- Platinum Member
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- Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2013 1:41 pm
- Location: LAS / OKC
25K points would get you a domestic roundtrip anywhere in the US in Air Canada'a AeroPlan program (you won't be flying Air Canada, but will be flying one of their partner's like United Airlines or US Airways). Air Canada is a partner of Amex you can transfer your points to.
This wouldn't be such an excellent deal though, usually only a good-to-okay deal. Because sometimes Roundtrips in the US can be cheap, say $300. So $300/25000 points is only a $0.012 per point value, or 1.2 cent per point, or redeeming at 1.2% back. Not really worth it because the PRG AF is $175.
In the US, transferring your points to British Airways is probably the best if you're going short distance. For example, going to San Francisco to Chicago roundtrip would only cost 20K points, much better than 25K points. Once again, of course you won't be flying British Airway's plane, but their partner American Airlines when flying in the US. If that trip is worth $300, then $300/20000 points = 1.5 cent per point or redeeming at 1.5% back. A little better.
In a nut shell, these are only good to okay value deals. In the Amex Membership Rewards world, we know the best value to get from their points is 1 of 2 things:
1. Using points for international flights only or
2. Using points for premium class flights anywhere in the world (domestic & INTL).
For example, it costs 60,000K Air Canada's AeroPlan miles to go from anywhere from the US to EUROPE to two different countries, in economy. Los Angeles to Paris to London back to Los Angeles may cost around $1600 revenue based. So the value would be $1600/60000 = 2.6 cent per point, or redeeming at 2.6% back. The deal is getting better and better!
AeroPlan: Los Angeles to London roundtrip in business class might cost $4000, but with points it's only 100,000K points. Value = 4.0 cents per point or redeeming at 4.0% back.
One of the best bang for your buck would be flying on Singapore Airlines (if you want to go to Asia). A first class suite one-way costs 75,000 points while the real cost if you were to buy would cost $8000. That's a 10.6 cent per point value, or redeeming at 10.6% back. This is more of a aspirational award, but is very well worth it.
In the FT (frequent traveler) world, I can tell you right now we don't ever transfer points to Delta (unless there is a huge transfer bonus) because they require too many points for redemption, and their award availability is not great.
United Airlines (as another poster mentioned), is not a DIRECT partner of Amex's. However, like I stated earlier, you can transfer your points to Air Canada and redeem on United Airline flights. Their availability is excellent.
As far as transferring points into a hotel program, there are no good hotel redemptions with Amex's Membership Rewards unless there is a huge transfer bonus.
Also, remember "Pay With Points" will get you 1 cent per point, the worse deal of all deals (point value wise), however, has better flexibility.
"Pay With Points" is just like shopping on Orbitz.com. Whatever hotel or airline is available at face value, you can book for 1 cent per point, or redeeming at 1.0% back.
Remember, Membership Rewards was created specifically for transferring points to airline programs, this is what makes them unique, special, and getting the best bang for your buck (SPG and Chase Ultimate Rewards does the same thing, but thats a different discussion for a different thread), but really only of good value if you like international awards or in premium class flights. (my British Airways short distance flights is a good example as well)
Those are only a few examples out of a thousand. There are 16 airline partners of Amex's and finding the best deal to which city can be a headache. But if you want the best deal then you gotta do some homework =)