One of the powers of the so-called “transferrable” currencies like American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards or Citi ThankYou points is that you can transfer your points to several different currencies at different rates (or, in most cases, redeem them for cash).
Because you can transfer them to a variety of hotel and airline partners, it helps to insulate you from devaluations – since if one program devalues, you can always transfer them to another program.
American Express upping the transfer bonus for Avios
Many currencies transfer to hotel and airline partners at 1:1, which makes sense since many airline miles have roughly equivalent value. About two years ago, American Express changed the rate for British Airways to 1000:800, meaning transferring 1000 Membership Rewards only got you 800 Avios, though there were occasional transfer bonuses that brought it back up to a 1:1 ratio. Chase to British Airways remained at 1:1.
Many folks (View from the Wing, Monkey Miles, One Mile at a Time and Frequent Miler among others) reported today that American Express has changed the transfer bonus BACK to 1:1 (or I guess technically 250:250)
There was some talk about whether this was intentional or just a glitch, but Miles to Memories has heard that it IS an intentional change and represents the go forward exchange rate for both British Airways and Iberia Avios.
Waiting for the “dark cloud”
The Internet suggests that “dark cloud” is the opposite of a silver lining, so this of course makes me wonder if there is something ominous hiding in the background. Generally we don’t see miles and points programs do something USEFUL! 🙂 I hope there isn’t a devaluation of some sort hiding around the corner….