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How to cash out your Amex MR points or Emirates miles for 1p each this week

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(EDIT: Whilst I mention a few risk factors in this article, it seems I was being overcautious.  Based on comments below, eg

“Just did this having not even created an Emirates account before. MR to Emirates, Emirates to Heathrow and Heathrow to redeemed shopping vouchers all went off without a hitch. The bonus Heathrow points from the Emirates transfer posted instantly too!”

…… everything is instant and the 50% bonus from Emirates also posts immediately.)

In our main article today I wrote about the very generous ‘double up’ bonus which Heathrow Rewards is running from today, 24th July, to Monday 30th July.  During this period, every 250 Heathrow Rewards points you convert will get you a £5 Heathrow shopping voucher instead of a £2.50 voucher.

There is an ‘advanced’ way to work this offer.  I have put it into this separate article in order to not dilute the main message of the ‘double up’ deal for those readers who are less keen on the sort of creativity I am about to outline.

Regular readers of Head for Points will know that there is a second Heathrow Rewards bonus running at the moment.  You receive a 50% bonus when you transfer Emirates Skywards miles into Heathrow Rewards.  This offer runs until 31st July.  Full details are in this article.

You should also remember that American Express Membership Rewards points convert to Emirates Skywards miles at a rate of 1:1.  This transfer is instant as long as your accounts are already linked and should be done within a day if they are not.

This means you can get creative …..

It is possible, for the next seven days only, to get 1p of Heathrow Airport shopping vouchers per American Express Membership Rewards point or Emirates Skywards mile you have.

This is how:

Step 1:  Transfer your American Express Membership Rewards points to Emirates Skywards via this page of the Amex website 

The transfer is instant if your accounts are already linked and should be fairly quick even if they are not – although there is a risk.  You need to transfer in chunks of 500 American Express points with a minimum of 1,000.

Step 2:  Transfer your Emirates Skywards miles into Heathrow Rewards points via this page of the Emirates website 

You need to convert at least 6,000 Emirates Skywards miles which, under this offer, will get you 3,000 Heathrow Rewards points instead of the usual 2,000.  Larger transfers must be in multiples of 2,000 miles.  The transfer was instant when I did this a couple of years ago.  The risk here is that the bonus does not post immediately.

IMPORTANT:  Heathrow Rewards points transferred from Emirates can only be used for shopping vouchers, Heathrow Express tickets or airport parking.  They cannot be transferred out to another airline scheme.

Step 3:  Redeem your Heathrow Rewards points for Heathrow shopping vouchers via the Heathrow Rewards website 

As long as you order your vouchers by 30th July, you will receive 2p per point instead of the usual 1p.  You need to redeem in multiples of 250 Heathrow Rewards points.

So ….

6,000 American Express Membership Rewards points converts into

6,000 Emirates Skywards miles which converts into

3,000 Heathrow Rewards points (with the 50% bonus until 31st July) which converts into

£60 of Heathrow Airport shopping vouchers (with the 100% bonus until 30th July) which are valid for 12 months

That is 1p per American Express Membership Rewards point or Emirates Skywards mile.

There is, of course, some risk here and if it all goes goes wrong, don’t blame us!:

Emirates Skywards transfers from Amex are instant but if your accounts are not linked it may take a day

The one time I did a transfer from Emirates Skywards into Heathrow Rewards it was also instant, but that was two years ago – I don’t have any recent experience

I’m not sure if the 50% Heathrow Rewards bonus posts immediately or not

As you have a full week from today to order the vouchers from Heathrow Rewards, the risk is manageable in my view.  1p per American Express Membership Rewards points is a good return although, of course, you should really have something in mind to buy and be planning a visit to the airport.

Heathrow Rewards is expecting high demand during this promotion and is warning that it could take 28 days for your shopping vouchers to arrive in the post.  Do not order if you must have them sooner, although it may well happen.

(Want to earn more miles and points from credit cards?  Click here to visit our dedicated airline and hotel travel credit cards page or use the ‘Credit Cards Update’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

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  1. Rob, can i transfer miles from my Family Skywards account to HR?

  2. New Card says:

    Does anyone know a way I can earn an extra 50 Skywards miles quickly, please? Am stuck on 5,950 and would like to redeem another 6,000 for this offer. No active MR account in my name either.

    Grateful for any advice!

    • the real harry1 says:

      ring & ask nicely for 50 free ones to make your number, been known to work

    • Mr Dee says:

      Are there no options to transfer some points in from somewhere other than MR?

    • Graham Walsh says:

      I’ve got 6700, so can use 6k of them, Anyway I can gift you 50?

