Update: Today is the final day to transfer points to El Al. Will you transfer any points?
El Al says that they are “replacing” this transfer option with their own US credit card. Unfortunately that card is a terrible value compared to spending on other US credit cards.
Your best bet going forward will be to redeem hybrid points for paid El Al flights.
Originally posted on 10/4:
El Al’s Matmid loyalty program is nothing short of a dumpster fire.
The points system used makes comparing the requirements to any other airline a massive headache. You need a PhD to understand the intricacies of the program, likely to hide how poorly it stacks up to the competition. There are fuel surcharges to redeem for awards. Points expire without any ability to extend them. There is no co-brand credit card for North American users. The latest website redesign removed the ability to easily search for classic award tickets. Etc, etc…
Typically it’s better to book El Al awards via partner airlines, though El Al blocks a lot of their award space from partners. Here is a comparison of how El Al stacks up with Qantas for booking El Al flights.
And now comes word that AMEX points will no longer transfer to El Al after 12/31/20. You can still transfer points to Qantas to book award travel on El Al.
The value from transferring points to El Al is rarely very good, but there can be some uses that are decent. North American members can also attain El Al Executive status by transferring over 5,000 AMEX points, which converts into 100 Matmid points.
That option will be gone as of 1/1/21.
When Marriott merged with Starwood they said they would be able to transfer points to El Al, but that never materialized.
Considering how lucrative loyalty programs have become to North American carriers, with the only profitable part of the airline coming from loyalty, that’s a big blow for Matmid as they lose a key way to interact with North American customers.
Will you transfer any AMEX points to El Al Matmid before it’s too late?