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Amex announces 12 new transfer bonuses up to 40% for airline and hotel partners

American Express announced a dozen transfer bonuses to their hotel and airline partners.

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American Express Membership Rewards continue to prove their value. On Wednesday, Amex temporarily raised the transfer ratios of 12 of their hotel and airlines partners.

Simply put, your Amex Membership Rewards are now worth more during this promotion. So if you're planning on booking travel by transferring American Express Membership Rewards, be sure to take advantage of this promotion soon, as you'll get much more value from your points.

Here's what you need to know.

American Express Membership Rewards transfer bonuses

American Express cards that earn Membership Rewards points are able to transfer their points to 18 different airline loyalty programs and 3 hotel loyalty programs. The advantage of earning flexible points is that cardholders are able to earn rewards that can be used with a multitude of travel providers, rather than earning rewards with one singular brand. Plus, you can take advantage of sweet spots in each rewards program.

Here are the current transfer ratio promotions running, and when each offer ends.

Amex transfer bonuses

Partner programTransfer bonusCurrent transfer ratioEnd date
Aer Lingus AerClub40%1,000 Amex Membership Rewards = 1,400 Aer Lingus MilesSept. 30
Aeromexico Club Premier25%1,000 Amex Membership Rewards = 2,000 Aeromexico MilesSept. 30
Air Canada Aeroplan20%1,000 Amex Membership Rewards = 1,200 Aeroplan MilesSept. 30
Air France-KLM Flying Blue25%1,000 Amex Membership Rewards = 1,250 Flying Blue MilesSept. 30
Avianca LifeMiles15%1,000 Amex Membership Rewards = 1,150 Avianca LifemilesSept. 30
British Airways Executive Club40%1,000 Amex Membership Rewards = 1,400 British Airways AviosSept. 30
Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles25%1,000 Amex Membership Rewards = 1,250 Hawaiian Airlines milesSept. 30
Iberia Plus40%1,000 Amex Membership Rewards = 1,400 Iberia MilesSept. 30
Qantas Frequent Flyer20%500 Amex Membership Rewards = 600 Qantas MilesSept. 30
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club30%1,000 Amex Membership Rewards = 1,300 Virgin Atlantic MilesSept. 30
Hilton Honors30%1,000 Amex Membership Rewards = 2,600 Hilton Honors pointsOct. 31
Marriott Bonvoy30%1,000 Amex Membership Rewards = 1,300 Marriott Bonvoy pointsOct. 31

To transfer your rewards, simply log in to your American Express account and find the section that says "explore rewards". Follow the prompts from there, and you will find a screen with a list of airline and hotel partners you can choose from. Lastly, you will need to link your airline or hotel loyalty account to your American Express account, and then you'll be ready to transfer your rewards.

This points and miles strategy is extremely effective for stretching the value of your rewards, which makes American Express credit cards desirable to have. Note that you'll need an Amex card that earns Membership Rewards points to transfer to airlines and hotels. Cards that earn these points include The Platinum Card® from American Express, the American Express® Gold Card and the American Express® Green Card

The Platinum Card® from American Express

On the American Express secure site
  • Rewards

    Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year, 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel, 1X points on all other eligible purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® points after spending $6,000 within 6 months of card membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.

  • Annual fee

    $695

  • Intro APR

    None

  • Regular APR

    See Pay Over Time APR

  • Balance transfer fee

    N/A

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit Needed

    Excellent/Good

See rates and fees, terms apply.

American Express® Gold Card

On the American Express secure site
  • Rewards

    4X Membership Rewards® points at Restaurants (plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.) and at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X), 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com, 1X points on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases within the first 6 months of card membership

  • Annual fee

    $250

  • Intro APR

    Not applicable

  • Regular APR

    18.24% - 25.24% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    N/A

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

See rates and fees, terms apply.

 

What to keep in mind when transferring points

There are a few nuances to keep in mind when transferring Amex rewards to airline and hotel programs.

  • Transfers sometimes do not process immediately, so give the transfer process a few hours to go through, and sometimes up to 24 hours.
  • In some cases, you may need to pay an excise tax when transferring to U.S.-based frequent flyer programs. You can pay this using your American Express card or with Amex points. You will find this prompt before you confirm your points transfer.

But most importantly, there are several outstanding redemptions to keep in mind if you are looking for a luxurious travel experience without spending all of your Amex points.

Amex transfer partner sweet spots

If your favorite airline is not listed, like American Airlines or United Airlines, there are still ways to redeem with those carriers through their partners. And if you're looking to fly in a premium first class cabin without paying thousands of dollars, this is the best way to save money while also enjoying a glass of champagne and comfortable seat 30,000 feet in the sky. Here are a few of the sweet spots to consider when using your American Express rewards:

American Airlines business/first class by transferring to Etihad guest

If you're looking to get a premium American Airlines seat you can get it much cheaper than booking with American Airlines miles. For a one-way first class ticket across the U.S. you'll pay a modest 32,500 miles. If you were to book with American Airlines, you may pay double or triple that.

Book Delta flights with Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic and Delta have a partnership where you can book Delta flights through Virgin Atlantic's Flying Club rewards program. Ironically, there are many cases where if you were to transfer your miles to Delta and book an identical flight, it will cost significantly more. So if you want to fly Delta on your next adventure, consider transferring your miles to VA instead.

And with the current transfer bonus, you'll need to move 30% fewer rewards from Amex to Virgin Atlantic for your preferred redemption.

United Airlines business class to Europe with ANA miles

One of the downsides of booking with miles is that some European-based airlines charge incredibly high fuel surcharges — sometimes upwards of $1,000 when booking premium cabins. Consider transferring your Amex points to ANA and booking a United Airlines business class flight to Europe for 88,000 miles round-trip. You'll avoid paying steep fees, all the while getting an incredible deal with miles.

Bottom line

American Express Membership Rewards are some of the most lucrative credit card reward points available because of the large variety of transfer partners. But before you jump at this promotion, be sure to do your research — you'll want to have a few redemptions in mind and make sure that there's award availability for your preferred itinerary.

Additionally, do the simple math to see what value you're getting from your points. Take the cost of the flight and divide by the number of points needed. If you're earning above 1 cent per point, you're doing better than other redemptions like booking through the Amex Travel Portal; anything above 2 cents per point and you're getting a great value.

For rates and fess of the Platinum Card from Amex, click here

For the rates and fees of the Amex Gold, click here

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.
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