts?

Let me know here, on Twitter, or in the private MilesTalk Facebook group.

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.