The Guide to American Express Transfer Partners

AmEx Membership Rewards points will go further with some partners than others.
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Written by Carissa Rawson

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There are many ways to redeem American Express Membership Rewards points, and some redemptions end up offering far superior value than others. And in many circumstances, the best way to use your AmEx points is by transferring them to another hotel loyalty or frequent flyer program.

American Express has about two dozen different hotel and airline transfer partners. The AmEx transfer ratios you receive depend on which program you’re transferring to; while most are at a 1-to-1 ratio, some can be as high as 1-to-2. This means that one AmEx point will become two hotel or airline points.

Let’s take a look at American Express’ transfer partners to help you maximize your points (plus the credit cards that will help you earn AmEx points).

American Express membership rewards transfer partners

Below is a shortlist of all the AmEx transfer partners, their exchange rates, the minimum transfer amount and the airline alliance (if any).

Airline/hotel partner

Transfer ratio

Minimum transfer amount

Alliance, if applicable

Aer Lingus.

1:1.

1,000.

N/A.

Aeromexico.

1:1.6.

1,000.

SkyTeam.

Air Canada.

1:1.

1,000.

Star Alliance.

Air France/KLM.

1:1.

1,000.

SkyTeam.

Alitalia.

1:1.

1,000.

SkyTeam.

ANA All Nippon Airways.

1:1.

1,000.

Star Alliance.

Avianca.

1:1.

1,000.

Star Alliance.

British Airways.

1:1.

1,000.

Oneworld.

Cathay Pacific Airways.

1:1.

1,000.

Oneworld.

Choice.

1:1.

1,000.

N/A.

Delta Air Lines.

1:1.

1,000.

SkyTeam.

Emirates.

1:1.

1,000.

N/A.

Etihad Airways.

1:1.

1,000.

N/A.

Hawaiian Airlines.

1:1.

1,000.

N/A.

Hilton.

1:2.

1,000.

N/A.

Iberia.

1:1.

1,000.

Oneworld.

JetBlue Airways.

2.5:2.

250.

N/A.

Marriott.

1:1.

1,000.

N/A.

Qantas Airways.

1:1.

500.

Oneworld.

Singapore Airlines.

1:1.

1,000.

Star Alliance.

Virgin Atlantic.

1:1.

1,000.

N/A.

Just note that while these are the typical transfer ratios offered, it's not uncommon to find one-off promotions that bump up ratios from time to time — making for the best time to transfer your American Express Membership Rewards points.

Earning AmEx Membership Rewards

Before you can start redeeming AmEx points, you have to earn them. Earning a card's welcome bonus can jump start your collection.

Here are a sampling of cards and their benefits to consider.

Cards that earn AmEx Membership Rewards
The Platinum Card® from American Express
The Platinum Card® from American Express
NerdWallet Rating
Apply now

on American Express' website

Rates & Fees
American Express® Gold Card
American Express® Gold Card
NerdWallet Rating
Apply now

on American Express' website

Rates & Fees
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
NerdWallet Rating
Apply now

on American Express' website

Rates & Fees
American Express® Business Gold Card
American Express® Business Gold Card
NerdWallet Rating
Apply now

on American Express' website

Rates & Fees
Annual fee

$695.

$250.

$695.

$375.

Earn rate

• 5 points per $1 on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel, on up to $500,000 spent per year.

• 5 points per $1 on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.

• 1 point per $1 on other eligible purchases.

Terms apply.

• 4 points per $1 at restaurants plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.

• 4 points per $1 at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 in purchases per year).

• 3 points per $1 on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.

• 1 point per $1 on other eligible purchases.

Terms apply.

• 5 points per $1 on flights and prepaid hotels booked American Express Travel.

• 1.5 points per $1 in key business categories and eligible purchases of $5,000 or more (on up to $2,000,000 in purchases per year).

• 1 point per $1 on other eligible purchases.

Terms apply.

• 4 points per $1 on your top two business categories (on up to $150,000 in purchases per year).

• 3 points per $1 on flights and prepaid hotels booked American Express Travel.

• 1 point per $1 on other eligible purchases.

Terms apply.

Select benefits (see reviews for more)

• Access to more than 1,400 airport lounges worldwide, including AmEx's own Centurion Lounges and Delta Sky Clubs (when flying Delta).

• Credit for the application fee for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry.

