Which Transferable Credit Card Points Are The Best?

Which Transferable Credit Card Points Are The Best?

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The best way to maximize your credit card rewards for travel is to earn transferable points currencies. However, the value propositions and specifics of the currencies are constantly changing. Every so often I like to take a big-picture look at the state of transferable points currencies.

In this post I wanted to share my general thoughts on the four major transferable points currencies — Amex Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou, and Capital One. This includes sharing what I like, what I don’t like, and how I generally redeem each of these points currencies.

Let me start by mentioning that all four programs have a bit of overlap, so often the differences are nuanced. For example:

  • All four programs partner with Air France-KLM Flying Blue, Emirates Skywards, and Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Three programs partner with Air Canada Aeroplan, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, and Etihad Guest

We’re seeing more and more overlapping transfer partners, and that’s both a blessing and a curse — it’s bad because the programs have few unique transfer partners nowadays, but it’s good because it means you can pool points from different transferable points currencies towards the same redemption.

With that out of the way, let me share how I’m feeling about these programs.

American Express Membership Rewards

Here are the 20 Amex Membership Rewards transfer partners, including 17 airline partners and three hotel partners:

Airline Partners
Hotel Partners
Aer Lingus AerClub
Choice Privileges
Aeromexico Club Premier
Hilton Honors
Air Canada Aeroplan
Marriott Bonvoy
Air France-KLM Flying Blue
ANA Mileage Club
Avianca LifeMiles
British Airways Executive Club
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
Delta SkyMiles
Emirates Skywards
Etihad Guest
Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles
Iberia Plus
JetBlue TrueBlue
Qantas Frequent Flyer
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
American Express Membership Rewards transfer partners

Things I love about Amex points

  • Amex Membership Rewards continues to have the most transfer partners of these four programs
  • Amex offers transfer bonuses the most often of the four programs, which can really help you maximize the value of your points

Things I don’t love about Amex points

  • Amex is the only one of these programs that passes on a federal excise tax when transferring points to a US-based frequent flyer program; this isn’t a huge deal, but it’s something that other programs don’t pass on
  • Amex only lets you transfer points to a frequent flyer account in the name of the primary cardmember or authorized user (and the authorized user needs to be on your account for at least 90 days); you can’t gift points to others, including a spouse or household member

Where I’m seeing value transferring Amex points

  • All Nippon Airways Mileage Club is a unique transfer partner that has some incredibly low redemption rates; the catch is that transfers sometimes aren’t instant, you can’t book one-way awards, and the process of booking can be cumbersome
  • Air Canada Aeroplan is a valuable transfer partner, especially for award tickets on partner airlines with stopovers, and this used to be exclusive to Amex; however, now Aeroplan is also partners with Capital One and Chase, so that’s no longer a competitive advantage
  • Air France-KLM Flying Blue can be useful, given business class transatlantic award pricing and availability
  • British Airways Executive Club is valuable for short haul awards, especially when there are transfer bonuses
  • Etihad Guest has some great niche redemptions
  • Singapore KrisFlyer continues to be a great program for premium cabin redemptions on Singapore Airlines, and all four programs partner with the program
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club has some phenomenal niche redemptions, especially in conjunction with a transfer bonus
Transfer Amex points to Virgin Atlantic for travel in ANA first class

Where I’m seeing less value transferring Amex points

  • Delta SkyMiles was a valuable program back in the day, but nowadays is almost useless for transfers

Best cards for earning Amex points

American Express has lots of great cards, though I’d say the best for earning Membership Rewards points include the following:

Chase Ultimate Rewards

Here are the 14 Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partners, including 11 airline partners and three hotel partners:

Airline Partners
Hotel Partners
Aer Lingus AerClub
IHG One Rewards
Air Canada Aeroplan
Marriott Bonvoy
Air France-KLM Flying Blue
World of Hyatt
British Airways Executive Club
Emirates Skywards
Iberia Plus
JetBlue TrueBlue
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
Southwest Rapid Rewards
United MileagePlus
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partners

