Amex Adds Qantas As Membership Rewards Transfer Partner

Filed Under: American Express, Qantas
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The US American Express Membership Rewards program has just added a transfer partner, which is always an exciting development.

Amex adds Qantas Frequent Flyer as partner

American Express Membership Rewards has added Qantas Frequent Flyer as a transfer partner. Points transfer instantly at the ordinary 1:1 ratio, though interestingly you can convert in 500 point increments, rather than the usual standard of only being able to convert in 1,000 point increments.

While more partners are always good news, I’d note that Qantas is also transfer partners with both Capital One and Citi ThankYou, so this isn’t exactly a unique option.

With this change, here’s the full list of Amex Membership Rewards transfer partners:

Aer Lingus Aer ClubChoice Privileges
Aeroméxico Club PremierHilton Honors
Air Canada AeroplanMarriott Bonvoy
Air France/KLM Flying Blue
Alitalia MilleMiglia
ANA Mileage Club
Avianca LifeMiles
British Airways Executive Club
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
Delta SkyMiles
El Al Matmid
Emirates Skywards
Etihad Guest
Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles
Iberia Plus
JetBlue TrueBlue
Qantas Frequent Flyer
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

With this addition Amex has a total of 22 transfer partners, including 19 airline programs and three hotel programs.

Earn Amex Membership Rewards points with:

Redeem Qantas points for travel in Qantas 787 business class

The value of Qantas Frequent Flyer

Qantas is part of the oneworld alliance, though also has some other intriguing airline partnerships. In general Qantas Frequent Flyer has pretty high redemption rates, and they also impose carrier surcharges for travel on most of their partners.

For a sense of their pricing, here’s their award chart for travel on Qantas, Airnorth, Fiji Airways, Air Vanuatu, American Airlines, Emirates, Jetstar, and QantasLink:

Then here’s their partner award chart for travel on Aer Lingus, Air Niugini, Alaska Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, China Eastern, Dragonair, EL AL, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, Jet Airways, LATAM, Malaysia Airlines, Qatar Airways, Royal Jordanian, S7 Airlines, and SriLankan Airlines:

Their rates are definitely on the steep side, but I also think there are circumstances where this could represent a good deal. For example:

  • Qantas Frequent Flyer is one of the best ways to redeem miles for travel on airlines like Air Niugini, Air Vanuatu, etc.
  • In some cases Qantas Frequent Flyer is the best program for Emirates first class redemptions, especially on shorter flights, and that gets even better when you factor in a 25% transfer bonus
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer has great redemption rates on EL AL, and in many cases you’ll find rates lower than booking through EL AL Matmid

Book EL AL’s 787 business class through Qantas Frequent Flyer

Bottom line

I’m always happy to see the transferrable points currencies add more transfer partners. Qantas Frequent Flyer isn’t my favorite program, though it has some potentially useful niche redemptions. With a transfer bonus, Amex could be a great way to transfer points there.

In general I wish we’d see transferrable points currencies add more unique partners, rather than just all duplicate the partners. Then again, I’m guessing at this point they’re working with most of the programs that are interested in this kind of partnership, so pickings are probably slim.

Anyone excited about Qantas being added as an Amex transfer partner?

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  1. “In some cases Qantas Frequent Flyer is the best program for Emirates first class redemptions, especially on shorter flights, and that gets even better when you factor in a 25% transfer bonus”

    what 25% bonus?

  2. More options never hurt. I would love to see someone bring Korean back or do something surprising like JAL.

  3. @ HChris
    I dont think JAL would sell their miles in a price that will allow banks to provide 1:1 ratio transfer

  4. @Peetyrd

    Qantas gives it gold and platinum members access to their own awards inventory about 30 days before other QF members and other One World partners . This makes routes USA to AU direct very hard to get .

  5. @Bgriff

    QF imposes very high surcharges on EK . Similar to what you would pay under EKs own program. No chauffeur on award tickets via QF also ( same for all EK award tickets now though ) .

  6. @Bgiff – yes and then some. And premium cabins can be a joke. $300 USD for a seven hour Emirates flight in Biz/First on Qantas or Emirates.

  7. If AMEX adds Southwest as a transfer partner, I am done with the Chase Ultimate Rewards Program.

  8. Ben, another instance where using Qantas miles (and flying Qantas) is with a lap infant — Qantas is one of only a few airlines that doesn’t charge for lap infants in any class.

  9. @Johnnyboy – That won’t happen. WN used to be an AmEx partner, but that stopped (likely because Chase didn’t like it) years ago.

  10. Last time I looked you didn’t provide a valuation for a Qantas FF point. How much do you think a Qantas FF point is worth (ie 1 cent, 2 cents etc)?

  11. What’s the story with Qantas miles expiration policy? I am not planning a specific trip right now that seems like a good match for Qantas redemption, but I have some extra Amex points I’d like to park somewhere and would consider Qantas if I knew my points would be safe there.

    If Qantas points expire after a while with no activity, and I transfer another 1000 MR to Qantas later, does that *transfer* in to my Qantas account qualify as “activity” to extend the life of my points there?

  12. Not sure how you are saying Amex have “just added” Qantas, I have been transferring Amex points to QF for many years. Right now there is a promotion (this crops up a couple of times a year) that transferring Amex points to Qantas is attracting a bonus of up to 20% I think it is, depending on how many points you transfer. What you should be highlighting is the frustration that Amex have caused by cutting the value of points one transfers which came into force in April. Australian Business Traveller highlighted this and there was a huge outcry but Amex kept quiet knowing full well it would die down and they’d get their way.

  13. “In some cases Qantas Frequent Flyer is the best program for Emirates first class redemptions, especially on shorter flights, and that gets even better when you factor in a 25% transfer bonus”

    Errr do you know something I don’t having been in the QF program for 28 years … 25%bonus???

  14. @lucky

    It would be really interesting to see a comparison of BA and QF award charts now for one world redemptions.

    When does it make sense to transfer Amex to QF vs. BA for the same award?
    Is QF segment based like BA?
    How do YQs compare?
    Etc. that would be a great post! Happy to guest write it with you.

  15. @crosscourt you’re referring to the Aussie MR programme, we’ve always been able to transfer to QF, it’s new to the US programme.

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