TPG Readers on the Best Ways to Redeem Membership Rewards Points

Mar 19, 2018

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Every so often, TPG readers want to know how other travelers are redeeming their credit card earnings. To that end, we asked our TPG Lounge members to tell us: “What’s your favorite way to use Amex Membership Rewards points? Any tips for newbies?

Transfer to Airlines

The overwhelming response was to transfer American Express Membership Rewards points to airlines for maximum value. This is in keeping with our guide for best Membership Rewards redemptions. Our readers shared their favorite airline redemption options with us:

I transfer to British Airways Avios, and redeem [through] Alaska Airlines. I check availability on AA’s site, then call BA to book. Sometimes they charge a $25 booking fee, sometimes they don’t. — Kathy R.

I’ve transferred to Etihad with bonus, and to British Airways with bonus. At the time Etihad was 30%, and BA was 40%. I’ve used my Avios on AA exclusively so far. Miniscule fees and good availability, even [for] last minute to Vegas from LAX, instead of paying $380 per person. [I get a] 3 cent per point value. — Edmond K.

Transfers to ANA for redemptions to Japan… always pretty inexpensive. I typically book ANA economy as I like to stretch my points. — Zain N.

Transfer for airfare generally, Delta or JetBlue mostly. — Bill F.

Aeroplan to Europe! — Tim S.

ANA to Africa — Jamie R.

Transfer to Delta. Delta has a great summer flight JFK-Nice, France direct on Saturdays and we’ve had good luck booking coach with reasonable points the last few summers. — Cheryl D.

1,200 mi flights on AA through British Airways. Get 3-4 cents per point! — Bryan B.

Generally I use to transfer to Delta (or SkyTeam partners) — Allyson C.

Transfer to Asia Miles to use on Cathay — Meg G.

Transfer points to ANA for 90k (ANA) or 95k (Star Alliance) roundtrip redemption to Asia on J. Free stopover in Tokyo also, when [flying] on ANA! — Peter H.

Wait for bonus transfers. British Airways is a good one for short distances, also JFK–YVR on Cathay. [I’ve] also put some [MR points] into Virgin Atlantic for a RT ANA first[-class redemption]. — Carl C.

Looking forward to transferring to Etihad Guest for either AA transatlantic, or Czech Airlines from Prague to Seoul. — Matt T.

I save them for high-value transfers to foreign airline partners to avoid excise tax. I generally use Ultimate Rewards points for domestic transfers, since that’s not an issue. — Andrew K.

Hotels

While airline redemptions are one of the most popular ways to utilize Membership Rewards points, Hilton offers a great redemption value on the hotels side. In fact, American Express just permanently increased the transfer ratio between Membership Rewards points and Hilton early this year.

I transfer to Hilton. They have pretty decent point redemption. — Evelyn E.

[I transfer to Hilton] Honors – 3x points that I just used for a romantic weekend for pier 5 hotel at inner harbor, Baltimore. — Varun V.

Other Options

A few TPG Lounge members boldly owned their redemption methods, despite the inevitable “Facebook laughs”:

[to be honest]…, NYC cabs. — Richard M.

Starbucks gift cards. — Mike Z.

Redeem via Amazon. — Darren L.

Featured image courtesy of the Conrad Maldives.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.