Favorite Redemptions: Ultimate Rewards, ThankYou, Membership Rewards


Favorite Redemptions

Happy Saturday everyone. This morning I gave a presentation to the crowd at FTU Advanced on the big three flexible bank loyalty programs. While I won’t be posting that presentation online, I ended it with a slide highlighting my favorite ways to redeem points in each program. Given that this information is purely subjective, I figured why not share it here.

Membership Rewards

Favorite Redemptions

What I wrote:

  • Transfer points to partners. Aeroplan to Europe is a good value. Wait for transfer bonuses. Have transferred many to BA Avios in the past, but not as good now. Looking into Etihad.

Last year my son and I flew to Europe in business class with Aeroplan miles. While they have since devalued that award, the price is still reasonable and their site is simple. BA Avios have devalued too but with a 50% bonus I could be convinced to transfer some more. Etihad also looks like a great deal. 37K RT from New York to Brussels in Business Class anyone?

Citi ThankYou

Favorite Redemptions

What I wrote:

  • Redeem for airfare at 1.6 cents per point on AA and 1.33 cents on other carriers. Transfer to Singapore Krisflyer for some redemptions. FlyingBlue discounted redemptions to Europe are attractive as well.

I have mainly been redeeming my ThankYou points for travel on American, but with that gravy train ending next year I will diversify. I did recently transfer some points to Singapore Krisflyer in preparation for a Singapore Suites redemption too. Also, FlyingBlue’s discounted Promo Awards can be a great deal.

Chase Ultimate Rewards

Favorite Redemptions

What I wrote:

  • Transfer to United for International¬†partner redemptions and even some redemptions on their metal. Book the occasional good deal through UR travel. Hyatt full award for aspirational hotels, cash + points for racking up stays.

I spend most of my points booking with United and/or Hyatt. In fact I spend most of my points lately with Hyatt. I love their properties and as a Diamond I get great value. United has a lot of good partners too. If you have a lot of points then booking for 1.25 cents per point through UR travel isn’t bad either and that will soon be 1.5 cpp if you get the Sapphire Reserve.


Everyone has a favorite redemption and a favorite option for using their points. In fact, reading about how other people redeem their points is often the best way to learn of the latest and greatest ways to extract the most value for your points. With that said, what are your favorite redemptions in these programs? Let us know in the comments!

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  1. Without a doubt we love redeeming Ultimate Rewards for Hyatt Points+Cah redemptions and try to focus on these during Hyatt promotions.

    For example we re-qualified for Diamond status this year during Hyattcs Stay More, Play More pronotion.

    Our net cash ‘out of pocket’ came to $799.80 and a net gain of 31,000 Gold Passport points.

    Now that’s maximizing UR & Hyatt.

    See everyone at Chicago Seminars where we are Hyatt roundtable moderators.

    • My CP ends in December and me and the wife are way over 5/24 to be able to get it again…pretty sad about it!

      • Same for us..however we will get it with Marriott vacation package. I got personal and business, my husband got the personal. We are wayyyyy over 5/24…so this is the way to get CP!!

  2. Made the transfer to Etihad earlier in the week…fingers crossed the seats I want are still available when the miles finally post!

  3. Hey Shawn, you mind breaking down the highest CPP you have scored on each program? It would help to see what is possible and whats realistic. I always want to have a benchmark for myself. For example, is the TYP 1.6 CPP on AA the best we could do? I couldve sworn other higher redemptions are possible. Thank you man!

  4. AF is due on my Citi Premiere. I need to xfer out 80k with no plans on the horizon. Any suggestions on where to park it?

    • Your best possible redemptions are at Singapore and the miles expire in 3 years and are not renewable. Flying Blue miles expire in 20 months. Cathay expire in 3 years. It is always good to have a plan.


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