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Answers (7)

Amex MR – how to get best value from MR points

Amex MR – how to get best value from MR points

  1. Anonymous

    P2 and I have accumulated 900k MR points over the past few years without using any. Now that I want to start using them, most avenues seem to offer low value of 0.7 to 1.0 cents per point. Like most of us, I’m not traveling internationally these days. Other than transferring points to Schwab at 1.25 cents per point, how can I get anywhere near the 1.7 cents value for my points?

  2. Clem

    Hi David,

    That valuation is linked to the fact that you can get outsized value out of your MR points by transferring them to airlines, and book business or first class tickets that would otherwise cost thousands and thousands of dollars.

    Other than that, MR points value in and of itself should be close to 1 cent per point if you redeem them for charges on your card for instance. Unless you need them to pay off your bills, I would personally just wait for travel to resume and use my points then.

  3. RTBones

    Hi David – is there a reason you want to start using your MR Points now? I certainly understand (as, I am sure, everyone here does) the frustration of not traveling. I do agree with Clem, though – as long as you dont need to spend your points to pay your bills, I would hold them and use the points when we can all travel again.

  4. OCTinPHL

    Although MR points are my main “currency” (I also have UR points), I rarely achieve the 1.7 cents valuation. Until recently. I didn’t get as much value out of MRs because my primary hotel program is Hilton Honors and the transfer ratio is horrible (and I usually have enough Hilton points) and for flying it is AAdvantage. I do transfer MRs to BA, Aer Lingus, and Asia Miles as needed for intra-Europe / intra-Asia flying. That’s usually 25k here or there. But after cancelling trips to Asia and Europe this past April and June, I have mileage sitting in all three accounts. Oh well, I’ll use them eventually.

    I find the real value is using MRs to purchase J fares on BA, Cathay, or Qatar. I may not get to the 1.7 valuation, but I get close because of the 35% points rebate on the Platinum cards. I am just about to buy a J ticket to Singapore for early 2022 – I am finding airfare on Oneworld carriers as low as $3900 – $4400 (Swiss and Lufthansa are about $300 cheaper at $3600) and ~355k to 420k MRs. With 35% back, I am looking at somewhere between 235k and 280k for a paid ticket I will credit to AAdvantage – if I am still trying for EXP. Or Alaska, or maybe even Asia Miles.

  5. Clem

    [USER=4556]@OCTinPHL[/USER] – isn’t the 35% points rebate only for the [B]business[/B] platinum? Because that perk is sadly not available on the personal version of the card.

    I would also argue that if you were not trying to stick to OneWorld, you would get much higher value from your MR points. If you’re going to make an award redemption in a premium class, it doesn’t really matter if it’s your alliance of choice or not anyway since you won’t get any credit for it, and get most of the perks you would have with any status. I guess your strategy is different in the sense that you’re using points to get points 🙂 .

    For instance, transferring 120k MR points to Virgin Atlantic for a roundtrip to Japan in ANA F is really hard to beat (or even 150k to ANA directly is pretty amazing, frankly). I also get some pretty good value transferring to Flying Blue, Krisflyer, Aeroplan and LifeMiles. I found that sticking to AAdvantage was the hardest for me, especially because it’s not a Chase or Amex transfer partner (and living in NY, I’m not AA captive thankfully, I only fly them if there is literally no other choice).

    I don’t think MR points are useful for hotels at all; in fact few transferrable currencies are, except Chase Ultimate Rewards with Hyatt (literally my only use of UR points is for Hyatt redemptions).

  6. OCTinPHL

    [QUOTE=”Clem, post: 71821, member: 2278″][USER=4556]@OCTinPHL[/USER] – isn’t the 35% points rebate only for the [B]business[/B] platinum? Because that perk is sadly not available on the personal version of the card.[/QUOTE]

    Yes, my bad. You are absolutely correct.

