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Credit cards with airline mile transfer feature

by on Fri September 4, 2015 • 127 Comments
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We’re often asked by readers “how can I top off my XXX miles account?” or “how can I combine miles?” An often overlooked tool is the handful of credit cards that let you transfer the points you earn from spending directly into miles of popular airlines with no fee except for small excise taxes. We have a complete list below, but before that here are three reasons mile transfer is something you should consider:

  1. Maximize the chances you’ll find a free ticket. By pooling your spending and points onto a credit card that lets you transfer points to airline mile programs you can have multiple options to get a free ticket. For example, if Delta doesn’t have the free ticket availability you’re looking for, you can transfer your points to American Airlines instead.
  2. ‘Top off’ existing mileage accounts. You may find yourself with 44,000 miles in your airline mile account, but need 50,000 miles for a reward. By having miles banked up in a credit card program that allows mile transfer, you can top off your account. ‘Gifting’ miles to friends or relatvies is also easier — you can often link the account of your spouse or an authorized user, letting you share your points. This works for American Express Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  3. Take advantage of reward values. Not all airline miles programs charge the same amount of miles — even for the same seat on the same plane. For example, ANA’s program will let you travel from the East Coast to Europe in business class for 88,000 miles on United flights — versus 115,000 miles if you redeem via United’s MileagePlus program. Having points in a program that lets you transfer to multiple airline programs lets you take advantage of these opportunities.

Here is a list of the programs that let you transfer points to miles at about a one for one conversion rate (little dilution), and the credit cards associated with them, with annual fees in parenthesis:

American Express Membership Rewards

Credit Cards: Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express , Platinum Card from American Express, Green Card from American Express, Amex Everyday, and others.

Transfer options: Delta SkyMiles, Air Canada Aeroplan, British Airways Executive Club, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, Virgin America Elevate (1 Amex point = 0.5 Virgin America points) Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, JetBlue True Blue (1 Amex point = 0.8 Jet Blue), Air France / KLM Flying Blue, Alitalia Mille Miglia, AeroMexico Club Premier, ANA Mileage Club, ElAl Matmid, Hawaiian Miles, Iberia Plus, and Singapore KrisFlyer. Hotel programs include Hilton HHonors and Best Western Rewards.

Time to transfer points: Generally instant for Delta, Air Canada, British Airways, JetBlue; others vary up to a week.

Conversion rate: 1 point = 1 airline mile

amexpointtransfer

Chase Ultimate Rewards

Credit Cards: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card , Ink Plus for Business

Transfer options: United MileagePlus, Southwest Rapid Rewards, British Airways Executive Club, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, Korean Airlines SkyPass, Singapore KrisFlyer. Hotel programs include Marriott Rewadrs, Hyatt Gold Passport, IHG Club (Holiday Inn, Intercontinental, Crowne Plaza), Ritz Carlton Rewards.

Time to transfer points: Generally instant

Conversion rate: 1 point = 1 airline mile

transferpartners

Citi ThankYou

Credit Cards: Citi ThankYou Premier, Citi Prestige Card

Transfer options: Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, EVA Air Infinity MileageLands, Etihad Guest, Air France / KLM Flying Blue, Garuda Indonesia Frequent Flyer, Malaysia Airlines Enrich, Qantas Frequent Flyer, Qatar Airways Privilege Club, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus, Virgin America Elevate, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club. Hilton HHonors is available as a hotel point transfer partner.

Starwood Preferred Guest

Credit Card: Starwood Preferred Guest American Express

Transfer options: Air Canada Aeroplan, Air Berlin Top Bonus, Air China Companion, Air New Zealand Airpoints, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan, Alitalia MilleMiglia, All Nippon Airways (ANA) Mileage Club, American Airlines AAdvantage, Asiana Airlines, British Airways Executive Club, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, Delta Air Lines SkyMiles, Emirates Skywards, Air France / KLM Flying Blue, Hawaiian Miles, Japan Airlines (JAL) Mileage Bank, Lufthansa Miles and More, Qatar Privilege, Saudi Arabian Alfursan, Singpaore Airlines KrisFlyer, Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club. Hotels include Westin, W, Sheraton, Le Meridien, Four Points by Sheraton.

