Last Week to Transfer Amex Points To Continental

by on September 26, 2011 · 55 comments

in American Express, Chase, Continental, Video Blog Post

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Just a friendly reminder that 9/30/11 is the last day to transfer American Express points to Continental. I wrote a post on this a couple weeks ago and I recently recorded a short video walking you through the basics. Apologies in advance for the audio and less-than professional editing! I’m new to videos and will be improving the quality and editing as we go along. If you have any suggestions for videos, please feel free to comment below.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • sil

    Great Video!!! I had 227k AMEX points. I transferred 100k to Delta for the 1st time transfer with 50% bonus and the other 127k to Continental last week. I have less than 1k in my AMEX MR now.

  • Dave Op

    If you have Amex or Continental logo (or other logos for that matter of the subjects you’re covering on the background), I wondered if these corporation will pay you an advertisement fee. That thought would require more work. Just a thought.


    whoever was filming this video should be fired! WOW!

  • Anonymous

    Haha it was a friend, so I’m not sure how far I’d get firing him. I’ll ask him to cut back on the caffeine next time :-)

  • Napolehon

    If i already took advantage of the 100k transfer and 25000 mqm for delta, can i do it again for a family member with my MR account?

  • CJ

    This from over at (under What’s New,” as of 9/23): “Good news: The Chase reps are saying that after the merger of Continental Airlines into United Airlines in December, Ultimate Rewards points will be tranferrable to United Airlines. Details will be available January 1, 2012.” If true, that would seem to take some pressure off needing to transfer from MR into Continental, at least for those of us with some meaningful UR points, and/or who get a lot of use out of the increasingly worthwhile Sapphire Preferred card.

    I’ve been hoping Chase would replace Continental with United in UR — Brian, any sense whether the report is a reliable one?

  • dumbluck

    Hi- Thanks for your help! Still not sure what I’ll do, but I at least know what’s at stake.  I’ve got about a million points to play with thanks to work. I’m thinking of going continental and skipping delta. I fly almost exclusively first/business on miles, and need the flexibility to change my flights frequently.  My routes are sfo to shanghai, sfo to hyderabad, some domestic travel, and of course the odd vacation. Here are my reasons….

    1. You can’t book one way with Delta. 

    2. Delta has a 72 hour rule for award changes and charges to change award tickets before then.

    3. United has a direct flight from SFO to Shanghai. 

    4. I do have some Delta points, and United always uses less points to get where I need to go. 

    Other points

    1. United first isn’t great, but it often requires less miles than their business class. 

    2. Your post on using ANA to search for star alliance flights really makes continental miles look that much better.

    Anyway, any thoughts? Its seems quite dumb to pass up 500,000 miles by forgoing the Delta promotion, but not being able to book one way travel and 72 hour rule will cause a fair amount of pain. 

    Would love to get your thoughts. 

  • Anonymous

    Yep as long as their skymiles account is registered for the promo

  • Anonymous

    Delta isn’t for everyone. With Asia plans and living on the West Coast, I think transferring to Continental is a decent plan, but I’d probably leave some in Amex just in case you need to book a Skyteam/Oneworld award or there are unbelievable transfer bonuses

  • Anonymous

    I’ve emailed the people who run the Ultimate Rewards program and I’m waiting for clarification. I’ll share as soon as I know anything!

  • Anonymous

    I’m curious why you say that you can’t book one-way travel with Aeroplan — you’ve mentioned it in a couple of posts so far. For what it’s worth you can book one-way travel with Aeroplan, and it does cost less than the price of a return trip. However, one-way travel must begin OR end in North America. One-way NA is 17000 vs 25000 for the round trip in Y.

    Also, in the interests of completeness, Aeroplan only charges fuel surcharges on Air Canada metal. I just booked Canada-Russia in LH and LX business (beginning and ending with Air Canada feeders) with no fuel surcharge at all, just $120 in taxes and fees.

    While I would also prefer to have CO as an additional option I’m not sure this is the disaster some people are making it out to be.

  • Anonymous

    When I talk about one-way awards, I mean at 50% of the cost of a roundtrip. Delta and US Airways technically allows one way awards, but just at the price of a roundtrip.

    I understand Aeroplan is somewhere in between, but since its not half the price of a roundtrip, I don’t think its an option many people are going to use especially when comparing it against Continental which allows one-ways at 50% of the miles and no restrictions on regions.

  • Anonymous

    Fair enough. Thanks for your help! I agree the AC surcharges can be a pain, but in my experience there’s always some way to get them dropped :P

  • Lmarshall

    Can you use the Continental points on US Airways?