• Hundreds of dollars a year in credits for travel, shopping and entertainment. These include up to $200 a year for incidental fees on an airline you choose, up to $240 for digital entertainment from select providers, and up to $200 a year for Uber. Enrollment required.

Terms apply.

• $120 annual dining credit (available as $10 monthly credits on purchases from select partners). Enrollment required.

• Up to $120 a year in Uber Cash ($10 per month) which can be used toward Uber Eats or rides in the U.S. Enrollment required. Note that you must add the Uber app to receive the Uber Cash benefit.

Terms apply.

• Get 35% of your Membership Rewards points back when you redeem points for an eligible first or business class flight on any airline, or a flight in any cabin of travel on an airline you choose (up to 500,000 points per year).

• Access to more than 1,400 airport lounges worldwide, including AmEx's own Centurion Lounges and Delta Sky Clubs (when flying Delta).

• Credit for the application fee for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry.

• Up to $1,000 a year in credits for various business expenses and travel. These include $400 a year for U.S. Dell purchases, $200 a year for incidental fees on an airline you choose, $120 for a U.S. wireless credit, and more. Enrollment required.

Terms apply.

• $155 annual Walmart+ credit (available as up to $12.95 in monthly credit when you pay for a Walmart+ membership).

• $240 annual credits for eligible U.S. purchases at FedEx, Grubhub, and Office Supply Stores ($20 per month).

Terms apply.

Welcome offer

Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on eligible purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.

Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.

Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $20,000 in eligible purchases on the Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.

Earn 70,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Gold Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.

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Best American Express transfer partners

Here's how the most popular of those programs compare against each other in terms of value, using NerdWallet's estimates of what those points and miles are worth:

Transfer partners

Estimated value

Transfer ratio

1.4 cents.

1:1.

2.8 cents.

1:1.

1 cent.

1:1.

1.2 cents.

1:1.

0.6 cent.

1:1.

1.2 cents.

1:1.

1.2 cents.

1:1.

1.2 cents.

2.5:2.

0.8 cent.

1:1

1.8 cents.

1:1.

While it might be appealing to transfer points to something like Marriott Bonvoy given the massive number of options where you could stay, it's often the international airlines programs — like Air Canada and Virgin Atlantic — that offer some of the best exchange rates.

Aer Lingus AerClub

AerClub is the loyalty program of Irish airline Aer Lingus, which has Avios that are interchangeable with British Airways, Iberia and Qatar Airways. AmEx points transfer over to Aer Lingus at a 1-to-1 ratio.

Aeromexico Club Premier

Aeromexico is Mexico’s national flag carrier and a member of SkyTeam, which includes airlines such as Delta and Air France. AmEx points transfer over to Club Premier at a 1-to-1.6 ratio.

Air Canada Aeroplan

Aeroplan is the loyalty program of Air Canada, a member of Star Alliance, which has partners that include United and Lufthansa. AmEx points transfer over to Aeroplan at a 1-to-1 ratio.

Air France-KLM Flying Blue

The Flying Blue loyalty program comprises two separate airlines: Air France and KLM. You can use your Flying Blue miles interchangeably between the pair, though you’ll also be able to redeem miles with fellow SkyTeam airlines such as Delta and Korean Air.

Flying Blue miles transfer from AmEx points at a 1-to-1 ratio.

ANA Mileage Club

Also a member of Star Alliance, ANA is well known for its generous reward redemptions. These include the ability to fly round-trip to Europe in business class for just 88,000 miles. AmEx points transfer to ANA at a 1-to-1 ratio.

Avianca Lifemiles

The Lifemiles program belongs to Colombian airline Avianca. Another member of Star Alliance, AmEx points transfer over at a 1-to-1 ratio.

British Airways Avios

British Airways is a part of the Oneworld alliance. Like Aer Lingus, it uses Avios as its reward program; these are interchangeable with Iberia, Aer Lingus and Qatar Airways. AmEx points transfer to British Airways at a 1-to-1 ratio.

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles

Asia Miles are the currency of Hong Kong-based airline Cathay Pacific. As a member of Oneworld, you can use your miles with airlines such as British Airways and American Airlines. AmEx points convert to Asia Miles at a 1-to-1 ratio.

Choice Privileges

Choice Hotels may not offer tons of aspirational properties, but they do have a strong international presence and great redemptions for hotels in Scandinavia. AmEx points transfer over to Choice Privileges at a 1-to-1 ratio.

