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Part of what makes transferable points programs like American Express Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards so useful (and valuable) is the ability to convert points into miles with dozens of different airline partners. But what makes them even more attractive is that some banks offer occasional bonuses for doing so. It’s like being surprised with a tidy windfall for your everyday spending.

Transfer bonuses can also make some already great deals — like using Virgin Atlantic miles for ANA redemptions or British Airways Avios for flights to Hawaii on American Airlines or Alaska — that much more phenomenal.

However, in order to know whether a transfer bonus is a good deal (and right for your particular needs at any given moment), it helps to have some context. For instance, a 20% transfer bonus to JetBlue TrueBlue might seem like a decent perk … until you learn that another credit card issuer was offering a 25% bonus just a few months ago and will likely do so again.

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A transfer bonus might be just the ticket for scoring great awards and a great price. (Photo by Nick Ellis / The Points Guy)

For that reason, we thought it would be useful to compile a list of all the airline transfer bonuses from the past few years that have been offered by the following programs:

American Express has the most extensive history of offering bonuses for making points transfers to partners like British Airways and JetBlue. However, Capital One has launched not one, but three, transfer bonuses so far this year alone, including one to Air France/KLM Flying Blue that began June 1.

Chase Ultimate Rewards is currently offering its first-ever transfer bonus – 30% to British Airways – in what will hopefully be a sign of more things to come. For its part, Citi ThankYou Rewards has fielded a pretty robust roster of transfer bonuses since it began adding airline partners in 2014.

Remember, Marriott Bonvoy points now transfer to 39 airlines, and when you convert 60,000 points, you get a 5,000-mile bonus with most airlines.

That’s a lot to keep track of, so here is a catalog of airline transfer bonuses from 2014 through the present including the percentage bonus being offered, and the dates of each bonus.

Many American Express cards allow for transfers to airlines, and the issuer frequently runs transfer bonuses. (Photo by John Gribben/The Points Guy)

American Express Membership Rewards

Cardholders with the following American Express credit and charge cards can transfer their Membership Rewards points to the program’s airline partners:

American Express Membership Rewards currently transfer to 19 airline partners, such as Delta and Singapore Airlines. However, only a few have been subject to transfer bonuses in recent years, and long-gone are the days when Amex cardholders could expect bonuses in the 50% range.

Still, some of these offers can amount to tremendous value if you have a strategy in place to maximize them when they come around.

Aer Lingus Aer Club

  • August 1 – October 1, 2019: 40%

Aeromexico Club Premier

  • January 14 – February 14, 2019: 25%
  • November 8 – November 30, 2018: 25%
  • February 17 – March 6, 2015: 20%

Air Canada Aeroplan

  • May 2019: 10-20% (targeted)
  • November 2018: 20% (targeted)
  • November 10 – December 12, 2017: 10-20% (targeted)

Air France/KLM Flying Blue

  • March 18 – April 29, 2019: 25%
  • May 1 – June 15, 2018: 25%

Alitalia MilleMiglia

  • November 25 – December 13, 2016: 40%
  • October 2 – October 31, 2016: 25%

Avianca LifeMiles

  • March 1 – April 1, 2019: 15%

British Airways Executive Club

  • August 1 – October 1, 2019: 40%
  • September 16 – November 15, 2018: 40%
  • July 17 – September 17, 2017: 40%
  • August 10 – October 10, 2016: 50%
  • December 15, 2014 – January 31, 2015: 40%

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles

  • March 2019: 10-30% (targeted)
  • September 2018: 10-30% (targeted)

Emirates Skywards

  • November 8 – November 22, 2018: 25%

Etihad Guest

  • May 1 – June 15, 2016: 20%

Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles

  • June 7 – 21, 2017: 25%
  • June 8 – 21, 2016: 25%
  • December 9 – 21, 2015: 25%
  • June 11 – 23, 2014: 20%

Iberia Plus

  • August 1 – October 1, 2019: 40%
  • September 15 – November 15, 2018: 40%
  • November 15 – December 16, 2016: 50%
  • December 1 – 31, 2015: 25%

JetBlue True Blue

  • June 2019: 40% (targeted)
  • August 1 – October 1, 2018: 25%
  • February 26 – March 25, 2018: 10-30%
  • November 1 – 30, 2017: 25%
  • May 1 – 31, 2017: 25%
  • August 15 – September 15, 2014: 25%

