There Are Now 3 Airlines That Accept Points From All 4 Major Transferable Point Currencies; Can You Name Them Without Peeking?

There are 4 major transferable point currencies, AMEX, Chase, Citi, and Starwood. The great thing about having points in those currencies is that they are a hedge against devaluations. When you have points in most airline or hotel programs they can’t be transferred anywhere else at a decent ratio, so if those programs devalue, your banked points are worth less. With a transferable point currency though you can always transfer to another program that hasn’t devalued.

When used properly, the value of your points can easily exceed 5 cents each, and when you’re earning up to 5 points per dollar that makes things quite lucrative.

Of course not all transferable point currencies were created equally. Starwood’s is the most valuable due to the 25% bonus for transferring in blocks of 20K points and for their vast selection of transfer partners, however Starwood transfers can take anywhere from 1-8 days, so that hinders their value somewhat. Chase points are the next most valuable due to the ability to transfer instantly to prized programs like United and Hyatt at a 1:1 ratio. AMEX points are next in line with transfers to programs like Air Canada, ANA, Cathay Pacific, El Al, and Singapore, while Citi points are the least valuable of the bunch.

It’s great when an airline partners with multiple programs as that allows more opportunities to earn points and consolidate them in one place.

This weekend Chase added Air France/KLM Flying Blue as a new instant transfer option. You can now transfer points from all 4 transferable point currencies to Flying Blue, though typically you would want to use AMEX or Citi points rather than Chase points.

It’s not my favorite program as the only way to avoid fuel surcharges is to fly on Skyteam partner Delta, and they are notoriously stingy with saver award space. Flying Blue also expire points after just 20 months and they can’t be renewed unless you credit a paid Skyteam flight to Flying Blue.

However there are several sweet spots including round-trip travel from the US to the Caribbean for 25K, Hawaii for 25K-30K, and Europe or South America for 50K. However the trick is finding award space on Delta.

The best part of the program is that it includes Tel Aviv as part of Europe. However while United has wide open saver availability to Israel, you’d be hard pressed to find that space on Flying Blue’s Skyteam partner, Delta.

That leaves travel on airlines with fuel surcharges, though those surcharges have come way down and award space is quite generous.

One-way travel:

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Round-trip travel:

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The best part of the program though are the Promo Awards that allow for travel to Israel for as little as 12.5K miles each way. However those have gotten rarer of late.

The other 2 programs that allow transfers from all 4 point currencies?

The excellent Singapore Krisflyer program, which has real bargains without fuel surcharges for traveling on United. And Virgin Atlantic, which currently has a promotion for transfers from AMEX, and would also be an ill-advised use of Chase points.

HT: YOSEF, via DDF

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33 Responses to “There Are Now 3 Airlines That Accept Points From All 4 Major Transferable Point Currencies; Can You Name Them Without Peeking?”

  1. Dan's the Man Says:
    1

    How long to Amex, SPG, & Citi transfers to Flying Blue? Is Chase the only one that is instant?
    Thanks Dan!

    ReplyReply
  2. Dan Says:
    2

    @Dan’s the Man:
    AMEX and Chase are instant.
    Citi and SPG can take a couple days.

    ReplyReply
  3. dov bennish Says:
    3

    to dans the man only spg-af isnt instant

    ReplyReply
  4. Dan Says:
    4

    @dov bennish:
    Where did I say that it was??

    ReplyReply
  5. Daniel Says:
    5

    What website are you using in your post to search for award space? It does not look like flying blue’s website…

    ReplyReply
  6. coralsnake Says:
    6

    BA, SQ, Flyingblue

    ReplyReply
  7. Dan Says:
    7

    @Daniel:
    AirFrance.com after selecting flights.

    @coralsnake:
    Can’t transfer Citi to BA 🙂

    ReplyReply
  8. coralsnake Says:
    8

    @Dan: Yeah, Just realized that. Nice edit in your comment 😉

    ReplyReply
  9. Sam Says:
    9

    How do you search united award flights on singapores site. They dont have tlv listedas a destination

    ReplyReply
  10. Dan Says:
    10

    @coralsnake:
    I just assumed you would know 😀

    @Sam:
    You need to call to book all partner awards with Singapore.

    ReplyReply
  11. High end hobo Says:
    11

    VS and SQ
    Btw FB is only 25k rt to LIH and OGG with a free stopover.
    Also 30k to SYD on DL if you know what you’re doing…

    ReplyReply
  12. Anonymous Says:
    12

    @Dan: thank you

    ReplyReply
  13. High end hobo Says:
    13

    @Sam:
    You can’t search partners on SQ’s site. Use UA, (make sure you’re logged out) AC or NH

    ReplyReply
  14. PerpetuallyPerplexed Says:
    14

    How do you search Delta availability with Flying Blue? Would JFK-TLV come out to 25k each way?

    ReplyReply
  15. High end hobo Says:
    15

    @PerpetuallyPerplexed:
    Not sure if it’s worth trying to help you considering your condition
    But search a calendar search on FB.com and any date that has 25k and low fees is Delta saver. Or search calendar at Delta.com and select nonstop only and anything which is only 40k can be booked with 25k fb

    ReplyReply
  16. Sol Says:
    16

    The 3 airlines are: AF, Kris flyer, Virgin Atlantic. Am I correct?

