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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.
» Learn more: The best travel credit cards right now
American Express membership rewards transfer partners
Below is a list of all the AmEx transfer partners and their exchange rates. 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.
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.
» Learn more: A guide to Air Canada’s Aeroplan rewards loyalty program
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.
» Learn more: An intro to Flying Blue promo rewards
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.
The Lifemiles program belongs to Colombian airline Avianca. Another member of Star Alliance, AmEx points transfer over at a 1-to-1 ratio.
» Learn more: What’s the value of Avianca LifeMiles?
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.
» Learn more: How much are Avios worth?
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.
» Learn more: Cathay Pacific: What to know
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.
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.
» Learn more: Your guide to earning Delta Air Lines SkyMiles
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.
» Learn more: The guide to Emirates Skywards
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.
» Learn more: The complete guide to Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles
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.
» Learn more: The complete guide to earning Hilton Honors points
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.
» Learn more: What to know about Iberia Airlines Plus loyalty program
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.
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.
» Learn more: The points collector’s guide to Qantas Frequent Flyer
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.
» Learn more: Singapore Airlines sweet spots
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.
» Learn more: The guide to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
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:
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 lesser-known programs — like Air Canada and ANA — that offer some of the best exchange rates.
Earning AmEx Membership Rewards
American Express has a large variety of charge and credit cards, many of which earn different types of currencies. Co-branded credit cards like those from Hilton and Marriott will earn points in their respective loyalty programs. AmEx’s own cards, meanwhile, will earn American Express Membership Rewards.
These cards include:
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:
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 2023, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card