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Amex Membership Rewards is one of the more popular transferable point currency platforms. There are many cards that earn American Express points. Amex has more airline and hotel participating partners than any other comparable credit card points system.
But, the redemption of points can be confusing for some users. Understanding the process of moving your Amex Membership Reward points is the focus of this article.
How Do the Amex Membership Club Points Work?
The Amex Membership Rewards program allows you to earn points on eligible American Express Card purchases.
Certain cards require enrollment before you can use this loyalty program, and the full terms and conditions can be found online. There are different ways to increase the points earning potential, and you will earn at least one point per dollar spent.
The value of your earned Membership Reward points can vary depending on how you want to redeem them.
Amex Has No Upper Limits and Various Redemption Options
There is no upper limit on the number of Amex Membership Reward points that can be earned. If you’re an active card member with an account that is in good standing, those earned points will not expire.
So, you can redeem them at any time when you find an offer that meets your needs. There are several options to explore when you’re ready to redeem your American Express points.
Generally speaking, an Amex point tends to be worth $0.005 up to $0.01. However, you can redeem your points for a reward that offers you the most value.
1X – 2X 2X at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 each year), then 1x on all purchases
10,000 points 10,000 points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new card within the first 3 months
American Express Green Card
1X – 3X 3X Membership Rewards points at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery, 3X Membership Rewards points on travel including flights, hotels, transit, taxis, tours and ridesharing services and 1X Membership Rewards points on other purchases
40,000 points] 40,000 Membership Rewards® points after spending $2,000 on purchases on your new card in your first 6 months
1X – 4X 4X points at restaurants (including Uber Eats purchases in the U.S.) and U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X points), 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com, 2X points on rental cars through amextravel.com and 1X points on all other purchases
60,000 points 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership
1X – 5X 5X points on up to $500,000 spent on directly-booked airfare and flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel (per calendar year), 2X points on prepaid car rentals through American Express Travel and 1X points on all other purchases
80,000 points 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership
How to Transfer Amex Points to Travel Partners
The Amex Membership Rewards points can be easily transferred to 20 travel partners, including 17 airline and three hotel loyalty programs. A huge value can be derived when Amex points are transferred to airline partner programs and used for business or first class redemptions.
American Express does make it simple to transfer points to partner programs.
- Click “Earn and Redeem”: On the main Amex rewards page, click “Earn and Redeem” from the menu bar and then select “Transfer Points.”
- Select the Appropriate Program: You’ll see a list of the American Express airline and hotel transfer partners. You need to select the appropriate program and click “Transfer Points”
- Link Your Frequent Flyer Account: If you have not already linked your frequent flyer account to your Amex Membership Rewards account, you’ll be prompted to do this now. This is simply a matter of entering your program membership number. However, once you have done this, any subsequent transfers will not require you to link the account again.
- Indicate the Number of Points: You will now need to select the number of points that you would like to transfer. Bear in mind that transfers are only possible in 1,000 point increments.
- Confirm the Transfer: You will then see a confirmation screen, so you’ll need to check the number of points and the transfer details and click confirm to complete the process. You can then log into your airline or hotel loyalty program to check the transfer has been completed. Most transfers are complete in up to five working days. However, Marriott Bonvoy transfers are usually completed within one business day and Singapore Airlines transfers can take up to 15 days to complete.
You can only transfer Amex points to a frequent traveler account with your name. You cannot transfer your Membership Rewards points to another person's account.
Let’s take a closer look at seven popular partner programs where you can transfer your points:
Transferring Amex Points to Delta SkyMiles
This is one of the few domestic transfer partner programs on our list. Delta SkyMiles can get you some great deals on domestic flights within the U.S., but the dynamic award chart shows exorbitant mile charges on international flights. This is especially true if you want to fly business class to a foreign destination.
It’s possible to get some excellent deals from only 4,500 SkyMiles on a one-way basic economy domestic flight. A quick SkyMiles search when you’re planning a domestic flight is recommended. It’s also possible to score a good deal on flights to Canada with Delta and its WestJet partner.
The Delta Airlines awards are always priced dynamically, but the WestJet awards are maintained at a consistent 12,500 SkyMiles for a one-way ticket from the U.S. to Canadian destinations.
To take full advantage, you need to book your flight at least a month in advance. The transfer ratio is 1:1, and the transfer time is instant.
Delta credit cards are issued by American Express and you can use it if you prefer to fly Delta. The Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card offers a welcome bonus of 70,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months
Transferring Amex Points to Hilton Honors
The Hilton Honors program is a hotel transfer partner for Amex with a favorable 1:2 transfer ratio. To put this into perspective, 10,000 Amex points equates to 20,000 Hilton points.
