American Express transfer partners

Robin Ratcliff
Reviews Editor
Researcher, analyst and editor

AmEx Transfer Partners

#

The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date. Please review our list of best credit cards, or use our CardMatch tool to find cards matched to your needs.

If you want to get the most mileage out of your Membership Rewards points, then transferring points to one of American Express’s 19 travel partners is the best way to go. 

It’s a tricky process to transfer credit card points. In order to find the best values, you have to navigate the terms and conditions of each transfer partner – understanding the routing restrictions and keeping an eye out for fuel surcharges and other hidden fees – and you need to familiarize yourself with their awards charts. 

A few things you need to know about transferring Membership Rewards:

  • Points transfer in blocks of 1,000, mostly on a 1:1 basis. However, the transfer ratio is less than 1:1 for a few American Express’s partners – you’ll need to look out for those.
  • American Express charges an excise fee of 0.06 cent for each point that you transfer (up to $99). It’s a tiny amount, but you’ll need to consider it in the overall value of the awards.
  • Also, American Express charges fees for booking through its own travel site – $6.99 for a domestic plane ticket, $10.99 for an international plane ticket and $39 for a phone booking – that can make transferring points to some partners a slightly better value. 
  • Transfers are usually immediate, but points can take a few days to transfer with a few of Amex’s partners. Transfers are nonreversible and you may be left high and dry if your seat disappears before your points are transferred. 

We’ve compiled a list of American Express’s travel partners for you. As you can see from the chart below, point values can vary drastically. Read on to get the major details on each partner:

American Express airline partners

  Transfer Time Transfer ratio Estimated Point Value (including transfser ratio and excise fee)
British Airways
Instant
 1:1 2.23 cents
Singapore KrisFlyer
3 days
 1:1 2.16 cents
Iberia Plus
4 days  1:1 1.64 cents
Aeroemexico 2-12 days
 1:1 1.54 cents
Aeroplan Instant  1:1 1.44 cents
All Nippon Airways (ANA) 2-4 days  1:1 1.42 cents
Delta SkyMiles Instant
 1:1 1.55 cents
Hawaiian Airlines Instant
 1:1 1.27 cents
JetBlue Instant
 1.25:1 1.12 cents
Emirates Skywards Instant
 1:1 1.04 cents
Alitalia MilleMiglia Instant
 1:1 0.94 cent
Asia Miles
3 days  1:1 0.94 cent
Etihad Guest 3 days  1:1 0.94 cent
Flying Blue Instant  1:1 0.94 cent
Virgin Atlantic
Instant
 1:1 0.74 cent
El Al Israel Airlines
Instant
 20:1 (0.01) cent

American Express hotel partners

  Transfer Time Transfer ratio Estimated Point Value (including transfser ratio and excise fee)
Hilton Honors
Instant
 1:2 0.94 cent
Choice Privileges
Instant
 1:1 0.77 cent
Starwood Preferred Guest
Instant
 3:1 0.74 cent

Airline Partners

AeroMexico

Aeromexico is Mexico’s global airline, with service mostly focused in Mexico and across the Americas. Club Premier miles on their own are average in value, but because the transfer ratio is favorable – 1.6 Club Premier miles for each Membership Rewards point – transferring Membership Rewards points to AeroMexico is actually a decent value. In general, the best use of Club Premier miles is offseason tickets from the U.S. to Central America and the Caribbean, as well as flights within Mexico.

  • Estimated point value: 1.54 cents
  • Airline alliance: SkyTeam
  • Rewards chart: Region and season based (see the rewards chart here)
  • Booking restrictions: Awards seats are capacity controlled.
  • Fuel surcharges: Fuel surcharges on AeroMexico flights and many partner airlines
  • Flight coverage: Excellent. AeroMexico and its 19 SkyTeam alliance partners offer more than 16,000 flights per day to more than 1,000 destinations in 177 countries. 

Aeroplan

Aeroplan is the loyalty program of Air Canada – Canada’s largest domestic and international airline. It is a member of the Star Alliance and you can use Aeroplan’s very relaxed routing rules – which allow up to five stopovers on a “Round the World” fare – along with its massive network of Star Alliance partners to travel across the globe. Note, Aeroplan’s contract with Air Canada is due to end in June 2020, so you’ll want to book your flight before then.

