Book These Incredible Award Flights for Less

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A plane flies into Lihue airport

You can save on flights to Hawaii by taking advantage of Amex’s limited-time transfer bonuses.

Matthew Micah Wright/Getty Images


  • For a limited time, you can get a bonus of up to 30% when you transfer Amex Membership Rewards points to select partners.
  • Taking advantage of one of these bonuses can save you points on award flights, particularly those that are already cheaper than usual.
  • Some of the best deals include premium-cabin flights to Hawaii, Europe, Israel, and Japan.
  • Read Insider’s guide to the best travel rewards credit cards.

American Express Membership Rewards have always been valuable, thanks to their versatility and high-value transfer partners. But when Amex announced an unprecedented 12 transfer bonuses this month, that value went through the roof. If you’ve been waiting to redeem your Amex points, now is the time to put them to use. You will receive a transfer bonus of up to 30%, allowing you to book already cheap award tickets for less.

Whether you’re swimming in Membership Rewards points or have a small stash saved up, this promotion gets you closer to your travel goals. Here’s a look at five incredible airline awards you can book for less, thanks to the Amex transfer bonus promotion. Amex is an Insider partner.

We’re focused here on the rewards and perks that come with each card. These cards won’t be worth it if you’re paying interest or late fees. When using a credit card, it’s important to pay your balance in full each month, make payments on time, and only spend what you can afford to pay.

Book a award flights for less with Amex transfer bonuses

American Express The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express


Intro offer

100,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $6,000 in your first 6 months of card membership


Rewards

Earn 5x Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel on up to $500,000 per calendar year. Earn 5x Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel. 1 point per dollar on other purchases.

American Express The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express


Intro offer

100,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $6,000 in your first 6 months of card membership


Rewards

Earn 5x Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel on up to $500,000 per calendar year. Earn 5x Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel. 1 point per dollar on other purchases.

On American Express’s website


Rewards

Earn 5x Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel on up to $500,000 per calendar year. Earn 5x Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel. 1 point per dollar on other purchases.


Annual Fee

$695

See Rates and Fees

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Intro offer

100,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $6,000 in your first 6 months of card membership


Recommended Credit

Good to Excellent


Regular APR

See Pay Over Time APR

Editor’s Rating

4.75/5

Our editor’s ratings analyze fees, bonuses, rewards, and benefits to highlight the simplest and most valuable credit cards available.

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Before we dive into the awards you can book, let’s look at the complete list of Amex transfer promotions. While it includes airlines and hotels, you’ll generally get the best value for your points by transferring them to airline loyalty programs:

The promotion period ends on September 30, 2022, for all programs, except for Choice Privileges and Marriott Bonvoy, which end October 31, 2022.

You can transfer Amex points to most programs in increments of 1,000 (except for Qantas, which is in 500-point increments). You’ll want to keep this in mind when calculating how many points to transfer, despite the exact redemption rates listed below.

10,400 Aer Lingus Avios for economy class to Ireland

Aer Lingus AerClub has one of the cheapest economy class awards to Europe, with flights from the US East Coast to Dublin costing just 13,000 Avios each way. Even if you live on the West Coast, you might consider booking a repositioning flight to take advantage of this fantastic fare. 

With the 25% Amex transfer bonus, this drops to just 10,400 Avios, making them cheaper than even some domestic flights. These rates are pretty tough to beat if you want to visit Ireland. 

21,700 Aeroplan points for business class to Hawaii

A flight to Hawaii can be pricey (and long!). If you want to get there in comfort and style, there is no better way than in business class. A one-way business class ticket from the West Coast will set you back 25,000 Aeroplan points each way. With the 15% Amex transfer bonus to Aeroplan, the price drops to around 21,700 points. 

That’s an excellent redemption for a five-hour flight, which some people can find uncomfortable in economy class. United charges well over 45,000 miles one-way for the same award, making this an excellent alternative. 

42,400 Flying Blue miles for business class to North Africa and Israel

Air France and KLM’s joint rewards program, Flying Blue, already has very reasonable award flights. A business class ticket to Algeria, Israel, Morocco, and Tunisia normally costs just 53,000 miles each way. With the 25% Amex transfer bonus, you’ll need just 42,400 Membership Rewards points. 

You may be able to save further through Flying Blue’s Promo Rewards, a list of award tickets discounted by up to 50%. 

75,700 Avianca LifeMiles for Lufthansa first class to Europe

Lufthansa’s first-class seat on the Airbus A380 is in one of the most aspirational premium cabins in the sky. You don’t have to shell out tens of thousands of dollars to experience it – Avianca LifeMiles makes these seats available for just 87,000 miles each way to Europe. With the 15% Amex transfer bonus, you’ll need just under 75,700 Membership Rewards points for this flight.

Airlines like United often price out one-way business class tickets at 60,000 miles each way. Swapping out United Polaris for a first-class seat in one of the world’s best first-class cabins is an excellent use of miles. 

34,620 Virgin Atlantic points for ANA business class to Japan 

Japan recently reopened to tourists, to much fanfare. If you’ve spent the past two years planning a big Japan adventure, consider booking your ticket with Virgin Atlantic points. A business class seat on All Nippon Airways costs just 45,000 Virgin Atlantic points each way. American Express offers a generous 30% transfer bonus, meaning you need just 34,620 Membership Rewards for this award.

ANA’s “The Room” is one of the best business class products out there. Being able to book it for just under 35,000 Membership Rewards is a terrific bargain. That’s especially true, considering the high cost of travel nowadays. Many loyalty programs are pricing out domestic one-way economy awards at this rate, making an international business class ticket a fantastic redemption.

How to earn Amex points

While most of these Amex transfer bonus promotions end on September 30, it’s still a good idea to stock up on Membership Rewards points. Amex points are versatile and practically devaluation-proof since you can transfer them to 20 airline and hotel partners. You’re not stuck with one program, so if one partner devalues its award chart, you can transfer your points to a different one. 

It’s good to have a nice stash of Amex points saved to top off your rewards accounts and take advantage of transfer promotions like this one. The best way to do that is by applying for an American Express credit card and earning its welcome bonus offer. 

Amex Membership Rewards: Personal cards

Amex Membership Rewards: Small-business cards

Bottom line

The current Amex transfer promotion is an excellent opportunity to book some coveted awards for significantly less. Whether you want to travel abroad or domestically, you can save thousands of points and maybe even upgrade to a premium cabin. One word of caution: Don’t transfer Amex points to these airlines unless you plan to redeem them soon. Airlines can devalue their programs without a moment’s notice and you don’t want to be left with thousands of miles that are suddenly worth less. 

That being said, this promotion hopefully gives you the impetus to start planning trips for next year. With so many incredible redemption opportunities, it’s a great time to put your Membership Rewards to use. 

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