Things I love about Chase points

  • Chase Ultimate Rewards has the only useful hotel transfer partner of any of the transferable points currencies (that’s to say that transferring points to World of Hyatt is actually a good deal, unlike any of the other hotel transfer options out there)
  • Chase doesn’t charge fees for transferring points to any partners
  • Chase lets you transfer points to a member of your household, even if they’re not an authorized user on any of your cards
  • Chase lets you redeem Ultimate Rewards points at an efficient ratio towards a travel purchase (if you have the Sapphire Reserve, points can be redeemed for 1.5 cents each towards the cost of a travel purchase)

Things I don’t love about Chase points

  • Unlike American Express, Capital One, and Citi, Chase historically hasn’t had many transfer bonuses, though this is something that has improved in the past couple of years, as we’ve started to see bonuses
  • Chase doesn’t have as many transfer partners as some of the other programs; for example, Chase has 11 airline partners, but three of them overlap (Aer Lingus, British Airways, and Iberia), so really I only view Chase as having nine airline partners

Where I’m seeing value transferring Chase points

Transfer Chase points to Hyatt for stays at some great hotels

Where I’m seeing less value transferring Chase points

  • Given the 1:1 transfer ratio, IHG Rewards and Marriott Bonvoy aren’t valuable transfer partners since their points aren’t worth as much
  • Chase lost Korean Air SkyPass as a transfer partner in 2018, and this was a huge loss, because in my opinion SkyPass was the single most valuable transfer partner that Chase had (then again, with most of Asia continuing to remain closed, that’s not much of a loss right now)
  • United MileagePlus has been devalued so heavily in recent years that there aren’t many circumstances where it makes sense to transfer Ultimate Rewards points to MileagePlus

Best cards for earning Chase points

Chase has lots of great cards, though I’d say the best for earning Ultimate Rewards points include the following:

Citi ThankYou Rewards

Here are the 16 Citi ThankYou transfer partners, including 14 airline partners and two hotel partners:

Airline Partners
Hotel Partners
Aeromexico Club Premier
Choice Hotels
Air France-KLM Flying Blue
Wyndham Rewards
Avianca LifeMiles
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
Emirates Skywards
Etihad Guest
EVA Air Infinity MileageLands
JetBlue TrueBlue
Qantas Frequent Flyer
Qatar Airways Privilege Club
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus
Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
Citi ThankYou transfer partners

Things I love about Citi points

  • Citi has added several transfer partners in recent years
  • Citi doesn’t charge fees for transferring points to any partner programs
  • Citi lets you transfer up to 100,000 points per year to any ThankYou member; it doesn’t even have to a member of your household
  • Citi offers transfer bonuses with some frequency, which can really help you maximize the value of your points

Things I don’t love about Citi points

Where I’m seeing value transferring Citi points

  • Air France-KLM Flying Blue can be useful, and I ideally like to transfer points with a transfer bonus
  • Avianca LifeMiles is a program that offers great value for redeeming on Star Alliance carriers; while LifeMiles doesn’t always have access to all Star Alliance award space, more often than not I find a lot of value with this program
  • Turkish Miles&Smiles is an underrated program in terms of redemption value, both for domestic redemptions on United, and for transatlantic redemptions on Turkish; the catch is that the process of booking through Turkish can be a pain
  • While Cathay Pacific Asia Miles is far from my favorite program, it is the best value program for booking long haul Cathay Pacific first class awards of any of the partners of the four transfer programs
  • Etihad Guest has some great niche redemptions, and we’ve seen some transfer bonuses in the past
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer is a surprisingly useful program, especially for redemptions on some non-alliance airlines; for example, one of the best ways to book EL AL awards is through Qantas, and the program also partners with some airlines that really interest me, like Air Niugini
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club has some phenomenal niche redemptions, especially in conjunction with a transfer bonus
Transfer Citi points to LifeMiles for travel in Lufthansa first class

