American Express Membership Rewards - how would you maximize 800K amex points, CAN
Jul 26, 12, 11:41 am
We have two platinum AE card, the platinum and the Aeroplan plat card. We will keep the aeroplan since as a charter member, I get 1.6 aeroplan miles per dollar and are looking at cancelling our platinum card .
We have accumulated 800,000 points on the personal platinum card and prior to cancelling the card, would like your suggestions on the best value to redeem the points.
Here is some background:
Merchandise or gift card redemption values are low.
Airlines are where the points can be leveraged for best value, however, I am a SE with AC and have over a million Aeroplan points, so it doesn't make sense to convert the Amex points to aeroplan points.
The tripflex option allows a credit of 1% rebate on the actual dollar spent on travel. In this case, would it make sense to spend the cash and get the $8,000 or is it better to redeem for hotel. Hilton has 1:1 redemption for Amex points:Hilton Honors points. Having gone through the Hilton board and reading about the devaluation of the HH points, I am not so sure that is such a good idea.
Would anyone have any suggestions on the best way to use up the points? Thanks.
Jul 26, 12, 1:23 pm
In the US at least, you can transfer Amex points to Virgin Atlantic, often with 25-30% bonus, and then transfer 1:2 to Hilton, for a much better effective redemption rate (unto 2.6 per MR point). Similar works for Hawaiian Airlines too, although I've never seen a bonus for Hawaiian. Maybe worth looking into.
Sounds to me, though, that you are not spending your miles/points as fast as you're earning them. Maybe you need to take more luxury holidays and enjoy them!
Alas, Virgin Atlantic is not a transfer partner in the Canadian version Membership Rewards. The Canadian transfer partners are here:
(In the USA, note that while it is possible to transfer AX > VS > HH it is not possible to transfer AX > HA > HH because Hawaiian explicitly blocks the re-transfer of points received from external programs.)
Jul 27, 12, 1:00 am
Thanks, mia. How about via Starwood? 10,000 Amex-> 5,000 Starwood -> 6,250 Virgin -> 12,500 Hilton? There may be some minimum transfer rules, leaving some points "stranded", but it sounds like madras has plenty, so it shouldn't make much difference. 1:1.25 sounds better than 1:1. That being said, I value Starwood as ~3x more valuable than Hilton, so maybe it's best just to keep them in Starwood?
Jul 27, 12, 1:22 am
At 2 for 1 with Starwood, thats 50% Better than US Amex cardholders can transfer. And around 3 times better value IMHO than HiltonH. So it's a No Brainer.
For 400,000 SPG Points you could live in 5 Star Luxury at Le Meridien - Chiang Rai in Thailand for almost 4 months. OK Thats an extreme example. There's not many Cat 2..5 Star Hotels.
Jul 27, 12, 1:21 pm
Thanks to everyone for your suggestions. Kari, you right.....I have been too busy to use my points earlier, but will be looking at doing so soon. Uncledude, the redemption from Amex points to Starwood is 50%, so 800,000 points is 400,000 spg points. I will check out the Starwood to get a better understanding of their program.
Jul 27, 12, 1:39 pm
Why would you want to cancel this beautiful card? It is an iconic card, giving you a wealth of benefits the AeroPlatinum card can never reach. Not to mention the AeroPlatinum card looks like an Interac....
If you plan to cancel, at least wait for a point-transfer promotion. BA was running 50% bonus on transfers earlier and with the RBC Avion card this promotion seems to run annually. I would wait for it and transfer then. 800,000MR points = 1,200,000 BA Avios miles =
EIGHT FIRST CLASS TICKETS ON BRITISH AIRWAYS TO MOSCOW.
(valued at $100,000, perhaps)
Better than getting an $8,000 credit towards travel by using the MR points at 100/$ rate....
Jul 27, 12, 2:16 pm
I used to have the plat corp card and used it exclusively. With the point reductions from 1.5 to 1.25 per dollar spent for the personal Amex plat card, and the 699 membership fee, I don't think it is worth having having this card. I haven't been using the card for the last few years and it is time to let it go.