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Transfer Membership Rewards points to which airline or hotel program?

Transfer Membership Rewards points to which airline or hotel program?

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Old Nov 26, 19, 2:11 pm   -   Wikipost
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Q. Where can I find a list of the airline and hotel transfer partners?

Partner airline and hotel programs, transfer ratios, and rules vary by the country where your American Express card is issued:

Australia: Airlines & Hotels

Canada: Airlines & Hotels

Germany: Airlines & Hotels

International Dollar & Euro Cards: Airlines, Hotels

New Zealand: Airlines & Hotels

UK: Airlines, Hotels

USA: Airlines & Hotels Transfer ratios explained below.


Q. What are the transfer ratios to USA airline and hotel partners?

For most frequent customer programs, 1,000 Membership Rewards points will equal 1,000 miles, points or credits and must be transferred in 1,000-point increments unless otherwise noted.

In the USA version of Membership Rewards the exceptions are:
El AL Israel Airlines: 1,000 points = 20 Matmid points
Hilton®: 1,000 points = 2,000 Honors points (as of 1/11/2018)
JetBlue Airways: 250 points = 200 JetBlue TrueBlue® points
(The Canadian transfer ratios are listed directly on the Canadian site.)


Q: After I transfer, when will my miles expire at that airline/hotel program? Is there anything I can do to avoid expiration there?

The Miles/Points that Do and Don't Expire wiki lists all of the Amex USA airline/hotel transfer partners and their respective expiration policies.


Q. How long does it typically take to compete a transfer?

MR USA airline and hotel partner transfer times.


Q. How can I use Membership Rewards points to travel on American Airlines, United Airlines, Alaska Airlines or other carriers which are not transfer partners?

Membership Rewards (USA) points can be transferred to three or more frequent flyer programs in each of the international alliances. Any program can arrange award travel on flights operated by all members of the same alliance. Points cannot be transferred from one frequent flyer program to another, instead you redeem for a partner award. The number of miles required is determined by the program through which you redeem, not by the airline operating the flights. Programs in the same alliance will require different amounts of miles, and different co-payments, for the same flights. Do not transfer until you understand the full cost of the flights you need. Do not transfer until you have confirmed availability for your specific dates and route.

To travel on American Airlines or any other OneWorld carrier redeem through:
  • Asia Miles (Cathay Pacific)
  • British Airways
  • Iberia Airlines
  • Qantas Airways

American also has partnership outside OneWorld with:
  • Etihad


To travel on Delta Air Lines or any other SkyTeam carrier redeem through:
  • Delta Air Lines (DL permits one-way awards as of 01 JAN 2015, however trips originating in Europe carry additional surcharges; Delta also imposes surcharges on trips using some partner airlines such as China Eastern or China Southern, but notably not on trips involving its European partners (as long as the trip originates outside Europe) or Virgin Australia.)
  • AeroMexico
  • Alitalia
  • FlyingBlue (Air France, KLM, Air Europa, Kenya Airways, Aircalin and Tarom.)

To travel on United Airlines or any other Star Alliance carrier redeem through:
  • Aeroplan (Air Canada) No fuel surcharge on flights operated by UA and many other airlines. Read current list HERE. See also transatlantic strategy discussion HERE. Read about changes to redemption charts in December 2015 HERE.
  • All Nippon Airways. Read about ANA fuel surcharges HERE. Read about changes to partner redemption charts in April 2015 HERE.
  • Avianca Airlines
  • Singapore Airlines. Read HERE
    Read about Singapore Airlines' reciprocal mile conversion arrangement with Virgin Australia HERE.

To travel on Alaska Airlines redeem through:


Q. Rather than transferring now, can I preserve my Membership Rewards USA points balance without paying any annual fee?

Apply for an American Express Everyday card, and link it to the same Membership Rewards account. You may then close the other cards.
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Old Jan 3, 15, 2:37 pm
  #1  
Formerly known as Stephenk19
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Question Transfer Membership Rewards points to which airline or hotel program?

Hi Amex MR Gurus,

Looking for advice on the best use of close to 240,000 MR points (in my wife and my accounts).