Where I’m seeing less value transferring Citi points

  • A lot of Citi’s partners programs are those belonging to great airlines, but where the award redemption value is limited, like EVA Air Infinity MileageLands, Qatar Privilege Club, and more

Best cards for earning Citi points

Citi has lots of great cards, though I’d say the best for earning ThankYou points include the following:

Capital One

Here are the 18 Capital One transfer partners, including 15 airline partners and three hotel partners:

Airline Partners
Hotel Partners
Aeromexico Club Premier
Accor Live Limitless (ALL)
Air Canada Aeroplan
Choice Privileges
Air France-KLM Flying Blue
Wyndham Rewards
Avianca LifeMiles
British Airways Executive Club
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
Emirates Skywards
Etihad Guest
EVA Air Infinity MileageLands
Finnair Plus
Qantas Frequent Flyer
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
TAP Air Portugal Miles&Go
Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles
Virgin Red (parent of Virgin Atlantic)
Capital One transfer partners

Things I love about Capital One miles

  • While perhaps minor, Capital One miles post to your account as soon as your purchase posts, rather than when the statement closes (or when the second statement closes)
  • Capital One doesn’t charge fees for transferring points to any partner programs
  • Capital One lets you transfer your Spark or Venture miles to any other cardmember with the same card, making these points easily transferrable
  • Capital One has massively improved the value proposition of its mileage transfer program, both by adding new partners, and by improving the transfer ratio, with a vast majority of partners now offering 1:1 transfers

Things I don’t love about Capital One miles

  • Capital One’s transfer program lacks unique partners; all of Capital One’s valuable partners are ones that at least one other program has as well
  • While Capital One’s cards are great for everyday spending, I wish Capital One had more cards that offered bonus points in certain spending categories

Where I’m seeing value transferring Capital One miles

  • Capital One is awesome for transfers to programs like Air Canada Aeroplan, Air France-KLM Flying Blue, Avianca LifeMiles, Emirates Skywards, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, and more
Transfer Capital One miles to Flying Blue for redemptions in KLM business class

Where I’m seeing less value transferring Capital One miles

  • I used to think that redeeming Capital One miles for one cent each towards the cost of a travel purchase was a good value, but with mileage transfers now being 1:1 to a vast majority of programs, I have a strong preference for converting Capital One miles into airline miles

Best cards for earning Capital One miles

Capital One has several good cards, though I’d say the best for earning Capital One miles include the following:

How much are transferable points worth?

The above is my take on the pros and cons of transferable points, but how much is each point actually worth? People often disagree about which transferable points currency is most valuable, and that makes sense, given that we all have different redemption goals.

For example, if you’re a Hyatt loyalist then you’ll no doubt value Chase Ultimate Rewards points a lot, since you can transfer points 1:1.

How much do I value transferable points? At this point I value all four of them at 1.7 cents each. In the past I valued Capital One miles at significantly less, but with transfers now being 1:1 to a vast majority of partners, that’s no longer the case.

If I had to prioritize Amex, Chase, Citi, and Capital One points, based on my personal redemption patterns, how would I do so? The truth is that my prioritization of these currencies depends on several factors. I always try to earn as many points per dollar as possible, but what’s the tiebreaker?

  • I look at which points currency I have the lowest balance of, so I can rebuild that
  • I look at at what my future travel plans are, and which currency would come most in handy based on their unique transfer partners, history of offering transfer bonuses, etc.

My general thoughts are as follows:

  • Chase points put me most at ease, because I can redeem them for 1.5 cents each towards expenses; I love that World of Hyatt is a transfer partner, since that’s a unique partner that can be incredibly valuable, and I can never have enough Hyatt points
  • I’d say my second favorite currency is Amex points, thanks to the variety of partners, and the number of transfer bonuses we see
Transferable points are the key to traveling in comfort

Am I overvaluing transferable points?

