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The partnership between Avios and Nectar has caused some wider ripples in the points/miles world. One interesting indirect impact has been on Amex Membership Rewards transfer partners.
As a quick recap: 250 Avios now transfers to 400 Nectar Points. Nectar Points are worth (a minimum) of 0.5p each when redeemed at retailers like Sainsbury’s, Argos and eBay.Therefore, you have the option of getting 0.8p of value per Avios (via Nectar) when buying just about anything.
You can transfer Amex Membership Rewards Points to Avios at a 1:1 rate, so you can now indirectly use Amex Points (via Avios and Nectar) to buy things at the shops listed above at a rate of 0.8p per Amex Point. Unless you never spend money with those retailers, that 0.8p is almost as good as cash.
What this means is that there is now a firm ‘floor’ value to Amex Points, which you shouldn’t redeem them for less than – rendering some Amex Membership Rewards transfer partners redundant.
Don’t Transfer Amex Membership Rewards Points To These Partners
The most obvious is Nectar itself. Why would you transfer directly from Amex to Nectar at a 1:1 rate, when you can get 60% more Nectar Points by transferring via Avios?
The only (very) minor caveat I can think of, is if you are trying to clear out a small Amex Points balance before cancelling a card – there is a 1,000 minimum transfer to Avios, and no minimum transfer to Nectar.
Using Amex Points for statement credits and gift cards has always been a bad idea from a value perspective, generally getting you 0.45p-0.5p per point. Now, it is completely pointless, as you can get 0.8p via Avios and Nectar.
Hilton Honors Points are another Nectar/Avios ‘casualty’. You can normally get 2 Hilton Points for each Amex Point. Hilton regularly sells its points for 0.5 cents each, which is currently about 0.36p.
It therefore makes little sense to tie yourself into Hilton Honors by making a transfer, when you could just use the money saved on your shopping (via Avios/Nectar) to buy the Hilton Points when you need them. You’ll pay less, and maintain much greater flexibility. I can think of a few marginal cases when a direct Hilton transfer might be your best option, but it’s not going to happen often.
Can you think of any other Amex transfer partners that it no longer makes sense to transfer to?