Maximize your transferrable rewards with up to 40% bonus points

Aug 3, 2020

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Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information.

If you want to truly maximize your miles, periodic transfer bonuses offer some of the most lucrative opportunities for fantastic points redemptions. Specifically, you can often get between 20% and 50% more for your points just by transferring them at the right moment.

To help make it easier for you to track these offers, in this guide we’ve compiled all of the current transfer bonuses for the major transferable rewards programs.

To give you an idea of the value of these bonuses, let’s say you transfer 54,000 points to Marriott with a 30% bonus. This would give you 70,200 Marriott Bonvoy points – enough to reserve a Category 8 hotel such as the St. Regis Maldives during off-peak dates. Rooms here often sell for $1,200+ per night, even during less popular times of the year. So, you could get a value of more than 2.2 cents per point.

Now that you have an idea of why you should care about transfer bonuses, let’s take a look at the current offerings.

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In This Post

American Express Membership Rewards

Partner program Transfer bonus End date Note
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles (targeted) 25% Dec. 31, 2020 Cathay Pacific Asia Miles can be useful for booking premium cabin Oneworld flights.
Hilton 40% Oct. 31, 2020 Membership Rewards points transfer to Hilton 1:2, which is less than most other hotel and airline partners. For example, Marriott has a 1:1 transfer ratio and there have been reports of targeted bonuses. The two programs have similar redemption rates but Marriott is more consistent with an award chart, making it the better option.
Marriott 40% N/A Our valuations of Amex points are significantly higher than Marriott points. So, transferring to Marriott is generally only a good deal if you need to top off your account for a specific redemption.

I’m not targeted for any Membership Rewards transfer bonuses currently. But, the targeted transfer bonuses noted above may still be available for select cardholders.

Cards that earn Amex points

If you want to take advantage of transfer bonus offers with American Express, you’ll need Membership Rewards points. And, if you’re looking to earn Membership Rewards points, the following Amex cards could be good additions to your wallet:

Card Welcome bonus Bonus category earning rates Annual fee
The Platinum Card® from American Express 60,000 Membership Rewards points after you make $5,000 in purchases in your first three months of account opening.

Terms apply.

5x points on flights booked directly with airlines or through amextravel.com and on prepaid hotels booked through amextravel.com $550 (see rates & fees)
American Express® Gold Card 35,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $4,000 in your first three months of account opening.

Terms apply.

4x points on dining worldwide and at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases; then 1x)

4x points on takeout and delivery

3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or through amextravel.com

$250 (see rates & fees)
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express 75,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $15,000 within the first three months of account opening.

Terms apply.

5x points on flights and prepaid hotels booked through amextravel.com

1.5x points on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more

$595 (see rates & fees)
American Express® Green Card 30,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $2,000 in your first three months of account opening.

Terms apply.

3x points on takeout and delivery, transit and travel $150 (see rates & fees)

You may even be targeted for a higher bonus through the CardMatch Tool. Keep in mind that CardMatch offers are subject to change at any time.

Most Membership Rewards transfers process instantly. Finally, Amex is waiving all excise taxes on Membership Rewards point transfers to U.S. airlines through Dec. 31, 2020.

Other ways to earn Amex points

You can also earn extra Membership Rewards points through Amex Offers and by shopping with Rakuten. Based on TPG’s valuations, Membership Rewards points are worth about two cents each.

Related: Redeeming American Express Membership Rewards points for maximum value

Chase Ultimate Rewards

Ran its first (and thus far only) transfer bonus to British Airways Avios back in 2019 and it’s been pretty quiet until recently. Chase is currently offering a 60% bonus on IHG Rewards Club transfers. Dynamic pricing has made IHG award booking less predictable, so we don’t recommend transferring your points unless you have an immediate use in mind.

With the hospitality industry turning to rewards programs to drum up cash, promotions like these could spell out devaluations in the future.

Cards that earn Chase Ultimate Rewards

If you want to utilize any future bonus offers with Chase, the following cards could make good additions to your wallet.

