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American Express points don’t expire, but sometimes you might want to transfer your points to take advantage of a great deal. For example, earlier this year Amex Membership Rewards offered a deal to get a 50% bonus when you transferred points to British Airways Avios.
There are MANY reasons to take advantage of point transfers.
- You may be close to a reward with a loyalty program but still need a few hundred (or thousand) points.
- Your miles or points are going to expire on a loyalty program, but transferring AmEx Membership Rewards will let you redeem a reward first.
- American Express frequently offers great transfer bonus if you transfer your points to a partner like Delta.
- American Express has partnered with over 25 airlines and hotels, although you can transfer your points to any frequent flyer or loyalty program that accepts MR points.
How to Transfer American Express Points
To transfer your American Express points, log into your Membership Rewards account and click on the logo of the airline or hotel to which you’d like to transfer your points.
For a flight, you can check the availability of flights and get details. Once you’ve found the flight you want, contact the airline to check the seat availability and the number of miles you’ll need.
Now, go back to your Membership Rewards and click on the “Transfer Points” tab to enter the miles you need, as well as the number of Membership Rewards points you wish to apply to the flight. Allow up to 2 days for the transfer to process, although many airlines transfer your points immediately. Once the transfer is verified, book your flight.
Tips to Finding Transfer Bonuses
Want to really maximize your rewards points?
Look for transfer bonus opportunities, which are usually between 10 and 50%. When you see a deal to transfer your points to a partner airline and get a bonus of 20%, take it — assuming you see a specific reward in mind.
If you’re transferring 100,000 points and take advantage of a 50% bonus, your points just turned into 150,000 instantly.
Delta and British Airways generally offer the most bonuses. Because these deals are only run for a limited time, you’ll need to keep checking your Membership Rewards account to find a current transfer bonus.
Transfer Amex Points To a Hotel Loyalty Program
You’ll notice the exchange rates vary and some are very poor, offering you only 1 point for every 3 you transfer. Hilton is currently the best deal offering a 1:1.5 transfer ratio. That means 1,000 Membership Rewards points become 1,500 HHonors points instantly.
You can boost this even more by first transferring your points to Virgin Atlantic and then again to your HHonors account. You’ll need to call the Virgin Atlantic flying club to make this transfer, but they’ll offer you a 1:2 rate, so your 1,000 MR points just became 2,000 HHonors points.
You Can Even Borrow Points to Transfer
Did you know your Membership Rewards program allows you to go into the negative?
If you see a great redemption flight but you don’t have the miles, simply borrow them from American Express and make your transfer. You can do this to take advantage of bonus transfer options as well, although the points must be repaid within one year.
If you don’t repay the points by earning them, American Express will charge you 2.5 cents per point owed.
Transfer Amex Points to Anyone
While American Express does not promote this practice and considers it against program rules, it is possible to transfer your American Express points to anyone, as long as their frequent flier account accepts AmEx Membership Rewards. Simply link the account through your Membership Rewards website and you can transfer the points, no matter who the account belongs to.
Finally, it’s not always a great idea to transfer your American Express points.
If you don’t have a specific reward in mind or you see a bonus offer to transfer your points to an airline you don’t plan to use, leave your rewards points where they are.
AmEx points are very flexible so you may see a better offer down the line that’s a better option for you.