Time to transfer points: Generally takes up to one week. If it takes longer than 14 days, contact Starwood Customer Service to run an inquiry.

Conversion rate: Airlines listed above transfer at 1 point = 1 mile, but you get a 5,000 mile bonus for every 20,000 points you transfer.

starwoodairlinetransfernew

Other factors to consider when transferring points

  • The time it takes to transfer — American Express Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards generally offer instant or same day transfer, so you can find the award seat you want, then transfer the miles quickly to book it. Starwood can take a week or more, which may be a hassle if you have a specific date in mind.
  • Consider where you already have a stash of miles. Pick a card that lets you transfer into a program that you fly most often. Chances are you’ll already have a stash of miles to build on, and this can help you get there faster when needed.
  • Bonuses for transfers — Sometimes airlines will offer bonuses for transferring miles into their program. This happens most frequently with American Express Membership Rewards, and can net you substantial value for your points.
  • Alliances maximize your value — Nearly every airline mile program lets you redeem for flights on airlines beside the one that hosts the miles. This is because of alliances, and there are three main groups — Star Alliance (United, US Airways, Lufthansa, Swiss, ANA, Singapore, and many more), One World (American, British Airways, Iberia, JAL, Cathay Pacific, and more), and SkyTeam (Delta, Air France, KLM, Alitalia, Korean, and more).
  • Miles for any one of the alliance members can be used to book travel on flights operated by any other alliance member. The only catch is you can’t transfer points between airline accounts. The great advantage here is for example, with the Chase Sapphire, that offers transfer to United, and British Airways, you can book travel on every one of the Star Alliance and One World carriers.
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127 thoughts on Credit cards with airline mile transfer feature

  1. Glynn

    My question is…can you combine 35k miles from a Chase United plus explorer card, 20k miles from a Barclays arrival card and 20k capital venture card to purchase airfare?

    Reply
  2. Carlos

    Do any of these cards allows one to transfer miles to someone else’s airline plan? I know Amex used to allow that but not anymore.

    Thanks,

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Carlos – With Chase you can transfer to another cardholder who lives in your household. With Amex you can transfer to an authorized user of your account.

      Reply
  3. Jeff

    I am considering the United Mileage Plus and the Chase Sapphire cards to earn miles/travel rewards for my family of five. Are there restrictions on transferring the miles to the people in my family?

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Jeff – You can combine your Sapphire points with your spouse who is an authorized user. But even that isn’t necessary. When you use United MileagePlus, you can book tickets for anyone you’d like out of your account. So whatever you earn with the Sapphire you could transfer to your own United account or your wife’s, then book with MileagePlus for anyone you’d like.

      What you can’t do is combine MileagePlus miles among family members, unless you want to pay a hefty fee.

      Reply
      1. Jeff

        Great information to know. Thank you. Are there advantages in points per dollar spent for either card? How about bag fees?

        Reply
        1. MileCards.com

          @Jeff – With bag fees only the Explorer will give you savings there.

          For earning, the Sapphire Preferred gives you 2x on dining and travel spending. The United Explorer gives 2x only on United purchases.

          You can run the numbers using our calculator here with your spending habits:

          http://milecards.com/cardfinder/

          Reply
  4. Véronique

    Hi – need to find a credit card allowing me to transfer points to KLM flying blue program for getting flights or upgrade on KLM/ Air France. Could I do that with the Premier rewards gold card from American Express ? And Chase sapphire ?
    Many thanks

    Reply
  5. JazonAlliance

    Hello- I was approved for both the Chase Sapphire P. and the Citi Premier. I’d like to use one of the two cards as a primary card. My decision hinged on better understanding two things:

    1. Can I use points 1:1 with my Citi Premier Card to purchase a ticket with American Airlines, since AA is a Oneworld Alliance member? Since KLM is a SkyTeam Alliance member, can I also use points 1:1 for all SkyTeam Alliance Airlines?