But, Hilton prices are highly variable, and the prices rise dramatically during high-demand peak rates for hotel bookings. It is possible to get some good deals if you use the point during standard or off-peak periods.
It’s typically not worth transferring your Amex to Hilton points to make a hotel booking because the redemption value tends to be low.
To get the best results, you should be focused on earning and redeeming Hilton points directly and use those to pay for Hilton hotel stays. The transfer ratio is 1:2, and the transfer time is instant.
If you're a Hilton loyal customer, you can consider using the Hilton Honors American Express Card that provides 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged directly with hotels and resorts within the Hilton portfolio, 5x points at U.S. restaurants (including takeout and delivery) U.S.supermarkets, U.S. gas stations and 3x points for each dollar on other eligible purchases .
Transferring Amex Points to Marriott Bonvoy
Marriott Bonvoy is another hotel reward program that has recently switched to a dynamic award pricing model. At the time of writing this article, 93% of the properties have been kept within the peak and off-peak pricing brands.
But, transferring points to Marriott is not recommended because the redemptions cost a relatively high number of reward points.
The cent-per-point value tends to be low, and it’s a better idea to earn Marriott points directly if you’re interested in their hotel redemption program. The transfer ratio is 1:1, and the transfer time is instant.
Of course, you can also transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Marriott Bonvoy. The ratio will be the same, each Ultimate Rewards points converts to a single Marriot point.
Transferring Amex Points to JetBlue TrueBlue®
The JetBlue TrueBlue loyalty program has an award flight prices based on the cash flight costs. So, the more a flight costs, the more points you will spend when you book that flight.
You will get around $0.013 per point spent when you redeem your miles, and you may get slightly less or more depending on the specific flight you choose. Transferring Amex points to JetBlue is not a great deal; the value is limited, and the transfer ratio is weak.
To put this into some perspective, 10,000 Amex points are worth around 8,000 JetBlue points. The transfer ratio is 250:200, and the transfer time is instant. Chase Ultimate Rewards has a better conversion rate compared to Amex – Ultimate Rewards points can be transferred to JetBlue TruBlue at a 1:1 ratio
Transferring Amex Points to Flying Blue (KLM/Air France)
Flying Blue is a joint loyalty program for Air France and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. As a SkyTeam loyalty program, the pricing is dynamic, and there are great international flight ticket deals on offer.
A one-way business class flight from the U.S. to Europe can be had for 53,000 points. But, you need to pay fuel surcharges from $250 up to $400 on certain international business-class routes, which does lower the value. It’s advisable to check Flying Blue to evaluate if it’s a good fit for an international SkyTeam redemption.
There are offers for similar flight booking awards made with Alitalia MilleMiglia, Delta International, and others. The transfer ratio is 1:1, and the transfer time is instant.
Transferring Amex Points to Hawaiian Miles Program
As the name suggests, the HawaiianMiles program is used for flights to Hawaii. The award tickets are derived from a standard award chart, and each award has multiple tiers to explore.
You tend to pay the lowest price on the award tickets that have saver award space. Certain flights will cost more points, but they tend to be reasonable.
For example, a one-way ticket from Honolulu to LA costs 40,000 points for business class and 20,000 points for economy class. The transfer ratio is 1:1, and the transfer time is instant.
Transferring Amex Points to Iberia Plus
Iberia Plus uses Avios as the loyalty current, and a standard award chart is used for all Iberia and partner flights.
The deals are reasonable; off-peak economy flights from New York, Boston, and Chicago to Madrid cost around 17,000 Avios points.
This rises to around 34,000 for business class and 25,500 for premium economy on one-way flights. The transfer ratio is 1:1, and the transfer time is 48 hours.
Combining Points Between Amex Cards
If you want to maximize your Amex points redemprion potential, it makes good sense to have multiple American Express cards. The points that you earn across the Gold or Platinum cards can be pooled together across multiple personal and/or business accounts.
So, a single Membership Rewards account can be accessed via a single online log in. This allows you to remove all the points earned from every Amex account that you have in a single location. Let’s take a look at this combining process in more detail:
- When you get a new Amex card, provide the details of your existing online accounts during the registration process.
- Existing cardholders with accounts that are not linked need to take additional steps as follows.
- Log into your Amex account.
- Click the “Menu” link and navigate to “My Account.”
- From this page, go to “Account Services” and “Card Management.”
- On this page, you will find the “Add a Card to Online Management” link.
- Input the pertinent details, and you’re done.
Maximize Your Amex Account Value
This process makes Amex point management much easier across multiple cards. But, the main reason is to maximize the value of accounts that are geared towards improved redemption rates.
