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Every so often, TPG readers want to know how other travelers are redeeming their credit card earnings. To that end, we asked our TPG Lounge members to tell us: “What’s your favorite way to use Amex Membership Rewards points? Any tips for newbies?”
Transfer to Airlines
The overwhelming response was to transfer American Express Membership Rewards points to airlines for maximum value. This is in keeping with our guide for best Membership Rewards redemptions. Our readers shared their favorite airline redemption options with us:
I transfer to British Airways Avios, and redeem [through] Alaska Airlines. I check availability on AA’s site, then call BA to book. Sometimes they charge a $25 booking fee, sometimes they don’t. — Kathy R.
I’ve transferred to Etihad with bonus, and to British Airways with bonus. At the time Etihad was 30%, and BA was 40%. I’ve used my Avios on AA exclusively so far. Miniscule fees and good availability, even [for] last minute to Vegas from LAX, instead of paying $380 per person. [I get a] 3 cent per point value. — Edmond K.
Transfers to ANA for redemptions to Japan… always pretty inexpensive. I typically book ANA economy as I like to stretch my points. — Zain N.
Transfer for airfare generally, Delta or JetBlue mostly. — Bill F.
Aeroplan to Europe! — Tim S.
ANA to Africa — Jamie R.
Transfer to Delta. Delta has a great summer flight JFK-Nice, France direct on Saturdays and we’ve had good luck booking coach with reasonable points the last few summers. — Cheryl D.
1,200 mi flights on AA through British Airways. Get 3-4 cents per point! — Bryan B.
Generally I use to transfer to Delta (or SkyTeam partners) — Allyson C.
Transfer to Asia Miles to use on Cathay — Meg G.
Transfer points to ANA for 90k (ANA) or 95k (Star Alliance) roundtrip redemption to Asia on J. Free stopover in Tokyo also, when [flying] on ANA! — Peter H.
Wait for bonus transfers. British Airways is a good one for short distances, also JFK–YVR on Cathay. [I’ve] also put some [MR points] into Virgin Atlantic for a RT ANA first[-class redemption]. — Carl C.
Looking forward to transferring to Etihad Guest for either AA transatlantic, or Czech Airlines from Prague to Seoul. — Matt T.
I save them for high-value transfers to foreign airline partners to avoid excise tax. I generally use Ultimate Rewards points for domestic transfers, since that’s not an issue. — Andrew K.
While airline redemptions are one of the most popular ways to utilize Membership Rewards points, Hilton offers a great redemption value on the hotels side. In fact, American Express just permanently increased the transfer ratio between Membership Rewards points and Hilton early this year.
I transfer to Hilton. They have pretty decent point redemption. — Evelyn E.
[I transfer to Hilton] Honors – 3x points that I just used for a romantic weekend for pier 5 hotel at inner harbor, Baltimore. — Varun V.
A few TPG Lounge members boldly owned their redemption methods, despite the inevitable “Facebook laughs”:
[to be honest]…, NYC cabs. — Richard M.
Starbucks gift cards. — Mike Z.
Redeem via Amazon. — Darren L.
Featured image courtesy of the Conrad Maldives.
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The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), up to a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at Marriott and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,200 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the annual fee makes sense for you.
- 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.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
- 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
- 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.
- Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
- $550 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees