Saturday, April 17th, 2010, 11:02 pm
AMEX Premier Rewards Gold Card Now Offering At Least 25,000 Signup Bonus Points!!!
AMEX Premier Rewards Gold Charge Card Linky (Clear your browser’s cache and cookies if you do not see the 25,000 point/no fee for first year offer. Do not login to your AMEX account when applying or you may not get the same offer)
A number of readers have asked me what they should be doing with 25,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points once they get them.
Frankly there’s no limit to what you can do with them, but here are a few of the possibilities.
The nice thing about AMEX Membership Rewards points is for example if you have multiple people applying for the card and getting 25,000 points they can all transfer the points into one person’s mileage account.
Additionally points generally transfer instantly, so once you find a free ticket you can transfer the points and grab it.
Here is the complete list of programs that you can transfer points to:
AeroMexico: 1,000 AMEX Points=1,000 Miles.
Air Canada: 1,000 AMEX Points=1,000 Miles.
AirTran: 1,500 AMEX Points=1 credit.
Alitalia: 1,000 AMEX Points=1,000 Miles.
ANA: 1,000 AMEX Points=1,000 Miles.
British Airways: 1,000 AMEX Points=1,000 Miles.
Continental: 1,000 AMEX Points=1,000 Miles.
Delta: 1,000 AMEX Points=1,000 Miles.
El Al: 1,050 AMEX Points=15 Points.
Air France/KLM Flying Blue: 1,000 AMEX Points=1,000 Miles.
Frontier: 1,000 AMEX Points=1,000 Miles.
Hawaiian: 1,000 AMEX Points=1,000 Miles.
Iberia: 1,400 AMEX Points=100 Points.
Jetblue: 250 AMEX Points=200 Points.
Mexicana: 1,000 AMEX Points=1,000 Miles.
Singapore: 1,000 AMEX Points=1,000 Miles.
Southwest: 1,500 AMEX Points=1 credit.
Virgin Atlantic: 1,000 AMEX Points=1,000 Miles.
There are also some hotel programs that you can transfer to, including
Hilton: 1,000 AMEX Points=1,300 Points.
Priority Club: 1,000 AMEX Points=1,000 Points, or 1,200 points until 06/30.
Starwood: 1,000 AMEX Points=333 Points.
With all those transfer options you can get a free domestic ticket on practically any airline by utilizing alliance/partner airline redemption. You generally need to call up the airline to redeem on partners.
Every airline has different rates for award redemptions, but the key to the applicable mileage rate is the carrier booking the ticket, not the carrier doing the flying. For example ANA charges 60,000 miles to fly from NYC to Tel Aviv, regardless of if it’s on Air Canada, Continental, or USAirways. Continental charges 75,000 miles to fly the same route, regardless of which airline you’re flying on. USAirways charges 80,000 miles, again, regardless of whether you fly on them or Continental, or any other Star Alliance carrier.
Want an AA ticket? Transfer to British Airways and they’ll book you on AA.
Want a United or USAirways ticket? Transfer to Continental and they’ll book you on them.
Here are just a few transfer options:
–Continental. Transfer your 25,000 points to Continental and you can get a free domestic ticket on Continental, United, or USAirways. Continental miles are also just about the only miles that never expire. A ticket to Israel is 75,000 miles in coach and 115,000 in business class. Continental is now a Star Alliance member and can book you on any of those 26 airlines or other partner airlines like Virgin Atlantic. Plus Continental does not charge any “fuel surcharges” on award tickets and they allow free date and route changes on award tickets.
–ANA. Transfer your points to ANA where you can book an award ticket to Israel for just 60,000 miles in coach or 90,000 in business. ANA is part of the Star Alliance so they can book you on partner carriers with nonstop flights from North America like Air Canada, Continental, and USAirways. ANA doesn’t charge fuel surcharges on award tickets if the operating carrier also doesn’t charge them, so you won’t pay any ripoff fees when redeeming for travel on airlines like Continental and USAirways. You can also transfer your Starpoints into ANA (20,000 Starpoints=25,000 ANA)
-Air Canada: Transfer your points to Air Canada Aeroplan (25,000 AMEX=25,000 Air Canada Aeroplan) where 80,000 miles miles are enough for a Business Class ticket and 100,000 miles are enough for a First Class ticket on any Star Alliance airlines to Europe. Or 100,000 miles are enough for a Business Class ticket and 120,000 miles are enough for a First Class ticket to Asia and Europe as you can cross over both the Atlantic and the Pacific for a Round-The-World style ticket. Air Canada allows you to take 2 stopovers in addition to the final destination on award tickets which make for a great redemption value. There are also no fuel surcharges on Star Alliance award ticket redemptions. You can also transfer your Starpoints into ANA (20,000 Starpoints=25,000Air Canada Aeroplan )
-Air France/KLM: Transfer them to Flying Blue where all you need is 50,000 points in Coach or 80,000 in Business. The catch here is they do charge a fuel surcharge on award tickets. (Alitalia is also a transfer option that charges just 50K/80K to Israel but with fuel surcharges). Additionally they are part of the Skyteam alliance where availability isn’t as good as with the Star Alliance. However they also have promo awards that are good from various US cities throughout the year when 25,000 points is enough for a ticket to Europe or even Israel!
–British Airways: Transfer the 25,000 points to British Airways and they can book you a free ticket on Oneworld partner American Airlines. AA has some of the best award availability of any domestic airline. While British Airways has massive fuel surcharges when flying on British Airways, there are no fuel surcharges when flying on partner airlines. Note that you can’t use British Airways miles for transatlantic flights on AA.
–Airtran, Frontier, Jetblue, and Southwest are all fine transfer options if you are after domestic tickets.
–Priority Club: Transfer them to Priority Club where currently 25,000 AMEX=30,000 Priority Club. With 30,000 Priority Club you can book 6 nights in a Points Break hotel like I was able to do at the Crown Plaza Jerusalem recently.
-There are tons of other great transfer options as well, post your favorite in the comments!