Having transferrable points, aka points from a major bank which you can quickly morph into frequent flyer miles is a big tick box. If you’re doing it this way, you are doing it right.
But within that “winning” style, there’s an extra level. It’s making the most of limited time transfer bonuses. Why transfer points 1:1 when you can get a bonus on the move, which could net out 40% more points, or sometimes even more.
Right now there are three lucrative transfer bonuses at play, allowing you to convert points from Amex, Citi or Chase into airline miles. Here’s a breakdown of each, and even a few good ways to play them!
40% Bonus From Amex To British Airways Avios
In case you’ve been hiding from points news, British Airways Avios just became significantly more impressive Qatar Airways switched to Avios and the two airlines aligned points rates on flights.
For a limited time, through May 15th, Amex cardholders can get a 40% bonus when they transfer American Express Membership Rewards Points to British Airways Avios.
The points bonus doesn’t appear to be targeted, but be sure to see confirmation in your Amex account before transferring points. This bonus allows cardholders to turn 100,000 Amex into 140,000 and so forth. The usual minimum of 1,000 points is there and transfers can be made in any 1,000 point increment.
Great Ways To Redeem British Airways Avios
This bonus could make sense if you’re a British Airways regular, or fly on airline partners like Qatar, American, Iberia, Finnair or JAL.
Some of the best ways to use British Airways Avios include: upgrades from premium to business or business class to first class, domestic American Airlines flights, for Qantas flights within Australia, or for first class flights on British Airways.
25% Bonus Transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards To Air France/KLM Flying Blue
Air France and KLM’s combined “Flying Blue” loyalty program can be a total gem. The points rates, particularly during promo awards are outstanding and the surcharges are lower than British Airways or Virgin Atlantic, albeit not as low as US airlines.
Right now, Chase is offering a 25% bonus when you transfer Ultimate Rewards Points into Flying Blue miles. This means a transfer of 100,000 points would net 125,000 and so forth. You need to transfer a minimum of 1,000 points.
Great Ways To Redeem Air France/KLM Flying Blue Miles
With a 25% bonus, there can be a lot to love here. Once a month, the airlines pick a selection of routes where a 25-50% discount on the usual points prices will apply. It’s usually a few cities in North America, and most of Europe.
When you combine these transfer bonuses with the Air France/KLM Promo Awards, you can unlock incredible value.
Flights between Houston and Paris are currently only 49,500 points one way in business class via the Promo Awards, and transferring 40,000 Chase Points would get you to 50,000 — more than enough!
If that’s too niche or time sensitive, the next promo awards will only be a month away, and using these points for flights within Europe, or domestically in the USA on Delta can also be great.
25% Bonus Transferring Citi Thank You Points Into LifeMiles
LifeMiles is a loyalty program on the move, with some great uses for luxury travel. It’s a sweet spot for Star Alliance flights on airlines like United, Lufthansa, Austrian, ANA, EVA and Asiana, as well as many more.
Through April 30th, Citi Thank You Points can be transferred into LifeMiles with a 25% bonus. Any transfers you make will be 25% richer on the other end. Like Flying Blue, the LifeMiles program is famous for special points promos of its own, which can lower the amount of points needed for desirable flights between select city pairs.
Best Ways To Redeem LifeMiles
LifeMiles are great for scoring seats between the US and Europe, US and Asia, or the US and South America. Seats are frequently available well in advance and also clutch for last minute needs.
Lufthansa First Class is a very bucket list travel experience, and availability tends to be great using LifeMiles within 7 days of the flight. If you’re cool to “wing it”, then this is a great use. Promotional offers for discounted flights to Asia can also be great.
Should You Transfer Bank Points To An Airline?
Credit card points programs are like the nest, the circle of trust and safety in the points world. When points are in the nest, they can be transferred to a variety of airlines or hotels, or exchanged for things like cash back, or future travel purchases.
Once they leave, and are with an airline all bets are off. Transfers only work one way from banks to airlines, so it’s usually not advisable to transfer points until you have a use. It’s great if that use is met with availability you can lock in.
Points transfers are amazing if you use them well. Just make sure you points have a purpose before moving them over.