American Express (Amex) has a history of offering attractive transfer bonuses, allowing its cardholders to convert their Membership Rewards points into airline and hotel loyalty program miles with added incentives. The recent spate of transfer bonuses offered by Amex has left many pondering when and where to transfer their points for maximum value. This article aims to provide insights into the history of these transfer bonuses and offers a glimpse into what to expect in the future.
The Current Transfer Bonuses
As of September 1st, Amex unveiled an impressive twelve transfer bonuses from Membership Rewards to various airline and hotel programs. While most of these bonuses are set to expire at the end of September, the crucial question remains: when and where should you transfer your points? The answer largely depends on your immediate travel plans and your expectations of future transfer bonuses.
Analyzing the Rarity of Transfer Bonuses
One way to decide whether to act swiftly on a transfer bonus is to consider its rarity. By delving into historical data, we can distinguish common bonuses from rare ones and make more informed decisions.
- AeroMexico (Rare): AeroMexico transfer bonuses from Amex are a scarce occurrence, with data showing they tend to emerge approximately once a year. Therefore, if you are considering taking advantage of the current bonus, now may be the time to explore expanded Delta award availability.
- Air Canada Aeroplan (Rare): Historically, Amex has extended modest transfer bonuses (10% to 20%) to Aeroplan approximately once a year. If you’re interested in transferring your points to Aeroplan, this is an opportune moment to do so.
- Air France / KLM Flying Blue (~5 per year): Flying Blue, on the other hand, is a relatively common recipient of transfer bonuses. There have been five transfer bonuses to Flying Blue this year, which indicates they might appear regularly. Expect the next bonus to arrive in March or April of 2023.
- Avianca LifeMiles (Very common): Amex has frequently offered transfer bonuses to LifeMiles. This year alone has seen five transfer bonuses, making it likely that another one will surface soon, perhaps in November of 2022.
- Avios (Common): Transfer bonuses related to Avios are common, especially with the multiple programs that share the Avios currency. While 2022 has witnessed five transfer bonuses, typically, there have been four per year. Expect the next bonus to appear in March or April 2023.
- Hawaiian Airlines (~2 per year): Hawaiian Airlines transfer bonuses have been rare historically. However, 2021 and 2022 saw two bonuses each. The next one might not appear until June 2023.
- Qantas (~1 per year?): Qantas transfer bonuses were frequent in 2019 but have since been less common. The next one is uncertain.
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club 30% Bonus (~3 per year): Amex has been consistently offering transfer bonuses to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club. If the pattern continues, the next one could emerge in May 2023.
- Choice Privileges 25% Bonus (extremely rare): The recent transfer bonus to Choice Privileges was the first ever recorded, and it’s not considered highly exciting due to the low standard transfer ratio. The future of these bonuses remains uncertain.
- Hilton Honors 30% Bonus (2 or 3 per year): Amex typically extends two or three transfer bonuses to Hilton Honors each year. Expect the next one in December 2022.
- Marriott Bonvoy (~3 per year): Historical data indicates that Amex typically offers three transfer bonuses to Marriott Bonvoy annually. The next bonus from Amex is likely to appear in March or April 2023.
The decision to transfer your Amex Membership Rewards points depends on your immediate travel plans and the rarity of the transfer bonus. Carefully consider the historical data and the regularity of bonuses for different loyalty programs. Make an informed choice and maximize your points’ value while keeping an eye on the horizon for future bonuses.