Let’s take a look at an example to see this principle in action:
An Amex card has a “Pay with Points” feature which allows you to redeem points at a value of $0.01 per point towards flight purchase costs. This is a viable alternative if you don’t want to transfer points to an airline or hotel partner program.
But, the Business Platinum Card has a 35% rebate on “Pay with Points” airline bookings. This equates to $0.154 per point on the same flight purchase. The pool of reward points earned across all the Amex cards can be used to make the flight purchase at the better point value.
As you can see, there are scenarios where a different Amex card is a better option to maximize the value of your earned points. Pooling your points is also a great option if you want to close one account and leave others open.
You can retain your Amex points balance as long as a single Membership Rewards card remains open. This is why no annual fee cards are valuable because you can maintain an Amex account and retain access to Membership Rewards even if your other cards are closed.
Amex points can be easily transferred to travel partners, combine with other Amex cards or transferring to another person’s account
Transferring Amex Points to Another Person’s Account
There is no way to transfer your Amex Membership Rewards points to other people. You cannot transfer your points to another Amex account or directly to their loyalty program.
However, there is an exception; you can transfer to a user’s loyalty program account if they have been an authorized user on at least one of your cards for 90 days or longer. This acts as a deterrent for people that want to buy and sell points outside the Membership Rewards program ecosystem.
6 Steps To Complete A Tranfer
So, if you’re planning to send points, it’s necessary to plan at least three months in advance by adding that person as an authorized user. It’s easy to add an authorized user to your Amex account.
- Log into your Amex account with a personal card (business cards will have some additional steps from those detailed here).
- Select “Account Services” at the top of the menu.
- Select “Manage Other Users” at the left of the menu.
- Select “Add Someone to Your Account.”
- You will be directed to a screen to input the information of the person that you want to add as an authorized account user.
- Fill in the information, and you’re done.
Bear in mind that there is a waiting period before an authorized account user card arrives. When the card does arrive, it must be activated before the transfer option is available to the authorized user.
It’s important to understand that you can only transfer your points to a person's airline account if they are an authorized user on your personal account. If you have a business account, you cannot transfer points to an employee card.
Should You Transfer Amex Points or Use the Amex Travel Portal?
You can redeem your American Express Membership Rewards point and book your travel via the Amex Travel Portal.
This is a viable option over a transfer of your earned reward point to a partner program, such as Marriot Bonvoy, Hilton Honors, Delta Airlines, and others, but there are benefits to both redemption methods.
Benefits of Transferring
Benefits of Using the Travel Portal
Higher Redemption Value Potential
Wider Access to Travel Partner Deals
Easy to Pay with Points
You Can Use Points to Upgrade
Earn Points on Your Booking
- Higher Redemption Value Potential: Certain Amex Membership Rewards are valued at $0.02 per point or more if you’re taking full advantage of transfers with travel partners, which can make the travel portal less attractive.
- Wider Access to Travel Partner Deals: Transferring can allow you access to more travel partner deals that may not be available directly with Amex.
- Combining Miles: If you have several types of cards, you can combine your rewards into one program for greater flexibility.
- User-Friendly Interface: Amex rolled out a host of new portal features in 2019, including the Amex chat tool, booking discounted premium tickets online on the phone or via the chat tool, and much more.
- Easy to Pay with Points: You can choose to pay for some or all of their trips with points. When the reservation is booked, the full amount is applied to your Amex card, and then a credit is applied for the points redemption within 48 hours.
- You Can Use Points to Upgrade: An eligible flight that’s been booked with cash can be upgraded with the Amex Membership Rewards points in your account. To make the upgrade, simply select the airline, provide the reservation details in the portal, and you’re set.
- Earn Points on Your Booking: Booking Amex flights through the travel portal allows you to earn extra points for that purchase. Prepaid hotel reservations also earn the member extra points, and the amount that you can earn will vary on the card that you use.
- Discounts: Platinum Amex cardholders can access discounted flights through the American Express Travel Portal. The International Airline Program (IAP) members can book first class, premium economy, and business class flights at a discount with certain airlines on select routes.
- Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) Coverage: This is a handy insurance policy that allows members to cancel a trip for any reason and still receive a refund. A reimbursement can be requested over the phone or online at any time up to the flight time.
Yes, in fact, American Express is one of the only transferable loyalty currencies that can be transferred to Delta.
No, a direct transfer between Amex points and United is not possible, you would need to use a third party, such as a Star Alliance or Oneworld partner
You can link your Marriott Bonvoy membership to your Amex membership on your dashboard to make transfers at any time.
No, the points you collect in your account cannot be transferred to your spouse’s account. However, if they are an authorized user of your account, they can transfer points to their partnership program account.
No, the Costco credit card does not have any transfer partners, you can only redeem rewards for cash back or Costco purchases.