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 21 airline and hotel partners — that includes 18 airline partners and three hotel partners.

Airline Partners
Hotel Partners
Aeromexico Club Premier
Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles
American Express Membership Rewards transfer partners
Redeem Amex points for Air France business class

How long does it take to transfer Amex Membership Rewards points in February 2024?

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
1000 : 1000
Instant
Aeromexico Club Premier
1000 : 1600
~4 to 5 days
1000 : 1000
Instant
1000 : 1000
Instant
1000 : 1000
~2 to 3 days
1000 : 1000
Instant
1000 : 1000
Instant
1000 : 1000
Instant
1000 : 1000
Instant
1000 : 1000
Instant
1000 : 1000
Instant
Hawaiian HawaiianMiles
1000 : 1000
Instant
1000 : 1000
~4 to 24 hours
250 : 200
Instant
1000 : 1000
Instant
1000 : 1000
Instant
1000 : 1000
Instant
1000 : 1000
Instant
1000 : 1000
Instant
1000 : 2000
Instant
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 tend to 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
  • Access to Amex Offers
  • Redeem Amex Points Towards Airfare
  • $375
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 offer on each of the above cards, and pool all those points toward 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 toward 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.
Conversations (17)
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  1. TC Guest

    Your 2-3 days Avianca scared me. I’d consider updating as it seems instant transfer is the way of them now.

    I just did a transfer from Amex to Avianca and it was truly instant. I was nervous about all I had read and I had an Avianca account that was open for years with zero activity but everything was seamless. 2024 January data point. Moved 85,000 Amex points to Avianca to redeem for LH from NY to FRA to MUC in LH First Class vs. 121,000 United miles.

  2. Suzanne Gwinn Guest

    Does anyone have any information on the continued relationship between American Express and Hawaiian Airlines after the proposed merger with Alaska? I have been waiting to transfer points from Membership Rewards into Hawaiian Airline miles as they usually have a bonus in January, but so far nothing. I asked MR about any upcoming promos and they said they were not aware of any. Since Alaska is not a transfer partner with American Express, is it...

    Does anyone have any information on the continued relationship between American Express and Hawaiian Airlines after the proposed merger with Alaska? I have been waiting to transfer points from Membership Rewards into Hawaiian Airline miles as they usually have a bonus in January, but so far nothing. I asked MR about any upcoming promos and they said they were not aware of any. Since Alaska is not a transfer partner with American Express, is it possible we would not be able to transfer MR to Hawaiian in the future?

    1. GregR Guest

      @Ben, I would also love your thoughts on Suzanne's question. At the very least, if the DOJ does not block the merger by Feb. 7, transferring Amex points to Hawaiian Airlines sounds like a backdoor way to get Alaska miles once the merger is complete, based on many precedents of merged airlines merging frequent flyer accounts, usually done on a 1:1 basis.

  3. LOA Member

    Just throwing in my data points....In 2023, I did a few AMEX to Aeromexico transfers and they were all immediate.

  4. globetrotter Guest

    I just transferred AMEX points to KrisFlyer account two days ago and it took less than two hours. I managed to book an award seat immediately. Now I am waiting for Chase transfer to go thorough before the seat disappears. KrisFlyer no longer allows putting award seats on hold. Chase no longer allows you DIY to transfer points to its partners loyalty programs so you must call in. Last year, it took Chase seven days...

    I just transferred AMEX points to KrisFlyer account two days ago and it took less than two hours. I managed to book an award seat immediately. Now I am waiting for Chase transfer to go thorough before the seat disappears. KrisFlyer no longer allows putting award seats on hold. Chase no longer allows you DIY to transfer points to its partners loyalty programs so you must call in. Last year, it took Chase seven days to transfer points to KrisFlyer and I had to call KrisFlyer every other day, after three days, to beg them not to cancel it. Luckily, I managed to book two tickets on hold but never used them as plans changed. Now I must liquidate those points before they expire in 12/25-- valid for three years only. I plan to start visiting Africa in 2025 so hoping you will also focus on flying in Africa and solicit your global readers for inputs about African destinations (cities and local tour agencies).

  5. Pete Diamond

    Hey Ben not sure if others had the same experience but my last two AeroMéxico point transfers from Amex MR have been instant.