    2. Do prices for airline tickets tend to be higher on the Thankyou or Ultimate Rewards platform?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @JazonAlliance- Ticket prices are similar on the Chase and Citi platforms. As for the 1:1…

      Citi ThankYou doesn’t currently offer transfer of ThankYou points to American miles. But you can use your ThankYou points from the Premier to buy American (or most any other airline) flights. Every 10,000 points is worth $125.

      KLM would work the same way, but you have an additional option. It’s possible to transfer ThankYou points into KLM / Air France miles 1:1, and then you would pay for flights using the award prices KLM / Air France set. You can get a sense of those here:

      http://milecards.com/1588420565/air-france-flying-blue-award-charts-and-region-definitions/

      You could fly any SkyTeam carrier at those prices, but the catch is award space needs to be available, and many flights won’t be available for awards.

      Reply
    2. Bon

      Hi – this website is helpful, but I’m even more confused! I have 20,000 miles on my Platinum Skymiles Amex and 33,800 miles on my Spark Capital One. Is there any way to combine them? Thank you for your help!

      Reply
      1. MileCards.com

        @Bon – No way to combine them. But you could book one way of your trip with Delta miles and one way with your Spark miles. Your Delta miles are worth at least $200 off a Delta flight. And your Spark miles are worth $338 off any flight you pay for with the card.

        Reply
  6. Laura

    Hi! What fantastic information! I’ve got a spreadsheet trying to figure this all out :-) . My goal is a business class ticket to Europe or Australia/New Zealand from the West Coast (SFO ideally). I did it once using United, and it was fantastic, though finding available flights was a challenge, so I’d like to earn as many miles as I can via credit cards and possibly one trip to Europe.

    At the moment I have:
    SPG Am Ex. Will have 30K from that
    Chase United: Will have 50K from that
    65K Marriott points I can transfer.

    I’d like to know what other cards I should try (I already used up some choices, like many of the Chase cards) that maybe I haven’t thought of (DeltaCC, Alaska CC, CitiBank, BritishAir, Diners?, Capitalone?) , and where the best transfer airline would be. Some of the airlines have very expensive fees for a ‘free’ trip to London (United was ~300 vs British Air was ~1300 for a biz class flight).

    Thanks very much!

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Laura – Glad you find it useful.

      Biz class to Europe with miles is tough from the West Coast but not impossible if you plan ahead and are willing to fly during off peak months.

      You can do it with 115k United miles, so another 50k from the Sapphire would get you really close to what you need.

      Definitely consider diversifying into Delta / Amex. If you’re willing to grab a flight in coach to say Chicago you can take advantage of good Virgin Atlantic award space for 62,500 miles one way (125k roundtrip). You might even be targeted for a 100k Amex Platinum offer – try some of the methods in this post.

      http://milecards.com/1588417333/where-is-the-100000-point-platinum-card-offer-from-american-express/

      http://milecards.com/1588425673/lots-of-business-class-space-to-europe-with-skymiles-for-a-whole-family-using-these-routes/

      And you may be targeted for a good Delta offer (check here):

      http://milecards.com/1588422139/a-60000-mile-gold-delta-skymiles-amex-offer-available-to-many/

      Delta recently jacked up biz class prices for many flights, but left Europe intact, so if you’re planning to travel later this year you’re in good shape.

      Would shy away from AA miles for getting to Europe since it’s mostly BA availability.

      Reply
      1. Laura

        Thanks very much. Very helpful. I applied fo rthe Sapphire, but think I’m going to be denied because I have done that within 24 months so may need to try AmEx. Cheers!

