HomeCredit CardsAmexAmex Membership Rewards: Transfer partners & transfer times

Amex Membership Rewards: Transfer partners & transfer times [2023 Edition]

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American Express Membership Rewards offers Amex cardholders the opportunity to earn one of the four big transferable currencies in the miles & points world – Membership Rewards Points – and these points can be transferred to a variety of other loyalty programs affiliated with major airlines and hotel chains. The strength of Amex’s transfer partner lineup is a big reason why Membership Rewards points are viewed as an excellent way of keeping a miles & points portfolio well-diversified.

At the time of writing, American Express Membership Rewards has 20 transfer partners which are split into 17 airline partners and 3 hotel partners – that’s more transfer partners than the other three big transferrable currency programs.

Amex Airline Transfer Partners

The list of Amex airline transfer partners is impressive and covers a significant number of airlines across the three major alliances (oneworld, Star Alliance & SkyTeam) as well as a number of useful ‘independent’ airlines (Emirates, Etihad, Hawaiian, Virgin Atlantic).

The value that each person gets from transferring Membership Rewards points to these airline programs will vary depending on what the points are eventually used for but, with British Airways Avios offering great value on expensive short-haul flights, Etihad Guest offering fantastic value when booking American Airlines awards (if you can find them!), and Singapore Airlines offering some of the best premium cabins in the sky, you don’t have to look too hard to find some fantastic uses for Amex Membership Rewards points when booking airline awards.

Amex Hotel Transfer Partners

Amex may only have 3 hotel transfer partners but that’s no worse than Chase or Capital One and it’s one more than Citi.

Two of the three hotel transfer partners are also two of the biggest hotel chains in the world but, on the whole, I’m not a fan of using Membership Rewards Points for transfers to hotel programs – I don’t think the transfer ratios offer good value. I value Membership Rewards points at 1.5 cents each while I value Choice, Hilton, and Marriott points at between 0.4 cents and 0.6 cents each so, on this basis, even the 1:2 transfer ratio on offer when you transfer between Amex and Hilton isn’t exactly tempting. A transfer may be fine if you’re looking to top off an account with a few thousand points, but most people will be getting a very poor return on their Membership Rewards balance if they choose to transfer over a significant number of points to a hotel program.

Transfer Times

As far as transfer times go, the information you see in the tables above is a guideline only – some transfers can be reliably instantaneous while with others the time taken to transfer Membership Rewards points can vary significantly. I generally avoid moving points across to an airline program that doesn’t reliably offer instantaneous transfers unless I can put the award(s) I want to book on hold – the last thing I want to happen is for award availability to disappear in the time between actioning a transfer and the points arriving in my airline loyalty account.

Transfer Fees

Annoyingly, American Express is the only one of the big three transferable currency issuers to charge a fee for transferring points but, fortunately, it’s not applied to all transfers. Transfers to US programs (like Delta and Hawaiian) will incur a charge of $0.0006 per point transferred up to a maximum charge of $99. Transfers to all foreign programs are free of charge. The math dictates that for transfers of over 165,000 points to US programs, only the first 165,000 points incur a fee.

Transfers To Other People’s Loyalty Accounts

Amex prohibits users from transferring Membership Rewards points into loyalty accounts where the name on the recipient account doesn’t match with the Amex cardholder or the name of an authorized user.

Since 1 September 2019, authorized users of Membership Rewards earning cards have had to have been authorized users for a period of 90 days before their loyalty program accounts can be linked to the primary Membership Rewards account. This applies to personal cards as well as business cards.

Transfers To Other People’s Membership Rewards Accounts

Amex prohibits two or more cardholders from pooling their Membership Rewards points.

Suggestions For Amex Membership Rewards Cards

Personal Cards

  • American Express® Green Card (3 points/dollar on most travel and on dining)

Note: All information about the American Express® Green Card has been collected independently by Traveling For Miles. The American Express® Green Card is not currently available through Traveling For Miles.

Business Cards

Bottom Line

American Express Membership Rewards has the strongest lineup of transfer partners out of the three main transferrable currency programs and that’s a big part of why Membership Rewards points are so popular. Add to that the fact that Membership Rewards offers transfer bonuses a lot more frequently than Chase or Citi and you start to see why credit cards that earn Membership Rewards points are as popular as they are.

The Excellent 6% Cash Back Card

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is one of the more rewarding cashback cards on the market with its market-leading rebate at U.S supermarkets, market-leading rebate on spending with streaming services, great cash back rates on select travel spending, and strong cash back at gas stations too. This card comes with no annual fee in the first year and then $95 in subsequent years (rates & fees).

The Great Earning Rates (Terms Apply)

  • 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%)
  • 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions
  • 3% cash back on transit spending (e.g. taxis/Uber/Lyft, parking, tolls, trains, buses)
  • 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations
  • 1% cash back on eligible spending in all other categories

Click for more details on the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Regarding Comments

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser or any other advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility or any other advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


  1. Hi

    This is all good – but I am surprised that you have not noted the massive increase for the Amex platinum card in the UK – uo from £450 to £575 pa. Some new benefits but none of any real value

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