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I got more than 5 cents per point thanks to this transfer bonus

Aug. 15, 2022
4 min read
Air France 777's at The Gate at CDG
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At TPG, we talk a lot about redeeming your points for maximum value, but what does that mean?

Sure, we have a unique methodology to determine what points and miles are worth from month to month —and it’s fascinating, please check it out — but as someone who strives for the simplest way to do things, maximizing value isn’t always my top priority. This is especially true when the overall goal is to simply spend less cash on family trips.

But occasionally, I do get some incredible redemptions — like the one I recently snagged on Air France for next spring.

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Here’s how I got 5 cents per point thanks to a transfer bonus from Capital One.

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The trip

(Photo by Kirk Fisher/Getty Images)

I recently wrote that I had miles stuck at Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer from our canceled trip to the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, and how I needed to redeem them before Singapore devalued its miles in July.

Long story short, my colleague Kyle Olsen let me know about a business-class, fifth-freedom route redemption from New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to Frankfurt International Airport (FRA) for 72,000 miles, which was perfect for a trip we're planning to take to Italy next year. I only needed to transfer another 100,000 American Express Membership Rewards points to have enough KrisFlyer miles for four tickets.

To round out the air itinerary of our trip, I took to Google Flights to see what my options were. Air France had a favorable itinerary from Milan Malpensa Airport (MXP) to San Francisco International Airport (SFO). However, the one-way tickets were over $800 each, meaning I would pay almost $3,200 for four economy tickets.

That simply wouldn’t do, despite the departure and arrival times being ideal for my family. So I decided to search for award space on Air France through Flying Blue to see if the same flight was available with miles. I was shocked at how inexpensive the same flights were with miles — just 120,000 Flying Blue miles for four economy tickets, or 30,000 Flying Blue miles per ticket. Taxes and fees were $554.48 total and less than the cash price for one ticket.

But I wasn’t quite ready to transfer my points, and was confident I had some time before I needed to book these flights.

Related: How to redeem American Express Membership Rewards for maximum value

Taking advantage of the transfer bonus

(Photo by Horacio Villalobos/Corbis/Getty Images)

My procrastination paid off.

That’s because, at the beginning of the month, we published this article announcing transfer bonuses, where I learned that Capital One had a 20% transfer bonus to Flying Blue and British Airways.

This was great because it meant I could save some of my miles. Imagine my shock when I logged back in to my account to ensure the flights I wanted were still there and saw that tickets were now just 70,000 miles for four economy tickets from MXP to SFO — that’s 17,500 miles each. With the 20% transfer bonus from Capital One, I only needed to transfer 59,000 Capital One miles to redeem these tickets.

Now, I know I said that I don’t spend much time worrying about getting the most out of my travel rewards so long as I’m saving cash. But even I knew that price was incredible — 14,750 miles per ticket. It turned out I’d be getting over 5.4 cents per mile instead of the 1.2 cents per mile that TPG values Flying Blue miles at. Not to mention, I saved over $3,000 by using my miles.

Related: Best ways to maximize Capital One miles

Bottom line

Transfer bonuses can be an important tool in your belt for getting more value from your points and miles.

I saved 20% off the cost of four deeply discounted one-way economy tickets from Milan to San Francisco thanks to a transfer bonus from Capital One to Flying Blue. At just 14,750 miles per ticket, or 59,000 Venture miles, I got over 5 cents per point in value and saved over $3,000.

Featured image by (Photo by hanohiki/Shutterstock)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

TPG featured card

Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 3X points
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points60,000 points
For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

Annual Fee

$95

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent, Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases