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Update: The transfer bonuses are now live!
Good news this evening as the American Express Membership Rewards program has announced not one but two transfer bonuses that begin at midnight! The first is a 20% transfer bonus with British Airways that runs from 10/15 – 12/31/13. The second is a 30% transfer bonus with Virgin Atlantic that runs from 10/15 – 11/30/13.
One of my very favorite things about the Membership Rewards program is that they periodically run transfer bonuses with some of their hotel and airline partners. This makes the points that you earn with cards like the The Enhanced Business Gold Rewards Card® from American Express OPEN, Amex Premier Rewards Gold Card, or The Mercedes Benz Platinum Amex stretch that much further, which is key when you are earning and spending miles and points for a family.
20% Transfer Bonus to British Airways Avios:
The Membership Rewards program has had previous transfer bonuses to Avios that were as high as 50% in 2012. The most recent transfer bonus was a 35% transfer bonus that ended in June 2013. A 20% transfer bonus obviously isn’t as high as some of the previous transfer bonuses, but it is obviously better than nothing, and I like that it is valid for such a long period of time. This means that you don’t need to make any speculative transfer now, but instead you can just take advantage of the deal if you find yourself needing Avios over the next 2.5 months.
I get some serious value out of using Avios on flights with partners like American Airlines. For example, soon I am going to Dallas and while flights were going for around $150 each way from Houston when I needed to book, it was just 4,500 Avios each direction. This is the best miles and points deal out there from short, but expensive flights serviced by British Airways partners. With this 20% transfer bonus, my 4,500 Avios flight would have just essentially required 3,600 Membership Reward points. Here is a post with some of my favorite uses of Avios as well as a step-by-step guide on how to book American Airlines flights with Avios.
30% Transfer Bonus to Virgin Atlantic:
One of the things that many people like about the Virgin Atlantic program is that their miles transfer 1:2 to the HIlton HHonors program. The normal transfer rate is 1,000 Membership Reward points: 1,000 Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Miles, but with this you will get 30% more. When you then transfer those to Hilton, you will do so at 1:2. This means that if you transfer 20,000 Membership Reward points to Virgin Atlantic during the promo, that will become 26,000 Flying Club Miles. You can then transfer 25,000 of those to Hilton HHonors where they will become 50,000 HHonors points. Hilton has devalued their program some in the last 6 months, but there are still some good family friendly redemption options, so this might make sense for some. Using Virgin Atlantic miles for flights can be tough since they do charge some relatively high taxes and fees for doing so.
Both transfer bonuses are set to go live at midnight tonight, and will be hard coded into the Membership Rewards transfer screen so there is no registration that is required. Will you be taking advantage of either transfer bonus?
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