Where to transfer AMEX Reward points

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Credit Cards' started by Roy, Jul 20, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Roy

    Roy

    I have 2 million reward points that I am planning to move from AMEX Rewards. (I know it would be best to leave them there and use as needed, but my current situation doesn't allow this.)

    As my wife & I are permanent Gold, my primary carrier has been AA

    The only way I can see to accomplish a transfer to AA is thru SPG; however, the conversion from AMEX to SPG is one Reward point to 1/3 SPG point. This values my 2 MM AMEX points at 666,000 SPG points, not a good deal in my estimation.

    Therefore, I am reaching out to the community. I was leaning towards converting to BA at one AMEX point to 1.5 BA miles during the current promotion ending this month.

    Now I read that there is a similar bonus converting one AMEX point to 1.5 Delta miles.

    I have read numerous negative comments about working thru BA for award travel on other members of the alliance.

    Converting to DL miles moves me into a different alliance entirely, though my wife and I have substantial miles with DL.

    I'm looking for direction and seeking any other suggestions for this conversion of AMEX points.

    I am pretty much at the end of my mileage accumulation days. This is for our retirement travel so I am looking to maximize the miles in our accounts.

    Thank you for your input and assistance.

    RJ
     
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  2. JohnDeere19
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    JohnDeere19 Gold Member

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  3. JohnDeere19
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    JohnDeere19 Gold Member

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  4. miles and smiles
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    miles and smiles Gold Member

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    The Points Guy had a post this morning about the pros and cons of these two transfer bonuses:
    http://thepointsguy.com/
    Also, please note that if you transfer at least 100,000 points to Delta, you get 25,000 elite bonus miles which will give you silver medallion status if you have no status on Delta yet.
     
  5. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Even as a Silver, you will find it extremely hard to obtain low award availability on DL. What Silver would give you is shorter lines in most airports, early boarding (ahead of the kettles but not with higher level elites), and a free bag. In doing the calculations, you should assume that you will be lucky to get off season awards at medium level and more desirable ones calculated as a single high RT. The exception would be if you are able to book award tickets close to your travel dates. However, the good news is that DL miles don't expire any more, they just disintegrate to being worth nothing.
     
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  6. smh88

    smh88 Silver Member

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    There are many good ways to spread it out but diversity will give you options in my opinion. I like having miles in multiple alliance's. i recently took advantage of the 40% transfer option and move a large chunk to BA. I am also planning on doing the same to have some star alliance choices. In My opinion the value with Delta is not so good but everyone has been speaking very highly about ANA and Aeroplan that i plan to transfer to them for additional options and flexibility .. Another factor to keep in mind is expiration dates related to non activity in an account.
     
  7. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    You should consider diversifying! Because ff program rules change ... And because different alliances are stronger in different regions, I'd look to use two (or potentially three) accounts to transfer to. Any more than that and you'll start getting too diluted.

    DL doesn't expire, but often costs more in terms of miles. BA has extendable expiry (any account activity extends the expiration). Ba has great availability over the atlantic, but hits you with a few hundred in fuel surcharges and taxes. AC and ANA have more restrictive expirations, iirc, but some of the best redemption rates.

    If you're looking at your likely travel over the coming five years, are there places that you'd particularly like to go to? Which carriers get you there the easiest? Do you like to sit in front on the plane, or are happy with an economy seat? Perhaps make your budget for each destination, pick the logical carrier for each, and move the right amount of points to each.

    Another question is how close are you to 2 million miles on AA? (lifetime platinum). If you are within 250k, it might be worth the SPG two-step to get enough points to AA now. There has been chatter about changes to the qualifications for the million mile program at AA. If you're close, it might be worth doing.

    Without knowing more about your future travel plans, I'd probably do something like this:
    750k to BA (nets you 1.1m)
    750k to DL (1.1m net)
    500k to ac-Aeroplan

    If I was close on 2mm, I'd haircut each of these amounts by enough to do a transfer to AA to hit 2mm and get lifetime platinum.

    You might consider the chase BA visa too. This card comes with a 2-4-1 coupon which allows you a companion ticket on an award ticket each year. You have to spend $30k a year to get the coupon, but assuming you book a business class ticket to Europe with these vouchers, 100k miles would get you two tickets, not just one, with this voucher. You will need to pay taxes and fuel fees on both award seats.

    finally, I'm curious why you must move the points from Amex. I have a hunch that you earned these points from business spending on a corporate Amex card. Now you are retiring, and the corp card goes away. You should be able to open a personal Amex account and link it to your work rewards account such that the rewards points will survive the cancellation of your work card.

    Please let us know what you decide...and where you take your first trip to!
     
    jwsky likes this.
  8. Roy

    Roy

    Thank you all for your terrific input. I am hoping I can lend my expertise to future discussions.

    Regardless of what I do with the balance, I will be moving at least the minimum transfer to DL for Silver status for my wife & I.

    Still waffling on the transfer to BA or DL.

    Does someone have the scoop on what's coming from AMEX Rewards in August? I will likely wait until 1 August to see if they introduce new bonus' or transfer options more suitable for my wife and I.

    Will let the community know where I finally land.

    Many thanks again for your gracious input.

    RJ
     
  9. MyTravels
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    MyTravels Silver Member

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    Just a reminder, the BA 50% ends tomorrow (July 31st)
     

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