New Limited-Time Transfer Bonuses With AMEX Membership Rewards

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If you collect American Express Membership Rewards points, check your account for targeted transfer bonus offers!

Until November 30, 2014, you could get a bonus of 33% to 50% when you transfer points to JetBlue, Virgin Atlantic, Starwood Preferred Guest, or Hilton.

But not everyone will get the same offers!  You have to log-in to see if you’ve been targeted.

New Limited Time Transfer Bonuses With AMEX Membership Rewards

Check Your American Express Membership Rewards Account for Targeted Transfer Bonus Offers

I wrote about the 50% bonus Starwood Preferred Guest transfer (targeted to Platinum and Centurion cardholders) and the Virgin Atlantic 40% bonus.  Let’s see if the other deals are worth it!

How Does It Work?

Link:   American Express Membership Rewards

Folks can earn American Express Membership Rewards points from these credit cards:

Personal CardsBusiness Cards
Premier Rewards Gold Card From American ExpressThe Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN
American Express® Mercedes-Benz PlatinumThe Blue for Business® Credit Card from American Express
The Platinum Card® from American ExpressThe Enhanced Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN
AMEX EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express
Business Green Rewards Card from American Express OPEN
AMEX EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express
American Express® Gold Card
American Express® Green Card
Blue from American Express® Note: These are the ONLY AMEX cards that earn Membership Rewards points that can NOT be transferred to airline & hotel programs. But you can use these points on the Membership Rewards website for other redemptions. Includes personal AND small business versions of the card.

Once you’ve signed-in to your American Express Membership Rewards account, select the “Travel” menu and under “Transfer Points,” click “Get Started.”

New Limited Time Transfer Bonuses With AMEX Membership Rewards

Click “Get Started” to See If You’ve Been Targeted for an Offer

You’ll see the words “Special Offer” above travel partners with a transfer bonus.

New Limited Time Transfer Bonuses With AMEX Membership Rewards

My Offers Include Virgin Atlantic, but Yours Might Be Different!

Here are the offers you could get when you transfer Membership Rewards points:

New Limited Time Transfer Bonuses With AMEX Membership Rewards

Transfer Points to JetBlue and Get a 40% Bonus

Virgin Atlantic 35% Bonus

Link:   Virgin Atlantic Award Chart

Link:   My Review of the Virgin Atlantic 35% Transfer Bonus

Normally, American Express Membership Rewards points transfer to Virgin Atlantic at a 1:1 ratio, and transfers must be made in 1,000 point increments.

But if you’ve been targeted for this offer, you’ll get 1,350 Virgin Atlantic miles for every 1,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points you transfer.

New Limited Time Transfer Bonuses With AMEX Membership Rewards

London Calling: Get 35% More Miles When You Transfer AMEX Points to Virgin Atlantic

I wrote that this could be a good deal for coach award tickets, or if you need to top-off your Virgin Atlantic account.

For example, you could fly from New York to London in coach 1-way for 13,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points (because with this promotion they transfer to the necessary ~17,500 Virgin Atlantic miles), plus ~$135. 

The fuel surcharges on Premium Economy and Upper Class tickets can be expensive, so this might not be for everyone!

But if you use your Virgin Atlantic miles for Hawaiian Airlines tickets, you won’t pay fuel surcharges.

Or you could transfer miles to Hilton at a 2:3 ratio.

JetBlue 40% Bonus

Link:   JetBlue Awards

Some folks will get a targeted offer for a 40% JetBlue transfer bonus.

Usually, the transfer ratio is 250 AMEX Membership Rewards points to 200 JetBlue points.  But with this deal, you’ll get 280 JetBlue points when you transfer 250 AMEX Membership Rewards points.

New Limited Time Transfer Bonuses With AMEX Membership Rewards

JetBlue’s Seats Are Roomier and You Get a Free Checked Bag!

JetBlue has a revenue-based frequent flyer program, which means the number of points you need for an award ticket depends on the cash price of the ticket.

I searched for round-trip coach class flights from New York to Los Angeles in December, and the cheapest tickets cost 27,500 JetBlue points plus ~$11.