Historically I’ve thought that I’ve taken a conservative approach to valuing points. Others value transferable points at two or more cents each, and personally I think that’s aggressive. At the same time, I haven’t lowered my valuation of transferable points in years, and I’m wondering if it’s time?

On the one hand, I feel pretty comfortable with my valuations. While some points currencies have been devalued, we also see quite a few transfer bonuses, which make up for many of those devaluations.

At the same time, we’re now at a point where you can earn 2x transferable points per dollar spent with cards like the Capital One Venture X Card, Citi® Double Cash Card, Amex Blue Business Plus Card, so it does make me wonder if suggesting you’re getting a 3.4% return isn’t steep.

I guess it depends if you look at points valuation from the perspective of acquisition cost, or from the perspective of realistic redemption value. I’d certainly welcome some opinions on this!

Earn up to 2x transferable points on everyday spending

Bottom line

If you’re trying to maximize the points you earn through credit card spending, I highly recommend accruing transferable points currencies. In addition to these cards often having great bonus categories, having transferable points gives you a lot of flexibility with how you redeem points, as the points hold their value extremely well.

How do you view the relative value of the four transferable points currencies?

Conversations (19)
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  1. Nun Guest

    Is this comment about Chase still correct?

    "Chase lets you transfer points to a member of your household, even if they’re not an authorized user on any of your cards."

    I thought it changed so I can only transfer to another UR account of an AU. Or are you referring to redeeming UR points to someone else's miles, such as someone else's Southwest account. Even that I thought wasn't allowed by the rules. Hope I'm wrong.

  2. Art_Czar Member

    Hi Ben - have you ever written a piece highlighting how one can het the "best value for booking long haul Cathay Pacific first class" using Cathay miles?

  3. Steve M Guest

    Great article! Question about Amex : I'm a long time Chase guy. I've had Amex Plat for a year and just applied for Amex Gold via Resy. I had the old Gold Card a few years ago, didn't love it and canceled after a year. When I applied for new Gold Card, I got the dreaded pop up saying I was not eligible for bonus so I withdrew the application and thought that I was...

    Great article! Question about Amex : I'm a long time Chase guy. I've had Amex Plat for a year and just applied for Amex Gold via Resy. I had the old Gold Card a few years ago, didn't love it and canceled after a year. When I applied for new Gold Card, I got the dreaded pop up saying I was not eligible for bonus so I withdrew the application and thought that I was done. But based on what you point out....I can have my Player 2 get the Gold, add me as AU and then can move the points (after 90 days) to my frequent flyer accounts? If this is the case, I think you have given me a work around! Is this all that I need to do?

  4. classcair New Member

    @Ben, I am unclear about your statement about thank you expiration. If I product change from Prestige to Premier, are my points subject to 60-90 day expiration? Or only if the account is closed?

    1. Rick Guest

      Your points do not expire if you product change from Prestige to Preferred. They would expire if you transferred Prestige points to your Preferred or transferred your points to another person.

  5. Ferdinand Magellan Guest

    I think that the best transferable points are Amex points, because of the frequent and generous transfer bonuses. If you earn 2x on everyday spend (up to $50K each year) with Blue for Business+, and you get a 50% transfer bonus to Iberia, that's 3x on everyday spend. I don't know how you could improve on that.

  6. singlefigures New Member

    Anyone able to explain this comment to me
    "United MileagePlus has been devalued so heavily in recent years that there aren’t many circumstances where it makes sense to transfer Ultimate Rewards points to MileagePlus"

  7. Another Lump Guest

    Amex is best for int'l F/J, UR is for Hyatt. Simple as that.

    I'll also disagree with your assessment of EVA. Of course now Taiwan is shut down, so not useful now, but their J product is outstanding, and their transpacific award prices are competitive, and availability is usually very good, and you can do a one way, unlike with ANA. Intra Asia J prices are also competitive.