  6. Parnel Guest

    Is the Aeroplan conversion correct?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Parnel -- It's 1,000:1,000. If you're viewing it on mobile, maybe you're interpreting it at as 1,000:1,600, which is actually the Aeromexico transfer ratio? Sorry for the confusion.

  7. Sonofdad Member

    Ben, what about bonus points? When there are promos are bonus points transferred at the same time as the base points? The reason I’m asking is I once had base points take 3 days longer than the base points I transferred from chase to British Airways.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Sonofdad -- In my experience the transfer bonuses post at the same time, assuming the bonus is being offered on Amex's end rather than the partner's end. Your experience sounds out of the ordinary to me, though sometimes there are some quirks with these transfers.

    2. Sonofdad Member

      Ben, Thanks for the response! I’m curious, is there a way to know in advance if the bonus posts on the credit card companies end versus the partners end in advance?

      Regarding my example both Chase and BA were claiming that the other party was responsible for bonus points.

    3. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Sonofdad -- That's a great question. So when it's offered on the part of the credit card partner (meaning you see it on Amex's site, for example), the intention has always been that it posts at the same time as the initial transfer, in my experience (since Amex is sending over the total amount, including the bonus).

      Sometimes there are just unexplainable quirks that delay transfers, which I think is the only way to...

      @ Sonofdad -- That's a great question. So when it's offered on the part of the credit card partner (meaning you see it on Amex's site, for example), the intention has always been that it posts at the same time as the initial transfer, in my experience (since Amex is sending over the total amount, including the bonus).

      Sometimes there are just unexplainable quirks that delay transfers, which I think is the only way to make sense of what happened in your case. For example, sometimes if two transfers are submitted to the same partner on the same day, the second one gets rejected.

      Unfortunately there's no way to know with 100% certainty in advance. Since the terms officially state that transfers can take multiple days, you also typically won't get any help until after that timeline passes.

      Sorry I don't have a clearer answer.

    4. Sonofdad Member

      Thanks so much for the responses and your answers helps tremendously. You’re the best and I appreciate what you do.

  8. JK Guest

    I was thinking of joining AMEX, I live in Sydney and have found Qantas reward availability to be so tough to secure. Of the airlines that are transfer partners, are any pretty good with releasing reward space? The only thing I can usually use my Qantas points for is upgrades, would be great to use the points to just get a J class ticket outright if possible.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ JK -- Keep in mind these transfer partners are for Amex Membership Rewards in the US, and Australia has somewhat different partners. There are definitely lots of great partners where you can outright redeem for business class. Below is my guide to the best uses of Amex points.
      https://onemileatatime.com/guides/redeem-amex-membership-rewards-points/

    2. Canadian Platinum Guest

      Not just the US but also Canada. Have done transfers to BA Executive Club and Air France-KLM Flying Blue in the last month and both were instantaneous transfers.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

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.

Ben Schlappig OMAAT

@ Sonofdad -- That's a great question. So when it's offered on the part of the credit card partner (meaning you see it on Amex's site, for example), the intention has always been that it posts at the same time as the initial transfer, in my experience (since Amex is sending over the total amount, including the bonus). Sometimes there are just unexplainable quirks that delay transfers, which I think is the only way to make sense of what happened in your case. For example, sometimes if two transfers are submitted to the same partner on the same day, the second one gets rejected. Unfortunately there's no way to know with 100% certainty in advance. Since the terms officially state that transfers can take multiple days, you also typically won't get any help until after that timeline passes. Sorry I don't have a clearer answer.

1
Ben Schlappig OMAAT

@ Sonofdad -- In my experience the transfer bonuses post at the same time, assuming the bonus is being offered on Amex's end rather than the partner's end. Your experience sounds out of the ordinary to me, though sometimes there are some quirks with these transfers.

1
TC Guest

Your 2-3 days Avianca scared me. I’d consider updating as it seems instant transfer is the way of them now. I just did a transfer from Amex to Avianca and it was truly instant. I was nervous about all I had read and I had an Avianca account that was open for years with zero activity but everything was seamless. 2024 January data point. Moved 85,000 Amex points to Avianca to redeem for LH from NY to FRA to MUC in LH First Class vs. 121,000 United miles.

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