      • New Card says:

        Thanks for the offer! Don’t think there’s any way without gifting 1,000 and paying USD 30 sadly, but I appreciate the offer

  3. Thanks Rob. I’d all but written of my skywards miles, which expire at the end of the year. This all processed pretty much immediately. There seem to be very few restrictions on Heathrow vouchers -does this mean they work in the restaurants and in Boots?

    • Craig Sutherland says:

      Can be redeemed at these locations :
      Instant Rewards can be used in the following stores at Heathrow:
      World Duty Free in all Terminals
      Dixons Travel in all Terminals
      Ted Baker in all Terminals
      Thomas Pink in Terminals 2, 3, 5
      Plaza Premium Lounge in all Heathrow locations
      World of Whiskies in Terminals 3, 4, 5
      Jo Malone in Terminal 3
      MAC in Terminal 3
      The Beauty Studio in Terminal 4
      Glorious Britain in Terminals 3, 4, 5
      Collection in Terminal 5
      Sunglasses Boutique in Terminal 3

      • That’s for the instant rewards, I thought the vouchers were far less restrictive? But haven’t found anything confirming this.

      • Given that in the terms, the staff restaurant is specifically excluded. I’m going to assume they are likely to be valid in all other restaurants.
        ‘Heathrow Rewards vouchers cannot be used in the following outlets: Bureaux de Change, betting shops, Post Offices, vending and gaming machines, Eurest staff restaurants and the BA Highlife staff shop. ‘

      • NO – this list is for ‘instant rewards’ eg where they can swipe your HR cards and take the money off your balance.

        The postal vouchers are good EVERYWHERE in Heathrow (except the Post Office).

        • Thanks for the clarity Rob – nice to know I have a years worth of free Boots meal deals ahead!

  4. James says:


    I have a BAEC Household Account woth my two parents and they would both like to transfer Amex MR points from their Amex accounts into their BAEC accounts.
    How do we go about doing that ?

    Is there some convoluted way we have to do it because they are members of a Household Account ??


    • Genghis says:

      No. Just use the points in the normal way. I.e. add BAEC as a partner (might then have to wait a few days) and then transfer.

    • No, Amex will transfer into their own BA account. No problem at all, the HHA is not an issue.

  5. Nicholas Pearce says:

    Just did this having not even created an Emirates account before. MR to Emirates, Emirates to Heathrow and Heathrow to redeemed shopping vouchers all went off without a hitch. The bonus Heathrow points from the Emirates transfer posted instantly too!

  6. the real harry1 says:

    O/T free £10 when you top up £50 – you normally win with these prepaid Mastercards when you get the £10 free for your £50 top up, withdraw the lot & walk away – not sure if here there’s a GBP withdrawal option for a small ATM fee as was often the case in the past (or if you need to withdraw abroad)

  7. all worked as suggested. Had a bit of trouble setting up Emirates as a partner and had to call AMEX helplines (they mentioned they had had several call today from people trying to do this and hitting a glitch).
    good way to use up expiring Skywards points. Thanks HFP!

  8. Does anyone know how long it takes for the 50% bonus to hit Heathrow Rewards account from the Skywards transfer?

    • Was immediate for me.

    • Graham Walsh says:

      Immediate for me. But now can’t login to Heathrow rewards site, ironically from T5 🙂

      PS, thanks Rob for the tip, thought my 6.7k Emirates were a write off

  9. Mr Dee says:

    Wonder how many extra Amex points will be transferred today, must be millions haha!

    • the real harry1 says:

      Not sure – I’m not interested as cashing out of Amex into a currency I don’t want is not for me.

      0.5p never was in my case, so there’s no doubling, I always get way more than 1p in Avios value (otherwise they stay in the bank & I pay cash).

  10. Charlie T. says:

    O/T as no bits today.
    I have an AMEX 2-4-1 that is about to die and am making a redemption booking for me + a lap infant. Is there any way to use the voucher to get them a seat? Thanks!

    • the real harry1 says:

      Sure, I think airlines always allow you to buy a full seat for infants – so this should be fine

  11. RIccatti says:

    Has anyone tried purchasing M&S giftcard and apply Heathrow Rewards landside (before security)?

    • Mr Dee says:

      Interested to know if there are any gift cards available to purchase, I know it mentions not buying own store ones but there might be other companies gift cards?

      • Mark2 says:

        Many WH Smith branches sell gift cards, but don’t know about Heathrow.

        • Done it in Heathrow ok.

        • Mr Dee says:

          Nice way to get some better value from the MR points if they have a good selection, anyone know what gift cards WH Smith stock?

        • Might work. Do NOT buy M&S gift cards in M&S though, this definitely does not work. 3rd party gift cards in WHS are more likely.

    • Doesn’t work, friend of mine tried it.

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