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- The top credit card programs partner with select airlines and hotels, allowing you to transfer points and miles from your card directly to your favorite loyalty programs
- Occasionally, you can earn bonuses for transferring points and miles from your credit card to a partner loyalty program
- Credit card transfer bonuses can earn 10 to 50 percent more points or miles than a regular transfer
- A transfer bonus can be used to maximize your rewards but may be subject to minimum transfer amounts or other terms and conditions
One of the best ways to stretch your points further is by taking advantage of transfer bonuses. Periodically, banks will offer bonus points when you transfer points to one of their loyalty partners. A typical transfer bonus ranges from 10 to 50 percent, which means you can book award flights and hotels for significantly less.
But staying on top of the latest transfer promotions is easier said than done. Luckily we’ve done the work for you. Here are all the current points transfer bonuses you should know about and everything you need to know to take advantage of them.
Before you transfer points
Used strategically, point transfers can help you travel the world at a deep discount. With that said, you should have a redemption in mind before transferring points. Since point transfers are irreversible and loyalty points can devalue without notice, you don’t want to be left with thousands of devalued rewards before you have a chance to use them.
Transferring points speculatively is a bad idea, even during a great bonus points promotion. If you’re going to transfer points, it’s best practice to redeem them within a week to minimize the odds of a devaluation.
American Express transfer bonuses
There are no transfer bonuses currently available through American Express Membership Rewards®; however, they are still some of the most valuable rewards points available. Amex points currently transfer to over 20 different airline and hotel partners at varying ratios. For example, point transfers to partners like Delta and Air France/KLM can be made at a 1:1 ratio while Hilton Honors transfers are a little more favorable at 1:2.
Despite the great transfer ratio, you should consider how much points are worth before transferring them to another program. For example, Bankrate values Amex Membership Rewards at 2.0 cents each. Meanwhile, Hilton points are worth just 0.6 points, while Marriott Bonvoy points are worth 0.7. It’s also worth noting that you can redeem Amex points for 0.7 cents each when you book prepaid hotels through the Amex travel portal. So you will break even by transferring them directly to Marriott, but you’re actually losing a little bit of value by transferring them directly to Hilton.
However, in certain situations, a transfer to Hilton can still make sense. If you need points for a specific award in either small quantities or for a high-end redemption, then you should take advantage of this transfer. At least the transfer ratio will be slightly better and you’ll save on your hotel stay.
There are a few limitations worth noting. In most cases, the minimum transfer amount is 1,000 points and points must be transferred in 1,000 point increments. Additionally, American Express sometimes charges taxes on point transfers. You can pay these outright with your Amex card or redeem points. Typically, this tax is about 0.06 cents per point.
You should also know that transferring your Amex points to partner programs could negate certain benefits that your Amex cards may offer. For example, by transferring points directly to an airline and using frequent flyer miles to pay for a flight, you are no longer entitled to the insurance benefits that may have applied had you used your Amex card to book the flight.
How to transfer Amex points
You can transfer Amex points to one of their hotel or airline partners by logging in to your Amex account. The process is pretty simple. Here’s a step-by-step tutorial:
- Go to the “Explore Rewards” tab.
- Under “Ready to redeem,” click “Transfer points.”
- Click “View all” to see the full list of transfer partners.
- Click on the transfer partner you want to move points to (for example, Delta, Hilton or Marriott).
- Link your frequent flyer accounts if you haven’t already.
- Enter the number of points you want to transfer, then click “Review transfer.”
- If everything looks good, click “Submit transfer.”
Ways to earn Amex points
You can earn Amex points by shopping online with Rakuten or with personal and business cards. You can earn substantial welcome bonuses from these cards and continue earning points through purchases every month. Just be aware of Amex’s application rules before applying for a card:
- The Platinum Card® from American Express: Earn 80,000 points after spending $8,000 on eligible purchases within the first 6 months of card membership.
- The Business Platinum Card® from American Express: Earn 120,000 points after $15,000 spent on eligible purchases within the first 3 months of card membership.
- American Express® Gold Card: Earn 60,000 points after $4,000 spent on eligible purchases within the first 6 months of card membership.
- American Express® Business Gold Card: Earn 70,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $10,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Gold Card within the first 3 months of card membership.
- American Express® Green Card*: Earn 60,000 points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 6 months of card membership.
- Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card*: Earn 15,000 points after spending $2,000 on purchases within the first 6 months of card membership.
- Amex EveryDay® Credit Card*: Earn 10,000 points after spending $2,000 on purchases within the first 6 months of card membership.
Capital One miles transfer bonuses
Capital One has numerous airline and hotel partners, however, they are not offering any transfer bonuses at this time. Some transfer partners include Air France/KLM Flying Blue, British Airways Executive Club, Choice Privileges and Virgin Atlantic Virgin Red.
How to transfer Capital One miles
To transfer Capital One miles to their transfer partners, log into your Capital One account and follow these steps:
- Scroll down and select “Convert Rewards.”
- Scroll to the program you want to transfer miles to (for example, British Airways Executive Club) and select “Transfer Miles” on the right side.
- Enter your loyalty number and agree to the terms and conditions.
- Submit your request.
Ways to earn Capital One miles
You can earn additional Capital One miles with a co-branded business or personal card. Currently, you can earn miles with the following cards:
- Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card: Earn 75,000 bonus miles after spending $4,000 on purchases within 3 months of account opening.
- Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card: Earn 75,000 bonus miles after spending $4,000 on purchases within 3 months of account opening.
- Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card: Earn 20,000 miles after spending $500 on purchases within 3 months of account opening.
