How Long Do Amex Membership Rewards Points Transfers Take?

How Long Do Amex Membership Rewards Points Transfers Take?

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If you’re collecting miles & points through credit card spending, I always recommend doing what you can to accrue transferable points currencies.

That’s because these points are much more flexible than when you’re earning an individual airline or hotel points currency. You have the ability to transfer these points to all kinds of travel partners, and you’re safeguarded from a devaluation in a specific points currency.

With that in mind, in this post I wanted to address all the basics of transferring Amex Membership Rewards points. How many partners does Amex Membership Rewards have, how long does it take for points to transfer, who can you transfer points to, etc.

How many airline and hotel partners does Amex Membership Rewards have?

As of now, Amex Membership Rewards has 20 airline and hotel partners — that includes 17 airline partners and three hotel partners.

Airline Partners
Hotel Partners
Aer Lingus AerClub
Choice Privileges
Aeromexico Club Premier
Hilton Honors
Air Canada Aeroplan
Marriott Bonvoy
Air France-KLM Flying Blue
ANA Mileage Club
Avianca LifeMiles
British Airways Executive Club
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
Delta SkyMiles
Emirates Skywards
Etihad Guest
Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles
Iberia Plus
JetBlue TrueBlue
Qantas Frequent Flyer
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
American Express Membership Rewards transfer partners
Redeem Amex points for KLM business class

How long does it take to transfer Amex Membership Rewards points in January 2022?

Below is a chart with how long it typically takes to transfer Amex Membership Rewards points to airline and hotel partners:

Membership Rewards Transfer Partner
Transfer Ratio
Transfer Time
Aer Lingus AerClub
1000 : 1000
Instant
Aeromexico Club Premier
1000 : 1600
~4 to 5 days
Air Canada Aeroplan
1000 : 1000
Instant
Air France KLM FlyingBlue
1000 : 1000
Instant
ANA Mileage Club
1000 : 1000
~2 to 3 days
Avianca LifeMiles
1000 : 1000
Instant
British Airways Executive Club
1000 : 1000
Instant
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
1000 : 1000
Instant
Delta SkyMiles
1000 : 1000
Instant
Emirates Skywards
1000 : 1000
Instant
Etihad Guest
1000 : 1000
Instant
Hawaiian HawaiianMiles
1000 : 1000
Instant
Iberia Plus
1000 : 1000
~4 to 24 hours
JetBlue TrueBlue
250 : 200
Instant
Qantas Frequent Flyer
1000 : 1000
Instant
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
1000 : 1000
Instant
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
1000 : 1000
Instant
Choice Privilege
1000 : 1000
Instant
Hilton Honors
1000 : 2000
Instant
Marriott Bonvoy
1000 : 1000
Instant
Amex Membership Rewards Transfer Partners and Times

As you can see, transfers to all but three partners are typically instant, and even the partners that aren’t instant process points transfers pretty quickly.

Redeem Amex points for Etihad Airways first class

Are there fees associated with transferring Amex Membership Rewards points?

Of the major transferrable points currencies, Amex is the only one that charges fees to transfer points to some partners.

Amex Membership Rewards charges a federal excise tax for points transfers to US frequent flyer programs (which include Delta, Hawaiian, and JetBlue). That means non-US frequent flyer programs, as well as hotel programs, don’t have any fees.

For those programs with fees, the cost is 0.06 cents per transferred point, up to a maximum of $99. In other words, transferring 100,000 points would cost $60.

If you transfer more than 165,000 points then there’s no incremental cost to transfer points, since you’ll have paid the $99 fee, and the fee is capped at that.

Redeem Amex points for JetBlue Mint business class

Can you transfer Amex points to someone else’s Amex account?

No, you cannot. Amex lets you combine the Membership Rewards points you’ve earned across all your cards that earn Membership Rewards points, but you can’t transfer your balance of Membership Rewards points to someone else’s Amex account.

Redeem Amex points for Hawaiian Airlines first class

Can you transfer Amex points to someone else’s airline or hotel accounts?

Amex only lets you transfer your Membership Rewards points to an airline or hotel account that’s in your name or the name of an authorized user on one of your cards.

Fortunately, Amex lets you add authorized users on many cards at no additional fee, which is a great way to transfer points to someone else. However, you can only transfer Amex points to the account of an authorized user if they’ve been on your account for at least 90 days.

What cards earn Amex Membership Rewards points?

Some of the best Amex cards for earning Membership Rewards points include the following:

American Express® Gold Card
  • 4x points at restaurants
  • 4x points at U.S. supermarkets, on up to $25,000 in purchases annually
  • 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or through amextravel.com
  • $250
American Express® Business Gold Card
  • Earn 4x Membership Rewards points on airfare purchased directly from airlines
  • Access to Amex Offers
  • Redeem Amex Points Towards Airfare
  • $295
The Platinum Card® from American Express
  • Earn 5x points on flights purchased directly from airlines or through Amex Travel (up to $500k/year)
  • $200 Annual Uber Credit
  • Amex Centurion Lounge Access
  • $695
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
  • Earn 1.5x on purchases of $5,000 or more in a single transaction on up to $2MM per calendar year
  • Redeem Points For Over 1.5 Cents Each Towards Airfare
  • Amex Centurion Lounge Access
  • $695
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express
  • 2x points on purchases up to $50k then 1x
  • Access to Amex Offers
  • No annual fee

Note that you can earn a welcome bonus on each of the above cards, and pool all those points towards one Membership Rewards account. Having multiple Amex cards is a great way to maximize your points earning potential. See my post about the best cards for earning Amex Membership Rewards points.

