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Points, Miles & Credit Cards

How to Transfer American Express Membership Rewards Points to Airline Partners

Matt Ortile

Matt Ortile

October 4, 2023

5 min read

Table of Contents

Going has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Going and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses, and recommendations are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any of these entities.

American Express Membership Rewards points are the transferable points currency earned by American Express travel rewards credit cards. You can use your points to pay for charges on your card, or to book travel through AmexTravel.com. But you’ll get more value out of your points by transferring them to Amex’s travel partners like airlines and hotels, and then using points to book directly with those partners.

Since we’re here to help you book flights for cheap—or even for almost free—we’re most interested in transferring Amex points to airline loyalty programs, like Air Canada Aeroplan and Air France-KLM Flying Blue, so you can book award flights and maximize the power of your points.

This guide is a work-in-progress. We’ll routinely update this guide on how to transfer Amex points to airline partners. For now, here’s what you absolutely need to know when transferring points from your American Express credit cards to an airline loyalty program.

Pro-tip: We recommend transferring points from Amex to an airline partner only when you have a specific award flight booking you want to make.

Once you move your Amex points to an airline loyalty program, you can’t move those points back into your Amex account. For that reason, we recommend holding your points in your American Express account until you see an available award flight (that is: a flight that’s bookable with points). From there, you can then transfer your points to an airline and make that booking as soon as you see a good deal.

Got a stash of points waiting to be spent on travel? Let us find the points deals for you. Sign up for an Elite membership and we’ll alert you whenever we see a good points deal for travel in economy, business, and even first class.

How to transfer American Express Membership Rewards points to airline partners

Step 1: On your desktop, log in to the American Express Membership Rewards portal.

Enter your login credentials that you use to access your American Express account online, then select your credit card that earns American Express Membership Rewards points. If you have multiple travel rewards cards with Amex—like card_name or the card_name—just pick one; it doesn’t matter which you choose. All the Amex points you earn across your cards are automatically pooled together.

Step 2: In the navy blue navigation bar, click on “Earn and Redeem” and then select “Transfer Points” in the drop-down menu.

Step 3: Select the airline you want to transfer points to.

When you click on an airline, it will display the terms of your points transfer, the timing, and other details and requirements.

If it’s your first time transferring points to that airline loyalty program, you’ll be prompted to enter your account number with the program. 

In order to transfer Amex points to an airline loyalty program, you need to first have an account with that program. It’s a good idea to proactively make accounts with these programs because some have rules that require an account to be open for a certain period of time before you can transfer points to it. It can get unwieldy with different member ID numbers and passwords, so keep track of your account numbers somewhere safe, like in a password manager.

See the full list of the current Amex transfer partners below. 

Step 4: Transfer your points.

Once you link your American Express account to your selected airline loyalty program, or if you’ve transferred Amex points to that airline before, you can then select how many points you want to transfer. After that, click the “Review Transfer” button. You’ll be prompted to make sure everything is correct, then you can click “Submit Transfer.”

That’s all there is to it! Depending on the airline partner you selected, you’ll see your points appear in your airline account either instantly, within 24 hours, or within 2 days. The transfer times for each airline partner are listed below.

Remember: all transfers are final. Once you move your Amex points to an airline loyalty program, you can’t move those points back into your Amex account.

Current Amex transfer partners

As of June 2023, American Express partners with these airlines.

  • Aer Lingus AerClub
  • Aeromexico Club Premier
  • Air Canada Aeroplan
  • Air France / KLM Flying Blue
  • Avianca LifeMiles
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
  • Delta SkyMiles
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Etihad Guest
  • Hawaiian HawaiianMiles
  • Iberia Plus
  • JetBlue TrueBlue
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

With two exceptions, all Amex points transfer at a one to one (1:1) ratio, which means that one Amex point is equivalent to one mile or point with most of these loyalty programs, once transferred. 

The exceptions to this are Aeromexico Club Premier and JetBlue TrueBlue. Amex points transfer to Aeromexico at a 1:1.6 ratio (e.g. 1000 Amex points become 1600 Aeromexico Club Premier miles), and Amex points transfer to JetBlue at a 250:200 ratio (e.g. 1000 Amex points become 800 JetBlue TrueBlue points).

Transfer times from Amex to its travel partners vary. Points transfer can take up to 24 hours for Aeromexico Club Premier and Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer. Meanwhile, points transfers can take up to 48 hours for ANA Mileage Club, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, and Iberia Plus. Points transfers to all other airline partners are relatively instantaneous.

And these are Amex’s current hotel partners. Points transfers to all these hotel loyalty programs are instantaneous.

  • IHG Rewards Club
  • Hilton Honors
  • Marriott Bonvoy

Amex points transfer at a 1:1 ratio to IHG Rewards Club and Marriott Bonvoy; points transfer to Hilton Honors at a 1:2 ratio.

On the whole, transferring points to hotels rarely maximizes the value of your points. You’re better off sticking to points transfers to airlines to get the most cents per point when you compare the cash price to the points cost.

What to do once you’ve transferred Amex points to airline partners

Now that you’ve transferred your American Express points to an airline partner, try searching for flights and play around with that airline’s search tool for award bookings. Here are some guides to check out.

Or if you’re ready to get going, sign up for an Elite membership and we’ll send you all the best points deals we can find.

Going has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Going and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses, and recommendations are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any of these entities. Some of all of the card offers that appear on this page are from advertisers; complensation may affect how and where the cards appear on the site; and Going does not include all card companies are all available card offers.

Matt Ortile

Matt Ortile

Marketing

Matt Ortile writes the Going With Points newsletter at Going. He is the author of the essay collection The Groom Will Keep His Name, a columnist at Condé Nast Traveler, and working on a novel about a flight attendant. He lives in Brooklyn.

Published October 4, 2023

Last updated December 26, 2023

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