        Reply
  7. EMH

    Great site. Thanks for providing it. Not a business flyer, so I do not accrue that many miles. I currently have a Capital One Venture card with close to 500,000 points. After reading through some of the material here, it seems I might be better served with another card IF my objective is to use miles/points to upgrade to business class on overseas flights. I generally fly Southwest domestically (4-6 times/year) due to my location, but try to be flexible for international fights to save a bit. We generally fly overseas once/year. I really don’t see using points for purchases of anything other than flight related expenses. Am willing to transfer my Venture card balance and points to any other card if it would help.

    Planning a trip to Scotland this summer and would like to fly business class. What would you suggest in my case? Thanks in advance!

    Reply
  8. Dave

    Is there a way for a family member to use miles from my Chase United credit card if they don’t have their own credit card account?

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Dave – You can book tickets for anyone you’d like from your account. So easiest is to pay for the family member’s flights using your miles.

      Reply
  9. Jatin

    I used to fly on Korean Air. And Now I have 38,000 Korean Air miles, and my wife has 50,000 Korean Air miles. How can I use it ? Only time I fly Korean is from USA to India. They were allowing to combine all family miles in one pool. Can I combine it with Delta’s mileage ? Any suggestion. Any way to cash it out.

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Jatin-

      You could definitely pool the miles together via the Family Plan they mentioned. It takes 95,000 miles for one roundtrip ticket to India.

      Or, you could use the miles to fly Delta flights. You can see the prices for roundtrip award tickets here:

      https://www.koreanair.com/global/en/skypass/redeem.html#cta-large=/global/en/skypass/redeem/skyteam-awards/skyteam-bonus-north-america.html

      It’s 25,000 miles for a roundtrip domestic ticket, or 50,000 to Europe. Catch is you need to choose flights that have award space available, which can be limited. But these miles shouldn’t go to waste.

      Reply
  10. Sakib

    Hi,

    I would be glad if you can respond to my following questions.

    Q1. I usually travel to Bangladesh from USA using the west coast through the Los Angeles and San Francisco. My preferred airlines are Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines. I have not tried the East coast route from New York, or the Midwest from Chicago. Hence, I am also open to Emirates, Turkish Airlines, Delta Airlines. Can you suggest which Travel Rewards credit cards would be applicable for me? I want to make sure that I pick a card which could be used for lines reward, for example, Asia Miles for Cathay pacific, Krisflyer for Singapore airlines, etc.

    Q2. How frequently I have to fly to best utilize the card that you have suggested in response to my Q1 to redeem points or other benefits? Since I have a young family of four and traveling to South Asia is quite expensive, I am contemplating to travel to South Asia at least once every two-year. Given this information, any suggestion or recommendation to pick the “right” credit card would help.

    Thanks,

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Sakib – The very cheapest points option would be with United MileagePlus on Turkish Airlines flights for 40,000 miles one way in Economy Class (80,000 roundtrip). But the thing about flights to Bangladesh is they are often very cheap (about $800). So spending 80,000 or more real airline miles for the trip isn’t a great deal.

      When flights are relatively cheap in cash, but expensive in points it’s often better instead to earn with an ‘any airline’ card like the Barclaycard Arrival Plus or Capital One Venture. You get 40,000 points to start (enough to erase $400 off the cost of a flight), and earn 2x points on everything you spend. So you earn points about twice as fast as cards with regular airline miles.

      Now if things change and flights to Bangladesh start costing $1,500+ then would say go with the Chase Sapphire Preferred, which lets you transfer points directly into United miles to take advantage of those Turkish flights.

      Reply
  11. Jonathan

    I am looking for a Visa or Mastercard credit card that has no international transaction fees and a decent signup point bonus and where the points can be transferred to Alaska Airlines miles program without cost. Can you help me? Thanks.

    Reply
  12. TheoJ

    Can I transfer SkyMiles from an AmEx Delta sky miles card to purchase seats on another airline, e.g. British airways, Aer Lingus, or Icelandic Air?