Redeem Amex points for Singapore Airlines business class

Should you transfer Amex points to travel partners?

In general, the best use of Amex Membership Rewards points is to convert them into airline miles. However, you only want to do this once you’ve figured out the award you want to book, have verified availability, and are sure you understand how that program works.

There is one good way to redeem Amex points towards the cost of the ticket, and this is the best value if you have The Business Platinum Card® from American Express.

If you have this card then you can get a 35% refund on all “Pay With Points” redemptions, when either redeeming for travel in first or business class, or redeeming for travel on your designated airline in any cabin. The catch is that the refund is only processed weeks after you book, so you’ll need to initially have enough points for the entire cost of the ticket at the rate of one cent per point.

You ordinarily get one cent of value per point using the Pay With Points option, so when you’re getting a refund of 35% you’re potentially getting 1.54 cents of value per point, which is pretty good. Personally, I value Amex Membership Rewards points at ~1.7 cents each.

Use Amex points for travel to all kinds of amazing destinations

Bottom line

Amex Membership Rewards points are one of my favorite points currencies out there. Not only does Amex have some great transfer partners, but the points are pretty easy to rack up as well across the card portfolio. Hopefully the above is a useful rundown of what to expect if you’re going to transfer these points.

If you have any data points on how long Amex Membership Rewards points transfers have taken you, please share them below, so that I can keep the chart as accurate as possible!

Want to learn more about points transfer times? See our series about how long points transfers take with Amex Membership Rewards, Capital One, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Citi ThankYou.
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  1. Mike C Member

    It's worth noting that the list of partners is for US card holders, and that those in other countries may have a different list. In Australia, for example, most have access to nine airlines (NZ, CX, EK, EY, MH, SQ, TG, VA and VS) and the same two hotel partners. Qantas is only available (as far as I know) for holders of the Platinum Card for all of their rewards points, not just those earned...

    It's worth noting that the list of partners is for US card holders, and that those in other countries may have a different list. In Australia, for example, most have access to nine airlines (NZ, CX, EK, EY, MH, SQ, TG, VA and VS) and the same two hotel partners. Qantas is only available (as far as I know) for holders of the Platinum Card for all of their rewards points, not just those earned from the platinum card. (There are QF co-branded cards at various price points, but that defeats the purpose of earning a flexible rewards currency.)

  2. kenneth lombart Guest

    2 years ago, I was booking to go to Tokyo from JFK using Amex miles. I had never transferred to ANA before, and was expecting the miles to transfer instantly like most airlines. Unless it has changed, ANA will not hold your reservation while the mileage transfers. Originally I was planning to book business class, but it was not available on my specific dates, but I saw where First was. It was a also a...

    2 years ago, I was booking to go to Tokyo from JFK using Amex miles. I had never transferred to ANA before, and was expecting the miles to transfer instantly like most airlines. Unless it has changed, ANA will not hold your reservation while the mileage transfers. Originally I was planning to book business class, but it was not available on my specific dates, but I saw where First was. It was a also a good deal compared to other airlines. Since I did not know about the time delay of the transfer, I was really sweating and hoping that seats would still be available when the mileage got into the account. Fortunately they were and the flight, service and comfort was wonderful. But if you have plans for specific days as we did, I think it is dangerous transferring for a particular trip and having to wait. Hopefully they changed or will change their policy before I go back to Japan.

    1. santos Guest

      ANA redemptions should be done with Virgin Atlantic Flying Club. Better value and points do in fact transfer instantly. Virgin's customer service reps are also fantastic and patient and will wait on the line with you while the pts transfer over, in my experience. Just my 2 cents.

  3. DCS Diamond

    Speaking of points transfers, many here may be interested in this update from SQ in regards to their KrisFlyer Bonus Miles Conversion Campaign 2021 offer to "boost your miles balance and earn up to 15%* more miles when you convert your bank reward points to KrisFlyer miles!"

    The promo ended on November 22, and some of us had expected that additional elite KF miles that we would earn around December 14 from the 15% bonus...

    Speaking of points transfers, many here may be interested in this update from SQ in regards to their KrisFlyer Bonus Miles Conversion Campaign 2021 offer to "boost your miles balance and earn up to 15%* more miles when you convert your bank reward points to KrisFlyer miles!"

