Most credit card companies have some type of rewards card that caters to people who love to travel around the world. As a matter of fact, a whole community has built up around how people can use their credit cards to get the best travel rewards.
Travelers are always looking for the best hack that will allow them to get a deal on a travel experience. Each rewards card is a little different, so you should research the rewards and partnerships of each company to decide which might be best for you.
Best Rewards Transfer Partners
American Express Transfer Partners
American Express is one of the favorite rewards programs for world travelers because of their network of 20 direct transfer partners.
There are 17 worldwide partner airlines where you can use your rewards points: oneworld airlines, Star Alliance airlines, and SkyTeam airlines. These include major airlines such as Delta, British Airways, Aero Mexico, Air Canada, Alitalia, Emirates, Virgin Atlantic, Hawaiian Airlines, and JetBlue.
Most of the airlines have a 1:1 transfer ratio with instant point transfer. You can probably get the best deals earning air rewards with Delta’s branded American Express card.
Choice Hotels, Hilton, and Starwood resorts are also American Express transfer partners. Your Amex points transfer 1:1 at Choice Hotels, 1:2 at Hilton, and 3:1 at Starwood. Although the conversion isn’t great, you can convert points into Starwood rewards that can be used at any of the Ritz-Carlton hotels.
Bank of America Transfer Partners
Bank of America has two non-branded travel rewards cards that let you convert your points into airline tickets, hotel stays, and other rewards. It does not offer specified transfer partnerships, which means you can use your points as dollars with any company that you want.
Capital One Transfer Partners
Capital One’s Venture card for travel rewards has gained a lot of popularity in recent years. It does not have any specified transfer partnerships. Cardholders earn 2 miles for every dollar spent with their Venture card. The miles never expire, and there isn’t a limit on the number of miles you can earn.
There are two ways to redeem miles. One way is to book your travel online with Capital One and pay with your miles. To pay with miles, you need to have the full amount of the purchase in miles and cannot make a partial payment with cash.
The other way to redeem miles is with what Capital One calls the Purchase Eraser. You make a travel purchase using your Venture card and then request to have that amount credited back to your account with your miles. You can use as few as $25 in miles towards travel purchase rewards.
Chase Transfer Partners
Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partners include seven airlines and four hotels. Airline partners all have a 1:1 transfer ratio and include British Airways, Air France, Korean Air, Singapore Airlines, Southwest, United, and Virgin Atlantic.
With an estimated worth of 1.5 cents per point, the British Airways points are considered to be the most valuable. The rewards are especially good for those looking to travel to Asia and Europe. Hotel partners include Hyatt, IHG, Marriott, and Ritz-Carlton.
The hotels all offer a 1:1 transfer ratio but are generally considered to be less valuable than the airline rewards.
Citibank Transfer Partners
Citibank cardholders can transfer ThankYou Points to several airline transfer partners. The only domestic carrier that is a transfer partner is JetBlue, and the transfer ratio is 500 points for 1,000 Thank You Points, although one recent promo offered 650 points for 1,000 ThankYou Points.
The transfer ratio is better for international partners such as Asia Miles, Turkish Airways, Avianca LifeMiles, Etihad Guest, EVA Air, Air France and KLM Flying Blue, Garuda Indonesia, Malaysia Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways, JetPrivilege, Thai Royal Orchid Plus, and Virgin Atlantic.
All of these transfer partners offer 1,000 miles for every 1,000 points. Currently, Citibank does not have any hotel transfer partnerships.
Discover Transfer Partners
Discover does not have any specified transfer partnerships. Every dollar spent on a Discover travel rewards card gives the cardholder 1.5 miles. Travel rewards can be redeemed for as little as one mile.
You don’t need to book travel through Discover in order to redeem rewards, and your miles never expire. After you pay for a travel expense such as air or hotel with your Discover card, you request a statement credit for those travel expenses with your Discover miles.
US Bank Transfer Partners
US Bank has two different ways that it awards travel points. One type is called Altitude Points, and the other type is called FlexPoints.
Cardholders earn one Altitude Point for each dollar spent on regular purchases and two Altitude points for every dollar spent on a travel purchase. So you can earn Altitude Points faster if you use your card for travel expenses. Each Altitude Point has a redemption value of 1.5 cents.
The redemption value of FlexPoints is a little different and can range from 1 to 2 cents. US Bank does not have any specified transfer partnerships. Points can be redeemed on travel expenses by requesting a statement credit.
Author: Jeff Gitlen
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