Should you speculatively transfer points?

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👍 Last week, Mesa, Arizona, made history as the world's first city to earn the Wheel the World's Destination Verified Seal, a prestigious recognition for its inclusive travel options for individuals with disabilities. Read more about it here.

Good morning and welcome to Daily Drop!

I just want to give a quick thank you to those of you who joined me last night for an impromptu Daily Drop meetup at a pub here in Toronto.

It was awesome getting to connect with Sammie, Patrick, Eric, Sheri, Rob, Rylan, and Nick over some drinks. I even learned a couple of new travel hacks in the process. 😊

So, I have a question for the rest of you…

If I came to a city in the U.S. for another impromptu pub meetup, which city would you want it to be in?

Only Email Recipients can participate in polls.

Maybe I’ll surprise some of you in the near future 😉

Now, onto the real reason you’re all here:

  • 🤔 Should you speculatively transfer points?

  • 🍪 Tasty Travel Tidbits

  • ✈️ Frontier announces a new, revamped loyalty program

🤔 Should you speculatively transfer points?

Transferring points from your bank to airline and hotel partners is the best way to get maximum value out of your points. It almost feels like a cheat code in the travel hacking world.

Right now, there are a whole bunch of different transfer bonuses that can even multiply your points when you transfer them.

So today, I want to pose a question—one that has plagued many a mind and led many a man to madness.

The question is: Should you speculatively transfer points when there’s a bonus going on?

To be more clear, I’m talking about transferring a bunch of points to a program to take advantage of a transfer bonus even when you don’t have a specific trip in mind.

Many voices in the travel hacking space would tell you it’s bad, and you should never do it, for reasons like:

  1. You can’t transfer your points back once you do this.

  2. If you don’t use them after a while, there’s a chance they could expire.

  3. They become way less flexible than they were as transferrable points.

These are all valid points.

But personally, I transfer points all the time. In fact, I’d say that most of the time I conduct transfers, I don’t do it with a specific booking in mind.

Here’s my philosophy on the topic:

  1. With a transfer bonus, you’re multiplying your points. The simple act of transferring points this way can yield enough bonus points for a whole other free trip if you play your cards right.

  2. If you’re doing it with programs you use on a regular basis, the points won’t expire. Even if you don’t have a specific trip in mind, you can have confidence that you’ll eventually use them.

  3. Sometimes transfers take longer than expected. If you already have a stash of points in your favorite programs, you never have to worry about missing out on a good deal by transfers taking too long and the flight disappearing.

In my opinion, those reasons outweigh the downsides of this act.

But let me give you some examples.

Right now, there is a 25% transfer bonus from UR points to KLM/Air France Flying Blue.

I use Flying Blue miles all the time traveling around Europe, Africa, and Asia. So I decided to transfer over 80,000 points the other day, which turned into 100,000 Flying Blue miles.

Since I use these miles fairly frequently, I’m not worried about them expiring or not having a use for them.

Instead, I am essentially getting a free trip out of the act. Remember, flights between the U.S. and Europe often cost as little as 11,250 miles one-way.

So in my mind, taking advantage of this bonus (even without a specific booking in mind) earned me almost enough bonus miles for an additional round-trip to Europe sometime down the road.

Still not convinced?

That’s fine. I can do this all day.

I use Marriott Bonvoy points all the time, despite the pain and suffering they put me through on a regular basis. Because I’m a masochist like that.

Last year, I spent 185 nights at Marriott hotels… As you can imagine, Marriott points are a currency I will ALWAYS have a use for.

Right now, you can transfer points from a certain Canadian bank (sorry Americans) to Marriott with a 25% bonus.

The normal transfer ratio is 1:1.2, so this bonus effectively turns it into a 1:1.5 ratio, or 50% more points overall than what you transfer.

So naturally, I took this chance to transfer over about 200,000 points, which turned into 300,000 points.

Again, by strategically transferring points over, I have added 100,000 hotel points to my balance, enough for all kinds of stays down the road.

So while the idea of transferring points without a specific use in mind can be dangerous (mainly due to the risk of them expiring), I think the pros to this approach far outweigh the cons, and it’s a trick that I tell a lot of my friends to do in order to multiply their points balances and stretch their travels further.

🍪 Tasty Travel Tidbits

✈️ Frontier announces a new, revamped loyalty program

Apparently, ’tis the season for completely revamping airline loyalty programs…

This time around, Frontier has announced new changes that will come into effect beginning in 2024, and there are some fairly exciting updates.

Here is a quick overview:

  • They’ve added a new bottom tier of elite status

  • Earning elite status will now be based on revenue ($$$) rather than miles flown

  • New elite perks have been announced

  • They’re making it way easier for elite members to re-qualify for status

Overall, I actually like the new changes to the program, especially the addition of a new, lower tier of elite status, which many people will now be able to enjoy without breaking the bank.

Here is a chart with the new landscape, including elite tiers, requirements, and perks. You can also check out the press release for more details.

Frontier new loyalty program changes

As you can see, the new “Silver” tier only requires 10k miles in a year.

Since members earn 10x miles per dollar spent, you can reach Silver status by spending $1,000 on Frontier in a year, which is actually not bad.

On the other hand, Diamond status requires 100,000 miles in a year.

However, Diamond members also earn 20x miles per dollar, meaning you’d only need to spend $5,000 in a year to continue renewing this status after you reach it once.

Compare that to Delta’s changes which require $28,000 in spend to get top-tier status, and Frontier starts to look pretty appealing…

Delta’s new medallion status requirements

Obviously, Frontier is a budget airline and not really playing on the same field as the legacy carriers like Delta, United, and American…

Still, perks like free checked bags, priority boarding, seat selection, flexible changes and cancellations, and more make this exciting for anyone who wants to save some money while still enjoying valuable perks with an airline.

In a world where customers are jumping ship from Delta, it’s great to see other airlines getting creative to offer travelers more valuable and attainable alternatives.

Want to help Daily Drop take over the world? Share our newsletter with your friends/family/pets/colleagues/enemies and win some rewards in the process!

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…or you can just buy these prizes from our website if you want to keep us all to yourself. 😉

That’s gonna finish things off for today, friendos! Next time you hear from me, I’ll be in the Scottish Highlands munching on haggis. Don’t worry, I’ll save some for you…

What’s the most exotic food you’ve ever eaten? Have you ever transferred points because of a bonus? Let me know by replying to this email or reaching out on social media.


Mike Dodge
Head Writer, Daily Drop

52°22'35.4"N 52°15'17.4"W

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