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Continental leaves the American Express Membership Rewards program September 30, 2011 and they have been aggressively emailing their frequent flyers asking them to transfer their points to Continental before it’s too late. I recently got an email:
“THE COUNTDOWN IS ON. DON’T MISS OUT.
TURN MEMBERSHIP REWARDS® POINTS INTO MILES NOW.
Continental’s partnership with American Express® Membership Rewards® will end on Sept. 30, 2011. Convert Membership Rewards® points into miles for OnePass®rewards.*”
I may actually transfer some American Express points to Continental, but I’d like to see some sort of incentive. I have a feeling American Express may run some unique promotions in September which will encourage people not to transfer to Continental. If you see on their website, they already list Continental as the last airline transfer partner on page three!
American Express pays each airline for the miles, so clearly Continental wants a huge amount of miles to be transferred. I don’t think its a coincidence that the huge Delta (50% and 67%) bonuses both end on September 30.
While American Express won’t run a transfer bonus to Continental, I wouldn’t be surprised if Continental added some incentive – like a 5,000 mile bonus that they give out on their end.
So, bottom line – I wouldn’t recommend transferring to Continental until the last minute – unless they offer some sort of bonus that makes it worth it. And remember, you can still transfer your American Express points to Aeroplan, ANA and Singapore to book your Star Alliance travel, however, I will miss having Continental as an option.