American Express Membership Rewards (MR) are an extremely versatile currency. You can transfer these points to 18 different frequent flyer programs that will allow you to save up to 8x the number of points you would spend by simply booking flights through the Amex travel portal.
In this guide, we’ll give you detailed instructions on how to link your accounts and transfer your Amex points to airline frequent flyer programs, step-by-step.
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Which American Express Cards Allow Points to be Transferred?
While American Express has a multitude of different credit card offers, you must hold one of these specific cards in order to transfer Membership Rewards points to airline frequent flyer programs.
American Express® Gold Card
The Platinum Card® from American Express
American Express® Green Card
Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express
American Express® Business Gold Card
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
Centurion® Card from American Express (aka the Amex Black Card)
What Airlines Can I Transfer Amex Membership Rewards Points to?
American Express Membership Rewards can be transferred to 18 different airline partners, which includes all six of our blue-chip airline programs (Air Canada’s Aeroplan, ANA Mileage Club, Singapore KrisFlyer, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, Emirates Skywards, and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club). We believe these programs provide the best value overall due to the superb redemption opportunities, but with so many transfer partners, you have plenty of options for your points to go further.
Most programs transfer at an even 1:1 ratio. The two exceptions are Aeromexico and JetBlue. Aeromexico transfers at a 1:1.6 ratio, but it is a kilometer program so it is essentially an even transfer. JetBlue transfers at an odd 1:0.8 ratio, which means you’ll get slightly less JetBlue points compared to other transfer partners.
How Long Does it Take for the Points to Transfer?
While the majority of these transfers will take place within an hour, there are a few programs where you’ll need to plan ahead. Watch out for potential lengthy transfer times to these airline partners.
Aeromexico: 2-14 days
Air France/KLM Flying Blue: 4 working days
ANA Mileage Club: 2-4 working days
British Airways Executive Club: 3 working days
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles: 3 working days
Emirates Skywards: 2 working days
Etihad Guest Miles: 5 working days
Iberia Plus: 1-3 days
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer: up to 15 days
Qantas Privilege Club: 2 days
It’s possible that your transfer may complete sooner, but to be safe, it’s always best to put your flight on hold before making the transfer to make sure your seats don’t sell out. We're here to assist you with this process so feel free to start a chat with one of our award travel experts.
Follow These Steps to Transfer Amex Points to Airline Partners
Step 1: Log in to American Express Membership Rewards
If you are logged in to your credit card account, look for a “Redeem Points” link under your Membership Rewards balance on the right.
Then, click “Transfer points” and make sure to also click on “View All” to get the full list.
First, you’ll need to link your frequent flyer accounts. If you’ve already done this, you can skip to step 6.
Step 3: Link Your Frequent Flyer Account with Your Amex Points
Select any of the 18 airline partners you wish to link to.
It’s recommended to link all of your accounts so they are ready to go when the time comes to transfer. (It can sometimes take a day or two to verify accounts)
Step 4: Enter Your Account Information
At this stage, you’ll need to enter your credit card info, security code, and also your frequent flyer account number.
Step 5: Confirm Your Account is Linked
You should get a message indicating your frequent flyer account is linked to your Membership Rewards account. Now, it’s time to make the transfer.
Step 6: Choose Your Linked Airline Transfer Partner
If you just linked the account, click on the “Continue to Transfer Points” button.
If you’re looking at the transfers homepage, just click on the airline program you wish to transfer your points to.
Step 7: Enter Number of Points to Transfer and Confirm
Enter how many points you want to transfer and you’ll also need to enter your credit card details again, for verification purposes.
Click on the box to accept terms and conditions, and then “Confirm & Transfer Points”.
Note: when transferring points to a domestic U.S. airline (Delta, Hawaiian, or JetBlue), Amex charges a small excise tax ($0.0006 per point with a max fee of $99 per transaction).
For example, transferring 100K points to a domestic airline would incur a $60 excise fee. There are no fees when transferring to international airlines.
* Note that once points are transferred to the airline, they cannot be transferred back to American Express.
Where Can I Fly with American Express Membership Rewards Points?
Amex points can take you across the world, literally. With transfer partnerships to all six of our blue-chip airlines (and many others), these points can send you across oceans for fewer points than you might spend on a domestic flight when using the travel portal. The sky’s the limit (pun intended). All alliances are covered, and even some lone wolf airlines, like Etihad, where you can book some of the best suites in the sky. And if you’re looking to take a round-the-world trip, Amex points can be transferred to all three of the best programs for such a trip.