Qantas Frequent Flyer

  • June 5 – June 30, 2019: 20%

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

  • May 1 – July 1, 2019: 30%
  • November 2018: 10-30% (targeted)
  • August 5 – September 12, 2018: 30%
  • October 10 – November 30, 2017: 30%
  • April 17 – May 22, 2017: 30%
  • May 1 – May 31, 2016: 30%
  • April 1 – April 30, 2015: 25%
  • October 15 – November 30, 2014: 35%
  • May 1 – May 31, 2014: 30%
  • October 15 – November 30, 2013: 30%
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Take advantage of Amex’s frequent transfer bonuses to Virgin Atlantic. (Photo by Nicky Kelvin / The Points Guy)

Capital One

Capital One overhauled its rewards program in December 2018 by adding over a dozen airline transfer partners, including Air Canada Aeroplan, Avianca LifeMiles, Finnair Plus and Qantas Frequent Flyer.

You can transfer your Capital One miles to the program’s airline partners if you have the following credit cards.

While the ability to transfer miles hasn’t been around long, Capital One has already launched a handful of bonuses to get cardholders excited.

Air France/KLM Flying Blue

  • June 1 – 30, 2019: 20%

Avianca LifeMiles

  • July 1 – 31, 2019: 25%
  • June 1 – 30, 2019: 15%

Emirates Skywards

  • March 18 – March 24, 2019: 100%

JetBlue TrueBlue

  • May 1 – May 31, 2019: 50%

Chase Ultimate Rewards

Although the Ultimate Rewards program launched in 2009, almost unbelievably, it has only gotten around to offering its first-even transfer bonus this year. The program currently has nine airline partners including Southwest and United, so hopefully this is just the first of many bonuses we can expect.

To be able to transfer Ultimate Rewards points to the program’s airline (or hotel) partners, you must have one of the following cards.

Other cards — such as the Chase Freedom and Chase Freedom Unlimited — also participate in the Ultimate Rewards program but technically offer cash-back earnings that can only be redeemed directly. However, if you have one of the premium cards above, you can combine your points into one account and effectively convert those cash-back points into fully-transferable ones.

British Airways

  • April 22 – June 16, 2019: 30%
Cathay Pacific First Class
Fancy a flight in Cathay Pacific first class? A transfer bonus might be able to help. (Photo by JT Genter / The Points Guy)

Citi ThankYou Rewards

Citi began adding new airline partners in 2014, and now counts 15 among its transfer options, including Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, Etihad Guest and Qantas Frequent Flyer.

You can transfer ThankYou Rewards points to airlines if you have one of the following cards:

However, if you have one of the above cards plus another that earns ThankYou points — like the Citi Rewards+℠ Card or Citi Rewards+℠ Student Card — you can combine your points accounts and still transfer. Here’s the list of Citi ThankYou Rewards transfer bonuses from the past few years.

Air France/KLM Flying Blue

  • June 23 – July 20, 2019: 25%
  • July 6 – August 29, 2018: 30%

Avianca LifeMiles

  • June 3 – July 5, 2019: 25% (offered by Avianca)
  • November 15 – December 12, 2018: 25%

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles

  • June 9 – July 4, 2018: 15%
  • August 4 – September 6, 2017: 20%

Etihad Guest

  • June 11 – July 5, 2017: 10%
  • July 1 – July 31, 2016: 25%
  • November 14 – December 31, 2015: 25%
  • April 23 – May 15, 2015: 25%

JetBlue TrueBlue

  • March 22 – May 19, 2018: 30%
  • September 7 – October 25, 2017: 25%
  • March 1 – April 30, 2017: 50%

Qantas Frequent Flyer

  • March 7 – April 13, 2019: 25%
  • June 1 – June 30, 2016: 15 – 30%

Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles

  • January 27 – February 20, 2019: 25%

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

  • May 19 – June 22, 2019: 30%
  • September 1 – October 13, 2018: 30%
  • January 6 – March 2, 2017: 25%
  • March 7 – April 6, 2016: 25%
  • June 9 – August 23, 2015: 25%

Bottom Line

Transfer bonuses can make already useful points like Amex Membership Rewards or Citi ThankYou Rewards that much more valuable. Before you take advantage of one, though, it is important to know whether it is a good deal, an unusually high bonus or something that is likely to be beneficial to you for an imminent redemption.

If a transfer bonus that appeals to you comes around, check here to see how it compares to past offers, and be sure to research ideas about how to maximize your points with the best strategy possible.

Featured photo by Ryan Patterson/The Points Guy

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
18.24% - 25.24% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

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.

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.