Good day for those with Membership Reward points and a desire to transfer them! American Express has launched 2 transfer bonuses of 30% on the transferred points to two airlines – Virgin Atlantic and Etihad.
30% Transfer Bonuses from Membership Rewards to 2 Airlines
Etihad 30% Transfer Bonus
The first one up is Etihad. It is normally a 1:1 transfer partner so with this new bonus, it would work out like this – 1,000 Membership Reward points to 1,300 Etihad Guest miles. While it is helpful for booking Etihad flights by themselves, Etihad does have a lot of partners you can book on as well. You will have to check out the charts individually and call in, but it could work for you depending on your needs.
Of course, there is the Etihad Residence cabin on the A380 that can only be booked with Etihad miles – of course it will take over 1 million Membership Reward points to do that. 🙂 So, if this is something you wanted to do, you could transfer your MR points at a discount with this offer. This offer is good through June 15, 2016. If you have any Membership Reward earning card, you can transfer those points to Etihad with the 30% bonus already built in.
To redeem for Etihad’s First Apartment on their JFK <-> AUH route, it would require 91,000 Membership Reward points with this promo (117,700 Etihad miles). That is a really decent deal considering that it now costs 115,000 American Airline miles for that same flight.
Virgin Atlantic 30% Transfer Bonus
The next airline is Virgin Atlantic. While the airline is a good one, not everyone likes to redeem their miles for flying on them since it does come with surcharges and they can be hefty. Still, with this bonus (and combined with an award sale through May 11 – ht: OMaaT), you can fly to London for only 10,000 Membership Reward points + $135. That is a really good deal for travel from the US to England! You could also fly their Upper Class for 31,000 Membership Reward points and $420. That is more than economy but still not bad!
This transfer bonus is also coded into the system so transferring 1,000 Membership Reward points will give you 1,300 Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles. This transfer bonus runs through May 31, 2016.
To make these transfers, simply sign in to your Membership Rewards account and select to transfer the points to an airline. If you have not yet setup a frequent flyer account with these airlines, you will need to do that and then link those accounts to your Membership Reward account. If you want to take advantage of these promos, at least the Etihad promo, you could quickly jump on this Mercedes Benz Platinum offer for 75,000 points. If you meet the spending quickly, you could get them in time for the Etihad transfer bonus.
Sure, this is not as good as the 40% transfer bonus to Avios or, my personal favorite, the 50% transfer bonus + 25K MQMs to Delta, but it is good to see transfer bonuses coming from American Express again. My guess is we will see more as American Express has been losing some ground and will want to entice people back into their Membership Reward fold.