NerdWallet’s Airline Point Transfers and Partner Award Bookings Tool

We built a tool to help you figure out how to transfer your points or miles and book a valuable award flight.

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You might have a bunch of frequent flyer miles for a specific airline, but often those miles are actually more valuable when redeemed for flights on other airlines, known as a partner award booking.

Or, you might have a lot of generic travel points from big banks like American Express or Chase. While you can use them to book airfare directly through the bank's online travel portals, often these points are more valuable when transferred to the actual frequent flyer program of an airline.

And sometimes, you’ll want to do both: Transfer your generic bank points to one airline, then use those points to book a partner award on a second airline for maximum value.

When it comes to international travel, there are often dozens of airlines to choose from, not to mention a daunting variety of ways to book the flights and redeem your points (online, over the phone, with an award chart, dynamic pricing, etc.).

We built a tool that allows you to input the points/miles that you have and where you want to go, and we’ll give you our recommendations based on our nerdy research of which partner airline likely offers the best value for your points.

If you have credit card points ...

You can typically redeem credit card points through the airline’s travel portal, where you pay the equivalent cash airfare in your points’ value. This is generally seen as the most straightforward way to redeem points, and it can be lucrative if you’ve found an incredible cash airfare deal (perhaps the airline is offering a fare sale).

But for sweet-spot redemptions, the best way for travelers to afford them isn’t by fronting thousands of dollars. Instead, transfer your credit card points to airline frequent flyer programs, and then you’re looking at better redemption rates.

If you have frequent flyer miles with an airline ...

If you have many miles or points with a specific airline, you might be inclined to just log on to its website, search for flights and book one. And while some airlines make it easy to see award flights offered on partner airlines directly on their website, others do not.

Sometimes you have to pick up the phone and call, or you may even need to check a different airline’s website to see the award flight availability. You may also run into limited availability with certain partners and awards. Our tool will help you narrow down your focus to a few key airlines and will give you tips on how to book those award flights with partner airline miles.

What about domestic airfares?

We did not include domestic airfares simply because the best flights often vary based on origin and destination and are often easier to locate and book through common booking tools as compared to the complexities of booking international flights.

  • For example, if you have Delta miles and want to travel in the U.S., you’re typically best off using them for actual Delta flights (there are only a few Delta partners within the U.S. anyway, such as Hawaiian Airlines).

  • If you have more general travel rewards points, you’re typically better off finding what airlines serve the city you’re trying to get to. From there, see if any of those airlines are good transfer partners with the rewards currency you have. Use our guides to the Citi ThankYou transfer partners, the Chase transfer partners, and the  AmEx transfer partners to know which ones are a worthy fit.

Transfer your points and miles

If you’re looking to head abroad with those travel or airline miles you’ve saved up, use our tool to start your search in the right direction to get the maximum value for your points. After inputting your type of points/miles and your desired destination, read our suggestions for ways to use those points or miles that often get you a great value.

As always, the timing and departure/arrival locations of your specific trip can alter the pricing, so you’ll want to check the airline search tool directly for updated pricing and booking options.


How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2022, including those best for:

partner offers

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
60,000 Bonus points offer - Terms Apply
Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card
New! Earn a 30,000 bonus point offer - Terms Apply
Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
25,000 online bonus points offer - Terms Apply

Partner offers

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

With a $95 annual fee & an outstanding sign up bonus, this card is a great option, especially if you transfer points from other Chase cards
APPLY NOW

on Chase's website

Highlights:
  1. Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  2. Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5X on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3X on dining and 2X on all other travel purchases, plus more
  3. Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  1. Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  2. Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5X on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3X on dining and 2X on all other travel purchases, plus more
  3. Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
APPLY NOW

on Chase's website

Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Credit Card

Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card

Earn unlimited points on all purchases and 3X points in a host of common spending categories. With a great bonus offer as well, this card offers so much value, all for no annual fee
APPLY NOW

on Wells Fargo's website

Rates & Fees
Highlights:
  1. Earn 30,000 bonus points when you spend $1,500 in purchases in the first 3 months - that's a $300 cash redemption value
  2. Earn unlimited 3X points on the things that really add up - like restaurants, travel, gas stations, transit, popular streaming services, and phone plans. Plus, earn 1X points on other purchases
  3. $0 annual fee
  1. Earn 30,000 bonus points when you spend $1,500 in purchases in the first 3 months - that's a $300 cash redemption value
  2. Earn unlimited 3X points on the things that really add up - like restaurants, travel, gas stations, transit, popular streaming services, and phone plans. Plus, earn 1X points on other purchases
  3. $0 annual fee
APPLY NOW

on Wells Fargo's website

Rates & Fees
Bank of America Travel Rewards® Credit Card

Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card

This card makes its bones with simplicity and value: solid rewards on every purchase for an annual fee of $0
APPLY NOW

on Bank of America's website

Highlights:
  1. Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don't expire
  2. 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases
  3. Use your card to book your trip how and where you want - you're not limited to specific websites with blackout dates or restrictions
  1. Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don't expire
  2. 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases
  3. Use your card to book your trip how and where you want - you're not limited to specific websites with blackout dates or restrictions
APPLY NOW

on Bank of America's website

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