Transfer American Express Membership Rewards: BA vs. CO?

Discussion in 'American Express | Membership Rewards' started by PAinNY, Mar 10, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. PAinNY
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    PAinNY Silver Member

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    Hi,
    Posting this for a friend who has American Express Rewards. They are thinking of starting in with new credit cards to get miles etc. They now have about 250,000 AX MR. They were assuming they could transfer them to any airline on a 1:1 basis but at looking at the mileage calculator at www.webflyer.com/programs/mileage_converter that doesn't look possible.
    On One World they could go with BA or Iberia to get equal miles and on Star Alliance they can go with Continental but not United for a 1:1 exchange - it's all overwhelming to me and with the United/Continental merger I am assuming they will not be able to transfer there in the near future.
    Bottom line - they would like to eventually do a trip originating in NYC or MIA and fly to California and then somewhere in Asia and land up in Australia. I know this is asking too much but can anyone advise whether they should put there miles in BA (to use OneWorld) or Continental (to us Star Alliance)? Whichever they land up doing then they would try to get a credit card with that airline and of course the bonus sign up. Hope this wasn't too confusing and thanks in advance for any help
    Pat
     
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  2. Mackieman
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    Mackieman Gold Member

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    Welcome. :)

    CO/UA announced just this week the ability to move redeemable miles between CO and UA accounts, and given that the AMEX relationship with CO is expiring, if the Star Alliance and/or UA is where you want those miles to be, now may not be a bad time to make those transfers. More information is available in the UA forum.
     
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  3. PAinNY
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    PAinNY Silver Member

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    Thanks Mackieman - I will go over to UA and read more
    Pat
     
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  4. misman
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    misman Gold Member

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    This is the thread Mackieman referenced. it was a pretty quick and easy process for me to transfer my miles from CO to UA.
     
  5. PAinNY
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    PAinNY Silver Member

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    Thank you Duke City - didn't get back here until this evening and you made my life easier:)
    Pat
     
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  6. FlyingFree
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    FlyingFree Gold Member

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    I'd concur...transfer your AMEX miles to CO, and then to UA...and then good luck booking your reward tix to Australia!
     
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  7. PAinNY
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    PAinNY Silver Member

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    That looks perfect for them with the transfer - they will be thrilled!

    Thanks all
    Pat
     
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  8. PAinNY
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    PAinNY Silver Member

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    I am back again - too late at night for my mind to be working...but...here's the question. They can transfer to CO on a 1:1 basis but why is it necessary to then transfer to UA. Does UA offer better awards to Australia?
    Thanks again
    Pat
     
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  9. iamthehpt

    iamthehpt Silver Member

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    I would recommend that you also take a look at converting the points (when needed) to Air Canada's Aeroplan. Aeroplan has award tickets to Australia and Asia and even a mini round the world trip with stops in Europe and Asia for 100K in business, 120K to 140Kin first.
     
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  10. iamthehpt

    iamthehpt Silver Member

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  11. FlyingFree
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    FlyingFree Gold Member

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    I have not tried to book awards to Australia since the UA/CO merger began (no doubt there are many others on MP who have) ...you're correct in that you may be able to book the awards on UA metal with CO miles...but I do know that for a variety of reasons, things don't always work logically, and you may find availability to Australia thru CO, and if that doesn't work, you have UA as an option. Good luck!
     
  12. misman
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    misman Gold Member

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    I think the point was that you CAN get them to UA, but you need to get the to CO first. If you are going to do this, I would get the process started quickly before the Amex/CO relationship ends.
     
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  13. PAinNY
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    PAinNY Silver Member

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    Thank you everyone - yes - I think it makes sense to transfer their points to CO NOW before it's too late. Sounds like the best option for them - they barely know how to answer an email so I will give them a call now and explain what you helpful people have explained to me. Many thanks
    Pat
     
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  14. samonyc
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    samonyc Silver Member

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    To the OP, your friends may have more routing options to Australia on OW or *A, but there's a Delta promotion they should consider: http://dmn.delta.com/offers/getmore/

    Until May 31, first-time transfers get a 50% bonus in SkyMiles, and transfers of 50,000 points or more earn 25,000 MQMs too. With their MR balance, these bonuses might even be enough to get to Australia in J even at SkyMiles' inflated rates.
     
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  15. PAinNY
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    PAinNY Silver Member

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    Thanks samonyc - that's yet another option. I am going to present them with all the options and they have a few of them and have to make up their minds quickly. I think they would love flying in J!
    I have to find out where they have miles and go from there.
    Pat
     
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  16. samonyc
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    samonyc Silver Member

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    Glad to help, but I might have underestimated the miles required for biz rewards to Australia. It would depend on where in Asia they want to stop. All three alliances can get you from NYC to California to Tokyo, but I think it is fair to say SkyTeam has more coverage in East Asia than the others. Do warn your friends they would have to call Delta to get such an award ticket. It's virtually impossible to do it online. Also, those 25,000 MQMs would give one of them elite status, which would help with reward availability a bit.
     
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  17. PAinNY
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    I am warning them for sure! LOL - they have no idea and they are not ones to take long vacations. I am sure they would be happy to stop anywhere just to break up the trip. I don't think they have ever been to NRT so that's an option.
    I am writing up their options for them and will let them take it from there.
    Thanks again, Pat
     
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  18. GB7

    GB7

    Just joined this forum and noticed the posting regarding the Air Canada mini RTW awards.
    For those miles in business or first it seems to be a great offer. Most other airlines will barely fly you across the pond for those numbers.
     
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  19. There is also a 40% mileage bonus for BA mile transfers.
     
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