Other ways to earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points

However, if you have one (or more) of the above cards, you can combine your Ultimate Rewards points into a single account. Then, you can effectively convert the cash-back earnings on the following cards into fully-transferable Ultimate Rewards points:

  • Chase Freedom: (No longer open to new applicants) $200 bonus after spending $500 in the first three months. And, earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases on up to $12,000 spent in the first year. Finally, earn 5% cash back on rotating bonus categories on up to $1,500 in combined purchases each quarter you activate.
  • Chase Freedom Unlimited: $200 bonus after spending $500 in the first three months. And, earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases on up to $12,000 spent in your first account year. Finally, earn 1.5% cash back on everything else.
  • Ink Business Cash Credit Card: $500 bonus after you spend $3,000 in the first three months. And, earn 5% cash back on up to $25,000 in combined purchases at office supply stores and telecommunications providers each account anniversary year. Finally, earn 2% cash back on up to $25,000 in combined purchases at restaurants and gas stations each account anniversary year.
  • Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card: $500 bonus after you spend $3,000 in the first three months. And, earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases.

The information for the Chase Freedom and Chase Freedom Unlimited has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

To truly maximize your earnings with Chase, consider making the Chase quartet or Chase trifecta a part of your card strategy. According to TPG’s valuations, Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth two cents each. And, most Ultimate Rewards transfers will process instantly.

Related: How to maximize your Chase Ultimate Rewards points

Citi ThankYou Rewards

Currently, the Citi ThankYou Rewards program is offering targeted cardholders 25% bonus points for transfers to Avianca LifeMiles. This promotion is valid through Sept. 18, 2020.

How to earn Citi ThankYou points

If you don’t want to miss out on a future bonus offer, these Citi credit cards could make good additions to your wallet:

The information for the Citi Prestige and Citi Premier has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Based on TPG’s valuations, Citi ThankYou points are worth about 1.7 cents each. However, note that some Citi transfers will not process instantly. So, be sure to factor in the transfer time if you’re trying to book an award with scarce availability.

Related: Is Citi ThankYou Rewards the most underappreciated and misunderstood program?

Capital One

Unfortunately, Capital One isn’t currently offering any transfer bonuses. But, we’ll update this page if there’s a new transfer bonus.

How to earn Capital One miles

There aren’t any transfer bonuses currently. But, if you want to utilize a future transfer bonus offer, the following Capital One cards could make good additions to your wallet:

The information for the Capital One Spark Miles for Business has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

TPG’s valuations peg the value of Capital One miles at 1.4 cents each. For more details, check out our guide to all of the Capital One transfer partners as well as how to transfer Capital One miles to airline partners. Finally, note that most transfers from Capital One will process instantly.

Related: Best ways to maximize Capital One miles

Marriott Bonvoy

Marriott Bonvoy isn’t currently offering any limited-time transfer bonuses. But, Marriott Bonvoy points convert to more than 40 airline partners at a 3:1 ratio. And, you’ll receive 5,000 bonus miles for every 60,000 points transferred. TPG’s valuations peg the value of Marriott Bonvoy points at 0.8 cents each.

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points

If you’re looking to earn more Marriott Bonvoy points, the following Marriott Bonvoy credit cards may be of interest:

  • Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card: 75,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points after you spend $3,000 within the first three months of account opening. And, earn 6x points at participating Marriott hotels, 3x points at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines and 2x points on all other purchases. However, this card has an annual fee of $450 (see rates and fees). Terms apply.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card: 100,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 in your first three months of account opening. And, earn 6x points at participating Marriott hotels and 2x points on everything else. However, this card has a $95 annual fee.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card: 75,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 within the first three months of account opening. Earn 6x points at participating Marriott hotels and 4x points at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping. Finally, earn 2x points on all other purchases. However, this card has an annual fee of $125 (see rates and fees). Terms apply.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card: 50,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in your first three months of account opening. And, earn 3x points at participating Marriott hotels, 2x points on other travel purchases and 1x points on everything else. However, this card has no annual fee.

But, be sure to review our tests of Marriott transfer times. After all, some airlines take a few days (or even weeks) to receive the miles.

Related: How to redeem points with the Marriott Bonvoy program

Bottom line

When a transferable currency program offers a transfer bonus, it’s worth considering whether the bonus is worthwhile. Generally, you won’t want to transfer your points without a specific redemption in mind. After all, transferable points are usually more valuable when they remain transferable. But, if you use the program frequently or plan to make a redemption soon, utilizing a transfer bonus can help you get more value from your points.

Did we miss any? Feel free to let us know by emailing tips@thepointsguy.com.

For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Gold Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Business Platinum Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Green Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Business Card, please click here.

Additional reporting by Katie Genter, Joseph Hostetler, Summer Hull, Liz Hund and Jason Stauffer.

Featured photo of the Conrad Bora Bora by Summer Hull/The Points Guy

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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