Delta SkyMiles

One of the “Big 3” U.S. airlines, Delta uses SkyMiles as its loyalty program. Another member of SkyTeam, AmEx points convert to SkyMiles at a 1:1 ratio.

Emirates Skywards

Ever wanted to stare out a virtual window? The opportunity is yours when flying first class in Emirates' famous suites. Cardholders can transfer over their AmEx points at a 1-to-1 ratio to Emirates Skywards.

Etihad Guest

Another popular Middle Eastern airline, AmEx points transfer over to Etihad Guest at a 1-to-1 ratio.

Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles

Hawaiian Airlines isn’t part of a major airline alliance, but it does maintain its own award program and some strong links with other airlines. AmEx points transfer to HawaiianMiles at a 1-to-1 ratio.

Hilton Honors

As one of the largest hotel chains in the world, it’s likely you’ve spotted a Hilton property or two during your travels.

Although it’s possible to earn Hilton Honors points through a handful of co-branded AmEx credit cards, you can also opt to transfer your AmEx points directly to Hilton at a 1-to-2 ratio.

Be warned, however, that this may not be the best option. NerdWallet estimates that AmEx points are worth 2.8 cents, significantly more than the 0.5 cent Hilton points are estimated to be worth. This means transferring AmEx points to Hilton can lead to a significant loss in point value.

Iberia Plus

Another Oneworld carrier that relies on Avios, Iberia is the national airline of Spain. Its loyalty currency can be used interchangeably with British Airways, Aer Lingus and Qatar Airways. AmEx points transfer to Iberia Plus at a 1-to-1 ratio.

JetBlue TrueBlue

Although not as large as other U.S.-based airlines, JetBlue Airways services destinations in North America, the Caribbean, Europe and Latin America.

AmEx points can be transferred over to JetBlue TrueBlue at a 2.5-to-2 ratio.

Marriott Bonvoy

The world’s largest hotel chain, Marriott has more than 8,000 locations scattered around the world. Marriott is unique in that it maintains transfer partnerships with more than 30 different airlines, allowing you to convert your Marriott Bonvoy points to a variety of airlines. AmEx points transfer to Marriott Bonvoy at a 1-to-1 ratio.

Qantas Frequent Flyer

This Australian airline is a member of Oneworld, allowing you to redeem Qantas points for flights with the likes of American Airlines. Qantas also has a codeshare agreement with Air Tahiti Nui and charges just 25,200 points one-way for an economy class ticket from Los Angeles to Tahiti.

AmEx points transfer to Qantas at a 1-to-1 ratio.

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer

Like ANA and United, Singapore Airlines is a member of Star Alliance. AmEx cardholders can transfer over their points to Singapore’s KrisFlyer Miles at a 1-to-1 ratio.

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

Although it’s not part of an airline alliance, Virgin Atlantic maintains strong partnership links with airlines such as Air France-KLM, ANA and Delta. AmEx points convert to Virgin Atlantic at a 1-to-1 ratio.

🤓Nerdy Tip

American Express is not a transfer partner of Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards or World of Hyatt. You would need Chase points to do those transfers.

How to transfer AmEx Membership Rewards

Once you've earned your points and you're ready to convert them to another currency, just realize that the process of transferring American Express Membership Rewards points is not always the most straightforward.

The first time you want to transfer points, you'll typically have to verify your card details and link your loyalty accounts in a separate process before initiating the transfer. Then, you'll make the transfer, but you won't necessarily get those points instantly. Transfer times can take up to 48 hours.

The good news is, once you link a loyalty program once, it'll stay linked with your account. If you're trying to jump on a flight deal, it might be wise to have made the transfer long before you intend to purchase your airfare.

Are AmEx transfer partners a good deal?

While you might book hotels and airfares with cash or through the dedicated American Express travel portal, it’s often a better deal to put in the extra effort and transfer your points to one of the American Express transfer partners.

That's because — while American Express points have a great deal of flexibility — they’re at their most useful when transferred to hotel and airline partners.

Be aware, however, that not all points are created equally. NerdWallet’s AmEx Membership Rewards Points calculator can help you determine the value of your points, based on both the baseline and NerdWallet estimated values:

To view rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, see this page.
To view rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, see this page.
To view rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, see this page.
To view rates and fees of the American Express® Business Gold Card, see this page.

How to maximize your rewards

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New Card Spotlight

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