Recently I discussed how you can transfer your Chase, American Express, SPG, and Citi points to airline and hotel partners. You can see the full list on the transferable points page. While having lots of programs to transfer points to is a great thing, you’ll find that some will have much better value than others. Here are some of my favorite programs to transfer points to.
Chase Ultimate Rewards
World of Hyatt - I really enjoy staying in Hyatt properties. While their global footprint is smaller than some of the other hotel chains, I always find their service and quality to be good. What I really like about transferring Ultimate Rewards points to Hyatt is their award chart. I regularly find myself getting better than 2 cents per point value from Hyatt points. I transferred Ultimate Rewards points to Hyatt in order to fund our honeymoon stay at the Andaz Papagayo in Costa Rica. We stayed 5 nights here costing us 75,000 points. That hotel stay would have cost us $2,500, thus making our points worth over 3 points each!
Andaz Papagayo in Costa Rica at just 15,000 points a night
Southwest Rapid Rewards - Living in San Diego has made Southwest a great option to fly. They have tons of non-stop flights to places we visit regularly and we enjoy flying them. What’s even better is their Rewards program. While it’s not the highest value of points, they are super easy to actually use. If there is a cash ticket available, then you can use points. This makes booking flights with points easier than any other program out there. Another great thing about Southwest is their cancellation policy. If you need to cancel your flight, you’ll simply be refunded your points at no extra cost! Southwest points are very easy to redeem.
United - United offers good value for traveling to Europe. Their coach award tickets are 30,000 points each way and business is 70,000 points (57,500 points on their own metal) . The award availability especially in business can be sparse, so make sure to book your tickets as far out as possible. I also like their booking system much better than other programs, it’s very easy to navigate.
Chase Travel or Cash - Having the ability to get 1.25 cents per point (1.5 if you have Sapphire Reserve) for almost any flight is a great option to have. Furthermore, if you’re really not interested in travel you can cash them out at 1 cent per mile.
American Express Membership Rewards
Aeroplan - Aeroplan offers us the best value in business class to Europe. At 55,000 points it is one of the lowest one-way award tickets available. Their availability essentially mirrors that of United’s, so booking early is critical. We recently used Aeroplan miles to fly from LAX to Stockholm in SAS business class. One-way business class tickets can go for for well over $5,000, giving us a great point value.
We used 55,000 Aeroplan points to fly SAS Business Class to Stockholm
Delta - Delta’s program has been given a lot of flack over the years for devaluation and now no award chart altogether. Living in San Diego, I always found good availability in both coach and business with Delta and their short mileage flights give good value.
Choice Privileges - Ok, this one is only on here because of their hotels in Europe, in particular Scandinavia. The program is not the best value in the United States and their properties are rather pedestrian. However, in Stockholm we stayed in what was one my favorite hotels ever, The Clarion Hotel Sign. The hotel was going for over $200 a night, but we were able to book it for 10,000 points, giving a value of 2 cents per point. I'll take a 2 cent per point redemption any day.
Clarion Hotel Sign in Stockholm, Sweden for 10,000 points a night
Any and all - I really like how many transfer partners SPG has, but I also find a lot of value at their hotels. Even being able to transfer points to Marriott’s program at a 1-3 ratio is fantastic. Most of time I end up using them at an SPG hotel or transferring small amounts to program’s where I need points. For example, later this year I’ll transfer 3,000 SPG points to my Lifemiles account. This will turn my 60,000 life miles into 63,000, thus having enough to fly business class to Europe next year. Having this type of flexibility is invaluable.
We used SPG points to stay at the Aloft Cancun and were able to visit Chichen Itza
Citi ThankYou Rewards
Citi Travel - I’m not a huge fan of the Citi’s transfer partners, so I’ve preferred using them a fixed 1.25 cent per point value from their site. If I didn’t have this option I would have transferred them to Singapore Airlines. Almost all programs transfer to Singapore and they have access to United Flights and Star Alliance flights, so that would be my second choice.
True points value is had when you transfer points to hotel and airline partners. While it can be confusing to use points, it's worth the effort and I hope this list has simplified things! Let me know your favorite transfer partners.
Those are my favorite transfer partners. Which ones do you like?