AMEX Points

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Oct 5th, 2005, 03:45 PM
  #1
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AMEX Points

My parents have over 250,000 AMEX points. They would like to redeem them for travel. Does anyone have any advice on how to get the most out of their points? Any special deals with airlines or hotels? They prefer luxury!
Dr_Andrea is offline  
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Oct 5th, 2005, 04:14 PM
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Dr. Andrea,

I would tell them to hang tight onto those miles. Every few months Delta has a promotion which offers anywhere from a 20% - 35% bonus on the miles.

Therefore, if they were running a promotion for a 30% bonus, your parents would get an extra 75,000 miles if they converted the entire 250,000 AMEX points to Delta Skymiles.

Hotels are a terrible waste of miles. Their best bet is to use the miles entirely on business class or even first class air travel. Delta has many partners, including South African Airways. For example, a business class seat from the USA to South Africa is 120,000 miles per person, and it would include a free regional flight (such as Joburg to Victoria Falls) that would also be in business class or whatever class they chose for their ticket.
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Oct 5th, 2005, 05:41 PM
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I agree with Rocco -- best use is for long-haul business class travel. I recently redeemed 120,000 Delta SkyMiles for an Air France flight from New York via Paris to Madagascar, which priced at $10,700.

Depending on where they'd like to travel, they could get two business class tix to Asia, Australia or Africa, all of which would be at least +$7,000. Hotels are a waste of points.
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Oct 5th, 2005, 06:20 PM
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There's a current 30% MR to Delta transfer bonus which ends on Nov 30 -

http://www.delta.com/skymiles/ways_t...onus/index.jsp

These bonuses post 8 weeks after the expiration of the promotion (i.e. end of Jan for the current one) so the bonus portion isn't available for immediate use (the actual amount of points transferred are).

I agree with others that international business/first class airline tickets generally offer the best point to value ratio.

I've redeemed two sets of business class tickets using Delta Skymiles for two trips to East Africa this year.

I would first determine where they want to travel and look at possible airline partners available through the MR program. I would also make your award reservations first before transferring the points. You don't want to transfer the points and then find out that there are no award seats available for the dates you want to travel. Though I generally have very good luck getting awards seats, I'm also pretty flexible with my schedule and tend to travel in the off season.

Good luck!
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Oct 5th, 2005, 06:31 PM
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Patty,

Thanks for the heads up. Although I transfered quite a few miles during the last promotion, I have another 50,000 to now transfer. With this current promotion I will be able to pick up a bonus 15,000 miles!
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Oct 5th, 2005, 08:57 PM
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I agree completely that the best use of AMEX points is to redeem for business/first class long haul tickets. Delta promotions make me nervous though--I am sweating out my trip in Feb because of the bankruptcy issue. The beauty of the AMEX points is that they are redeemable with a number of airlines.
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Oct 6th, 2005, 08:39 AM
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Patty does that mean if I transfer points now I could use them now to book a flight in Feb for example? Or do you have to wait until the points are posted and then book?

Thanks J
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Oct 6th, 2005, 09:21 AM
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jules,
You don't need to have any miles in your Skymiles account in order to make an award reservation, but you do have to have the miles in your account before your hold period expires in order to ticket your reservation.
Delta's current hold policy for award reservations is 14 days (sometimes they'll extend the hold another 14 days, sometimes not, seems to depend on the agent you get), so the bonus portion is not likely to post within this time. Generally I look at these bonuses as good start toward accumulation for a future trip and don't count on them posting in time for a current reservation. Hope this helps.
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Oct 6th, 2005, 01:56 PM
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Rocco:
Did your bonus post? I signed up for it (May?) and transferred points but I have not seen a bonus yet.
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Oct 6th, 2005, 02:10 PM
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bat,
Are you referring to the 15-20% promo that ended May 15 or the 30% one that ended Jul 15 (that one ran from Jun 1 to Jul 15)?
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Oct 6th, 2005, 02:26 PM
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bat,

No, as a matter of fact, I have not yet received my bonus miles. I will have to start making some phone calls, regretfully.
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Oct 7th, 2005, 05:47 AM
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Rocco, the system does work. I took advantage when the premium was 15%, and the miles did make it eventually (a few months) into my account.

My new mileage game is taking advantage of the 15,000 to 20,000 mileage offers from American, United adn Continental if you get their credit cards, which I have been getting, and I'll cancel after miles are posted. I make a small token charge with each card, the miles are posted a month or so later, and I cancel.

I originally ordered the United card since I'm flying Air New Zealand to Auckland next year, and I figured it would be nice to start with 20,000 miles in the account. And since I currently have an AAdvantage account (with 30,000 miles or so) and a Continental OnePass account (also with 30,000 miles or so) the additions of 15,000 to 20,000 from the credit cards are free, welcome miles.

I still intend to primarily use my Platinum for charges, but I just scooped up around 50,000 miles for nothing, albeit spread over three airlines.

I also just joined Netflix, which I had meant to do anyway, and they gave me 4,000 United miles.

When it comes to frequent flyer miles, there's lots of low hanging fruit for the easy taking.

Michael
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Oct 7th, 2005, 08:41 AM
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Patty:
I made transfers on April 21 and 28 so it must have been the 15-20% one ending May 15th. It has now been 4 plus months--should have posted by now, yes?
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Oct 7th, 2005, 09:31 AM
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I just checked my on-line Delta statemetn, and I transferred my miles on Jan 18 2005 and the bonus was posted on April 26, so it took around three months.

And I just made a reservation using those bonus miles for a trip to Europe -- into Sarajevo and out of Tirana -- that would have been expensive. Trip is for next August.
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Oct 7th, 2005, 10:35 AM
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bat,
My transfer bonus from the promo that ended May 15 posted around the end of August, so yes, you should have received yours already.

I'm still waiting on my transfer bonus for the one that ended Jul 15. I sent a fax to the Delta Skymiles service center earlier this week with a printout of the original promo. If I don't hear anything from them or if the miles don't post by month end, I plan to contact Membership Rewards.

I still have printed copies of both promos (they're no longer on the DL website since the site revamp) so if anyone needs a copy, I can scan and email it to you.
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Oct 7th, 2005, 11:42 AM
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Thanks Patty. If I can't get them to post without that copy I'll let you know.
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Oct 7th, 2005, 02:47 PM
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Thanks for the reminder, Michael. I just applied for the Citi Platinum AAdvantage MC with the 15K sign up bonus for myself and my husband today (I already have the business version of the card).

I don't fly AA very often or use the Citi card extensively (Amex is my primary too) so consequently don't accumulate large balances in my AAdvantage account, but I've found their off peak economy awards to be a good redemption value compared to other airline programs and particularly for those who only have small balances to redeem. It only cost me 30K AAdvantage miles per ticket to redeem an award to Quito last year whereas the same award would have cost me 50K Skymiles or $900 per ticket if I had to pay for them.
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Oct 7th, 2005, 08:18 PM
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That's funny. I'm building my AAdvantage account to also get a trip to Quito. I have been to the Galapagos once, and I'd like to get back in a couple of years, and by then I should have enough miles on American. I'll likely fly them once to Europe next year -- I usually fly Delta but I'm going to spread things out next year.

Michael
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