    Reply
  13. Kami

    Hi,
    I am thinking about getting the Starwood card and the Chase sapphire card to earn points to travel inside the United States on Delta and internationally to New Zealand using Air New Zealand.
    With these cards be the best cards for me to get to accomplish that?
    Thanks

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Kami – The Starwood card is better for Delta because it earns points you can transfer directly into Delta miles. But for getting to New Zealand, United miles will be more useful via the Sapphire Preferred.

      You’re probably better off saving for the trip to New Zealand and using the Sapphire, as domestic flights aren’t usually that great a value with points.

      Just don’t expect the nonstop on Air New Zealand as they’re pretty tight with award space. But if you’re willing to connect in Sydney you’ll find lots of space via United and Air New Zealand for 40,000 miles each way.

      If you’re really set on using miles for Delta, with the Starwood card you can transfer points to Air Canada Aeroplan, and that will let you book United and Air New Zealand flights for 45,000 miles each way to New Zealand.

      Reply
      1. Kami

        Are there better cards or combination of cards to use to get to New Zealand? It can all be quite overwhelming. I am open to what will get me the most points while still flying on Air NZ.
        Thanks

        Reply
        1. MileCards.com

          @Kami – Would say the Sapphire Preferred. If you’re flexible and can fly on days that have award seats on Air New Zealand, it’s hard to beat 40,000 miles one way when you transfer the points to United MileagePlus miles.

          For days that don’t have award seats open, you can use your points to buy a cash ticket.

          New Zealand is a cool destination in that a one way ticket is half the price of a roundtrip. So you can probably get a one way ticket for about $700. And with the Sapphire your points are worth 1.25 cents each toward airfare. So if you have say 50,000 points in your account you can use them to knock $625 off the price.

          This gives you a lot of flexibility to use points to save on airfare when traditional ‘mileage’ seats aren’t available.

          Reply
  14. Frank

    I recently got a Capital One Rewards card and am happy with the travel choices. We had an Advantage card for years, but it became increasingly hard to use the miles. Is there a way to transfer my Advantage miles to Capital one?

    Thank you.

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Frank – Unfortunately no you can’t mix and match them. But you could for example book a one way ticket with your Capital One miles, then a one way ticket with your AAdvantage miles. Often one way tickets are just half the price of the cheapest round trip.

      Reply
  15. Moiz

    You forgot to mention Thank you points from Citi. It lets you transfer your thank you points to certain airlines too. All the credit card that Citi offers with thank you points are eligible I think.

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Moiz – Yes the cards that have an annual fee like the Citi Prestige and Citi ThankYou Premier allow point transfer.

      Reply
  16. Moiz

    I have a ton of miles on Chase sapphire and I fly emirates and Alaska a lot. Anyway to utilize miles to those airlines. I am collecting these miles to fly premium class internationally someday.

    Reply
  17. jim

    I got the us airways card when they were giving out the 40k miles but then they switched over to AAdvantage points. The AA point system is insane and not worth it at all. What can I do with the miles I have with them? I already paid the annual fee so I dont want to feel like I am taking a loss on this deal. Can they be transferred to another card or another card transfer to AA points so I can at least get a trip out of it?

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @jim – Have you thought about trying to book a one way award, and then pay for the return of your trip with cash? A lot of times you’ll find a one way cash ticket is exactly half the price of a roundtrip ticket, so you’re not being penalized for a one way ticket.

      Reply
    2. diane m hill

      how do we transfer 56000 airline credit miles from city bank with the AAdvantagee card feature to get discount on american airlines to fly from yuma arizona to seattle wash and back. thank you dennis hill 509 654 5717

      Reply
  18. Annabelle

    Debating between Capital One Venture & Chase Preferred. Have United miles though spouse has US Airways miles. What are the mile transfer fees for each card and how long do the transfers take? Is there a limit to how much can be transferred at one time? Is Capital One’s transfer 1:1 like Chase Preferred’s? If spouse is an authorised card user, can miles be transferred into spouse’s US Airways account?

