Transfering points

Jul 11th, 2008, 03:04 PM
  #1  
mms
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 17,095
Transfering points

I am trying to use miles to book tickets for Europe for next summer. We have a ton of point with AMEX, but would prefer to fly with NWA, which is not a partner of AMEX. Delta, AF and Continental are all partners of both AMEX as well as NWA. Is it possible to transfer our points from AMEX to one of those, and then transfer from there to our NWA account?
mms is offline  
Jul 11th, 2008, 03:26 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,870
Is it possible to transfer our points from AMEX to one of those, and then transfer from there to our NWA account?

No, you can't transfer DL, AF/KL, or CO miles to NW, but you can redeem a NW ticket via any of those programs.

A CO redemption would probably have the lowest taxes and fees. DL would charge you at minimum a $25 partner award fee and starting August 15th an additional $50 fuel surcharge for a US-Europe award. AF/KL will charge you huge fuel surcharges.
Patty is offline  
Jul 11th, 2008, 05:11 PM
  #3  
mms
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 17,095
Patty, thanks, that is what I thought. But I can put my points into say my Delta Skymiles account and then book a NW flight through Delta, right? If I do that, how does it work since Delta does their awards tickets 331 days out, but NWA award tickets are already available for our hoped for dates next June.
mms is offline  
Jul 11th, 2008, 06:42 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 11,334
I just booked a trip from ZRH to BKK on Swiss using points from AmEx to help offset the crazy cost of this trip during the December holiday season.

I booked online with AmEx Travel. When you pick your flight you can opt to use AmEx points to pay all or part of the cost of the flight. Did not have enough points to pay the entire cost of the ticket, but the points did help a lot. Made the ticket much more reasonable!

The entire cost of the ticket is shown on the AmEx bill, but then on the next line, you get a price credit for points used.

simpsonc510 is offline  
Jul 12th, 2008, 06:59 AM
  #5  
mms
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 17,095
Simpson, thank you. I just did a trial run with that and it might be the way to go. I can't input our dates just yet, but will try that in about week when I can.

mms is offline  
Jul 12th, 2008, 07:37 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,870
If you redeem through DL, you'll need to wait until 331 days to book. I think CO may be 340, not sure.

If you use points to pay for a ticket, you only get $0.01 per point value. An award ticket will be a better value in most cases provided there's availability.
Patty is offline  
Jul 12th, 2008, 10:56 AM
  #7  
mms
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 17,095
Patty, yes, I am having to wait. I have it marked on my calendar for the different airlines and which day I can try to book. We are wanting to go the end of June, and based on what I tried last year for the same thing, I know it will be tough. So the pay with points just might be the way to go.
mms is offline  
Jul 13th, 2008, 07:06 AM
  #8  
Jed
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,546
simpson -<I booked online with AmEx Travel.>

I know that AMEX offers to redeem with them your points for a flight, but my experience is that they require many more points than the usual airline offer. Is that what you do?
Jed is offline  
Jul 13th, 2008, 09:09 AM
  #9  
mms
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 17,095
Jed--That is what we came upon last summer, but in my searching this week the points needed were actually the same amount as what one airline quoted. So who knows...I think it is all such a gamble. The mentality of "lets see how many hoops we can make customers go through and see how badly they want to use miles/points", lol! I am stubborn though, so will keep trying
mms is offline  
Jul 13th, 2008, 11:12 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 11,334
Each AmEx point is worth 1 cent toward the ticket price. We had accumulated 131,000+ points, which ended up deducting $1310+ from the price of a $2100+ ticket. In the end, we paid about $900, which was much easier on the budget. DH did not want to pay more than $1000.

(I know, I know, those points cost us $$ to begin with... but I don't look at it in that way. We own a business and use our AmEx for all business related expenses. We add up a lot of points. So having the points available is a nice bonus.)

On another note, I had checked ITA software and also Kayak, just to see what prices they were showing for the same ZRH-BKK-ZRH itinerary on Swiss. They were both about $60 more than AmEx travel was showing. AmEx travel's price was right in line with the price on the Swiss web site. I was really surprised that kayak and ita were so much higher.

I love getting AmEx points. Now that we've used them up, they will just sit back and accumulate more, until I "suddenly have a brainstorm" and realize WE HAVE POINTS to spend for something (smile).

Same way with my Marriott points. I have lots and lots, and have never used them. We have two deluxe rooms in Pattaya Thailand for New Years Eve and Jan. 1. FREE. Love it!!

Carol
simpsonc510 is offline  
Jul 13th, 2008, 11:29 AM
  #11  
mms
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 17,095
Carol, that is how we look at the AMEX points too. We have about 300k right now. Last summer our tickets to Paris were $1700 each, so I would like to avoid shelling out that much money again
mms is offline  
Jul 13th, 2008, 08:42 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 24,313
Everybody has different preferences, but I would like to repeat what some others have said:

Using the pay with miles option does not give you optimum value per point.

