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If you collect American Express Membership Rewards points, check your account for targeted transfer bonus offers!
But not everyone will get the same offers! You have to log-in to see if you’ve been targeted.
How Does It Work?
Once you’ve signed-in to your American Express Membership Rewards account, select the “Travel” menu and under “Transfer Points,” click “Get Started.”
You’ll see the words “Special Offer” above travel partners with a transfer bonus
Here are the offers you could get when you transfer Membership Rewards points:
Virgin Atlantic 35% 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?