Sign Of Things To Come? New Amex MR Transfer Charge In Hong Kong

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Amex MR Transfer Charge

New Amex MR Transfer Charge In Hong Kong

The American Express Membership Rewards program is one of the most popular point currencies out there. You can easily earn points through many Amex cards and you have several redemption options.

The best option is obviously transfers to travel partners. They have several airlines partners, foreign and domestic. When you transfer to U.S. airline frequent flyer programs, you have to pay an “Excise Tax Offset Fee” which is $0.0006 per point (maximum fee of $99).

Now the Hong Kong program is introducing a new fee, which would make it a terrible value to transfer small amounts of points. Beginning in April 1, 2020, transfer to any airlines will cost HK$300. That is about US$38.

Conclusion

We do not have to worry about this change here in the US for now. But you can’t help but think, what if it comes stateside as well. Paying $38 for every transfer would be a huge increase for small transfers, but it would end up being cheaper if you are transferring 64K or more points.

HT: Reader René

6 COMMENTS

  1. Even W/O any further increases, I already dislike those AMEX MR transfer fees. Scores of folks complaining now about the increased $100 CSR AF yet the ADDTL AMEX excise fees on 2 RT Singapore Suites mileage transfer tix (they wouldn’t have with Chase), for example, would cover that!

    As for all the Bonvoy Bashing, it’s because their underlying PRODUCT offers less homogeneity & more accessibility/choice on a global scale than most anybody else’s that they have repeat business, not because of their stellar IT or customer service. AND no fees on Bonvoy point airline transfers, either, including the above example with Singapore Airlines. Would be nice to have it all like Four Seasons, but you are also paying for it with those $1k+ room charges.

    There are always other considerations depending on individual taste & circumstance, but transactional fees can also really add up. I’d personally rather pay a reasonably higher upfront cost than being nickled & dimed down the road as a frequent user of a program’s services. I understand other people prefer getting in the weeds with transactional fees but for those who’d rather not, there are valid & reasonable options as well.

  2. I wouldn’t worry about it. The market here is too competitive. Citi Prestige in Thailand transfers to Delta, so these cards are not exactly apples to apples when comparing to their overseas namesakes.

  3. Amex HK is where the PP PP restaurant ban started so I think there is precedent to be worried about changes made in HK propagating over here, especially in light of how uncompetitive the CSR has become.

  4. Um. Hong Kong taxes are different than US taxes. I do not see this happening anywhere unless the US changes its tax structure on things like this and that is unlikely, in my opinion.

    I think you might be making a mountain out of a molehill here.

  5. Has there been a precedence set in the past where this happened? I think it’s hard to generalize AMEX HK’s policies to the US market.

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