Yes, availability can be a problem, but one should exhaust all possibilities for a mileage redemption before using pay with miles. I say this for a couple of reasons.

1) Simple cost. A FF ticket to Europe in coach will be 50k miles. That translates into $500 with the pay with miles option. I wouldn't recommend someone use 50k miles for a $500 ticket, either.

2) You lose flexibility. Depending upon the program, FF tickets are more flexible than a discount economy ticket. Most give you one free stop-over and an open-jaw. If you are savvy about this, it gives you much more value. Also, while there are some fees, changing an award ticket is usually cheaper than changing a discount economy ticket.

Of course, if you are a small business owner and churn through over 1 million points per year (some do), then I wouldn't worry as much about value. But for the normal Amex card holder, I don't think it is a good deal.

FWIW, the best Amex card, IMHO, is actually the Starwood Amex. It combines the ability to transfer the points to more airline programs than the regular Amex (usually at a better ratio), along with the ability to use them for Starwood hotels, without blackout dates, and at very good redemption values.
travelgourmet is offline  
Jul 14th, 2008, 08:42 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 11,334
IMO, I would say that AmEx is not the same as the Starwood card. I've gotten offers from AmEx for that card but have not taken one. I only use my gold business AmEx and my platinum AmEx. Yes, both have member fees to pay annually, but for me (us) the benefits outweigh that charge.

AmEx "points" are not issued in the same way that FF points are. AmEx points are awarded according to dollars spent.

FF point values are based on the cost of a ticket vs the points needed. NOT SO with the AMEX card points IMO. They are always worth 1 penny, and you purchase your ticket through AmEx Travel (web site). Pretty much all airlines/all flights are an option on their site. Not so with dedicated FF miles. AmEx points are not transferred to an airline program. AmEx points are used as "cash" towards a purchase on your AmEx card.

mms... good for you on saving up 300k points! DH and I need to get busy and work our way back up to that level!

Carol
simpsonc510 is offline  
Jul 14th, 2008, 09:27 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,870
Carol,
Membership Rewards points can be transferred to frequent flyer programs and that's where IMO their best redemption value lies. I usually redeem my points for international business class tickets and I couldn't touch those if I redeemed my points as "cash" towards a purchased ticket.

The only time they're not transferable to frequent flyer programs is if you participate in Membership Rewards Express which is the tier of MR that comes with the no annual fee cards such as Blue, Nest, Knot, etc. As you have the Platinum card, that doesn't apply.
Patty is offline  
Jul 14th, 2008, 09:31 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,870
I wanted to add that all other tiers of MR (regular Membership Rewards and Membership Rewards First) allow both transfers to frequent flyer programs or points toward a purchased ticket.
Patty is offline  
Jul 14th, 2008, 10:31 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 24,313
IMO, I would say that AmEx is not the same as the Starwood card.

I agree they are different. It is just that I feel the Starwood card is better. I have a Gold Amex (can't justify the Plat fee, despite the constant barrage of offers), a Blue, a Corporate Amex, and a Starwood Card, and I pretty much only use the Starwood Card.

They are always worth 1 penny, and you purchase your ticket through AmEx Travel (web site).

But I will trade the guarantee of 1 penny for the 3, 5, or 10 cents per point you can get by either converting MR points to miles, or collecting Starwood points.

But, hey, different strokes for different folks.
travelgourmet is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2008, 01:19 PM
  #17  
mms
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 17,095
I really appreciate all the input and so here is an update. I checked Continental and they had availability for our dates, so I called AMEX and transferred the miles. The miles went into my CO FF account immediately, and then online I booked the 2 reward tickets.

We fly from PDX (Portland, OR) to SEA(Seattle) on Alaska, then SEA to CDG on AF. Coming home is CDG to IAH(Houston) to Portland. So not a bad route.

AMEX charged me a $75 fee to transfer the miles and then my total fee from CO was $169. This is for 2 reward tickets. Oh, and the miles per ticket was 75k. So I am pleased that we made it work and now get to start planning other aspects of the trip.

Like I said, I appreciate all the input. Patty, that was great info that CO fees would be much less, so a special thanks to you for that
mms is offline  
Jul 26th, 2008, 01:19 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 16,658
Yeah MMS!!!!

I used Amex points for our Airfrance tickets LAX to London with dd in the fall.

I will say, that I agree with Travelg on the Starwood Amex being the most bang for your buck with reward cards with Amex.

We have a Delta Amex, Starwood, and Platinum.
MomDDTravel is offline  
Jul 27th, 2008, 07:46 AM
  #19  
Jed
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,546
How many points? Which class?
Jed is offline  
Jul 27th, 2008, 07:53 AM
  #20  
mms
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 17,095
Jed--75k points, coach. But for June and for the dates I wanted, I have no complaints!
mms is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 04:35 AM.