- Capital One Spark Miles For Business: Earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $4,500 on purchases within 3 months of account opening.
- Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business*: Earn 20,000 miles after spending $3,000 on purchases within 3 months of account opening.
Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer bonuses
Chase doesn’t run transfer bonuses as often as American Express does, however, the issuer currently has two bonus points promotions available. Through Nov. 15, 2023, you’ll receive a 30 percent bonus points when transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club.
Meanwhile, customers with an Aeroplan® credit card have access to a 10 percent bonus through Dec. 31, 2023 when they transfer at least 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points in a single transaction.
|Program||Transfer bonus||End date||Transfer ratio|
|Virgin Atlantic Flying Club||30%||Nov. 15, 2023||1:1|
|Air Canada Aeroplan (for Aeroplan cardmembers only)||10%||Dec. 31, 2023||1:1|
Chase doesn’t charge a tax on point transfers. However, the minimum transfer amount to Virgin Atlantic and Aeroplan is 1,000 Ultimate Rewards points.
As mentioned above, the Air Canada Aeroplan bonus is only available to Aeroplan credit card members. Those members must also have a Chase card that earns Ultimate Rewards points to be eligible. Only transfers of at least 50,000 rewards points in a single transaction qualify to earn the bonus points. Additionally, the transfer bonus is limited to 25,000 bonus points.
How to maximize this offer
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club has several sweet spots that are even sweeter with this transfer promotion. For example, you can book a one-way economy class ticket between the East coast and London for just 10,000 miles. With the transfer promotion, you need just 7,700 Ultimate Rewards points. However, you need to transfer at 8,000 points since transfers have to be done in 1,000-point increments.
Flying Club points are also useful for business class seats on Air France or Delta One flights to Europe. For example, business class flights on Air France from JFK to Rome cost about 48,500 miles one way. With the 30 percent transfer bonus, you need just 38,000 points. You can use the extra 10,500 points to cover award taxes or even book a free hotel night or two.
Meanwhile, Aeroplan sweet spots include short-haul economy class tickets for just 6,000 points each way and economy class tickets to Hawaii for 12,500 miles. With the 10 percent Chase transfer bonus, you’ll need just 5,500 and 11,500 points, respectively. Keep in mind, however, you must transfer at least 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points at one time to earn the 10 percent bonus. So unless you frequently fly with Air Canada, this transfer bonus is probably not worth it.
How to transfer Ultimate Rewards points
To transfer Ultimate Rewards points to airline miles, log in to your Chase account and follow these steps:
- Select the card that has Chase points.
- Under “Travel” in the navigation menu, select “Transfer to travel partners.”
- Select the travel partner you want to use (for example, Aeroplan or Virgin Atlantic).
- Click “Transfer Points” to submit your request.
Ways to earn Ultimate Rewards
You can earn Ultimate Rewards points through certain Chase credit cards. If you have both a Chase Ultimate Rewards-earning card and a cash back card, you can convert your cash back rewards to points. This works out great for high-end redemptions and during lucrative transfer promotions.
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: Earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening.
- Chase Sapphire Reserve®: Earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening.
- Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card: Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $8,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening.
- Chase Freedom Flex℠*: Earn a $200 bonus after spending $500 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening.
- Chase Freedom Unlimited®*: Earn a $200 bonus after spending $500 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening.
- Ink Business Cash® Credit Card Earn a $900 bonus cash back after spending $6,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening.
- Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card: Earn a $900 bonus cash back after spending $6,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening.
Citi ThankYou point transfer bonuses
As with Chase, the Citi ThankYou program recently offered a 30% bonus when you transferred your points to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club. Unlike the Chase offer, however, this offer ended October 14, 2023.
|Program||Transfer bonus||End date||Transfer ratio|
|Virgin Atlantic Flying Club||30%||Oct. 14, 2023||1:1|
How to maximize this offer
Citi ThankYou points transfer to Virgin Atlantic at a 1:1 ratio. So, with the bonus, transferring 10,000 points to Virgin Atlantic would net you 13,000 Flying Club miles. As mentioned above, this is more than enough points to get you from the East Coast to London — depending on the dates and flights selected. You can also use Flying Club miles to book business class seats on flights operated by Virgin Atlantic partners to reach other parts of Europe.
How to transfer Citi ThankYou points
To transfer ThankYou points to an airline or hotel, go to the Citi ThankYou website and log in. Follow these steps:
- Click on the “More Ways to Redeem” tab.
- Select “Points transfer” under “Transfer and Share.”
- Scroll down and select the program you want to transfer points to and select “Continue.”
- Enter the number of points you want to transfer.
- Enter your frequent flyer number.
- Review the transfer and submit.
Ways to earn ThankYou points
You can earn ThankYou points by applying for a Citi credit card that earns points. At the moment, four credit cards earn these rewards:
- Citi Premier® Card: Earn 60,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases within 3 months of account opening.
- Citi Rewards+® Card: Earn 20,000 points after spending $1,500 on purchases within 3 months of account opening.
- Citi Custom Cash® Card: Earn $200 in cash back after spending $1,500 on purchases within 6 months of account opening.
- Citi® Double Cash Card: Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
The bottom line
You’ve worked hard for your points and should get as much out of them as possible. Transfer bonuses are one of the easiest ways to do that. If you can take advantage of these promotions when they come around, your points will go much further. You can check this guide periodically for the latest bonuses.
*The information about the American Express® Green Card, Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card, Amex EveryDay® Credit Card, Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business, Chase Freedom Flex℠, and Chase Freedom Unlimited® has been collected independently by Bankrate and has not been reviewed or approved by the issuer.