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xfer to CO or BA

xfer to CO or BA

Old Jun 6, 11, 10:56 am
  #1  
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xfer to CO or BA

...I'm torn about transferring amex mr's to CO vs BA. Before the 50% bonus offer for BA popped up I was going to stick it all into CO (since CO is leaving the amex mr transfer program in September). Obviously now I'm torn...the 50% bonus is huge, but CO option is going away September 30th.

Historically CO has been amazing on award tickets for me. I've never not found business class availability even on short notice. With the UA merger I hear grumblings that the CO award availability will go down the tubes...apparently UA does lots of blocking on partner awards. I can still use ANA & AC transfers to get into *alliance in the future...its just that CO has been so good to me in the past.

So what would you do, ignore the BA transfer offer and cram as many miles into CO as possible...half & half...all BA? On a side note, I pull in about 300K in MR's a month so I could still probably get 600K into CO before transfer window closes on September 30th while putting all points available up to July 31st into BA. I could always just ignore the BA/CO transfers and keep my MR points. In the past I've kept the points @ AMEX until I was ready to redeem but all these transfer bonuses really make it tempting to "maximize" the point values.

feedback/thoughts would be greatly appreciated...
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Old Jun 6, 11, 11:20 am
  #2  
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What routes would you redeem for? In what class of service? Are en-route stopovers important to you? Are you willing to pay high fuel surcharges in connection with your award redemptions?
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Old Jun 6, 11, 1:38 pm
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I'd be redeeming for routes all over the world...so no specific airline alliance to side with.

...I guess the question just boils down to...Is the merged CO/UA ff program going to be as good as the old CO program. If UA's partner redemption blocking becomes a part of the combined programs, CO miles will become significantly less useful.
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Old Jun 6, 11, 1:50 pm
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BA

In this case I think BA is better, for the bonus and they dont charge the .06 transfer fee on BA points like they do on CO....sounds like you have enough spend to still get CO topped off after the BA bonus disappears. With MR points, always go with the best bonus, if you can make use of the program.
I too have noticed how much crappier UA is compared to CO in availability of awards...I am trying to figure out how much I need to cap off FF accounts at even numbers for expected award flights...like BA 100k will get me 1 first class on [email protected] to Hawaii and a 25k AA lower 48 award. any extra points in BA program would probably be wasted.
Since AA now charges fuel surcharges to Europe like BA does, I may just save their points for hotels and car rentals.
Combined UA/CO points are around 128k for me and 101k for the wife, so we will top hers off to get enough for Europe, up front, and hope the new UA system after the merge has better availability.
DL points are the most active for us, since we are in ATL and have many choices. we have enough for Europe, as well as the many non-stops available to the Carribbean. We dont think much about topping points off for the future, since we use DL the most.
I like the options for cash and points that make use of leftover amounts and the programs that allow OW bookings.
We are closing our MR gold cards instead of paying the $175 fee and using the DL Amex instead...for the same annual fee (or less) we get MQM bonuses, free bags, and pay with miles options. More useful perks (to us)than the MR cards.
MR's best perk was versatility in points exchange, Cap1 beats MR for travel redemptions and versatility, so with all the Cap1 points we have, MR isn't needed anymore.
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Old Jun 6, 11, 2:02 pm
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BB: I've got the same dilemma at a much lower level. BA has gotten me 1st on CX a couple times without much work involved. If you fly BA you've got those stupid fuel surcharges though. United is fairly stingy, but if I pay the $25 to talk to 'em and am flexible, they've usually found me something in the front. IIWY I'd hedge my bets. Me - I think it's all going to BA since I'm usually flying the Pacific and am starting to get use to those CX pods in 1st. wj
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Old Jun 6, 11, 2:21 pm
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tasty

Originally Posted by whackyjacky View Post
BB: I've got the same dilemma at a much lower level. BA has gotten me 1st on CX a couple times without much work involved. If you fly BA you've got those stupid fuel surcharges though. United is fairly stingy, but if I pay the $25 to talk to 'em and am flexible, they've usually found me something in the front. IIWY I'd hedge my bets. Me - I think it's all going to BA since I'm usually flying the Pacific and am starting to get use to those CX pods in 1st. wj
MMMMMMM.....PODS.....gotta try
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Old Jun 6, 11, 2:25 pm
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BA hands down because of the 50% bonus

W/O the bonus, CO hands down but the 50% bonus cannot be ignored despite the high fuel surcharges.
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Old Jun 6, 11, 3:04 pm
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from what I noticed you pay 125K miles of BA compared to 105K miles on CO. So CO miles to me are about 25% more valuable than BA.

