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 Club||Choice Privileges|
|AeroMexico Club Premier||Hilton Honors|
|Air Canada Aeroplan||Marriott Bonvoy|
|Air France/KLM Flying Blue|
|ANA Mileage Club|
|British Airways Executive Club|
|Cathay Pacific Asia Miles|
|El Al Matmid|
|Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles|
|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.
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
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?