I have seen the various options for transferring points to airlines and hotels through Amex MR but not overly attracted to any of them.

The main reason being we have a large number of UA miles that can be used on *A carriers and BA, one of the transfer partners not *A which interests me, to my understanding can charge high fuel surcharges on many routes. Asia miles is also somewhat appealing, but I think it is a ratio of 1.0:0.75 so not great.

I have been debating transferring all the MR points to SPG points, then to AA with the 25% bonus they have in place to transfer from SPG to an airline. I believe the MR to SPG ratio is 2:1 so we would lose a decent number of points, but would then grab some back with the transfer to AA.

I have close to 220,000 AA miles and these seem to be some of the best currency for use on OneWorld partners so the idea of building this balance (despite the transfer loss) is appealing to me at the moment.

Is this a crazy waste of points to do this? Any inputs appreciated

Steve
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Old Jan 3, 15, 2:56 pm
  #2  
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Originally Posted by Stephenk19 View Post
Hi Amex MR Gurus,

Looking for advice on the best use of close to 240,000 MR points (in my wife and my accounts).

I have seen the various options for transferring points to airlines and hotels through Amex MR but not overly attracted to any of them.

The main reason being we have a large number of UA miles that can be used on *A carriers and BA, one of the transfer partners not *A which interests me, to my understanding can charge high fuel surcharges on many routes. Asia miles is also somewhat appealing, but I think it is a ratio of 1.0:0.75 so not great.

I have been debating transferring all the MR points to SPG points, then to AA with the 25% bonus they have in place to transfer from SPG to an airline. I believe the MR to SPG ratio is 2:1 so we would lose a decent number of points, but would then grab some back with the transfer to AA.

I have close to 220,000 AA miles and these seem to be some of the best currency for use on OneWorld partners so the idea of building this balance (despite the transfer loss) is appealing to me at the moment.

Is this a crazy waste of points to do this? Any inputs appreciated

Steve

Transferring MR points through SPG to get to an airline is a fairly painful way to go, though if you are absolutely set on using MR points for oneworld redemptions it may be the best option available to you. Don't write off BA completely though; they can be very valuable for short-haul redemptions thanks to awards starting as low as a few thousand miles on short routes, and though they do charge high fuel surcharges, those vary by market and are not always as painful as they are in the US-Europe market.

It's also worth thinking about whether oneworld is an absolute must for you -- you don't say what you're thinking of redeeming for, but there may be other options that are equally good. For example if you want to redeem for Cathay Pacific, you could consider instead transferring MR points to Singapore and redeeming for a similarly luxurious trip on SQ (and, SQ does not give its partners access to its long-haul premium class awards, so your UA miles would not help there).

In another example you want to redeem for North America-Europe premium class travel, Delta miles can actually be quite useful, as they have access to several good partners (Virgin Atlantic, KLM, Alitalia and Delta all have very good transatlantic business class products), while most oneworld TATL awards are going to involve BA, where you'll have to pay fuel surcharges with either BA or AA miles. (If you do transfer to Delta, be aware that Delta will charge fuel surcharges for tickets originating in Europe, but you can reduce the pain of that by booking two one-way tickets, and the return ticket originating in the US will not have fuel surcharges.)

(Not clear what country your MR account is in, but if it's a US account then the transfer to SPG is 3:1; I believe in some other countries you do get 2:1.)
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Old Jan 3, 15, 6:20 pm
  #3  
Formerly known as Stephenk19
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Thanks for the response and info colerc! Much appreciated!

Originally Posted by colerc View Post
Don't write off BA completely though; they can be very valuable for short-haul redemptions thanks to awards starting as low as a few thousand miles on short routes, and though they do charge high fuel surcharges, those vary by market and are not always as painful as they are in the US-Europe market.
I have heard this as well - however since we have a lot of UA miles, we would plan to redeem on LH for trips in Europe. Also I think if using BA would have to connect through London each time, not the end of the world but that would mean almost always flying somewhat out of the way to get to most of Europe (we are Munich based right now)

Originally Posted by colerc View Post
It's also worth thinking about whether oneworld is an absolute must for you -- you don't say what you're thinking of redeeming for, but there may be other options that are equally good. For example if you want to redeem for Cathay Pacific, you could consider instead transferring MR points to Singapore and redeeming for a similarly luxurious trip on SQ (and, SQ does not give its partners access to its long-haul premium class awards, so your UA miles would not help there).
OneWorld is not an absolute, more of a desire to see how green the grass is in the OneWorld "World".

