There are two programs with AMEX points that have a transfer ratio of 1:1 – Avios and Aeroplan. Those programs will let you obtain the highest return if you use them correctly. I’m really happy to see that American Express is running a 25% Avios transfer bonus. Cards that earn Membership Rewards that qualify for this promotion are the following:
- American Express Business Platinum Card: Get up to 75,000 Membership Rewards Points!
- American Express Business Gold Card: Get up to 40,000 Membership Rewards Points!
- American Express Platinum Card: Get up to 60,000 Membership Reward Points!
- American Express Gold Rewards Card: Get up to 30,000 Membership Rewards Points!
These are all charge cards and are the current best offers. AMEX has also improved their application eligibility requirements, making it easier for many people to obtain a card.
25% Avios Transfer Bonus
You’ll see the transfer bonus as one of the banners when you select the redeem miles option, although it doesn’t seem to have any images, and does not link properly to any details of the offer. The transfer bonus starts September 11, and runs until November 12, 2017.
However, it seems that the transfer screen already has the bonus hard-coded in, even though the promotion hasn’t started. Under the “Product Information” tab, the Terms and Conditions clearly state that promotion starts September 11, so I would wait until then before making a transfer. You can transfer in increments of 100 miles with a minimum of 1,000. This one of the best promotions that is around, so take advantage of it while you can. The last transfer bonus, which was also 25%, was back in January 2016. It’s been a long while. This promotion only applies to transfers from AMEX MR cards. Other cards like the RBC Avion Visa Infinite and SPG American Express, will not earn the bonus.
If you do not currently have any cards earning MR, you should be able to take advantage of this promotion if you apply now and complete the minimum spend within two months, as the points should post instantly once you have reached the limit. For people who aren’t sure about which American Express card to get, see my post about that. For example, if you get the American Express Business Platinum Card, and complete the minimum spend, you will earn a whopping 100,000 Avios points from just one credit card! This is pretty much as good as it gets with the Canadian credit card environment.
If you have trouble meeting minimum spend, I recommend using the PayTM app. It lets you pay (large) bills with credit cards that normally you can’t, like tuition, taxes, and rent. The daily maximum for payments with the app is $1,500, so you technically could complete the minimum spend in 5 days. As well, you can get $10 for using promo code PTM9462620 once you pay $25 towards a bill.
Additional Reading: Pay Your Bills for Free with the PayTM app!
Avios are best used on short-haul flights on oneworld partners. If you use your points in North America on Alaska or American, routes like Vancouver – Los Angeles and Toronto – New York only costs 7,500 points one-way. The 30,000 points you earn from the welcome bonus on the American Express Gold Rewards Card gets you two roundtrips for free. My favourite use of Avios are for short-haul business class flights within Australia, which start at only 9,000 points.
They have exceptional lounges for a domestic flight, and on top of that, you can get free food at restaurants at Brisbane, Sydney, (and now Denver) airport if you have a Priority Pass from the American Express Platinum Card. Other 4,500/9,000 point routes around the world are also great value, including Lima – Cuzco, Hong Kong – Taipei, London City – Amsterdam, and more.
Finally, there’s also tremendous value with other routes all over the world that are under 2,000 flights, which will cost 20,000 points in business class such as Hong Kong – Tokyo, Lima – Santiago, London – Reykjavik, and more. In business, those routes can run upwards of $600!