  • Anonymous

    Yep! Their award flights even show on

  • sergey

    TPG, I wanted to transfer some portion of MR points to Continental to book an award on SQ/CO DME-IAH-TPA in coach for one person. Availability on SQ is excellent in coach, available each day. So, it would cost 60K OnePass miles + ~$100 in fees. But today I found out that SQ runs a promo (50% off from/to some destinations) and DME-IAH is included. So, this portion (DME-IAH-DME) costs only 20K Krissflyers miles, but they want ~$400 in taxes. Since Singapoure is a AMEX’s partner, I can transfer MR points to SQ. So, I was wondering if this is a really good deal, since fuel surcharges are high.

  • Whiskarina

    Your mom would say sit up straight! YOU ROCK!

  • Kevin

    Hi Brian, you read my mind with this post. I’m wondering if you can provide an additional data point that will help me (and possibly others) decide how to proceed. Last month, I got the Amex PRG using your link, and got the bump-the-bonus to 75,000 notated by a rep over the phone. I gather that this is no longer working, but do you know whether they’re honoring the bump for people who got it successfully notated?

    Here’s why I ask: I have 50,000 MR points right now. If I get the extra 75,000 in the next 6 to 8 weeks, I’m wondering if I’d be better off having 125,000 in one big chunk than just the 75,000. But if it looks unlikely that the 75,000 will really materialize, then maybe I should at least get the 50,000 Continental miles.

    Do you know how the bump-the-bonus is playing out? Do you have any thoughts on what you’d recommend? Thanks for your help!

  • Anonymous

    Probably a good idea to use a tripod next time :)

  • Jenny

    Where were you when you took the video? It looks like a great place!

  • js

    I had an “interesting” encounter with Amex a few months ago. Finally have time to share. I’d been an Amex customer for 13 years, but never with paid cards. I applied in rapid succession for Amex platinum, Amex gold, and Amex delta gold. (also a few others – BA and I think maybe one other I can’t recall – so I was a bit out of control I admit). I was approved for all 3, got tons of miles, and yay! Then I was out to lunch with a client, whipped out the platinum (impressive!) and it was denied. A dozen phone calls later, I was told what happened. Because of too much activity and too rapid a rise in my outstanding credit (not credit used, just credit that was now available to me, since Amex had just given me three new cards), they wanted “income verification.”

    The problem is that, what this means in practice is that I sign a form that allows them to access anything they want from the IRS, with no expiration deadline. I called and told Amex that I would be happy to mail them tax forms for the last three years, with some information redacted, or that they could rearrange or even drastically reduce my credit lines if they wanted. But I was told in very certain terms that if I didn’t sign over the rights to view my IRS files, they’d cancel not only my cards, but my wife’s too! Which they did.

    So, no Amex for me. I’m furious at them for the way they handled it, by the way. They refused what I thought were reasonable compromises. And how they cancelled my wife’s business card because of this is beyond me.

    My FICO is 770 and didn’t move much throughout this whole fiasco, so they’re looking at something else in making these calls.

    So a word of warning to everyone – take it easy! One at a time. Get one card, wait a couple months, then get the next one. Going crazy can bite you.

  • ClayD333

    I thought that expired, do you have a link?

  • Askia Suruma

    Any suggestions for what to do when the number in your MR account isn’t the same as the number in your FF account? Whose fault is this, AMEX or Continental? Thanks.

  • Anonymous

    Rooftop pool of the SLS hotel (Starwood) in Beverly Hills

  • Anonymous

    Just link the correct number and delink the wrong one

  • Dracs

    Really liked the video concept.

  • Alohastephen

    just transferred 65k MR to continental and on to United.
    I really like the vid. How about podcasts for me to listen during my 90-commute to work?

  • Rita_ong1

    I enjoyed the video … thanks!

  • Thomas

    I was really shocked when I learned that Amex had already lost AA, and now Continental. I flew both of those airlines on points in the last several years. Like you, I have about 500,000 Amex points. I think I will transfer about 160,000 to Continental which will get me an upgrade from Economy to Business from the USA to Europe for my family of four. If my adult kids don’t go with us, I will be able to use the points later.

    I recently opened an account with British and planned on doing the One-World transfer option, but it looks like a hassle (never availability). I rather like the on line system that Continental has for reward travel and upgrade with miles.

    Thanks for providing this information.

  • Gow

    Where was this video filmed?

  • Anonymous

    Rooftop pool of the SLS hotel (Starwood) in Beverly Hills

  • Anonymous

    On a Thursday night so I got triple points, naturally :-)

  • GWolk

    Points Guy,
    My rewards points are all over the place, and I really don’t know how best to use them. Can you please take a look at my point allocations and point me in the right direction?…

    American Airlines: 87k
    Continental: 35k
    Delta: 30k
    Membership Rewards: 50k
    Ultimate Rewards: 60k

    Any comments from you or any other readers would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

  • GWolk

    I also have 30k in Marriott Rewards.

