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A History of Amex Transfer Bonuses From 2010-Present

by on April 11, 2013 · 34 comments

in American Express

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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 (?)


 

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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  • mike

    is there an easy way to find out about bonus transfer opportunities? i feel like i always miss them.

  • Curtis

    I have about 140k MR points hitting the next few weeks, so hoping for a big BA one as well! We already got in on 40% BA with 90k points last year. BA miles are awesome with AA from DFW on short hauls.

    @70fe8ae18fd175e914a54e0c97c5babc:disqus , read these blogs every day ;).

  • Curtis

    Wow, i tried to say “AT” Mike, but that crazy GUID popped up. weird!

  • http://twitter.com/doa61006 Deal Hunter

    Thanks for compiling this.

  • ChiliPalmer

    Interesting. So only one even partially in this year.

  • bob

    The Canada Amex MR Program had BA 50% 3/1/2013 – 3/31/2013. Took some serious advantage of that one

  • jmw2323
  • jmw2323

    anxiously awaiting the next bonus as I have 300k MR collecting dust. Just re-upped my business gold card. They gave me $100 credit so only $75 to renew

  • Mark

    I’m holding on to my MR waiting for another transfer to Delta MQM bonus.

  • tom

    Amex just had a Starwood 50% bonus that expired 3/31/2012

  • vortix

    Any way to display this graphically? (i.e. on some sort of calendar?) Thanks for the info…this is very useful!

  • Lantean

    Singapore!!!
    Can we please get a transfer bonus to Singapore? ;)
    Heehee

  • Mark

    Wouldn’t a Starwood transfer bonus be pretty good? Say 50% bonus to Starwood then transfer from Starwood to an airline in 20,000 increments to get another 5,000 bonus.

  • HeraSentMe

    Here you are again, urging gullible travelers (get the riff on Gulliver’s Travels? probably not) to waste money on devious point/mileage schemes.

    This sock puppet is dead, my friend. And since I don’t have a “f’ckn job/life” according to you, I have plenty of time to seek and destroy other ones you create.

  • HeraSentMe

    Ah, so you’re an online whore for a multitude of companies. AMEX is traveling down the same road to perdition that Diner’s Club traveled, but at least the latter just faded away with dignity, instead of employing the likes of you to pump another dollar out of witless cardholders.

  • jmw2323

    I think Dean Wormer’s line suits you well.
    “Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son”

  • HeraSentMe

    I think a riff on Ben Franklin’s line suits you better.

    Early to whore and early to whore, makes a whore whorish, whorish and a whore.

  • jmw2323

    Brian,

    my apologies for the nutcase that decided to use your blog to pick a battle with me.

  • HeraSentMe

    My lack of apology for following this obvious travel business shill to your blog to expose him for what he is.

    Anybody who wants to know more can access my DISQUS account, and his, at least until he deletes it.

  • thepointsguy

    No worries..the best thing to do with internet trolls is to ignore

  • thepointsguy

    I wouldn’t hold your breath… heard those MQM bonuses were just to excite people in the leadup to Continental leaving Membership Rewards

  • ILovePoints

    I am curious as to why you would wait for British Airways? BA has the worst reward availability (in my experience) and the taxes on a first class flight runs close to $500+. I was waiting for Virgin Atlantic to transfer to Hilton, and of course SPG. I need to top up my Delta as well. I have a lot of points sitting with Amex right now (around 11 Million). Ever since Continetal (United) left – I only use these MR points for Vegas hotels (Bellagio) or SPG, Delta, or Virgin (for Hilton).

  • Jonathan P.

    11 million eh? And I just bragged I was able to amass 80k Chase, 55k Amex, 30 SPG points on Facebook so I could provide my young family a semblance of a European vacation. Hats off to you!

  • Will

    Maybe writing a piece with the accompanying chart will put some pressure on AMEX to offer a transfer?

  • ILovePoints

    thanks! I was really upset with the AMEX discontinuation with United/Continental. I’m actually trying to move more of my purchasing to the Palladium Chase card now (where I can transfer to United/Marriott(Ritz)/Hyatt)… Amex gave some temporary relief (in my eyes) to their discontinuation with Continental. However they have not done anything to fully replace it.

  • jmw2323

    for AA flights using BA Avois. one of my (and many others) favorite ways to book.

  • jmw2323

    is it Amex’ fault or United?

  • ILovePoints

    From what I hear: Amex says it was Continental, Continental said Amex – either way they couldn’t come to an agreement. Can’t really fault Continental -i need them….they are a strong hub where I am at.

  • Pingback: History of conversion bonuses for MR->BA and MR->VS (UK based Amex Gold) - FlyerTalk Forums

  • Penn Dalton

    I really hope you keep updating this as new bonuses are announced, it’s a great reference. Possibly add the normal rate for comparison?

  • Jason A.

    Do you think you could keep this list updated? The last British Airways promo of 35% would have to be added. I find this INCREDIBLY useful!

  • Pingback: 美國運通點數 (MR) 轉 BA Avios多送20% | 研究生的點數旅行攻略

  • justthebest

    YES! Please update this and tell us how to know when these bonuses are available. I’ve looked, and can’t find any, and I never hear from AmEx (I have two accounts with them). Thanks.

  • Ketan S

    can you please update this list?

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