  8. DCS Diamond

    United MileagePlus has been devalued so heavily in recent years that there aren’t many circumstances where it makes sense to transfer Ultimate Rewards points to MileagePlus

    I am sorry to be blunt, yet again, but that claim is simply nonsensical anyway you dice it. Please bear with me...

    That MileagePlus has been devalued in "recent years" as a FF program is just plainly wrong, especially with the introduction of PlusPoints upgrades, with which I have...

    United MileagePlus has been devalued so heavily in recent years that there aren’t many circumstances where it makes sense to transfer Ultimate Rewards points to MileagePlus

    I am sorry to be blunt, yet again, but that claim is simply nonsensical anyway you dice it. Please bear with me...

    That MileagePlus has been devalued in "recent years" as a FF program is just plainly wrong, especially with the introduction of PlusPoints upgrades, with which I have just had an amazingly positive initial experience as I reported recently in this space. Since that report, I've cleared a United Economy to Polaris Business PlusPoints upgrade from EZE to IAH and a United Economy to United First PlusPoints upgrade from IAH to EWR. On the way to EZE (LGA-IAH-EZE) none of my waitlisted PlusPoints upgrades cleared. However, and to my delight, although I'd booked an Economy ticket (U fare) for IAH-EZE, I got on the plane and went to the seat that I'd selected thinking that it was in E+ because it was selectable, but it turned out to be a seat in UA's new Premium Economy cabin and I have photos to prove it too!

    Overall, between early November and my last flight from EZE on 12/23/2021, I cleared or successfully sponsored for family and friends, 9 of 16 domestic or international PlusPoints upgrades and still had 370 PlusPoints that will expire on 01/31/2023 left. My recent trip to EZE was actually a mileage run that I took because it'd get me the PQP I needed to (re)qualify for 1K the "hard way" and earn 280 additional PlusPoints. With that mission accomplished, I will get those additional 280 PlusPoints after midnight on 12/31/2021 for a total of 650 PlusPoints expiring on 01/31/2023, i.e., enough for 16 United Economy to United Polaris upgrades. Just try that trick with anachronistic SWUs that AA or equivalent that DL provides to their top elites!

    Now, tell me again, how "United MileagePlus has been devalued heavily in recent years" when there is no FF program out there with an upgrade instrument - the ultimate top airline elite perk - that comes anywhere close to rivaling or matching what one can do with PlusPoints?

    With respect to the "devaluation" of their miles, what United is apparently "guilty" of is (a) adopting dynamic award pricing and getting rid of its award chart, (b) moving partner awards to dynamic pricing and getting rid of *A award charts, and (c) increasing partner award costs 10% across the board.

    Now, let's see with a real example how increasing partner "saver" awards 10% compares with the last time I did my major redemption of UA miles, which was at the end of 2019 and beginning of 2020, just before the pandemic hit.

    Redemption of UA/Chase UR points for my 2019 Year-end Asian Escapade(tm):

    In mid-December 2019 I flew to SIN on a first-class UA revenue ticket both to earn the PQM/PQD I needed to requalify for 1K and to position myself for my 2019 Year-end Asian Escapade that would take me to several destinations in N and SE Asia, with nearly all flights paid for with miles to fly in premium cabins.

    From SIN, I flew to TPE in SQ Business using 30K KF miles. Then it was all UA miles or Chase UR points as follows:

    1. TPE-NRT: NH Business using 30K UA miles + $15.90
    2. NRT-ICN: OZ Business using 30K UA miles + $33.30
    3. ICN-PEK-BKK-CMB: CA then TG Business using 55K UA miles + $38.30

    From CMB I flew to MLE for a 5-night award stay at WA Maldives and back on Sri Lankan Air, paying cash. Then,

    4. CMB-BKK: TG Economy (no J available) using 25K UA miles + $121.60
    5. BKK-PVG: TG Business, an Excursionist Perk that required 0.0 miles!

    The last flight was on 01/08/2020. I flew back to the US on 01/12/2020 and then all hell broke loose.

    Total number of "UA" miles for the preceding multi-city redemption:

    30K + 30K + 55K + 25K + 0K = 140K "UA" miles

    ("UA" because I'd transferred 60K UR points to UA miles before the redemption).

    Since then, and I did check, UA increased those very same A* partner awards 10%.

    Therefore, the total after UA's purported heavy "devaluation" would have been 10% of 140K or just 14K more miles for a total of 154K vs. 140K for that same multi-city redemption.

    That is admittedly one example, but where is the purported "heavy" devaluation of MileagePlus?

    From completely misunderstanding the relative values of hotel points currencies to making widely inaccurate or fantastical claims to try to shine a better light than deserved on their favored airline or hotel loyalty programs, self-anointed "travel gurus" are doing a disservice to their readers by providing them with fluff rather than reliable information that would help them make the most of the miles/points game.

    We do not know how things will be like when travel returns to the "new normal" following the pandemic, but as I just showed with real numbers, there are many circumstances where it makes [great] sense to transfer Ultimate Rewards points to MileagePlus.

    G'day.

  9. Levi Gold

    It's worth noting that if you can add a Business Platinum to your Amex stable, you can get better than 1.5 cpp through Amex Travel after the 35% rebate (and if this is on an IAP discounted ticket, the value relative to normal price is better than that).

  10. beachmouse Guest

    Accor is a unique transfer partner for Capitol One. While I realize their North American options are limited, they can be pretty useful elsewhere.

    1. Pam Guest

      Great summary, Ben, especially since your intent with this post obviously isn’t to mention every program exception (& I am certain you know many).

      I look at 2 different values. 1. the overall quality/flexibility of a program and 2. the underlying value I can get for a point (once earned) on the redemption side.

      Chase & AMEX are the programs with the most overall value for the reasons you’ve posted. But I don’t...

      Great summary, Ben, especially since your intent with this post obviously isn’t to mention every program exception (& I am certain you know many).

      I look at 2 different values. 1. the overall quality/flexibility of a program and 2. the underlying value I can get for a point (once earned) on the redemption side.

      Chase & AMEX are the programs with the most overall value for the reasons you’ve posted. But I don’t think the value of a point in each program (once earned) really should represent more than an average of the underlying redemption values of each partner under it. And if that average is less than .015 for Chase, for example, then the point value should then bump to .015 overall since you can still always get at least that with Sapphire.

      So even though I can easily earn hundreds of thousands of MRs with AMEX, I wouldn’t inflate the underlying point value of an MR because of it. Or similarly inflate a UR since they are harder to come by! I might value the program more because of ease of use etc, but what it’s actually gonna buy me may be a different story.

  11. Ck Guest

    Chase UR simply for the transfer to Hyatt. Consistently getting 4 to 6 cents per point redemption and just got 11x when I had to extend my trip in Vail due to weather issues.

  12. Andrew Guest

    Amex is the best due to ANA and consistent transfer bonuses.

    I think it's also worth a mention you get a 10% point rebate on Citi points if you have the Citi+ Reward card which I think bumps up Citi with Chase.

    Even with all the changes, Capital One is still the weakest IMO. You don't get frequent transfer bonuses, 10% rebate, or an option of a 1.5 cent redemption (with the Reserve). Turkish,...

    Amex is the best due to ANA and consistent transfer bonuses.

    I think it's also worth a mention you get a 10% point rebate on Citi points if you have the Citi+ Reward card which I think bumps up Citi with Chase.

    Even with all the changes, Capital One is still the weakest IMO. You don't get frequent transfer bonuses, 10% rebate, or an option of a 1.5 cent redemption (with the Reserve). Turkish, Etihad, and Asia Miles are nice transfer partners, but still a tier below the other 3.

  13. Jack Member

    VFTW has mentioned several times that EVA Air Infinity MileageLands is an underrated program. I wonder what redemptions he sees as valuable.