  • Estimated point value: 1.44 cents
  • Airline alliance: Star
  • Rewards chart: Region-based (see the rewards chart here)
  • Booking restrictions: No blackout dates, but awards seats are capacity controlled.
  • Fuel surcharges: High fuel surcharges on many airline partners, including Air Canada, but you can completely avoid them with some partners, including United.
  • Flight coverage: Excellent. Aeroplan and its 27 Star alliance partners offer more than 18,000 flights per day to more than 1,300 destinations in 190 countries. 

 Alitalia MilleMiglia

Alitalia is Italy’s largest airline. Alitalia charges large fuel surcharges on its own flights and partner airline flights, but, if you do some searching, you can find good values despite the surcharges and you can sometimes get a lower fuel surcharge by booking a partner airline through Alitalia than directly with that airline.

  • Estimated point value: 0.94 cent
  • Airline alliance: SkyTeam
  • Rewards chart: Region-based (see the rewards chart here)
  • Booking restrictions: No blackout dates, but awards seats are capacity controlled.
  • Fuel surcharges: Large fuel surcharges on Alitalia flights and partner flights.
  • Flight coverage: Excellent. Atlitalia and its 19 SkyTeam alliance partners offer more than 16,000 flights per day to more than 1,000 destinations in 177 countries.

 All Nippon Airways (ANA)

ANA is the largest airline of Japan. It’s a good choice for flying to Japan – especially offseason when the awards prices are lower – but you’ll need to look out for blackout dates and fuel surcharges.

  • Estimated point value: 1.42 cents
  • Airline alliance: Star
  • Rewards chart: Zone-based for ANA flights and region-based for partner flights. Number of required miles for ANA flights depends on zone, seasonality and class of service (see the rewards chart here).
  • Booking restrictions: Blackout dates on some ANA flights, based on origin and destination city.
  • Fuel surcharges: Minimum of $70 surcharge on international ANA flights, fuel surcharges on most partner flights.
  • Flight coverage: Excellent. ANA and its 27 Star alliance partners offer more than 18,000 flights per day to more than 1,300 destinations in 190 countries.

 Asia Miles

Asia Miles is the loyalty program of Hong Kong-based airlines, Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon. You can use the program’s generous stopover policy – up to five stopovers on one ticket – to save on a trip to multiple destinations, but you’ll need to look out for fuel surcharges.

  • Estimated point value: 0.94 cent
  • Airline alliance: oneworld
  • Rewards chart: Distance-based (see the rewards chart here)
  • Booking restrictions: No blackout dates on Cathay Pacific or Dragon flights, but awards seats are capacity controlled.
  • Fuel surcharges: Fuel surcharges on Cathay Pacific and Dragon flights and on some partner airlines.
  • Flight coverage: Excellent. Cathay Pacific, Cathy Dragon and their 14 oneworld partners offer more than 13,000 flights per day to over 1,000 destinations in nearly 160 countries.

 British Airways

British Airways – the largest airline in the United Kingdom – is notorious for charging large fuel surcharges for their flights across the Atlantic and offering scanty awards seats on their own flights. Still, their awards chart offers some excellent values. Since it is distance-based, you are best off using Avios points for short flights – both in Europe, where British Airways doesn’t incur fuel surcharges – and within the U.S. with a partner airline, such as American Airlines.

  • Estimated point value: 2.23 cents
  • Airline alliance: oneworld
  • Rewards chart: Distance-based, no published chart (you can use its calculator to find the cost of a flight).
  • Booking restrictions: No blackout dates, but awards capacity is sometimes extremely limited.
  • Fuel surcharges: Fuel charges for British Airways flights across the Atlantic can amount to hundreds of dollars (sometimes equalling the cost of the fare), but you can avoid surcharges with some of their airline partners – including American Airlines (domestic travel only) and Alaska Airlines – as well as with British Airways flights within Europe. 
  • Flight coverage: Excellent. British Airways and its 14 oneworld partners offer more than 13,000 flights per day to over 1,000 destinations in nearly 160 countries.