My suggestion is never to hold all the eggs in one basked. I'd easily split them up. It's much better to have another option (another alliance) to check for flights when your main one is sold out.
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Old Jun 6, 11, 3:33 pm
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"BA 100k will get me 1 first class on [email protected] to Hawaii and a 25k AA lower 48 award. any extra points in BA program would probably be wasted.
Since AA now charges fuel surcharges to Europe like BA does, I may just save their points for hotels and car rentals."


BA charges 105K miles, not 75K miles, for a roundtrip ticket in First between Hawaii and the mainland.

And AFAIK, when you redeem AAdvantage miles for flights on AA metal, there are no fuel surcharges, even when you fly on routes where AA has incorporated a fuel surcharge on its cash fares.
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Old Jun 6, 11, 4:18 pm
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Originally Posted by Igor718 View Post
from what I noticed you pay 125K miles of BA compared to 105K miles on CO. So CO miles to me are about 25% more valuable than BA.

My suggestion is never to hold all the eggs in one basked. I'd easily split them up. It's much better to have another option (another alliance) to check for flights when your main one is sold out.
Depends on what route your redemption is for. Need to study the chart and fit that into one's own travel preference.

Another point with OP's scenario is, he can generate 600K MR pts before Sept deadline to transfer to CO if he chooses to - he is not the type who relies on sign up bonuses to gain good size balances in FF programs. In light of this, he would have far more CO miles than the average posters on this forum. There is certainly no worry about putting his eggs all in one basket - when he generates a very large sum of MR every month, to the tune of 300K a month...
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Old Jun 6, 11, 5:07 pm
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Can anyone venture a guess if there will be a transfer bonus offered before the September deadline for Amex -> CO? Or even Amex -> UA before the end of the calendar year?
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Old Jun 6, 11, 5:37 pm
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putting everything into BA for now

While my initial intention was to move a million+ points into CO, based on everyone's feedback I'm going to move all my then available MR into BA before the July 31st bonus runs out...its going to take me years to use 2 million miles on oneworld/BA even on F awards, but then again I've never seen a 50% bonus on an transfer from amex...

On September 29th...I'll make the call on moving MR to CO, even if its only half a million miles, it should still be good for 4-5 international F awards. We should have a better idea on which way the wind is blowing by then in terms of the merged CO/UA FF program and whether its even worth moving points into it.
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Old Jun 6, 11, 5:56 pm
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Originally Posted by bubu-SNA View Post
While my initial intention was to move a million+ points into CO, based on everyone's feedback I'm going to move all my then available MR into BA before the July 31st bonus runs out...its going to take me years to use 2 million miles on oneworld/BA even on F awards, but then again I've never seen a 50% bonus on an transfer from amex...

On September 29th...I'll make the call on moving MR to CO, even if its only half a million miles, it should still be good for 4-5 international F awards. We should have a better idea on which way the wind is blowing by then in terms of the merged CO/UA FF program and whether its even worth moving points into it.
Delta just came off a 50% plus MQM a week ago. There have been other bonuses in the past. I'd wait until closer to 6/31 to see what else pops up. Personally I'd love a 50% Aeroplan bonus. And i'd be surprised if US doesn't take CO's AmEx place and they always have the biggest offers.

If you know your travel will be domestic US, South America and/or Asia, BA is great !

And BA does charge fuel surcharges on AA metal to Europe.
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Old Jun 6, 11, 6:59 pm
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Originally Posted by wise2u View Post
In this case I think BA is better, for the bonus and they dont charge the .06 transfer fee on BA points like they do on CO....
I'd much rather pay the max $99 to transfer the points out than pay the BA YQ fees. I'm absolutely looking at moving some points into BA to redeem on LAN for SCL/IPC over Christmas but otherwise one must be VERY careful about which BA partner the redemption is going to be on for the sake of the fees associated with such surcharges.
Originally Posted by prodrive555 View Post
Can anyone venture a guess if there will be a transfer bonus offered before the September deadline for Amex -> CO? Or even Amex -> UA before the end of the calendar year?
Almost certainly not and absolutely not.
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Old Jun 6, 11, 11:24 pm
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BA Fuel surcharge (aka YQ fees) on partners?

Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post
I'd much rather pay the max $99 to transfer the points out than pay the BA YQ fees.
I read your post on your blog where you mentioned that "redeeming British Airways points on LAN attracts no YQ surcharge...".

Does that mean BA flights have the additional high YQ surcharge but redeeming for partner flights DO NOT? How about redeeming BA miles for Cathay Pacific (CX) flights?
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