That is a good point that Singapore does not let UA MP members book their premium cabins. An option to do that, but would certainly burn up most of the point balance.

Originally Posted by colerc View Post
(Not clear what country your MR account is in, but if it's a US account then the transfer to SPG is 3:1; I believe in some other countries you do get 2:1.)
Very good point! I checked back and it is 3:1 for me as I have a US account. I think earlier I had pulled up a generic page which listed as 2:1. With this updated ratio I am not so convinced about my earlier plan, for better or worse.

Maybe I will hold on for the time being and see if another MR bonus transfer option will come up, though these seem to be few and far between these days...

Steve
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Old Jan 3, 15, 9:59 pm
  #4  
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Originally Posted by Stephenk19 View Post
Thanks for the response and info colerc! Much appreciated!



I have heard this as well - however since we have a lot of UA miles, we would plan to redeem on LH for trips in Europe. Also I think if using BA would have to connect through London each time, not the end of the world but that would mean almost always flying somewhat out of the way to get to most of Europe (we are Munich based right now)



OneWorld is not an absolute, more of a desire to see how green the grass is in the OneWorld "World".

That is a good point that Singapore does not let UA MP members book their premium cabins. An option to do that, but would certainly burn up most of the point balance.

Steve
Having nonstop options on LH will certainly be appealing but there is a huge difference in miles -- for shorthauls UA will charge you a minimum of 30K miles return, whereas you can get some return trips using BA miles for ~10K miles. You would have a fair number of nonstop options to choose from with Airberlin (in oneworld) as well, though it might not be quite as nice as LH. BA also does *not* charge fuel surcharges on Airberlin awards, which makes it potentially quite appealing. Some other surcharge-free options: http://justanotherpointstraveler.boa...el-surcharges/

Given the 3:1 transfer ratio it definitely does not make sense to try to transfer to AA via SPG unless you had a very specific and very valuable redemption goal in mind, and even then it would not be a great use of the miles. There do tend to be transfer bonuses to BA reasonably often, so perhaps if you are able to take advantage of one of those it will take the sting out of the fuel surcharges.

And, may as well wait until you have a specific use in mind before you transfer -- there's always a chance Amex could add another oneworld airline transfer partner at some point. (It almost certainly won't be AA, given the way airline-bank relationships in the US have shaken out, though.)
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Old Jan 4, 15, 6:33 am
  #5  
 
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Does Amex ever have SQ transfer bonuses?
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Old Jan 4, 15, 7:26 am
  #6  
 
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I would appreciate your recommendation where to transfer 89k MR points.

My wife and I have the combined following:
AA 420k
BA 125k
DL 17k
UA 113k
WN 200k
USair 35k

We burned through all of our Delta miles this year given the upcoming devaluation. My first choice would be United miles but that isn't an option. I know that BA has the 40% promo right now but if I am already loaded with AA, does it make sense to add more BA miles?

Generally speaking I don't fly a lot but travel on first/business when I do. I live in Tampa and will likely only be traveling to US/Canada/Europe/Carribean.

Let me know if you need any other info to help make a recommendation....