Delta Airlines

U.S.-based Delta airlines is the largest airline partner in the Membership Rewards program. Though not as valuable as a few other airlines, Delta miles are still more valuable than average, plus Delta doesn’t incur fuel surcharges on most of its flights or its partner flights.

  • Estimated point value: 1.55 cents
  • Airline alliance: SkyTeam
  • Rewards chart: No published chart – miles vary by each flight.
  • Booking restrictions: No blackout dates, but awards seats are capacity controlled.
  • Fuel surcharges: Possible fuel surcharges on Delta one-way flights from Europe and the Middle East as well as Delta partner flights, but Delta mostly doesn’t incur fuel charges at the moment.
  • Flight coverage: Excellent. Delta and its SkyTeam alliance partners offer more than 16,000 flights per day to more than 1,000 destinations in 177 countries. 

El Al Israel Airlines 

El Al is the national airline of Israel. Thanks to the poor transfer ratio of 20 points to one mile, this is generally a poor use of Membership Rewards points. You could potentially end up losing money on excise fees.

  • Estimated point value: (0.01) cent
  • Airline alliance: None
  • Rewards chart: Destination- and season- based (see the rewards chart here)
  • Booking restrictions: No blackout dates on El Al flights, but awards seats are capacity controlled.
  • Fuel surcharges: Fuel surchages on most – but not all – flights, between $60 and $250.
  • Flight coverage: Fair. El Al is a smaller airline with limited service to 51 destinations in 45 countries. It is not a part of an alliance and doesn’t have any partners on which you can use its miles. 

Emirates Skywards

Emirates is a pretty posh airline brand based out of Dubai in the UAE. The best use of points is first-class travel on Emirates flights, but you’ll need to keep an eye out for fuel surcharges.

  • Estimated point value: 1.04 cents
  • Airline alliance: None
  • Rewards chart: Zone-based, no published chart (you can use its calculator to find the cost of a flight)
  • Booking restrictions: No blackout dates on Emirates flights, but awards seats are capacity controlled
  • Fuel surcharges: Fuel surcharges on Emirates flights and partner flights.
  • Flight coverage: Average. Emirates, which offers around 200 flights per day to 155 destinations in 80 countries, is not part of any alliance. Despite that, it does have a fair number of partners – 16 in total – that you can use miles on. But – beware – many users report that it is difficult to redeem points for partner flights through the Emirates program. 

Etihad Guest

Etihad is the flagship carrier of the UAE. Awards are generally good for flying to Abu Dhabi. You’ll need to look out for fuel surcharges on some flights, as well as navigate a phone reservations line to book flights with partner airlines.

  • Estimated point value: 0.94 cent
  • Airline alliance: None
  • Rewards chart: Distance-based, no published chart (you can use its calculator to find the cost of a flight)
  • Booking restrictions: No blackout dates. Capacity controls on GuestSeat fares, but you can book any available seat with an OpenSeats fare.
  • Fuel surcharges: Fuel surcharges for some destinations on Etihad.
  • Flight coverage: Average. Etihad Airlines, which offers around 250 flights per day to 116 destinations in 109 countries, is not part of an alliance. On the plus side, it does have 48 airline partners, though you can only book partner awards by phone. 

Flying Blue

Flying Blue is the loyalty program of Air France KLM – the alliance of Air France and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. You can find good values in economy class on Air France KLM and its partner airlines, but you’ll need to keep an eye for fuel surcharges, especially on flights to Europe.

  • Estimated point value: 0.94 cent
  • Airline alliance: SkyTeam
  • Rewards chart: Region-based, no published chart (you can use its calculator to find the cost of a flight)
  • Booking restrictions: Rewards seats may be subject to blackout dates and capacity controls
  • Fuel surcharges: There are fuel surcharges on KLM flights and many partner airlines, but the fees vary drastically and can be very reasonable on economy fares.
  • Flight coverage: Excellent. Flying Blue and its 19 SkyTeam alliance partners offer 16,000 flights per day to more than 1,000 destinations in 177 countries. 

Hawaiian Airlines

Hawaiian Airlines is the flagship carrier of the Hawaiian Islands, with services mostly focused on flights between Hawaii and hubs in Asia, New Zeland, Australia and the east and west coasts of the United States. The best choice for Hawaiian airlines points is flights from the mainland to Hawaii. However, you should shop around with other Membership Rewards airlines, who can sometimes offer better values on flights to Hawaii.