  • Anonymous

    Well the good thing is you have valuable points. I wouldn’t worry about them being all over the place as long as you keep them active. I’d focus on building your Amex and Ultimate Rewards accounts since they offer the most flexibility and when it comes time to redeem you can always top up Delta/Continental. AA is a little different, but you can book one ways using AA miles and the other way using BA miles (who is a transfer partner of Amex and Chase)

  • Anonymous

    People are still getting the bonus, but you have to fight for it. Annoying, but persistence generally pays off in the points game.

  • GWolk


  • Joedoe

    In my experience the “guaranteed room” offered to all premium level card holders by all the hotel chains is both difficult to get and will cost a fortune. If you offer a local hotel a premium, telling them you are a Platinum, or whatever holder of a major chain, they will find you a decent room usually at a better price , and treat you very well. Worth forgoing the points on the one stay.

  • Joedoe

    In my experience the “guaranteed room” offered to all premium level card holders by all the hotel chains is both difficult to get and will cost a fortune. If you offer a local hotel a premium, telling them you are a Platinum, or whatever holder of a major chain, they will find you a decent room usually at a better price , and treat you very well. Worth forgoing the points on the one stay.

  • SkeebaSkeeba

    Can you still borrow up to 25k AMEX miles? I have some coming but would like to get in on moving them to Continental before its too late.

  • Askia Suruma

    Called OnePass and it turned out Amex created a new account for me instead of linking the old one.

  • Guest

    Very informative. Two questions though -

    1) Is it true that I could book a CO flight with Amex points through a partner after Sept 30 (is it just that it may be more difficult and/or expensive)?

    2) How does one keep CO miles “active”?


  • Daveh

    I have a million MR points, and I am really split on where to put em. If I transfer them to Continental, will they count towards million miler status with them? (they don’t count with Delta)

  • Jay

    How does one keep CO onepass miles “active”? Can I just use a CO credit card? Do I have to fly CO within 18 months? What if I use miles – does that count as a flight?

  • David

    It’s called an AMEX FR (Financial Review). Not abnormal for it to happen to people. There’s threads on about every travel and credit style forum.
    By reading your post, I gathered you didn’t comply to their terms within 5 days so they canceled all your accounts, correct? If you don’t have anything to hide, and your income is stated truthfully on your applications, then you should send in the form. If not, they will cancel your accounts, no questions asked.
    I had the FR, faxed in the forms, 10 days later – all accounts active again.

  • Joseph

    Guys, let me ask. I have senior citizen parents, they are FF on UA, CO and DL. They have a boatload of AMEX MR points. I have been telling them to move points to CO quick, but 1) the new UA/CO FF rules for next year are great to the top elites, but pretty mediocre for the lower levels; and 2) Delta has this 100% bonus offer:

    So let me ask, considering my parents fly strictly domestically (Calif. to East Coast) and use points strictly for upgrades, any suggestions between transferring to CO, transferring to DL with the bonus, or leaving them at AMEX and hoping next month’s Virgin America /MR deal is worth waiting for?

  • Joseph

    This says July, but I hadn’t seen this one before:

    I guess this offer is for the people who have already done their once in a lifetime transfer. I t doesn’t appear to say “first time only.”

  • Jaxon5000

    Ok so I have 210,000 AMEX point….My goal is to use these point to book a continental flight for my wife and I to Europe in the next 12 months. What should I do as far as booking a ticket and should I book the ticket before OnePass is up?

  • Anonymous

    I just transferred 1,373,000 Amex MR points to Continental and then into my United account. It cost me $198 ($99 per transfer) since you can only transfer up to 999,000 points per transaction.

    I’m already lifetime Platinum on AA and I have almost 1,900,000 unused miles in that program. Since I’m LAX based, I have the most flying options for upgrades/award tickets between AA and United . I’m also a Centurion card holder which gives me Star Alliance Gold on US Airways as well as Delta Platinum and Virgin Atlantic Gold. I only fly first and business so the opportunity to transfer all my unused points to United made sense to me.

    In addition, if an upgrade/award ticket on Delta, US Airways or Virgin Atlantic was cheaper than purchasing one, I could buy up to several hundred thousand MR points each year and transfer them.

  • David

    Holy guacamole!! Those are some serious balances in MR & AA!
    Nicely done.

    I hope/assume you left at least SOME points in your MR to hit hotels if you need them? Judging by your post I wouldn’t be surprised if you had way more than 1.3 million MR.

  • Anonymous

    Actually, I don’t. I have 733 miles left in my MR account. However, another 5,000+ should post in the next few days. For me, being able to upgrade and never fly economy on AA/OneWorld and UA/Star Alliance is worth it.

    I never use points for hotels since I don’t find them to be a good value. Besides, I typically only stay at the Four Seasons or Ritz Carlton.

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  • Jimeisner

    I’m leaving the new united I lost 75,000 mile in the transfer from amex

  • Morris

    im looking to buy continental points asap. i can use up to 800,000 pts. morris

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