Survey Says: Most Travelers Don't Utilize This Key Tool For Maximizing Your Points Survey Says: Most Travelers Don't Utilize This Key Tool For Maximizing Your Points

Survey Says: Most Travelers Don't Utilize This Key Tool For Maximizing Your Points

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We at AwardWallet are big — BIG — fans of finding new ways to use our credit card rewards and redeem them for maximum value. It's kind of why we're here. But not everyone is us. In fact, some people don't even know there's more than one way to redeem their credit card rewards. That means travelers are leaving money on the table.

Virgin Red — the combined loyalty program for all things Virgin, including Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, Virgin Hotels, and Virgin Cruises — found surprising results during a recent survey. Virgin Red asked 1,000 U.S. consumers about their spending habits and preferences for loyalty rewards programs.

The findings were largely what you'd expect: People are cutting spending habits to deal with inflation, people can't/won't cut spending on groceries, and cost is the biggest concern when planning travel.

a man sits at a table, holding a credit card and using a tablet
Credit: Cup of Couple/Pexels

We thought the most interesting findings were on this question:

“Have you ever transferred points from one rewards or loyalty club to another?”

40% of respondents didn't know this was possible. Another 32.3% said they've never transferred points. That means nearly three-fourths of respondents have never transferred points from their credit card rewards to a transfer partner.

Consider the value lost by not knowing this is possible or not knowing how to complete the transfer:

  • Rewards are worth (at best) 1¢ apiece when cashed out for a statement credit or bank deposit.
  • AwardWallet users redeem points at much higher values with transfer partners:
    • American Express Membership Rewards: 2.14¢
    • Capital One Rewards: 2.66¢
    • Chase Ultimate Rewards: 1.97¢
    • Citi ThankYou Rewards: 2.2¢

Using Points Through Transfer Partners

Each rewards program has its own list of transfer partners. You can find our guides below:

Not all bank rewards can be used with transfer partners, to be clear. Only “transferable” or “flexible” points can be used this way. Other rewards are “fixed-value points” because you can't transfer them to outside partners. Examples of these include U.S. Bank and Bank of America.

Related: Back to Basics: An Introduction to the Types of Reward Points

So how do you get started?

If you're brand new, start here to learn about collecting and using credit card rewards. Additionally, we have some excellent resources for those looking to level up their knowledge:

If you've already got points and are looking for new inspiration, we've compiled some of the best ways to use your transferrable points in each program:

Sure, there's more work involved in using your points with transfer partners. When redeeming for cash back, you click a button, then you're done.

With transfer partners, you'll need to look for available seats on a plane or rooms at a hotel, ensure they're available to book with points and miles, and then compare the cost in points to the cost in cash. Then, you'll know if it's worth using your points and initiate the transfer. However, the numbers above show that this is clearly advantageous, due to the extra value you can get from your rewards.

It's very likely that you have additional questions about using your points with transfer partners. We're here to help!

Create an AwardWallet account to start tracking your rewards, and customize your notifications for new posts on the AwardWallet Blog. And definitely join our Facebook group Award Travel 101 so you can ask questions and learn from discussions with others.

Your credit card points can be worth twice as much if you use them with transfer partners. Now you know. And as they say: “Knowing is half the battle.”

5 / 5 - (4 votes)
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