Thanks in advance.
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Old Jan 4, 15, 7:26 am
  #7  
mia
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Originally Posted by agp423 View Post
Does Amex ever have SQ transfer bonuses?
No. See the Wikipost at the top of this thread:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/ameri...a-history.html
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Old Jan 4, 15, 7:29 am
  #8  
mia
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Originally Posted by atwnsw2 View Post
My first choice would be United miles but that isn't an option.
Membership Rewards has three Star Alliance partners (see list in Wikipost at top of thread). All Star Alliance programs can redeem for travel on flights operated by all Star Alliance airlines.
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Old Jan 5, 15, 7:15 am
  #9  
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Originally Posted by colerc View Post
Having nonstop options on LH will certainly be appealing but there is a huge difference in miles -- for shorthauls UA will charge you a minimum of 30K miles return, whereas you can get some return trips using BA miles for ~10K miles. You would have a fair number of nonstop options to choose from with Airberlin (in oneworld) as well, though it might not be quite as nice as LH. BA also does *not* charge fuel surcharges on Airberlin awards, which makes it potentially quite appealing. Some other surcharge-free options: http://justanotherpointstraveler.boa...el-surcharges/

Given the 3:1 transfer ratio it definitely does not make sense to try to transfer to AA via SPG unless you had a very specific and very valuable redemption goal in mind, and even then it would not be a great use of the miles. There do tend to be transfer bonuses to BA reasonably often, so perhaps if you are able to take advantage of one of those it will take the sting out of the fuel surcharges.

And, may as well wait until you have a specific use in mind before you transfer -- there's always a chance Amex could add another oneworld airline transfer partner at some point. (It almost certainly won't be AA, given the way airline-bank relationships in the US have shaken out, though.)
Thanks again colerc - yes the 3:1 I agree does not make any sense to do.
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Old Jan 5, 15, 10:02 am
  #10  
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Updated wiki to reflect that DL is now providing one-way awards.
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Old Jan 9, 15, 9:39 am
  #11  
 
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Later this year I'd like to book 5 business award tix to Asia/Indonesia. I'm still working out the details, but we will want to hit Indonesia, Singapore, and possibly Tokyo and Shanghai. I've got points spread out all over the place but the bulk is in MR (500k) plus SPG (40k). Thus my post on this thread. FWIW: I've also got UR 170k; AA/US 215k; Delta 240k. I want to start planning my strategy now so as to earn enough of the points I need for this trip by the time I book, presumably w/ MR.

I'm thinking my best bet is going to be transferring to ANA and enduring the fuel costs, which ITA is showing at around $178 (YQ), but that seems low to me (more research needed here).

Do you guys have any suggestions as to a better MR transfer airline for these tix? Or even a way to combine MR transfer with another transfer so we can all fly together? I need to be able to do stopovers and/or open jaw. For ex: MEM-NRT(ST)-CGK then SIN-PVG(ST)-MEM. I haven't finalized our cities, but we'd like a week in Borneo, a few days in Singapore, and then a likely stop in Tokyo (possibly adding Shanghai if feasible). Total trip time 3-4 weeks.

I've considered looking at RTW options and stopping in Europe or Central Asia for additional few days, but those seem to price out with 30-50k more points. Our total mileage would be about 20k, I think, so I doubt distance based tix like Cathay Pacific would work as well.
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Old Jan 9, 15, 12:59 pm
  #12  
 
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Originally Posted by Stgermainparis View Post
Later this year I'd like to book 5 business award tix to Asia/Indonesia. I'm still working out the details, but we will want to hit Indonesia, Singapore, and possibly Tokyo and Shanghai. I've got points spread out all over the place but the bulk is in MR (500k) plus SPG (40k). Thus my post on this thread. FWIW: I've also got UR 170k; AA/US 215k; Delta 240k. I want to start planning my strategy now so as to earn enough of the points I need for this trip by the time I book, presumably w/ MR.
I don't like your chances of finding five seats on the same flights in business class on the TPACs, even booking a long way in advance.

That said, I would take a look at SQ. You would need to pay for or otherwise book a ticket to one of their west coast gateways (SFO or LAX), but the one-way business class from SFO-SIN or CGK on Singapore metal is 68k (or about 91k in first), and they have very good availability through Krisflyer. Be prepared for very steep fuel charges, but they do allow one stopover on a roundtrip. I priced LAX-NRT-SIN-CGK(dest)-SIN(stop)-NRT-LAX at 136k and ~$800 per person, and I found two business class seats on the first dates I tried in November.

One other nice thing about SQ is that they are a transfer partner of everyone (MR, UR, SPG, TYP), so you can combine your points easily.