    [QUOTE=”Clem, post: 71821, member: 2278″]I would also argue that if you were not trying to stick to OneWorld, you would get much higher value from your MR points. If you’re going to make an award redemption in a premium class, it doesn’t really matter if it’s your alliance of choice or not anyway since you won’t get any credit for it, and get most of the perks you would have with any status. I guess your strategy is different in the sense that you’re using points to get points 🙂 .[/QUOTE]

    Well, I’m sticking with OW not for redeemable miles (though I get those as well) but rather for status. That’s why I am probably going to use these MRs to buy a ticket rather than transfer them. This one ticket will get me to about 30%-35% of the spending threshold for 2023 EXP on AA. Or perhaps I’ll credit to Alaska as it is joining. EXP is worth it to me for OWE lounge access (CX, JAL, and QF F lounges) and upgrades on transcons. But Plat. Pro now is OWE, so…. and who knows if I’ll even have EXP in 2021. Finally, I’ll still have ~300k MRs after this ticket purchase.

    [QUOTE=”Clem, post: 71821, member: 2278″]I found that sticking to AAdvantage was the hardest for me, especially because it’s not a Chase or Amex transfer partner (and living in NY, I’m not AA captive thankfully, I only fly them if there is literally no other choice).[/QUOTE]

    I am pretty much AA captive, at least for going to Europe, unless I want to connect. And AA has at least double or triple the frequency to the West Coast compared to UA, AS, or Frontier. I think that is it for direct flights. Maybe Spirit has one flight to LAX. And none of them (UA, AS, or AA) have great product out of PHL. Finally, I have around 800k AAdvantage miles, and that is after booking two r/t award tickets to Japan for late 2021, one in F, one in J. I don’t need to transfer the MRs to fly CX or JAL F or J.

    Maybe I should branch out and try flying ANA to Asia or someone other than AA/BA to Europe (I do fly LH to Frankfurt every couple of years).

    You are correct that I may be able to get more out of MRs by using them for awards on other carriers, but I already have tons of miles to fly JAL and CX, so it is hard to justify when I can get ~1.3 – 1.5 cents per MR (with the 35% refund) to buy a J ticket and get credit to status.

    Using my URs for Hyatt is a good idea. Planning a trip to Vietnam and Cambodia after my work trip to Singapore, and I think Hyatt has some nice places where we are planning on hitting. I think Tiffany reviewed a Hyatt in Cambodia.

  7. JeffNYC

    [QUOTE=”OCTinPHL, post: 71833, member: 4556″]Yes, my bad. You are absolutely correct.

    Well, I’m sticking with OW not for redeemable miles (though I get those as well) but rather for status. That’s why I am probably going to use these MRs to buy a ticket rather than transfer them. This one ticket will get me to about 30%-35% of the spending threshold for 2023 EXP on AA. Or perhaps I’ll credit to Alaska as it is joining. EXP is worth it to me for OWE lounge access (CX, JAL, and QF F lounges) and upgrades on transcons. But Plat. Pro now is OWE, so…. and who knows if I’ll even have EXP in 2021. Finally, I’ll still have ~300k MRs after this ticket purchase.

    I am pretty much AA captive, at least for going to Europe, unless I want to connect. And AA has at least double or triple the frequency to the West Coast compared to UA, AS, or Frontier. I think that is it for direct flights. Maybe Spirit has one flight to LAX. And none of them (UA, AS, or AA) have great product out of PHL. Finally, I have around 800k AAdvantage miles, and that is after booking two r/t award tickets to Japan for late 2021, one in F, one in J. I don’t need to transfer the MRs to fly CX or JAL F or J.

    Maybe I should branch out and try flying ANA to Asia or someone other than AA/BA to Europe (I do fly LH to Frankfurt every couple of years).

    You are correct that I may be able to get more out of MRs by using them for awards on other carriers, but I already have tons of miles to fly JAL and CX, so it is hard to justify when I can get ~1.3 – 1.5 cents per MR (with the 35% refund) to buy a J ticket and get credit to status.

    Using my URs for Hyatt is a good idea. Planning a trip to Vietnam and Cambodia after my work trip to Singapore, and I think Hyatt has some nice places where we are planning on hitting. I think Tiffany reviewed a Hyatt in Cambodia.[/QUOTE]
    Darn! That 35% sounded great…
    Guess I’m back to shopping for award flights deals on KLM.

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