New Amex Restrictions On Authorized User Points Transfers

Filed Under: American Express
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Amex Membership Rewards is one of the major transferrable points currencies, and I find the points to be incredibly valuable.

Each of the major points currencies has different restrictions regarding combining points between accounts, which frequent flyer account you can transfer your points to, etc.

Amex’s current restrictions on points transfers

Up until now, Amex’s policy for Membership Rewards has been as follows:

  • You can pool the Membership Rewards points earned across all of your own cards (this is done simply by having a single online ID)
  • You can’t transfer your Membership Rewards points to someone else’s Membership Rewards account
  • You can transfer your Membership Rewards points to a partner airline or hotel program, but only if it’s in the name of the primary card member or an authorized user

One of the major reasons these types of rules are in place is to prevent people from buying and selling points. Well, Amex will be adding a new restriction that will make it more difficult for some people to transfer points.

Earn Membership Rewards points

Amex’s new authorized user restriction

As of September 1, 2019, you’ll only be able to transfer Amex points to the airline or hotel loyalty program account of an authorized user if they’ve been an authorized user for at least 90 days. Here’s how Amex describes what they’re changing:

We are changing the Membership Rewards Terms and Conditions to provide that an Additional Card must be issued to an Additional Card Member at least 90 days prior to linking your Membership Rewards program account to that Additional Card Member’s frequent customer program account.

I actually totally see why they’re making this change. Some Amex Membership Rewards cards let you add authorized users at no cost. So I’m guessing that some people may have added authorized users purely to be able to transfer points to their frequent flyer ccount, and they then removed them. That’s not in the spirit of what they were trying to do.

By adding a 90 day waiting period they’re largely preventing that, and frankly I think that’s perfectly fair. This is all the more reason to add authorized users earlier rather than later, which is a very simple process, and allows them access to all sorts of additional benefits.

Will you be impacted by Amex’s new 90 day restriction on authorized user transfers?

(Tip of the hat to Doctor Of Credit)

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Regarding Comments: The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Comments

  1. If you sell to one or two brokers no big deal. Add them and whenever you need to transfer you have them lined up already.
    No?

  2. Just requested authorized user (me) on hubby’s AmEx everyday card to transfer his points to my Airlines. Ain’t love grand! Happy Pride Month

  3. I have my family as authorized users one of my Amex cards for this exact reason. My dad earned Air France silver status, so I needed to add Flying Blue miles to his account so I can use his account to book myself Air France F tickets. It was a huge waste of pts, even with the Flying Blue transfer bonus, but it was just to check out the experience.

  4. I wish Amex would just let family members pool points together like Chase does w/o having to add them as AUs.

  5. Interesting that while Hyatt, Hilton, Marriott, & Chase make pooling easier over time, AMEX is moving in the opposite direction.

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