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Each card has its own unique category spending bonus structure and other perks
We’ve been hunkering down during the coronavirus pandemic and wondering when we’ll have the ability to travel again. Chase and AMEX recently announced two credit card transfer bonuses to whet our appetite for travel and help us plan our next vacation. Chase announced a limited time 60% transfer bonus to the IHG hotel group. And, not to be outdone, AMEX came out with their own 40% transfer bonus to Hilton. These Chase to IHG and AMEX to Hilton credit card transfer bonuses are just what everyone needs to help score their next free vacation.
Chase to IHG: 60% Transfer Bonus
Probably the most exciting transfer bonus is the one recently announced by Chase. Through August 31, you can transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards Points to your IHG loyalty account with an additional 60% bonus. Since the transfer ratio for Chase to IHG is 1:1, this 60% bonus means 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points can be worth 80,000 IHG points. That’s the difference between spending a night in the Holiday Inn vs. the Kimpton in Miami Beach. Both are nice… but it’d be hard to pass up the Kimpton.
A 60% bonus is exciting enough. But what is especially exciting about this transfer bonus is that it comes from Chase. Chase has only offered one other transfer bonus in its history (to British Airways in 2019), so hopefully this will begin a trend. AMEX, Citi, and Capital One have all offered more frequent credit card points transfer bonuses, so let’s keep our fingers crossed that we’ll see more from Chase, too.
As far as the best credit cards to earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points, your best option is likely the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card. Points earned with the Chase Sapphire Reserve card can then be transferred to a variety of airline and hotel partners, including IHG. The card comes with an annual fee of $550, but you can also earn 3x points on dining and travel, helping you earn even more Ultimate Rewards points.
For example, the Chase Sapphire Reserve card currently comes with a 50,000 point welcome offer for spending $4,000 within the first three months. If you were to transfer those 50,000 points to IHG during the available transfer bonus, you would have 80,000 IHG points. Once you add in the minimum spending requirement ($4,000) and category spending bonuses, you’ll likely have enough points for a four-night stay at the Kimpton on South Beach. That’s just one way to use Ultimate Rewards points and how this transfer bonus can help fund your next (long awaited) vacation.
Chase also offers a separate IHG credit card as well. The IHG Rewards Club Premier card has an $89 annual fee, but comes with a welcome offer of 125,000 IHG points after spending $3,000 on the card within the first three months. So even without the transfer bonus, a Miami vacation is still very much within reach.
AMEX to Hilton: 40% Transfer Bonus
The day after Chase announced its transfer bonus to IHG, AMEX announced a transfer bonus of its own. Through October 31, 2020, AMEX cardholders can transfer their Membership Rewards points to Hilton with a 40% bonus. The transfer ratio for AMEX to Hilton is usually 1:2, but when taking the 40% bonus into account, the ratio effectively becomes 1:2.8.
We used Miami as an example before, but this time, let’s say you want to head to the West Coast. A room at the famous Hotel del Coronado may cost 95,000 Hilton points/night… but during this available transfer bonus, that equates to less than 34,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points. Welcome offers with AMEX cards tend to be a little lower, but when they can help you earn free nights at the Hotel del Coronado, they can be a nice addition to your wallet.
AMEX also offers a portfolio of co-branded Hilton credit cards.
- Hilton Honors AMEX: No annual fee, with a welcome bonus of 75,000 Hilton Honors points after spending $1,000 on the card within the first three months
- Hilton Honors AMEX Surpass: $95 annual fee, with a welcome bonus of 125,000 Hilton Honors points after spending $2,000 on the card within the first three months
- Hilton Honors AMEX Aspire: $450 annual fee, with a welcome bonus of 150,000 Hilton Honors points after spending $4000 on the card within the first three months
Each card has its own unique category spending bonus structure and other perks. The Hilton Honors card offers complimentary silver status, the Hilton Honors Surpass card offers complimentary gold status, and the Hilton Honors Aspire card offers a free weekend night reward for new cardmembers and every year again after card renewal. There are many additional perks and terms that apply, so I’d encourage you to learn more here.
Conclusion – Credit Card Transfer Bonuses
As we stay stuck in our homes and itching for just the idea of planning our next trip, Chase and AMEX gave us good reason to get excited. The Chase to IHG and AMEX to Hilton transfer bonuses are great ways to make your credit cards points stretch a little further than usual and book a few award nights for your first post-coronavirus trip.