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Transferring Amex points for AA award travel
My husband has about 50K AMEX points which we would like to use for a American Airlines saver business class award ticket from Santiago Chile back to SFO next winter — one way since we are returning home from a cruise from Florida down the east coast of South America.
SInce AA does not appear to be a AMEX partner, we cannot directly convert the points to AA Miles. But are there any other strategies we can consider to convert those AMEX points into an award ticket on AA?
Or is the best strategy to bite the bullet and buy AA Miles at their current discount.
BTW I have about 100K Citi Thank You points, Are there ways to use some of them to get an AA award ticket.
For questions like this the Transfer Partner Master list by Frequentmiler come in handy.
The blog post is old, but it links to an updated Google spreadsheet.
Sadly as you can see while it’s possible to transfer your points into a hotel programs and then into AA miles the value is very bad, best case would be to “only” loose 2/3 of your Amex points in the transfer. TY points would be even worse.
Personally the only times I would thinking about doing something like this is if I have points/miles expiring without a chance to use them or I need just a few miles to top up an account for immediate use.
I think the question is; Are you dead set on flying AA?
Both AF/KLM Flyingblue and Singpore Krisflyer are transfer partners of both MR and TY points and have reasonable award charts. Flyingblue J awards on Delta would be 62.5K miles SCL-SFO.
I will note that both Etihad and Cathay is also a transfer partners of both MR and TY and can book AA awards, problem with both is that they use distance based award charts which can get very expensive mileage wise on long flights.
And as I’m sure you know you can use TY points to buy an AA cash ticket.
Technically you can use one of AA’s partners (British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Etihad), but the real problem is that AA doesn’t release a lot of saver space on that route.
I would look at some of the other alliances, or buying a ticket using ThankYou points, as business class tickets from South America can be surprisingly inexpensive at times.
Thanks. I’ve been keeping an eye on J fares but the problem we have is that we are traveling one way home and rarely does one ever see bargain one way J fares.
A related question for you and others: When a really good round trip fare shows up, how safe is it to buy the bargain round trip fare (J or otherwise) and use just the outbound ticket throwing away the return ticket.
I know airlines watch carefully for hidden city violations but do they go after anyone who takes advantage of buying a round trip ticket and foregoing the return leg.
If a round trip fare is cheaper than a one way fare, why not buy that and let the return segment be unused?
Or, if you’re considering another trip to South America thats within the next 11-12 months, maybe include that in the round trip ticket instead of wasting the segment.
[USER=1420]@GBOAC[/USER] if you don’t make a habit out of throwing away the return potion of the ticket, you’ll be fine. The airlines are more concerned with people who do this habitually than those who rarely do it.