  • Estimated point value: 1.27 cents
  • Airline alliance: None
  • Rewards chart: Region-based for Hawaiian Airlines flights (one-way segments only). Different types of charts for each partner (you can use its calculator to find the cost of a flight)
  • Booking restrictions: No blackout dates, but awards seats are capacity controlled.
  • Fuel surcharges: There are fuel surcharges on Hawaiian Airlines and partner flights.
  • Flight coverage: Fair. Hawaiian airlines isn’t a member of an airline alliance, and its flight network through its own airline and its six airline partners is limited. The airline offers 150 daily flights to 32 destination in eight countries. 

Iberia Plus

Iberia, Spain’s flagship airline, is owned by the same company as British Airways, and you can transfer Avios between both programs. While the service on Iberia is reportedly not to the same level as British Airways (and the time to transfer points can be dreadfully long), you can use Avios on Iberia to route through Spain rather than London Heathrow, sparing yourself expensive airport fees.

  • Estimated point value: 1.64 cents
  • Airline alliance: oneworld
  • Rewards chart: No published chart, but appears to be distance-based (you can use its calculator to find the cost of a flight)
  • Booking restrictions: No blackout dates, but awards seats are capacity controlled.
  • Fuel surcharges: Fuel surchages on Iberia flights and many partner flights. Iberia fuel surcharges are relatively low for tranAtlantic flights, compared to many competitors. You can avoid fuel surcharges on North American flights by booking with some of their partners, including American Airlines, LAN or Avianca. 
  • Flight coverage: Excellent. Iberia and its 14 oneworld partners offer more than 13,000 flights per day to over 1,000 destinations in nearly 160 countries. 

JetBlue

JetBlue is a budget carrier based out of the U.S. The number of points required for a flight is linked to the cost of the fare and doesn’t vary much, which means you’re not going to find a lot of sweet spots for your points. But the value of points is high for most fares and across all fare levels, so most airfare redemptions are a good value. You can also find a good value on flights to Hawaii through JetBlue’s airline partner, Hawaiian Airlines.

  • Estimated point value: 1.12 cents
  • Airline alliance: None
  • Rewards chart: No chart. Fares are cost-based. Most fares will give you a good price per point.
  • Booking restrictions: No blackout dates or capacity controls – if a seat is available, you can book it with points.
  • Fuel surcharges: There are fuel surcharges on Caribbean fares.
  • Flight coverage: Average. Jetblue is not a member of any alliance and only has one airline partner that you can use points on (Hawaiian). Its network is mostly limited to large cities in the U.S. and vacation destinations in the Caribbean and Central and South America. The airline offers more than 800 daily flights to more than 80 destinations in 27 countries. 

Singapore KrisFlyer

KrisFlyer is the loyalty program of Singapore Airlines – the flagship carrier of Singapore – and its budget alternative, SilkAir. KrisFlyer doesn’t incur fuel surcharges for tickets booked on its own airlines. KrisFlyer miles are especially good for flying business and first class to Asia on its own airlines.

  • Estimated point value: 2.16 cents
  • Airline alliance: Star
  • Rewards chart: Zone-based (see rewards the chart here)
  • Booking restrictions: Awards seats are subject to blackout dates and capacity controls.
  • Fuel surcharges: No fuel surcharges on Singapore Airlines and SilkAir flights.
  • Flight coverage: Excellent. Singapore Airlines and its 27 Star alliance partners offer more than 18,000 flights per day to more than 1,300 destinations in 190 countries. 

Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic is a British airline with service mainly directed between the U.S. and the UK. Virgin is not the best use of rewards points – adding heavy fuel surcharges to flights across the Atlantic – but you may be able to find good values on domestic flights with some of Virgin’s airline partners.

  • Estimated point value: 0.74 cent
  • Airline alliance: None
  • Rewards chart: Destination-based (little variation in the price, however – between 20,000 and 30,000 miles for an economy ticket) (see the rewards chart here)
  • Booking restrictions: No blackout dates on Virgin Atlantic flights, but seats are capacity controlled.
  • Fuel surcharges: Large fuel surcharges on Virgin Atlantic flights – may find no or low surcharges on partner airlines.
  • Flight coverage: Good. Despite not being a part of an airline alliance, Virgin Atlantic offers pretty good coverage around the globe, with 10 airline partners, more than 5,000 flights per day to more than 200 destinations in 25 countries. 

