What should I do with Amex membership reward points

Discussion in 'American Express | Membership Rewards' started by james meyer, Sep 25, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. I have 1.5 million Amex mr points and I also have 800,000 already transferred to Delta ?skymiles?.
    We travel 4 to 6 times per year, one being overseas. I have a business where people travel domestically. I have until Sept 30 to transfer some to Continental. We have previously used miles to purchase award Business class for international travel.
    What should we consider doing with the 1,500,000 Amex mr points?
     
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  2. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    A good, common and time sensitive question.

    The first question to ask is if you use CO miles for double-miles (enhanced capacity) awards - or do you stick to the saver awards? If you just use the lowest miles j awards, then you really have no issue - in that ANA and Aeroplan will remain Amex partners. Frankly, to parts of Europe, ANA will cost you fewer miles than CO will!

    If you do use the double miles awards, then you should consider a co transfer before the deadline. If you do make a transfer, maintain a little diversity. Amex points are among the most flexible out there. Beyond DL, they've been running a lot of BA-oriented bonuses. Those, coupled with the BA 2-4-1 miles coupons can be very, very powerful. BA has the best tatl premium award availability...but also the largest surcharges on award tickets!

     
  3. JohnDeere19
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    JohnDeere19 Gold Member

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    No need to transfer them right away if you don't have an immediate need for them, except for the issue with CO leaving very soon. Like NY Banker said though, Aeroplan remains an option for *A travel (albeit a devalued one), but there are still some good deals to be found on their award chart (I'd avoid ANA because of the fuel surcharges they impose). I think BA is a great option, especially if you can earn enough to get the 2-4-1 voucher with the Chase BA card, but I'd say wait for a promotion like their recent 50% bonus to transfer any over there (and a little more clarity to come out of their new Avios program) if you're in no immediate hurry.

    Oh and 1.5 million membership rewards points :eek: I wish I had that problem!
     
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  4. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Given your travel volume, I'd think about transferring them to alliances on which you don't fly much, so that you can take advantage of premium carriers that you wouldn't otherwise experience. For instance, if you're a UA/CO flyer, you can use those miles on *A, but it could be fun to transfer them to BA sometime and use them for IFC on CX. Given the flexibility, I'd be reluctant to transfer them until there's either a fantastic bonus for transfers into a program you can use or until you see a specific award you want. Of course, another strategy that works well for some is to have AmEx buy a ticket with your MR points, so that it earns status miles and is eligible for upgrades.
     
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  5. Jimgotkp
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    Jimgotkp Gold Member

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    If you really don't know what to do with it, feel free to transfer them to me. I will use it well! ;)
     
  6. NYBanker
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    Re Aeroplan, though they just had a re-valuation, they are still competitive.
     
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  7. Jaimito Cartero
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    Jaimito Cartero Silver Member

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    I shuddered at the 800k DL mileage amount. I assume you just went with DL for the bonus. Normally I wouldn't recommend transferring any to DL, as they seem to have a horrid FF plan, lose all your miles if you cancel within 72 hours of flight, crazy amount of miles for many awards, etc.

    If you generate a lot of Amex MR, I'd probably transfer about half of what you have into the program before they leave it. If you don't generate a lot, I'd still transfer 500k. I use CO awards quite a bit, and even on accounts as a base user find them way better than DL for a lot of awards. Having miles in a few different programs is always wise.
     
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  8. MSPeconomist
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    What do we know about future CO (UA) award charts? Is there a commitment not to raise the miles required for award tickets?
     
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  9. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    a strategy I try to stick to,having points/miles in a few airlines & a few hotels has come in handy many a time.
    agreed some of the most flexible out there but AMEX is not always a great ratio when being transferred, SPG is an example of a poor ratio as roughly 3 amex = 1 spg.

    Speaking of flexibility, I must have missed the memo re: the new safeguard that AMEX has put in. Basically one used to be able to transfer AMEX into anyone's hotel or airline account w/o the names matching. I just went to transfer some of my AMEX to another party & there is now a verification step by the hotel/airline. If true this brings the flexibility of AMEX down a few notches.
     
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  10. NYBanker
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    It depends on how many miles you have in total, and how set your destinations are. Once you're in the multi-million club and you're going to want to go to a variety of destinations, having one carrier in each alliance is a good approach. If your travel is highly concentrated to one spot, or you only have 500k or less miles, then one carrier is the way to go.

    SPG is probably the worst example...but there have been two transfer promotions in the last year or so which makes it a little less painful. SPG is also valuable as an ace-in-the-hole (albeit an expensive one), in that they offer more outward transfer options (with a little bonus for 20k xfers out).

    Beyond SPG or Diners (the later of which you can't currently sign up for in the US), what other points offer more flexibility?
     
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  11. NYBanker
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    Frankly, this makes Aeroplan one of the best (though there's no deadline to transfer to them at present), simply because they just did the re-val, so you know what you've got for a while.
     
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  12. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    trading with others:D
     
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  13. julielou2
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    julielou2 Silver Member

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    Do you have enough to buy an island?
     
  14. julielou2
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    julielou2 Silver Member

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    Yankee stadium turf is now on sale for only 6800 points. If you buy enough you should be able to create your own field of dreams.
     

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