I took advantage of this offer several years ago when I needed some reasonably priced airline miles and lounge access. Take a look, to see if this makes sense for you for the next twelve months.
The Platinum Card from American Express is a higher end charge card with a $450 annual fee. Now, don’t jump back just yet. For your $450 you get 25,000 Membership Rewards points which you can transfer into a host of airline programs. If you need to buy miles to hit an award level, this may be just your answer. Assign in your mind a value of 1 cent per Membership Rewards point and transfer them to your target account. Here is a partial list of transfer possibilities:
- 1:1 with Air Canada
- 1:1 British Airways
- 1:1 Continental Airlines ( and with the merger UA)
- 1:1 Delta Airlines
- 1:1 Flying Blue
- 1:1 Virgin Atlantic
- 1200 MR points = 1 Airtran credit
- 250 MR points + 200 True Blue points
The transfers into hotel points offers a lousy trade value. Forget it.
If you assign 1 cent per mile value for points you are transferring into an airline program, somehow you need to get at least $200 of additional value to cover the first year annual fee.
IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card
- Annual Fee: $49 fee waived for the first year
- Foreign Fees: No
- Card Type: Hotel
The IHG Rewards Club Visa is often cited as one of the most underrated hotel credit cards, with good reason. The official offer is for 70,000 points after $1,000 spent within three months, with the first year’s fee waived. The card comes with an annual free night certificate that can be used at any IHG property, including Intercontinental hotels - making this certificate worth upwards of 50,000 points. This is far more generous than some other hotel cards, which limit the categories in which free night certificates can be redeemed.
Cardholders earn 5 points per dollar at IHG hotels; 2 points per dollar at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants; 1 point per dollar everywhere else. Moreover, you’ll get a 10% rebate on award redemptions, up to 100,000 points per year. The card also comes with Platinum status, though that doesn’t get you much with IHG. Still, this is a fantastic card to have in your wallet, with benefits that far outweigh the already low $49 annual fee.
- Earn 70,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months of account opening
- Enjoy a free night of card membership at over 4,700 hotels worldwide
- Earn 5 points for each $1 spent at our hotels
- Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants
- Bonus points redeemable at hotels such as Intercontinental® Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts and Holiday Inn®
- Automatic platinum elite status, as long as you remain a cardmember
- $0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $49