Use Amex 15% Transfer Bonus to Book a Family Vacation From 6,522 Points Per Ticket

Mar 30, 2019

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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – The Platinum Card® from American Express, American Express® Gold Card, The Blue Business®️ Plus Credit Card from American Express

Want to squeeze an extra family trip this year out of your miles? Here is a way to make it happen, but you have to act by Monday. The American Express Membership Rewards program currently has a 15% bonus for transfers to Avianca’s LifeMiles through April 1. You can use LifeMiles to book United-operated flights (as well as those on other Star Alliance airlines). The process to book awards with LifeMiles is simple and can be accomplished online via the LifeMiles site when United has saver award space available.

Now, 15 percent is not a huge bonus and there isn’t a massive amount of time left to act, but the discount is enough to allow your family to score domestic award flights for as little as little as 6,522 points each direction if you have a card with Amex Membership Rewards points. (Though you can only transfer in increments of 1,000 points from Amex Membership Rewards so you will have to round up a bit.)

Here are some of the cards that earn Membership Rewards points:

  • The Platinum Card® from American Express
  • American Express® Gold Card
  • Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express
  • The Blue Business®️ Plus Credit Card from American Express

LifeMiles prices its domestic award chart by zones. Flights within a zone start at as little as 7,500 LifeMiles each direction. As the homemade map below indicates, you can fly from as far as Seattle to New Mexico, Montana to Florida or South Carolina to Maine and stay within the same zone. Jumping on the current Amex Membership Rewards 15% transfer bonus lowers the number of Membership Rewards points you need to transfer to book those awards.

Here are five example itineraries you can book with your family to add one more adventure to the calendar:

  • Houston – Billings, Montana for 6,522 Membership Rewards points (normally 7,500 LifeMiles)
  • Newark – New Orleans for 8,696 Membership Rewards points (normally 10k LifeMiles)
  • Denver – San Diego for 6,522 Membership Rewards points (normally 7,500 LifeMiles)
  • Chicago – Portland, Oregon for 8,696 Membership Rewards points (normally 10k LifeMiles)
  • Minneapolis – Orlando for 6,522 Membership Rewards points (normally 7,500 LifeMiles)
(Spring in Yellowstone. Photo by Dmitry Sovyak/Unsplash)
Fly to Montana and then explore Yellowstone (Photo by Dmitry Sovyak/Unsplash)

Note that United saver awards must be available to book these awards — so check the LifeMiles booking site to confirm availability before making the transfer. Additionally, now that United MileagePlus has shifted a bit away from a traditional 12.5k mile award chart, you should absolutely compare LifeMiles award rates to United’s own award prices as United prices can be as low as 6,000 miles each way. However, at other times, LifeMiles will still want fewer miles than United for the same award flights — and Membership Rewards points don’t transfer directly to United anyway.

At 6,522 transferred Membership Rewards points per ticket for each direction of travel, a family of four could fly round trip from just 52,176 total transferred points (rounded up to 53,000), which is not shabby at all. Of course, some families want to travel farther afield and LifeMiles can also be useful for some longer, fancier trips, too. Business class from the US to Europe would cost just 57,783 transferred points each direction with the 15% transfer bonus (plus taxes and fees).

(Photo by Alberto Riva / TPG)
(Photo by Alberto Riva / TPG)

You can also transfer points to LifeMiles from the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card (2:1.5 ratio) or from the Citi ThankYou program and cards such as the Citi Premier® Card (1:1 ratio).

Read on for more information on LifeMiles or for help planning your family’s next adventure:

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn a $200 statement credit after your first Delta purchase within the first three months. Offer ends 7/28/21.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles after spending $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months and a $200 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
  • Limited Time Offer: Plus, get a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable 15.74%-24.74%. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
  • Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
0% on purchases for 12 months
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

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