A complete list of transfer bonuses over the past decade — which issuer is the most generous?

14 March 2023

Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information.

Part of what makes transferable points programs like American Express Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards so great is the ability to convert points into miles with dozens of airline partners. What makes them even more attractive is that some issuers offer occasional transfer bonuses for doing so.

However, in order to know whether a transfer bonus is a good deal, it helps to have some context. For instance, a 20% transfer bonus to JetBlue TrueBlue might seem like a decent perk, until you learn that another credit card issuer was offering a 25% bonus just a few months ago and will likely do so again.

A transfer bonus might be just the ticket for scoring great awards and a great price. NICK ELLIS/THE POINTS GUY

For that reason, we thought it would be useful to compile a list of all the airline transfer bonuses that the following programs have offered over the past ten years:

American Express Membership Rewards
Capital One Miles
Chase Ultimate Rewards
Citi ThankYou Rewards

Which major card issuer offers the most transfer bonuses?

American Express takes the cake for offering the most transfer bonuses. On our list, they have the highest numbers of both bonus transfer partner options as well as the frequency of bonus offers.

Capital One and Chase have beefed up their transfer bonus opportunities over the past 18 months, while Citi has been the least generous of the four major issuers.

Which year has seen the most transfer bonuses?

2021 appears to have been the golden year for all four programs offering transfer bonuses. Still, we’ve seen plenty of transfer offers since then and are keeping an eye out for more offers this year.

The history of American Express Membership Rewards transfer bonuses

American Express Membership Rewards currently transfer to 18 airline partners, such as Delta SkyMiles and Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer.

Take advantage of Amex’s frequent transfer bonuses to Virgin Atlantic. NICKY KELVIN/THE POINTS GUY

Aer Lingus AerClub

September 2022: 25%
September 2021: 40%
October 2019: 40%

Aeromexico Club Premier

September 2022: 20%
September 2021: 25%
February 2019: 25%
November 2018: 25%
March 2015: 20%

Air Canada Aeroplan

September 2022: 15%
September 2021: 20%
December 2019: 10-20%
May 2019: 10-20%
November 2018: 20%
December 2017: 10-20%

Air France-KLM Flying Blue

November 2022: 25%
September 2022: 25%
September 2021: 25%
December 2020: 30%
April 2019: 25%
June 2018: 25%

Avianca LifeMiles

November 2022: 15%
September 2022: 15%
September 2021: 15%
April 2019: 15%

British Airways Executive Club

September 2022: 25%
September 2021: 40%
October 2019: 40%
November 2018: 40%
September 2017: 40%
October 2016: 50%
January 2015: 40%

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles

December 2020: 25%
January 2020: 10%
March 2019: 10-30%
September 2018: 10-30%

Choice Privileges

October 2022: 25%

Emirates Skywards

November 2018: 25%

Etihad Guest

June 2016: 20%

Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles

January 2023: 20%
September 2022: 20%
September 2021: 25%
June 2021: 25%
June 2018: 25%
June 2017: 25%
June 2016: 25%
December 2015: 25%
June 2014: 20%

Hilton Honors

September 2022: 30%
October 2021: 30%
June 2021: 40%
January 2021: 40%
October 2020: 40%
December 2019: 50%

Iberia Plus

September 2021: 40%
October 2019: 40%
November 2018: 40%
December 2016: 50%
December 2015: 25%

JetBlue TrueBlue

December 2019: 25%
June 2019: 40%
October 2018: 25%
March 2018: 10-30%
November 2017: 25%
May 2017: 25%
September 2014: 25%

Marriott Bonvoy

September 2022: 20%
October 2021: 30%
June 2021: 40%
December 2020: 30%
February 2020: 30%
June 2019: 40-50%

Qantas Frequent Flyer

September 2022: 20%
September 2021: 20%
February 2020: 20%
June 2019: 20%

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

September 2022: 30%
September 2021: 30%
December 2019: 30%
July 2019: 30%
December 2018: 30%
November 2018: 10-30%
September 2018: 30%
November 2017: 30%
May 2017: 30%
May 2016: 30%
April 2015: 25%
November 2014: 35%
May 2014: 30%
November 2013: 30%

The history of Capital One transfer bonuses

Capital One has improved its rewards program vastly over the past few years, adding new airline and hotel transfer partners, including Turkish Miles & Smiles and Choice Privileges Hotels.

Fancy a flight in Cathay Pacific first class? A transfer bonus might be able to help. JT GENTER/THE POINTS GUY

Accor Live Limitless

November 2022: 20%

Aeromexico Club Premier

August 2021: 25%

Air France-KLM Flying Blue

August 2022: 20%
September 2021: 30%
June 2019: 20%

Avianca LifeMiles

July 2021: 25%
December 2020: 15%
July 2019: 25%
June 2019: 15%

British Airways Executive Club

November 2022: 20%
August 2022: 20%
August 2021: 33%

Emirates Skywards

March 2019: 100%

JetBlue TrueBlue

May 2019: 50%

Virgin Red

March 2023: 30%
October 2022: 30%

The history of Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer bonuses

Although the Ultimate Rewards program launched more than a decade ago, transfer bonuses have been few and far between. However, Chase has launched more transfer bonuses since 2020.

We’ve seen an IHG transfer bonus as high as 60% in the past. IHG

Aer Lingus AerClub

September 2021: 30%

Air Canada Aeroplan

November 2022: 30%

British Airways Executive Club

September 2021: 30%
December 2020: 30%
June 2019: 30%

Iberia Plus

September 2021: 30%

IHG One Rewards

August 2022: 50%
December 2020: 30%
August 2020: 60%

Marriott Bonvoy

March 2023: 50%
November 2022: 40%
August 2022: 50%
August 2021: 50%

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

October 2022: 30%

The history of Citi ThankYou Rewards transfer bonuses

Citi has over a dozen airline partners, including Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, Etihad Guest, and Qantas Frequent Flyer.

Save up for a flight to Australia with your Citi ThankYou points. NICHOLAS ELLIS/THE POINTS GUY

Air France-KLM Flying Blue

July 2019: 25%
August 2018: 30%

Avianca LifeMiles

March 2023: 20%
August 2022: 25%
February 2021: 25%
July 2019: 25%
December 2018: 25%

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles

January 2020: 15%
July 2018: 15%
September 2017: 20%

Etihad Guest

July 2017: 10%
July 2016: 25%
December 2015: 25%
May 2015: 25%

JetBlue TrueBlue

May 2018: 30%
October 2017: 25%
April 2017: 50%

Qantas Frequent Flyer

February 2020: 25%
April 2019: 25%
June 2016: 15 – 30%

Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles

February 2019: 25%

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

March 2023: 30%
June 2019: 30%
October 2018: 30%
March 2017: 25%
April 2016: 25%
August 2015: 25%

Bottom line

Transfer bonuses can make already useful points that much more valuable. Before you take advantage of one, though, it is important to know whether it is a good deal, an unusually high bonus or something likely to be beneficial to you for an imminent redemption.

If a transfer bonus that appeals to you comes around, bookmark this page and our current transfer bonus page to see how it compares to past and current offers. Be sure to research ideas about maximizing your points with the best strategy possible.

Additional reporting by Emily Thompson and Stella Shon.

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