Amex Points vs Chase Points: Which Are Best to Book Flights?

In the world of booking travel with points, American Express Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards are the two most popular points currencies on the planet. They are both valuable programs, but if you’re trying to decide which points to use for your flight or which points you want to start earning, we’ll give you some things to consider.

Of course, there are other perks that come with each bank’s various credit card offers and there are other ways to spend these points. But for simplicity, in this comparison, we’ll just focus on how these points can be redeemed for flights, as this is almost always the most valuable way to use your Amex or Chase points.

Comparing Amex and Chase Travel Portals

While booking flights through either the Chase or Amex travel portal is the easiest way to redeem them for travel, you can oftentimes find much better redemptions (up to 8x cheaper) by transferring your points to airline partners and then redeeming the miles for a flight with the airline’s frequent flyer program. More on that below. 

There are some instances where it may make sense to use the Amex or Chase travel portal, but these are few and far between. Basically, the portal should only be used if it’s not possible to find award space on the specific flights you are trying to fly. Even then, you might be better off paying with cash and saving your points for a better value trip in the future. If you’d like any help deciding whether to book a flight with cash or points, or to find award space, start a chat with one of our award travel experts.

Here are the pros and cons of each portal.

American Express Membership Rewards Travel Portal


  • Business Platinum cardholders get a 35% rebate on points for certain flights
  • No blackout dates, book any available flight, and earn frequent flyer miles


  • Only 1 cent per point on flights (same as paying cash)
  • Variable pricing — low value for your points

If you hold the American Express Business Platinum Card®, you can get a 35% rebate on specific flight bookings made with your points. This means you’ll need to have the full number of points in your account to make the booking, but you’ll receive a rebate after booking. It’s a pretty sweet deal on the surface, but it’s only available to Platinum Business cardholders and you may still be able to find a better deal by transferring points to an airline partner.

The major downside to the Amex travel portal is that you are essentially booking the cash-priced ticket, only with points. The simple 1 cent per point redemption rate means you’d always be better off booking those flights with cash and saving your points for an award redemption. Better yet, you may be able to get those exact same flights or a similar itinerary by transferring points and booking actual award space seats.

Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal


  • 1.25 – 1.5 cents per point with Sapphire, Business Preferred, and Business Plus cards
  • No blackout dates, book any available flight, and earn frequent flyer miles


  • Variable pricing — low value for your points

Chase points have a distinct advantage over Amex points when booking through the travel portal in the fact that more cards allow you to get a bonus value. Chase Sapphire Reserve® cardholders can book flights with a 1.5 cents per point ratio, while Sapphire Preferred®, Ink Business Preferred®, and Ink Business Plus® cardholders redeem at a rate of 1.25 cents per point.

If you hold one of these cards, you’ll get a slightly better deal when booking with points through the travel portal over booking a regular cash paid ticket, but it might pale in comparison to what you can find by booking actual award space seats with an airline program.

As far as travel portals go, Chase has the upper-hand due to the fact that more people would be able to take advantage of the bonus point values. Now, let’s have a look at airline transfer partners. That’s where the real value lies.

Related: The Best Travel Points Credit Card: American Express Platinum or Chase Sapphire Reserve?

Comparing Amex and Chase Transfer Partners

As we’ve mentioned, the real value in both Amex Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards points is their transferability. Here’s a side-by-side comparison of Amex and Chase airline transfer partners.

American Express has more airline transfer partners than Chase

With 18 airline transfer partners, American Express is a big winner in this category compared to only 10 with Chase. As you can see, there are eight airline partners that overlap between the two. Transferring Chase points to JetBlue will yield a slightly better value than if you were to transfer Amex points due to a 1:1 transfer ratio with Chase compared to a 1:0.8 transfer rate with Amex.

All other programs essentially transfer at an even 1:1 ratio with both Amex and Chase. Aeromexico Club Premier is an oddball in that it uses a kilometer system so you’ll actually get 1.6 Club Premier points per American Express Membership Rewards point transferred, but it equates to a 1:1 transfer considering other programs use a mileage system for redemptions.

It’s not only the number of transfer partners that make Amex points stand out in this category, it’s the quality as well. American Express Membership Rewards points can be transferred to all six of our go-to airline programs, while Chase only allows transfers to three.

Here are the programs we’ve identified as the best due to the high-value redemptions each offer.

Best Transfer Partners with Both Amex and Chase

Best Transfer partners with Amex

Of course, other programs will be valuable to certain types of travelers. For instance, you may be a Delta or United loyalist and want the ability to transfer your points to their particular frequent flyer program since they are easiest to spend on their own flights. However, they do have dynamic pricing and you can oftentimes find better deals by booking Delta or United flights with partner programs, such as Virgin Atlantic Flying Club or ANA Mileage Club, respectively.

Other Top Transfer Partners with Amex:

  • Aeromexico Club Premier great for round-the-world redemptions
  • Avianca LifeMiles great one-way rates for transatlantic flights
  • Delta SkyMiles flash sales, no fuel surcharges

Other Top Transfer Partners with Chase:

  • Southwest Rapid Rewards no fees, large nonstop domestic network
  • United MileagePlus wide network, no fuel surcharges

While there are certainly some travelers who will benefit more with Chase’s transfer partners, we believe that American Express wins this category, hands down.

Transfer Times 

Another big consideration when transferring points is the amount of time it takes to transfer your credit card points to airline miles. Almost all of Chase’s transfer partners are nearly instant, while transferring American Express points can take some time depending on the airline partner.

For example, compare transfer times with the following common airline partners

As you can see, you’ll have a much better chance of securing a Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer redemption when transferring Chase points compared to Amex due to the significantly shorter transfer time. It may be possible to hold your flight with the airline while you wait for the transfer to clear, but hold times may be limited. We always recommend to do this before you initiate a transfer to any partner that is not instantaneous.

As far as transfer times go, Chase points will transfer to your airline’s frequent flyer program quicker so Chase wins this category. Now, let’s have a look at where these points can take you.

Fly Business Class to Brazil for just 100K Amex points round-trip!

Top Award Redemptions with Amex and Chase Points 

The possibilities for award redemptions are nearly endless — with either Amex or Chase points. Although we can’t name them all, here are some of the best redemption opportunities.

Amex Membership Rewards Flight Redemptions

  • Business Class to Europe for 88K points transferred to ANA Mileage Club
  • Business Class to Brazil for 100K points transferred to Avianca LifeMiles
  • Business Class Round-the-World for 220K points transferred to Aeromexico

Chase Ultimate Rewards Flight Redemptions

  • Business Class to Madrid for 68,000 points transferred to Iberia Plus
  • First Class to Tokyo for 120K points transferred to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
  • Business Class to the Maldives for 170K points transferred to Emirates Skywards

Note: The redemptions listed with Chase can also be done with Amex points.

Related: Top 10 Business Class Destinations for Under 180,000 Points

Our Winner — American Express Membership Rewards Points

Although the Chase portal is a more valuable booking tool than the Amex portal, we hold the airline transfer partners of American Express with much more weight. Since you can transfer your Amex Membership Rewards points to more programs, you’ll have more high-value redemption opportunities than you will with Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

Of course, this is all in the eye of the beholder, and the transfer times alone may steer more people to use Chase points in certain scenarios. But, in the end, the fact that you can transfer Amex points to top programs such as ANA Mileage Club and Air Canada Aeroplan, in addition to most of Chase’s airline partners, means that we’d have to say Amex points are the best points you can earn for booking flights.

If you’re looking for some advice on what you can do with your points and miles or would like some help finding available flights, contact one of our award flight specialists and start up a chat. 

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