    1. Eskimo Guest

      Or how much Gary is secretly making.

  14. Anthony Guest

    1) The issue I have with valuing transferrable currencies at 1.7 points is the most of the underlying transfer partners are worth 1.2 to 1.4 cents. Having flexibility to transfer into the best possible redemption does add value, but I would frankly cap transferrable currency value at 1.5 cents.

    2) The ability to use Capital One miles for certain travel transactions at 1 cent per mile (Amtrak, Airbnb, etc) can be useful enough to...

    1) The issue I have with valuing transferrable currencies at 1.7 points is the most of the underlying transfer partners are worth 1.2 to 1.4 cents. Having flexibility to transfer into the best possible redemption does add value, but I would frankly cap transferrable currency value at 1.5 cents.

    2) The ability to use Capital One miles for certain travel transactions at 1 cent per mile (Amtrak, Airbnb, etc) can be useful enough to actually redeem the miles in that way.

    3) I've gotten anywhere from 1.2 cents to well over 2 cents on certain Delta redemptions recently. While I haven't transferred Amex points over to Delta in a few years, I would consider it if I needed to top off for a high value redemption, especially given award tickets earn miles. I generally earn enough Delta miles through flying and Delta Reserve spending though

  15. T Dog New Member

    I charge $2MM+ per year on cards for my business and, even booking trips for my extended family, it's not possible to use all of my points. This year I used the Pay Yourself Back feature with Chase UR points to buy gift cards at supermarkets and then liquidate them through business spending ($100K+). Even now I have 5.5MM points with Chase, AmEx, and other programs.

    I understand that it's possible to get outsized value...

    I charge $2MM+ per year on cards for my business and, even booking trips for my extended family, it's not possible to use all of my points. This year I used the Pay Yourself Back feature with Chase UR points to buy gift cards at supermarkets and then liquidate them through business spending ($100K+). Even now I have 5.5MM points with Chase, AmEx, and other programs.

    I understand that it's possible to get outsized value for transferrable points. This has been true with Hyatt and Marriott in the past for me. However, at this point, I've concluded that the 2% cashback with some cards is the best option in my situation. Perhaps others have a similar issue of having more points than they can use?

    1. Steve Diamond

      Not as many points but i agree nothing wrong with 2% cash back, no having to worry about availlbe space, travel restrictions, covid, time spend searching for awards. Just plain easy $ than can be invested and grow, or cant be spent on any trip you want with any hotel or any airline. Outside of hotel transfers i dont see the value anymore transferring to airlines to buy business tickets to countries that might not even let you in or out 6 months from now.

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Rick Guest

Your points do not expire if you product change from Prestige to Preferred. They would expire if you transferred Prestige points to your Preferred or transferred your points to another person.

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Pam Guest

Great summary, Ben, especially since your intent with this post obviously isn’t to mention every program exception (& I am certain you know many). I look at 2 different values. 1. the overall quality/flexibility of a program and 2. the underlying value I can get for a point (once earned) on the redemption side. Chase & AMEX are the programs with the most overall value for the reasons you’ve posted. But I don’t think the value of a point in each program (once earned) really should represent more than an average of the underlying redemption values of each partner under it. And if that average is less than .015 for Chase, for example, then the point value should then bump to .015 overall since you can still always get at least that with Sapphire. So even though I can easily earn hundreds of thousands of MRs with AMEX, I wouldn’t inflate the underlying point value of an MR because of it. Or similarly inflate a UR since they are harder to come by! I might value the program more because of ease of use etc, but what it’s actually gonna buy me may be a different story.

1
Nun Guest

Is this comment about Chase still correct? "Chase lets you transfer points to a member of your household, even if they’re not an authorized user on any of your cards." I thought it changed so I can only transfer to another UR account of an AU. Or are you referring to redeeming UR points to someone else's miles, such as someone else's Southwest account. Even that I thought wasn't allowed by the rules. Hope I'm wrong.

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