Welcome Million Mile Secrets Readers!
Daraius’ blog is one I read daily and much of what I am to do is from information I first discovered from him. I am sincerely humbled by the opportunity of chatting with Daraius about my Miles & Points philosophy with his community and I hope you all aren’t too bothered by my interview taking up valuable real estate on his blog.
My site is all about collecting miles & points and using them for “one place before I die” and ”someday” travel destinations.
If you have not gotten your fill of my story and you want more punishment check out my About Me page.
In the right-hand side column you can search through The Travel Abstract Archives for older posts or search for topics in the search box.
If you haven’t seen the interview yet read it here.
Points & Miles: To Transfer or Not to Transfer?:
Diversifying your miles & points is part of a healthy reward portfolio.
Have you completed the minimum spend on all of your minimum spend requirements and don’t know which card to stick with? Even if you have the airline program you favor most its co-branded credit card may not be the best for earning its own frequent flyer miles.
Loyalty credit cards like Chase Ultimate Rewards and AmEx Membership Rewards, offer transfer bonus offers to partner points/miles programs. How can you maximize these options and where do the points go?
The inspiration for this post comes courtesy of idoru over at Flyertalk
Loyalty Program Transfer Partner Infographic:
Not the flashiest infographic but it gets the point across, which is the problem with finding transfer partners in the first place. Problem solved.
This is a good tool to use when you have dried up all of you hotel and airline co-branded cards. First you need to evaluate what program can stand on its own merit and a close second is figuring out how to leverage its points into other loyalty programs.
The yellow colored partners are shared by the programs that it is positioned closest to, i.e United is shared by Chase Ultimate Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest programs but British Airways Executive Club is shared by all three. Got it?
Leverage Your Program:
Starwood Preferred Guest program offers a perpetual 25% transfer bonus for all transfers of 20,000 SPG points. This gives you a bonus pf 5,000 SPG Points per 20k Starpoint airline transfer transaction. SPG offers the most stability in their bonus offer across all partner airlines.
American Express Membership Rewards Program offers a rotating door of bonus offers for specific transfer partners. In 2011 alone AMEX MR had transfer bonus offers of 50% to British Airways Avios Points (formerly known as Miles) and 50% transfer bonus to Delta SkyMiles. Always check your emails for updates on the current best MR transfer bonus offer. Amex Offers the biggest transfer bonus offers but they are slowly losing partners to transfer to. The best options are British Airways and Delta so if you have a someday travel destination serviced by those airlines keep an eye open for bonus offers.
Chase Ultimate Rewards Program does not currently have any promotional bonus offers for their transfer partners. But the strength they do have is in the 1:1 transfer ratio they keep with United Airlines (which recently left Amex MR), Korean Airlines (exclusive partner) and exclusive partnership with Hyatt and Marriott hotel loyalty programs. If you have flights or stays that fit into any of those reward programs make sure you remember to see how far you can stretch your UR balance to get your trip booked for free.
A common mistake is to apply for the card that transfers to your favorite program or apply for the card that adds the greatest amount of reward program diversity for you without considering your destination.
Unless you will be burning your miles in the near future, I recommend you always ire on the side of caution and diversify your reward program holdings. Remember to keep your one day travel destinations in mind when planning which joining new reward programs.
Which program works best for you?
I know the infographic needs a bit of an overhaul and I hope to have a new and improved version soon. Until then I will proivde a list for all fixes here and if you find any others please let me know.
- AirTrain is leaving Amex MR
- Lufthansa is part of SPG Program
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