Current American Express Free Airline Ticket Offers

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Current American Express Free Airline Ticket Offers

Postby porter » Mon Feb 28, 2011 7:44 pm

There are a few different promotions from American Express that will give free airline tickets to signup for a new credit card account. I would like some advice please on which offer would make the most sense for me.

Starwood- It gives 10,000 points after the first purchase and another 15,000 points after spending $15,000 in the first 6 months. I saw in the review the points can be transferred on a 1 for 1 scale to airline frequent flyer programs. I like this but our vacation we are planning is in 5 or 6 months and this would cut it close if I wanted to use the free airline ticket from American Express.

Platinum- The 50,000 points bonus could be enough to get 2 free airline tickets but I saw nothing about the annual fee being waived for the first year? If I have to pay $450 to get 50,000 points that will make this offer a wash.

Gold Delta- 20,000 miles after first purchase and 5,000 more for adding 2 cards to the account. I could do this right away and that I like.

I am leaning towards the Delta. Should I pull the trigger?

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Postby Smerri » Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:42 pm

To preface this post, just keep in mind what type of points you are earning (whether it be airline/hotel specific or if it is membership reward points)

I just booked a trip with my Amex miles a little over a month ago and here is what I discovered between Delta and JetBlue (the two I was looking to fly):

With Delta, the AmEx conversion rate to Delta Skymile points is 1 to 1, however it appears the minimum price for Delta is 40,000 points per ticket (and it appeared there may have been some limits on what was available for points).

For JetBlue, the AmEx conversion rate to TrueBlue points is 200 TrueBlue Points equals 250 AmEx Rewards points so my JetBlue flight only cost me 29,000 membership rewards (and the flights were approximately a $10 cash difference with JetBlue being more importantexpensive) and every flight was available to pay for points.

So for me, not sure if the Delta gives only Delta reward points or American Express reward points but if it is only Delta points then the Delta card wouldn't have been worth it.

I have the Premier Rewards Gold Card which gave me a 10,000 point bonus and 3x for airfare, 2x gas/groceries, 1x everything else. Also, if you put at least $30,000 a year on the card you get 15,000 bonus points. So while it may not give the biggest initial bang compared to the card you have listed, in the long run I think it is your best bet in order to earn the most American Express membership rewards points and be able to transfer them to airlines/hotels of your choosing (or use them through the AmEx travel website).

I don't know exactly if this is the info you were looking for but as I said, that is my experience through one trip I have booked with points so there may be others who have dealt with this a lot more than me but hopefully I was able to shed some light on the situation for you.

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Postby CCG » Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:39 am

Welcome to the forum, porter!

Smerri offers some excellent insight as to the pros and cons for each card. Here are reviews for the cards mentioned above, some of which include a sponsored offer which may be enough for a free airline ticket:

Delta SkyMiles credit card - a side by side comparison of their 3 cards
Starwood American Express - a review with a chart comparing it to other cards in its category
American Express Gold Card - a review of the Premier Rewards version Jet Blue credit card review

Please note that the American Express free airline tickets should only be considered one factor in your decision. As Smerri notes it is smarter to have a card that will benefit you the most in the long run, even if the signup bonus is not quite as lucrative.

Good luck!


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