We’ve already talked all about transferable points – the kind you get from a bank credit card that issues t heir own rewards which can be transferred to airline and/or hotel partners.
One thing to keep an eye out for is a transfer bonus. In fact, we constantly keep track of all available transfer bonuses for you! (<– Bookmark this page!)
This is something that all the transferable points offer from time to time, although not with any sort of set schedule. You may see American Express offer a temporary bonus of up to 40% to transfer to Virgin Points or 30% to Hilton, for example. MilesTalk is a great resource for learning about new transfer bonuses.
What’s most important to consider are speculative transfers – when you don’t know how you’ll spend the points but transfer anyway to spend later. There are pros and cons to this, but the cons often outweigh the pros!
– It’s an excellent way to get more value from your points. If you need 140,000 airline miles and only have to transfer 100,000 points to get them, that is as if you had 140,000 points. There’s no easier way to stretch your points
If you don’t have an award ready to book, any of the following can happen before you spend the points: The entire program can devalue such that you don’t have enough points for the award you had in mind any more, the program could drop the partner you planned to use, or you may change your own plans and wish you still had the points to transfer elsewhere.
As you can see, there are more cons than pros when it comes to a speculative transfer. However, if you regularly use a program and know it well, it may make sense to take advantage of a big transfer bonus – especially 30% or more – if you have a good idea how you’ll spend them while also understanding the risks outlined above.