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We've analyzed all 21 partnerships so that you can spend less time evaluating, and more time redeeming. Here are the five best American Express transfer partners, followed by some okay redemptions and which transfer partners to avoid whenever possible.
Top American Express transfer partners
1. Singapore KrisFlyer
If you’re looking for great redemptions using Singapore KrisFlyer miles, you’ll want to check out our post on the best Singapore Airlines sweet spots, including booking premium cabin travel like Singapore Suites or flying from the U.S. West Coast to Hawaii for 12,000 KrisFlyer miles. Singapore KrisFlyer is the best AmEx airline partner.
2. Air France/KLM Flying Blue
» Learn more: How to pick a credit card for Europe travel
3. British Airways Executive Club
4. Avianca LifeMiles
5. Delta SkyMiles
With Delta’s great route network within the United States and their frequent promo sales on award flights, transferring Membership Rewards to Delta SkyMiles can be a great option. Depending on the route, you can sometimes find cheaper awards on Delta by using Virgin Atlantic miles (see below), so make sure to check that out before transferring to Delta. Delta also has some sweet spots, particularly for short-haul domestic flights.
One unique feature of the American Express Membership Rewards transfer partner program is that it charges an excise tax fee of 0.06 cent per point transferred if you transfer Membership Rewards to any U.S.-based airline partner (Delta, JetBlue or Hawaiian).
Other decent transfers for AmEx rewards
The next set of American Express transfer partners is not quite as lucrative, but you can still find some pretty good situational value here:
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles: You can definitely find value with the Asia Miles award chart, but it takes a bit of work. This is because Cathay has a strange award chart that depends in part on whether you’re flying only Cathay or including additional Oneworld partners. Look for redemptions of 7,500 Asia Miles for intra-Asia flights under distances of 750 miles.
Choice Privileges: American Express has three hotel transfer partners, but Choice Hotels is the only one we recommend for most people. In the U.S., people often think of their low-budget brands like Rodeway Inn, Comfort Suites or Quality Inn, but internationally Choice has some great options like award nights costing as low as 8,000 points.
ANA Mileage Club: Although ANA has brought back excessive fuel surcharges, which makes using its miles significantly less attractive, you can still find good value on awards between Europe and North America for only 88,000 miles round trip in business class, which also include an open jaw.
» Learn more: How much are your points and miles worth?
The worst American Express transfer partners
And finally, we come to the bottom of the barrel: The eight AmEx transfer partners that we would not recommend under any but the most extreme circumstances, as they're not a good value.
Aer Lingus AerClub: Because AerLingus is now owned by the same company as British Airways and Iberia (also AmEx transfer partners), you’ll almost always be better off with one of those other programs.
JetBlue TrueBlue: TrueBlue is a revenue-based mileage program, so it’s usually best to pay for your flights through the AmEx travel portal as outlined above.
Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles: No award chart sweet spots here.
AeroMexico Club Premier: No award chart sweet spots.
Alitalia MilleMiglia : No award chart sweet spots to speak of.
Marriott Bonvoy: Unlike Choice Hotels, there will almost never be a reason to transfer your AmEx Membership Rewards to Marriott Bonvoy. Because of its dynamic pricing, you’ll almost always be better off paying cash.
Hilton Honors: Similar situation to Marriott, but Hilton has an even more inflated award chart.
Ways to earn American Express Membership Rewards points
You can earn American Express Membership Rewards through credit card welcome offers and spending with the following cards:
Personal AmEx cards
Blue from American Express®
The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express
If you want to redeem AmEx rewards wisely ...
One of the best parts of collecting a transferable points currency like AmEx Membership Rewards is the chance to earn and redeem points with a variety of travel operators; however, not all of these relationships have equal weight. Knowing which are the best AmEx transfer partners will help you get outsized value per point — a smart move for all of the points optimizers among us.
All information about the Amex EveryDay® Credit Card and American Express® Green Card has been collected independently by NerdWallet. Amex EveryDay® Credit Card and American Express® Green Card are no longer available through NerdWallet.
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:
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
IHG® One Rewards
- Cheers to new tiers: New tiers allow members to earn points faster.
- Piling on the perks: New members benefits that enhance every stay
- Milestone Rewards: Allows members to choose their rewards.
World of Hyatt
- Earn points for things you already enjoy with Hyatt
- Use your points for free nights at more than 1,100 hotels around the world
- Three elite tiers to unlock exceptional benefits - room upgrades and more.
Alaska Mileage Plan
- Join Mileage Plan and Save $25 on your next flight
- Our members earn 30% more miles on average than other airlines
- You earn based on how far you fly, not how much you spend