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TPG reader Josh tweeted me to ask:

@thepointsguy– “I just got 100k Amex Platinum sign-up bonus points. What’s your favorite way to use Amex points?”

Josh was lucky enough to be targeted for the 100,000 point sign-up bonus offer for the Amex Platinum card, which is an amazing promotion. I typically like to use my Membership Rewards points for airline transfers. American Express is adding a lot of new partners, like AirBnb, Uber, and even McDonald’s, but I get the most value by transferring to partners like British Airways, which is probably my number one choice. Additionally, now until January 31, 2014 you can get a 40% bonus when transferring Membership Rewards points to Avios.

British Airways Avios are great for short-haul travel like round-trip flights from New York to Miami, which is a route I fly all the time (and I often use points to fly family and friends between the two cities for just 15,000 Avios round trip. Taxes and fees are low, and there are no last minute booking fees, which is very user-friendly. Avios are even more potent for segments under 650 miles (like New York to Montreal), which cost just 4,500 Avios each way!

Transferring my Amex points to British Airways Avios is one of my favorite ways to use them. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock/Chris Parypa Photography.
I often transfer my Amex points for awards on British Airways. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

I also like using my Amex points to transfer to Aeroplan. Last year I booked a one way Aeroplan award on Lufthansa first class to Europe. They release seats at the last minute, and you can instantly transfer points from Amex and book one-way awards, which greatly increases the value of Aeroplan in my opinion.

ANA is another good option, though it can be a little bit trickier, since awards have to be round-trip. Delta could also be a feasible option, especially because Virgin Atlantic has pretty good availability, and it’s 125,000 points round-trip for business class between the US and Europe.

Those are the main airlines I use for points transfers. I don’t typically transfer to hotel partners; it could make sense when the Starwood 50% transfer bonus is in play, but considering the transfer ratio is a measly 3 Amex points to 1 Starpoint, it’s not a great deal even with the bonus. So generally I suggest transferring your Amex points to airlines; that’s where I think you’ll get the most out of them.

If you have any other questions, please tweet me @thepointsguy, message me on Facebook, or send me an email at

The Platinum Card® from American Express

WELCOME OFFER: 60,000 Points Terms Apply.


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More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
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  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
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  • $550 annual fee.
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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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