Which program should I be transferring my Amex points to (Velocity vs KrisFlyer vs Emirates Skywards)?

Hi all - first post here

In anticipation of the upcoming changes to the Amex rewards program on 15 April, I am after some advice on what to do with American Express Membership Rewards balance.

I want to transfer for Membership Rewards points to either the Velocity, KrisFlyer or Emirates Skywards frequent flyer programs before the redemption rates decrease on 15 April.

Current conversion rates are 4:3 for Skywards and 1:1 for Velocity/KrisFlyer.

Can anyone advise on which program I would be best off transferring to?

Hi and welcome!

There’s no simple answer as each programme has different strengths and weaknesses. My suggestion is that you follow this simple 3-step process:

  1. Work out where you would like to fly to. Which routes interest you?

  2. Search availability on those routes that are of interest to you, on each of the 3 programmes. Which programme has the best availability, particularly at the times of the year you’re most likely to travel? If they’re about the same, which one costs the least number of points? What are the taxes/surcharges like on those routes with each of the FF programmes?

  3. Make a decision based on your conclusions, and transfer your AmEx points accordingly.

What you’ll probably conclude (but I’m making a generalisation) is that Velocity is usually best for domestic routes, and KrisFlyer for international. But it makes sense to transfer to Emirates if you want to use the points on Qantas, or if you’re interested in splurging your points for an over-the-top First Class experience.

But they’re your hard-earned points, and it’s your responsibility to put in the hard yards to work out what’s best for you.

One more thing: Emirates and KrisFlyer points expire after 3 years. Velocity points won’t expire, if you keep your account active.

Hope this helps!

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Thanks so much, really appreciate it!

I think I’m leaning towards KrisFlyer on the basis it would be best for international routes and I understand availability of rewards seats is generally good.

My only reservation is that I currently do not have a KrisFlyer account, nor do I have any Velocity points to transfer across, hence I will be starting from scratch.

On the other hand, I currently have approximately 50k Skywards Miles, 110k Qantas FF points, together with 60k of Amex rewards points which is what I’ll be transferring (cannot transfer to Qantas though, only Emirates or Singapore).

If we were to consider KrisFlyer vs Skywards, would you advise against starting from 0 with KrisFlyer or, given I have a balance with Emirates, am I better off building up that balance there?

If I were to transfer my Amex rewards to Skyward Miles, I would end up with a total of approximately 100k Skywards Miles (after adding my current balance), compared to 63k KrisFlyer.

Appreciate this may be difficult to answer, but I am trying to get an understanding of whether there is value to sticking to one program and building credit there (Skywards), or diversifying and having points in multiple programs (KrisFlyer and Qantas/Emirates).

Thanks in advance

Depending on what flight you are after and which cabin, there is a minimum point/mile balance until which it makes sense to diversify.

E.g. if I have Velocity pts 50k and Amex 100k pts. I am interested in flying Singapore Airlines business class Brisbane-Singapore which costs 65k Velocity pts. I would transfer at the very least 15k to top up my Velocity to 65k pts to make the balance useable. If you instead decide to transfer 50k to Skywards and 50k to Krisflyer, you have diversified but I think you will be short of any business class redemption for Brisbane to Singapore.

Hope thay makes sense and helps.

I personally would prioritize KrisFlyer / Velocity simply because you can earn points easily in Australia from Flybuys and Velocity and channel them to Velocity / KrisFlyer.

Thanks all for your advice!

I am going to wait a couple of weeks to see if any bonus offers pop up for KrisFlyer, but at this stage I think I will transfer to KrisFlyer, and then get a credit card with a sign up offer for Velocity points to earn points that way going forward.

What do you think of this strategy?

That’s exactly what I am doing.

It depends where you travel, domestically it will be better just stay with Velocity, they have also some decent international destinations like LAX.

Otherwise, KrisFlyer is the way IMO.