A History of Amex Transfer Bonuses From 2010-Present

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One of the biggest benefits of having American Express Membership Rewards points is taking advantage of transfer bonuses to the program’s airline and hotel partners. Unfortunately, these bonuses used to be offered much more frequently. While we are going through a drought, I figured I’d put together a list of past bonuses so you can see any past trends and decide whether it makes sense to redeem now or wait for a new bonus.

I have no inside information, but if I were a betting man I’d bank on seeing a Virgin America or Starwood 50% bonus within the next couple of months, which I personally wouldn’t take advantage of. I’d rather see a British Airways 30-50% bonus or even an Air France/Flying Blue or Virgin Atlantic bonus that I could use towards promo awards (though those do carry big fees.)

While this might be wishful thinking, here’s a list of past bonuses from 2010 for the US Membership Rewards program. I’m sure I probably missed a couple, so feel free to comment on any and I’ll add to the list.

Here's a brief history of Amex transfer bonuses.
Here’s a brief history of Amex transfer bonuses.
Transfer Partner Dates Bonus Percentage Duration Notes
Aeroplan November 22, 2010 – December 5, 2010 25% 11 days 5,000 bonus miles for 20,000 points, max
Aeroplan (for Candada Amex only) August 9, 2010 – August 15, 2010 15% 7 days
Flying Blue Air France/KLM September 10, 2012 – September 16, 2012 35% 6 days
Flying Blue Air France/KLM February 2, 2012 – February 29, 2012 25% 28 days
AirTran February 1, 2011 – April 1, 2011 25% 29 days A different points structure: 1,123 AmEx points get you 1 AirTran A+ credit. The equivalent of 9,000 points is good for one-way coach ticket
British Airways December 3, 2012 – January 14, 2013 30% 43 days
British Airways March 1, 2012 – March 31, 2012 50% 31 days This is for Canadian AmEx Rewards Program
British Airways August 28, 2012 – September 27, 2012 40% 31 days
British Airways March 15, 2012 – May 31, 2012 50% 77 days
British Airways November 28, 2011 – January 31, 2012 30% 65 days
British Airways June 1, 2011 – July 31, 2011 50% 61 days
British Airways February 2, 2011 – March 31, 2011 40% 58 days
British Airways November 2, 2010 – December 31, 2010 30% 60 days
British Airways (USA Platinum and Centurion) April 1, 2010 – June 30, 2010 20% 91 days
British Airways (UK Amex cardholders) January 23, 2010 – February 20, 2010 100% 28 days
British Airways (UK Amex) December 3, 2010 – December 24, 2010 30% 21 days
Choice Hotels April 3, 2012 – June 30, 2012 25% rebate* 89 days 33% bonus on an otherwise 1:1 ratio (750 AmEx = 1,000 Choice)
Choice Hotels 31-Oct-11 50%
Delta November 14, 2011 – November 30, 2011 30% 16 days *Plus a 15,000 bonus with every 50,000 transfer, so with that it would be 43%
Delta July 25, 2011 – September 30, 2011 67% (40% rebate) 68 days *This was a 40% rebate offer, in 50k increments and with a $60 per 100k excise fee. Also, rebate certificates sent 6-8 weeks after transaction
Delta June 9, 2011 – September 30, 2011 50% 113 days *Also 25,000 MQMs, requires 100,000 point transfer
Delta June 1, 2011 – June 30, 2011 40% 30 days *100,000 or more points. 25% if less
Delta April – May 2011 40% (25% rebate) Approx 2 months *40% on 100,000+, 25% on less
Delta January 22, 2011 – May 31, 2011 50% 130 days *First time transfers only, 25,000 MQM as well
Delta January 18, 2011 – March 31, 2011 30% 73 days
Delta November 30, 2010 – December 31, 2010 67% (bonus, essentially) 32 days * 20,000 bonus (or $250 Macy’s card) for 50,000 transfer
Delta November 1, 2010 – December 15, 2010 50% 45 days * 25,000 MQM w/ 50,000 point transfer
Delta August 11, 2010 – September 30, 2010 20% 41 days
Delta May 10, 2010 – June 30, 2010 25% 51 days
Delta January 23, 2010 – February 28, 2010 up to 40% 36 days * up to 49,000 for 10%, 50 to 149,000 for 20%, 150,000+ for 40%
El Al November 1, 2010 – unknown 25% unknown
Hilton April 3, 2012 – June 30, 2012 25% rebate* 89 days *25% bonus on an otherwise 1:1.5 ratio (750 AmEx = 1,500 Hilton)
Iberia September 19, 2011 – not specified, but Iberia rolled into Avios on November 16, 2011 20% 59 days
JetBlue June 12, 2012 – June 17, 2012 30% 6 days
Priority Club April 12, 2010 – June 3, 2010 20% 21 days
Starwood April 3, 2012 – June 30, 2012 25% rebate* 89 days *44% bonus on an otherwise 3:1 ratio (750 AmEx = 333 SPG)
Starwood March 1, 2012 – March 31, 2012 50% 31 days
Starwood September 1, 2011 – September 14, 2011 25% 14 days
Virgin America November 7, 2012 – November 21, 2012 50% 14 days *Targeted
Virgin America August 27, 2012 – September 2, 2012 30% 7 days
Virgin America March 19, 2012 – March 26, 2012 30% 7 days
Virgin Atlantic April 1, 2012 – May 15, 2012 25% 45 days *Also a 1:2 ratio transfer, Virgin to Hilton
Virgin Atlantic November 27, 2012 – December 29, 2012 35% 32 days
Virgin Atlantic 3-Jun-11 25% Unknown
Virgin Atlantic January 10, 2011 – February 28, 2011 15% 39 days
Virgin Atlantic October 1, 2010 – October 31, 2010 20% 31 days
Virgin Atlantic July 19, 2010 – July 30, 2010 15% 20 days
Virgin Atlantic February 22, 2010 – at least March 16, 2010 (last mention in post) 15% 23 days (?)


 

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