American Express Stock – All The Airlines And Hotels Offering Bonuses On Miles And Points Purchases Right Now
Although the travel industry is beginning to rebound from its Covid-era nadir, it still has a long way to go. In order to keep prospective customers interested, though, as well as to raise a little cash in the meantime, airlines and hotels have turned to their loyalty programs. Some are selling points and miles to their credit card issuers who have, in turn, posted historically high sign-up bonuses on popular cards to attract new customers. But airlines and hotels are also going straight to consumers with a variety of discounts and bonuses on their points and miles. Prepaying for a stash of points or miles upfront right now might mean booking trips at discounts in the future.
In fact, there are so many points and miles promotions going on right now, it can be hard to keep track of them. Here are seven of the most interesting to keep an eye on, though, and why or why not you might want to take advantage of them.
Airline Miles Bonuses And Discounts
Airlines including Air Canada, Air France-KLM, Alaska and American Airlines are all selling their miles at a rebate right now.
Air Canada Aeroplan 100% Bonus
Air Canada just completely revamped its frequent-flier program, so before you dive into mileage purchases, be sure you understand what you might be getting into. That said, if you need to earn some miles quickly, this promotion could be right for you.
Now through April 2, 2021, Aeroplan is selling miles with a bonus of up to 100%, though there is a tiered structure.
· Buy 3,000-19,000 miles: 60% bonus
· Buy 20,000-55,000 miles: 80% bonus
· Buy 60,000-350,000 miles: 100% bonus
Basically, you can double your miles at the higher end of the spectrum and bring down the purchase price to around 1.2 cents each. This is among the most generous bonuses Aeroplan has offered recently (though there was a more lucrative one last May).
If you already have Aeroplan miles and just need a boost to get you to your next reward flight, this could be just the ticket. Though also remember that both American Express Membership Rewards and Capital One miles transfer to Aeroplan, so you have some other choices if it comes down to it.
Air France-KLM Flying Blue 80% Bonus
Now through April 11, 2021, members of Air France-KLM’s Flying Blue program can purchase miles with a bonus of up to 80%. There are a few conditions to be aware of, though. Here’s how it breaks down by tier.
· Buy 4,000-10,000 miles: 60% bonus
· Busy 12,000-28,000 miles, 70% bonus
· Buy 30,000-100,000 miles, 80% bonus
Assuming you make a purchase within the 80% echelon, those miles will cost you around 1.8 cents apiece. That’s probably not a price at which you’d want to rake in the Flying Blue miles considering you tend to get a lot less value from them on award tickets (usually around one cent apiece). However, if you regularly take advantage of Flying Blue’s specially priced “Promo Awards” with mileage tickets at up to 50% off, you might come out ahead.
Don’t forget, though, that Flying Blue is a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Capital One, and Citi ThankYou Rewards, so if you have any number of credit cards, you can top up your Flying Blue account much more cheaply and easily than buying miles. That’s especially true right now since Citi is offering a 25% bonus (so 1,000 ThankYou points becomes 1,250 Flying Blue miles) on points transfers to Flying Blue through April 16, 2021.
American Airlines AAdvantage 40% Discount
Now through April 30, 2021, American Airlines AAdvantage members can purchase 10,000-150,000 miles at a 40% discount. That brings down the price from around three cents per mile to just under two cents. This is not the best deal, and we’ve seen more generous offers from American Airlines recently, so you might want to hold off.
Etihad Guest 40% Bonus
This Abu Dhabi-based carrier is selling its miles with a bonus of between 10-40%, depending on how many you purchase.
· Buy 6,000-20,000 miles: 10% bonus
· Buy 21,000-60,000 miles: 20% bonus
· Buy 61,000-100,000 miles: 40% bonus
You can purchase up to 100,000 miles per calendar year unless you’re a high-level elite frequent flier with the airline. If you take advantage of the highest bonus level, you will rack up miles at a rate of 1.43 cents each. That could certainly be worthwhile…if you are familiar with the Etihad Guest program and have a specific and imminent award redemption in mind, including on its partner, American Airlines. If you’re just thinking speculatively, best to avoid this option.
Especially considering that you can transfer Amex Membership Rewards points as well as Citi ThankYou Rewards and Capital One miles to the program if you have a credit card that earns one of those three points currencies.
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
Folks who redeem their Southwest Rapid Rewards for flights on the airline will receive a 20% discount when booking by March 25 for travel through April 30, 2021. You just need to enter the promotion code “SAVENOW” at booking.
If you’re already planning to fly Southwest soon, this promotion is a no-brainer. Especially because the airline does not charge change or cancellation fees, so really this is a no-risk booking.
You typically get around 1.3 cents per Rapid Rewards point in value when redeeming for a ticket, but your value goes up to around 1.6 cents apiece if taking advantage of this special.
Hotel Points Bonuses And Discounts
Several hotel loyalty programs are also selling points at lower-than-usual prices that could be the right opportunity to book some upcoming stays inexpensively.
Choice Privileges 40% Bonus
Though this hotel loyalty program doesn’t get the same amount of attention as larger competitors like Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy, don’t overlook it since you can redeem the points at thousands of hotels around the world.
Now through April 27, 2021, it is offering a bonus of 40% on purchases of 3,000 points or more in a single transaction. Factoring that it, points cost around 0.7 cents apiece. So if you do plan to buy, make sure you’re getting more than that for them based on the room rates of any hotels you are planning to book.
Hilton 40% Transfer Bonus From American Express
Not a buy-points promotion, per se, it’s still worth looking into whether you might want to benefit from the current transfer bonus being offered by American Express to cardholders who want to convert their Membership Rewards points into Hilton Honors points.
Normally, each Amex point converts into two Hilton Honors, but with this special, each Amex point can become 2.8 Hilton points. This has become the standard Amex-Hilton transfer bonus rate. But if you are looking to add to your Honors account, you might want to apply for one of the American Express Hilton co-branded cards instead since they are all offering higher-than usual introductory terms.
Marriott 40% Transfer Bonus From American Express
Like Hilton Honors, Marriott Bonvoy is offering a 40% bonus on points transfers from American Express Membership Rewards through June 15, 2021. That means instead of a one-to-one conversion ratio, you can end up with 1.4 Marriott points per transferred Amex point.
Again, you’re probably better off applying for one of Marriott Bonvoy’s co-branded Amex card offers at the moment since they are extending bonuses of up to 125,000 points. But if you just need a few thousand to get you over the top to your next award booking, this might be the best way to get there.
Promotions on points and miles with either discounts or bonuses can be a mixed bag. While the purchase prices can be much lower than usual, they might still be too high to get true value from them for the redemptions you want. Before making any purchases, be sure to do the math and calculate the value you will get for your points from the flight or hotel you want to book while using them. If the purchase price is far above that, think about other ways to stock up, including transfers from partner credit card points programs. Finally, if you miss out on some of these (or others that launch), don’t be too hard on yourself. There’s bound to be another points sale sometime soon that you can leverage as airlines and hotels search for more secure financial footing.