Hotel Partners

Choice Privileges

The Choice Hotels portfolio includes mostly mid-range and economy-brand hotels – such as Comfort Inn and Suites, Quality Inn, Sleep Inn, Econo Lodge and Rodeway Inn. The value of redemptions is on the low side, so it’s not the best use of Membership Rewards points. Plus, you may find your options too limited, since most hotels are located in the U.S. and properties can put strict limits on awards rooms.

  • Estimated point value: 0.77 cent
  • Rewards chart: No chart. Price depends on date and time.
  • Booking restrictions: No blackout dates, but awards rooms may be limited.
  • Hotel network: Good. With more than 5,500 properties in 35 countries, Choice Privileges gives you some options for travel. 

Hilton Honors

Hilton constitutes one of the world’s largest hotel brands – encompassing luxury brands such as Conrad and Waldorf Astoria, as well as mid-range brands such as Hampton and Hilton Garden Inn. If you are going to use Membership Rewards points for hotel stays, Hilton is a good way to go – with a worldwide hotel network and a very flexible redemption policy, you can find Hilton hotels in most destinations.

  • Estimated point value: 0.94 cent
  • Rewards chart: No published chart. Each property has a maximum point amount, and points can vary by the day, but the maximum level of points seems to be tied to the level of the property.
  • Booking restrictions: No blackout dates or capacity controls. If a standard room is available, you should be able to book it with points.
  • Hotel network: Excellent. With more than 5,100 properties in 103 countries, you can find Hilton hotels in most major travel destinations. 

Starwood Preferred Guest

Starwood hotels includes mostly luxury brands, such as Sheraton and Westin hotels. The Starwood Preferred Guest program is one of the top hotel loyalty programs, because Starpoints are so valuable (worth approximately 2.4 cents per point by our valuation) and you can transfer points to one of Starwood’s 30 airline partners at a 1:1 ratio. The transfer ratio from Membership Rewards to Starwood isn’t great – 3 Membership Rewards points per Starpoint – but because of the high value of Starpoints, you can still find reasonable value in the trade – around 0.74 cents per point on average. Still, this isn’t the best use of your points.

  • Estimated point value: 0.74 cent
  • Rewards chart: Category-based (see the rewards chart here)
  • Booking restrictions: No blackout dates or capacity controls.
  • Hotel network: Excellent. Starwood recently merged with Marriott hotels, and you can transfer Starpoints to Marriott at a 1:3 ratioWith more than 5,700 properties in 110 countries, you can find a Starwood or Marriott hotel in most major travel destinations.

Tips for transferring Membership Rewards points:

  • Be sure to create an account with the intended loyalty program before you try to transfer points.
  • To keep your awards seat from disappearing while you’re waiting for your points to transfer, put your reservation on hold before transferring (if the program allows it), or make sure that there are multiple seats available on your intended flight or that there is more than one flight available on the same airline.
  • To get the best value, be as flexible as possible – if you’re open to multiple destinations, you can find some great deals.

See Related: What are American Express points worth?, Which cards earn American Express rewards points?, 9 ways to earn American Express points, Best ways to spend American Express points


Join the discussion
We encourage an active and insightful conversation among our users. Please help us keep our community civil and respectful. For your safety, do not disclose confidential or personal information such as bank account numbers or social security numbers. Anything you post may be disclosed, published, transmitted or reused.

If you are commenting using a Facebook account, your profile information may be displayed with your comment depending on your privacy settings. By leaving the 'Post to Facebook' box selected, your comment will be published to your Facebook profile in addition to the space below.

The editorial content on CreditCards.com is not sponsored by any bank or credit card issuer. The journalists in the editorial department are separate from the company's business operations. The comments posted below are not provided, reviewed or approved by any company mentioned in our editorial content. Additionally, any companies mentioned in the content do not assume responsibility to ensure that all posts and/or questions are answered.




Weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, advice, articles and tips delivered to your inbox. It's FREE.


Updated: 08-16-2018