    The promo ended on November 22, and some of us had expected that additional elite KF miles that we would earn around December 14 from the 15% bonus miles associated with the offer above would put us over the 50K elite KF miles required to make SQ Gold without flying (I just need 200 elite KF miles). However, that has not yet happened as my status is still KF Silver, and this update on the SQ website may explain the delay:

    Due to additional processing time involved, the crediting of Status Credits (Elite Miles or PPS Values) on bonus miles earned from this Campaign will take place progressively from 23 December 2021. We apologise for any inconveniences caused.

    Frankly, I hope this continues to be delayed until at least after New Year as that would extend the expiration date SQ Gold status that one "unlocks without flying"...

  4. LOA Member

    FYI, last month I made a couple transfers to Aeromexico and, shockingly, transfers was immediate.

  5. Mark Guest

    I did an SQ transfer yesterday, and it transferred instantly. Maybe it's now instant, going by the other comments here?

  6. pstm91 Diamond

    Ben, I've posed this comment on these "how long..." blogs a few times now but I'm surprised to see that you never add a note about how "instant" does not necessarily mean you will have access to your miles immediately. Amex will instantly transfer them, but the airline receiving them has to process it and that is not always instantly available. I've experienced 12- 24 hours until I could access the miles to book the...

    Ben, I've posed this comment on these "how long..." blogs a few times now but I'm surprised to see that you never add a note about how "instant" does not necessarily mean you will have access to your miles immediately. Amex will instantly transfer them, but the airline receiving them has to process it and that is not always instantly available. I've experienced 12- 24 hours until I could access the miles to book the redemption I wanted, in particular with Lifemiles, but also with a few others. You'll see the miles in your activity, but they are not in your balance until they actually release them, and for anyone who has not experienced this before, it is quite stressful.

    1. Alec Guest

      This was my experience with Lifemiles. Missed out being able to book a first class seat since someone else snagged it during that waiting time.

    2. ramcm7 Guest

      I did my first transfer to Aeroplan today. Took a little under two hours after initiating the transfer with Amex before they appeared in my Aeroplan account. I have heard elsewhere that initial transfers might take longer and subsequent transfer are near-instantaneous for some plans.

    3. pstm91 Diamond

      Aeroplan is one of them that has definitely taken a bit of time for them to actually appear in my "balance." Lifemiles always takes me at least overnight to reflect. They are instant from Amex's perspective, just not on the receiving end, which certainly warrants a footnote.

  7. Alec Guest

    I did Avianca this week and it took ~12 hours. Help line said it usually doesn't post until midnight Colombia time.

  8. Mark S Guest

    Ditto on the SQ Krisflyer transfer. Did 2 and both instant.

  9. BookLvr Member

    Rookie points transfer question: let's say I have AmEx miles that I want to use on a oneworld partner not specifically on this list, for example Royal Jordanian.

    Can I do an instant transfer to British Airways or Cathay Pacific and then immediately transfer/use those miles for tickets on Royal Jordanian?

    1. Sosie New Member

      You can't transfer points to Royal Jordanian from British airways or Cathay Pacific. Most airlines won't allow you to transfer points to they partners. In order to redeem your miles it has to be available airlines do not release the whole flight for points bookings

    2. BookLvr Member

      Ah, okay. Bummer. My college-aged daughter is hoping to study abroad in Amman, Jordan, and if she gets to go (which is obviously dependent on COVID), we thought we might all take a vacation in that part of the world in between sessions.

      But that's okay: plenty of other destinations to use my miles on!

    3. santos Guest

      To clarify, Sosie is saying you can't do a double-transfer (e.g., Amex MR to BA Avios to RJ miles). You can definitely transfer credit card points to BA Avios and then use the BA search tool to book Royal Jordanian flights with Avios. Availability looks pretty decent. Similarly, you can also transfer credit card points to Cathay and book RJ using Cathay's Asia Miles but I'm not sure offhand how good the availability looks or...

      To clarify, Sosie is saying you can't do a double-transfer (e.g., Amex MR to BA Avios to RJ miles). You can definitely transfer credit card points to BA Avios and then use the BA search tool to book Royal Jordanian flights with Avios. Availability looks pretty decent. Similarly, you can also transfer credit card points to Cathay and book RJ using Cathay's Asia Miles but I'm not sure offhand how good the availability looks or how good the value is of redeeming with those. Good luck!

    4. BookLvr Member

      Ah! That is interesting. I shall research that! Thank you.

  10. Sosie New Member

    I did a transfer to Singapore less month and got my miles instant

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santos Guest

ANA redemptions should be done with Virgin Atlantic Flying Club. Better value and points do in fact transfer instantly. Virgin's customer service reps are also fantastic and patient and will wait on the line with you while the pts transfer over, in my experience. Just my 2 cents.

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Mike C Member

It's worth noting that the list of partners is for US card holders, and that those in other countries may have a different list. In Australia, for example, most have access to nine airlines (NZ, CX, EK, EY, MH, SQ, TG, VA and VS) and the same two hotel partners. Qantas is only available (as far as I know) for holders of the Platinum Card for all of their rewards points, not just those earned from the platinum card. (There are QF co-branded cards at various price points, but that defeats the purpose of earning a flexible rewards currency.)

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BookLvr Member

Ah! That is interesting. I shall research that! Thank you.

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