Where would you park 225K in MR points?

Discussion in 'American Express | Membership Rewards' started by prncess674, Apr 14, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. I have just over 229K in MR and will probably be getting rid of my AMEX. I am trying to decide what is the best program to park my points?

    I think I am pretty maxed oout on Star Alliance since I have:
    • 725K in Continental
    • 400K in United
    My only OneWorld miles are
    • 150K in AA
    My hotel points are:
    • 450K in SPG
    • 400K in Hilton
    I am trying to not put too many eggs in one basket. So I was trying to find the best place to park the miles. I am not really interested in trading in for gift cards since that seems like not the best of points and would like to keep my travel options open.
     
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  2. Randy Petersen
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    Randy Petersen Founder

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    First of all --- impressive balances.

    It seems a given that you will be giving up the AmEx card and as for parking, there is likely some debate over whether to go with hotel points as they give you the most flexibility (hotel or into miles), but the fact remains, they really aren't good for parking because while you could convert to miles later on and get tow choice -- hotel rooms or airline miles, the fact is that the eventual conversion would let you down. While MR has a wide variety of international airline partners, I've seen many a member get burned because of the far more restrictive expiration policies of some of those programs. Into hotel points, HHonors gives you more points because of their conversion rate, but it's not about conversion, it's about the end reward choice so if you are thinking hotel, make sure you know a general range of properties you might be interested in and do some simple math.

    As for miles. Well, miles are just miles. Any you convert to will get you where you want to go and without knowing what your final goal is, the subtle differences of their award charts are in the details.

    Here's what I'd do—if miles are your poison, then I'd simply know the timetable you intend to leave that AmEx card, and simply redeem into the program which will give you the best conversion with bonus. Many of the MR partners have had recent conversion promos and whatever is the most timely would get my conversion, again knowing that later on pretty much every program could get me where i'm going and with your balances, it does not appear you need to top anything off. As for hotels, the simple math test should tell you but you might not want to overlook Priority Club, though you don't have any points there now. They have a few low end awards that are pretty valuable compared to most any other program.

    More later, but for me ... the bonus is the decision maker against your timetable.
     
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  3. thrashsoundly
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    thrashsoundly Silver Member

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    I agree, a bonus would make me choose one program over another, however, one suggestion would be finding a way to put them in AA so that you can work toward a lifetime elite status.
     
  4. joesmoe
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    joesmoe Gold Member

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    Aeroplan mini-rtw.
     
  5. KyRoamer
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    KyRoamer Gold Member

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    Your points are worth a minimum of $2,290 dollars. Consider gift cards. Or use miles to buy tickets.

    Still, used for business/first class travel gives you the best bank for the buck. Perhaps British Airways would be a good bet. The 100,000 mile credit card bonus may still be available. I'd check on that.

    If you are still flying/spending and getting new miles, maybe the cash types options are best. Otherwise park them somewhere and enjoy.

    As to Star Alliance, if you want to take family members with you or give tickets as gifts maybe a few more Continental miles would be a smart move.
     
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  6. BeachMiles
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    BeachMiles Gold Member

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    I am not an Amex MR expert, but could the OP just open a different Amex MR card with first year fee waived , close the original card. Thus keeping the MR point account alive for another year?
     
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  7. Yes, I will probably just open another AMEX to give me a year to think about it.
     
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  8. LAXtraveler
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    LAXtraveler Gold Member

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    What are people's thoughts on a promotion for a transfer to CO before 9/30 of this year? Likely, unlikely?
     
  9. dkelly1110
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    dkelly1110 Silver Member

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    Slim to none and slim just left town.
     
  10. LAXtraveler
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    LAXtraveler Gold Member

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    So you're optimistic about the prospect, huh? :D
     
  11. bubb1
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    bubb1 Silver Member

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    Agreed, but Amex has really been pushing the value of their Plat card this year with the CO departure (airline fee credit, priority pass, global entry fee). Let's hope they add some partners or negotiate some big bonuses to existing ones to increase the value of MR as well.
     
  12. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    Why not take advantage of this offer with Delta and receive a 40% mileage bonus?
    http://dmn.delta.com/offers/servingupmiles/
    In addition Delta miles no longer expire, so parking them with DL seems to be a good place to sit them.
     
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  13. LAXtraveler
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    LAXtraveler Gold Member

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    I would agree with you except for that redeeming on DL costs so many more miles and just doesn't seem to be worth the premium.
     
  14. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    Wow, I did not realize redemption rates were so bad on DL that a 40% bonus could not compensate for it.
    . :(
     
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  15. LXJenkins
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    LXJenkins Silver Member

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    Maybe I'm lucky, but I've never had a problem using my Delta miles for international travel - granted, they were usually on other SkyTeam carriers. ;)
     
  16. toddreg
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    toddreg Silver Member

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    Can you convert to Starwood hotel points and then convert to AA points getting the 5000 bonus for each 20,000 you transfer to AA?
     
  17. dkelly1110
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    dkelly1110 Silver Member

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    3:1 devaluation from MR to SPG. Don't do it. Park them at BA if you're dying for OW miles. If need be, you can book one OW award with AA and one with BA.
     
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  18. tassojunior
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    tassojunior Silver Member

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    No brainer- BA with the 50% bonus through 7/30.

    No transfer tax as with domestic carriers.

    Good for LAN and CX.

    Good for AA with free stopovers.

    35K year round to Hawaii while through AA 35K is off-peak only.
     
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  19. jumpdogjump
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    jumpdogjump Silver Member

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    If you're into taking care of wedding/birthday gifts for the next few years plus a couple for yourself, how about 28 $100 certs at Ruth's Chris with the 25% bonus this month? (If you go this route, Conv. me for my birthday & mailing address!)

    BA is the best deal for now for use on on non-BA carriers, but the specter of devaluation can rear its ugly head at anytime...

    political-pictures-alan-greenspan-inflation-mighty-interest-rates.jpg
     
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