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This is a great question. There is only one time when the answer is simple and black & white. If, for whatever reason like starting your 24 month new card bonus clock, you are going to close all your Membership Rewards cards (or one going to a single account), you MUST get the points out first or they will be lost forever! End of story. Also if you are ever targeted with the AMEX Financial Review it may be wise to move the points out as if you do not “win” the review, the points will be gone, but you can move them out during the process.
If you are not going to close the card then there should be no “pressing” reason to move your points anywhere else. Many times during each year there are good bonuses of 30-50% for sending them to many airlines. Now if you are short some miles and want to book seats right now, that is also a good reason to transfer some, but not more, than you need now. I have done very well with this card as the $200 airline incidentals credit, $100 towards GOES, lounge access and more + 25,000 points is a very good value and should be a card to include in your next card churn if you are planning on one soon.
The same thing goes most of the time with the SPG points earned from either the personal or the business flavor of the cards.Your SPG points will NOT go away if you cancel your SPG AMEX card. However, SPG points do expire if you do not have activity in the account, like a stay. You can also every month take advantage of the audience reward trivia and get 10 free points to keep the account alive as now any activity counts! The answers are even provided here at MilePoint in this thread. So no rush to get those miles out until you need them.
Lastly with SPG it is important to remember the bonus they give you. For every 20,000 you transfer to an airline, they give you 5,000 bonus miles so you net out 25,000 at the other end. This is a great value and one of the reasons SPG points are so good. So I hope that covers the question asked and feel free to shoot off any more if this is not clear. – René
Also, to end the month on a high note, let me know if you have a MR or SPG card, plus if you want to brag, tell us your credit score, or just tell us you are working on getting it back up again to be able to churn cards, and you will have a chance to win ONE – FREE DAY PASS to any DELTA SKYCLUB!
Neither answer will increase your chance to win btw.