If you want to fly around Asia once you are over there, BA Avios are a pretty good deal for short flights, and their fuel surcharges on CX and JL generally are not that bad.
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Old Jan 9, 15, 4:30 pm
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Originally Posted by taliesin View Post
I don't like your chances of finding five seats on the same flights in business class on the TPACs, even booking a long way in advance.

That said, I would take a look at SQ. You would need to pay for or otherwise book a ticket to one of their west coast gateways (SFO or LAX), but the one-way business class from SFO-SIN or CGK on Singapore metal is 68k (or about 91k in first), and they have very good availability through Krisflyer. Be prepared for very steep fuel charges, but they do allow one stopover on a roundtrip. I priced LAX-NRT-SIN-CGK(dest)-SIN(stop)-NRT-LAX at 136k and ~$800 per person, and I found two business class seats on the first dates I tried in November.

One other nice thing about SQ is that they are a transfer partner of everyone (MR, UR, SPG, TYP), so you can combine your points easily.

If you want to fly around Asia once you are over there, BA Avios are a pretty good deal for short flights, and their fuel surcharges on CX and JL generally are not that bad.
I should have thought of the difficulty of 5x. Last Sept I booked 5x biz to JNB without any problem (DL/AF) and so I guess I was thinking if I'm on top of it and book the minute the window opens, I'd be okay. But you are right. I just looked at ANA and see 5x for outbound but not inbound. I could put the 13 and 16 year olds in economy (or "cockroach class" as their uncle calls it), but half the fun is being in biz.

I did peruse SQ earlier and was thinking it could be a good option, but the hassle of positioning with 3 kids in tow and risking a missed flight is more than I can handle. As I type this, I remember my sister lives in SFO (so maybe!). I'll keep looking. Thanks for the tip. Gah those fuel charges are sick!
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Old Jan 9, 15, 7:03 pm
  #14  
 
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Okay, all, I've been at this for about 3 hours. SQ, ANA, UA, Star Alliance: none have 5x tix for Business class to Asia. Period. I can find 4x randomly on the ORD-NRT on ANA, but everything else shows waitlisted or unavailable and I'm searching DEC2015! No returns either. Need advice. I can find 5x availability on Delta but no stopovers allowed. I'll do it if I have to, but then I'll be forking out for at least 2 flights in between.
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Old Jan 10, 15, 10:17 am
  #15  
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Originally Posted by Stgermainparis View Post
Okay, all, I've been at this for about 3 hours. SQ, ANA, UA, Star Alliance: none have 5x tix for Business class to Asia. Period. I can find 4x randomly on the ORD-NRT on ANA, but everything else shows waitlisted or unavailable and I'm searching DEC2015! No returns either. Need advice. I can find 5x availability on Delta but no stopovers allowed. I'll do it if I have to, but then I'll be forking out for at least 2 flights in between.
Try Korean, using Delta miles from MR and/or KE miles from UR if necessary. I see tons of dates where JFK-ICN-CGK has 5x business class seats available using the new Delta award calendar. Do a 5-week flexible dates search using one-way searches to find availability on specific dates (look for 70K options, which is the price of a one-way US-Asia using Delta miles), and then once you find dates that work put them together in a roundtrip search. DPS has fewer options than CGK but there are still a few. The connection in ICN is annoyingly long (10 hours), but given how few other options you are likely to have for this trip, I'd say go for it.

Note that other KE routes from the US are going to be much harder to find 5x seats; it's the tons of business class seats on the A380 from JFK that makes the awards so easy to find on that route. ICN-LAX and ICN-ATL also have a decent amount of 5x days available but I don't see very many for ORD, though if you book far enough in advance you can find space to include a Delta domestic leg to your departing KE port at no additional cost.

You may also be able to find space on Garuda Indonesia's flights from ICN to CGK or DPS, though you would have to call for that, it doesn't display on Delta's website, so I have no idea if they would be likely to have 5 seats on the same flight, but I suspect they might.

You would need 140K * 5 or 700K roundtrip to book 5 tickets using Delta miles. Looks like you have that between Delta and MR.

Last edited by bgriff; Jan 10, 15 at 10:22 am
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