New Limited Time Transfer Bonuses With AMEX Membership Rewards

You’ll Pay 27,500 Points and ~$11 for a Round-Trip JetBlue Flight Between New York and Los Angeles

With the American Express transfer bonus, you’d need to transfer 24,750 Membership Rewards points to get 27,720 JetBlue points (because points only transfer in 250 point increments).

That’s not the greatest deal, because on airlines like United Airlines and American Airlines, it costs 25,000 miles for a round-trip, domestic coach class ticket.  So you’re saving a marginal number of points.

This could be a better deal on short-haul, less expensive routes.  It depends on the price of the ticket!

Note: There’s excise fee of 0.06 cents per point (maximum of $99), when you transfer American Express Membership Rewards points to US airlines.

Starwood Preferred Guest 50% Bonus

Link:   Starwood Preferred Guest Award Chart

Link:   My Review of the Starwood Preferred Guest 50% Bonus

A 50% bonus on transfers to Starwood Preferred Guest sounds like a great deal, but remember that American Express Membership Rewards points usually transfer to Starwood at a ratio of 1,000 AMEX points to 333 Starwood points (3:1).

So with this deal, the ratio becomes 2:1, or 1,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points to 500 Starwood points.

According to folks on FlyerTalk, this offer is only targeted to American Express Platinum and Centurion cardholders.

New Limited Time Transfer Bonuses With AMEX Membership Rewards

You Could Use Starwood Points to Stay at the Westin Moana Surfrider in Honolulu

I wrote that I wouldn’t recommend transferring AMEX Membership Rewards points to Starwood Preferred Guest, even with the transfer bonus, unless you need points to top-off your account for an award stay or transfer to airline partners.

That’s because even with the bonus, the transfer ratio is still not very good.

Hilton 33% Bonus

Link:   Hilton Awards

The normal transfer ratio between American Express Membership Rewards and Hilton is 1,000 Membership Rewards points to 1,500 Hilton points.  With this offer, you’ll get 2,000 Hilton points for every 1,000 Membership Rewards points you transfer.

New Limited Time Transfer Bonuses With AMEX Membership Rewards

Use Hilton Points to Escape the Cold at the Conrad Miami

For example, an award night at the Conrad Miami costs 50,000 Hilton points.  With the transfer bonus, you’d need 25,000 American Express Membership Rewards points for a hotel stay worth $209.

New Limited Time Transfer Bonuses With AMEX Membership Rewards

Your 25,000 American Express Membership Rewards Points Are Worth $209 at the Conrad Miami

I don’t usually recommend transferring American Express Membership Rewards points to Hilton (because you can get much more value transferring them elsewhere, like airlines).

And there are lots of other ways to get Hilton points!

But if you need some points to top-off an account, this might be a good deal for you.

Bottom Line

American Express Membership Rewards is offering targeted transfer bonuses to JetBlue, Virgin Atlantic, Starwood Hotels, and Hilton until November 30, 2014.

Sign-in to your account to see which offers you’re eligible for.

You could get a good deal by transferring points with these bonuses, but I generally wouldn’t recommend doing so unless you have a specific need for points or you want to top-off an account.

Which offers did you get?  Will you be transferring American Express Membership Rewards points to make the most of the bonus?

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5 responses to “New Limited-Time Transfer Bonuses With AMEX Membership Rewards

  1. I’m glad to see Amex is offering bonuses to make terrible transfers just bad transfers now….

    What happened to the Avios transfer bonuses of old? 🙁

  2. Darrius, I got the 35% Virgin Atlantic offer and the 33% Hilton offer. I have 52,000 points.
    Should I transfer to Virgin Atlantic or wait for British Airways (bonus) and then use locally the BA miles for Hawaii?

  3. thanks for this fantastic information. I checked my AMEX account and discovered I was targeted by Virgin. Bummer. Never fliown them. Heard good things but Jetblue woukd have been ideal.
    Maybe next time.

  4. I received both the Virgin and JetBlue bonuses, and I’ve actually been considering cleaning out my MR account and canceling or downgrading my Platinum card before the annual fee is due in May. Hmmmm…