    ReplyReply
  17. Ericmedschoolgnd Says:
    17

    Which space on united is open to sq? Saver? Or any metal?

    ReplyReply
  18. Dan Says:
    18

    @High end hobo:
    I’m assuming you booked LIH over the phone?

    @PerpetuallyPerplexed:
    JFK-TLV on Delta these days is just about impossible. Delta award space is just horrendous.

    @Sol:
    Indeed.
    @Ericmedschoolgnd:
    Partners always only have saver access.

    ReplyReply
  19. J Says:
    19

    dan, when you call in to book partner award with singapore, do they charge admin/booking fee?

    ReplyReply
  20. Dan Says:
    20

    @J:
    No.

    ReplyReply
  21. High end hobo Says:
    21

    @Dan:
    Yes you need to call in to get them to honor the website rate. It’s most likely a glitch so enjoy it while it lasts.

    ReplyReply
  22. Eli O Says:
    22

    Dan,

    Aside from the 36 month expiration, is there any downside to transferring UR points to Singapore, then booking partner on United r/t to Israel? As opposed to transferring UR to United and booking direct.

    Thanks!

    Eli O

    ReplyReply
  23. Dan Says:
    23

    @High end hobo:
    Where do you see a website rate for LIH?

    @Eli O:
    1. Singapore can’t access expanded United award space, http://www.dansdeals.com/archives/88133

    2. Singapore charges fuel surcharges for other airlines, while United doesn’t.

    ReplyReply
  24. High end hobo Says:
    24

    @Dan:
    Ex NYC There has to be saver on DL JFK-LAX-LIH, search JFK-LIH for 2/28/17 for example and you’ll see 12.5k

    Also worth noting that FB considers USVI, as part of mainland US

    ReplyReply
  25. mechayamom Says:
    25

    So for Singapore Air to have availability it has to be X class?
    Would XN never work? the nonstop flights seem to be XN saver award.

    ReplyReply
  26. chaim Says:
    26

    I am new at this so I hope you can advise. We have 123K points on American Airlines and want to fly to Israel in July. This is apparently not enough and even when I try to use them for flights to other destinations the only flights they offer make multiple inconvenient stops. Can these points be transferred to other airlines that have more available seats or lower point requirements? Thanks for any help you can provide.

    ReplyReply
  27. Yosef Says:
    27

    If using Singapore for United is there a close in fee? Thanks

    ReplyReply
  28. Joel Says:
    28

    Dan. Thanks for your advise.
    Why would you rather use Amex vs chase to transfer to FB? Whats the pro and cons.
    Thanks

    ReplyReply
  29. Efraim Says:
    29

    @chaim: I’m similarly new and trying to use AA150K for TLV.

    What I can say is, other AA partner flights are not on their site. You can only check the partner sites for availability, and usually only if you first register for their programs. Once you find a seat, call AA to book.

    I’ve tried asking AA CSRs to book over the phone ) no charge) and had mixed results. (But often WONDERFUL, esp if I can give then hints on where and how to search.) HUCA, I think Dan says.

    Air berlin seems to be the best partner, or try IB. Never ever fly BA due to taxes! As for getting your extra miles, I’m not big on manufactured spend (ask your LOR) or buying miles ($). I just saw a tempting promotion for 20K AA points from Sprint for porting one line, no contract.

    Using one way awards might help and buying one part on a cheapie airline from Europe to TLV might help you -YMMV. That’s all this newbie can add.

    ReplyReply
  30. Mark Says:
    30

    Hi Dan, quick question…
    Can I transfer BA points to this Chase program your talking about in this post ?

    ReplyReply
  31. GTR Says:
    31

    The annual fee is almost do on my AMEX and I want to close the card. Whats the most versatile partner to transfer all 66K of MR to?

    Thanks for the great site, Dan!

    ReplyReply
  32. harry sz Says:
    32

    beg to differ in the value of citibank points, in the case of flights to Canada in particular where the round trip tax is $55+. Since the change in short haul flight points required for AA through BA to 7500 each direction in coach. I find it is now more cost effective in many instances particularly for advance bookings to book on the citi rewards site or Chase rewards site and use your reward points in lieu of cash to pay for tickets. You will find more options for airlines and flights end up using less points than on BA or AA. You loose the BA priority access and the flexibility for flight changes and cancellations, but you are flying for less and finding seats where there are none on AA and the taxes are built into the fare.

    ReplyReply
  33. chaim w Says:
    33

    hi
    dan
    everybody is talking about you
    and i’m a very smart man and father etc..

    but I can never understand what’s going on, on your website

    is their anyway you can write more clearly, and simpler..
    lets say I’m trying to figure out which is the best cc to get miles for Israel..
    I see a few options
    cant figure out which is the best

    I’m sure many people are having a hard time with this
    even though many aren’t
    how can you help us simpletons
    maybe a new website
    i’ll be your first fan
    thanks
    chaim

    ReplyReply

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