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Annabelle – Unfortunately Capital One points can’t be transferred to any airline miles. The way the Capital One card works is you buy tickets with your card anywhere you’d like, then use points to offset some of the cost.

      For the Chase Sapphire Preferred you can transfer to United generally instantly. And you can transfer up to 198,000 miles at a time.

      As for US Airways the Chase Sapphire doesn’t transfer there. For that option you’d need an American Airlines card, or the Starwood Preferred Guest American Express which transfers into American/US Airways miles.

      Reply
      1. Annabelle

        Thanks for the clarification. Can the Chase Sapphire Preferred be used like Capital One – buy the tickets and offset the cost with points?

        Reply
        1. MileCards.com

          @Annabelle – Sort of. If you buy the tickets via the Chase UltimateRewards.com website, which works like Travelocity.com, or calling the Chase travel center, then use you can use points to pay for some or all of the cost of a ticket on just about any airline.

          Reply
  19. Paula

    Wonderful site, thank you for sharing it with all of us!

    I am trying to decide between opening a Citi Premium Thank you credit card, a Capital Venture credit card and a Chase Sapphire credit card.

    My objective is get the bigger opening bonus reward to transfer it to a program that allows me to fly domestic and international alike and also to use the miles to book accommodations.

    Which of this cards would be more convenient for my purpose!
    It seems the Chase credit card partners with more domestic and international airlines and more hotel chains? And that Citi partners with mainly Asian airlines and with not too many domestic airlines?
    Is my observation incorrect?

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Paula – The Sapphire Preferred will be your best bet since it partners with Southwest, United, Hyatt, and Marriott, which all suit your needs.

      Reply
  20. RDee

    You say that “The only catch is you can’t transfer points between airline accounts.” However, you also say “The great advantage here is for example, with the Chase Sapphire, that offers transfer to Continental/United, and British Airways, you can book travel on every one of the Star Alliance and One World carriers.” If Chase S offers transfer to United and British Air, how could you also transfer to American?

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @RDee – You’re right you can’t transfer into an American AAdvantage account. But you can use British Airways points to book American Airlines flights because they are partner airlines in the ‘OneWorld’ alliance.

      Reply
  21. Caitlin

    What’s the benefit of transferring points to an airline program to book a flight vs. booking directly through the credit card benefits page? For example, United Program vs. Ultimate Rewards.

    Reply
  22. Ocean Jockey

    Hi,
    I’ve had an American Airlines Citibank AAdvantage card since 1992. Also have had an American Express original green card since 1979. I pay my cards in full every month. Typically have about $5k on the Citicard and about $1k to $2k on the Amex. I maintain both so I always have a back-up in case I misplace one. I’ve only once used the Amex points to buy a big flat-screen television thru Amazon (I had forgotten I had the reward points and they just accumulated and so I found a need). I don’t think I have many left at this point. I probably have some 200,000 AA points. I have always used the Citibank AA points for vacation air travel but in the last year or so American Airlines seems to be getting more difficult to get a booking on, the point requirements seem to have escalated, and I’m finding that there are far more options with other airlines for routing and scheduling. I always thought since AA was growing and merging with other airlines that things would continually improve but instead they seem to be going the wrong way for my needs. Question: In your opinion, what is the best card for me to apply for so that I can maximize my options when I want to fly for vacations ? Thank you for your time in answering this.

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Ocean Jockey – First question is where do you want to fly on vacation?

      Our first sense is to recommend the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card because it lest you transfer points to both Southwest and United miles. And you have a 3rd option to use the points to pay for some or part of flights on most airlines via the Chase travel website.

      Another option is the Capital One Venture, which earns a basic 2x points per dollar and you can use the points to erase the cost of travel purchases from your statement. So you can buy any flight you want, then use some or all of the points to remove some or all of the cost of the ticket from your bill. Every point is worth 1 cent.

      You’ll find that very cheap tickets cost less with the Venture, but more expensive ones cost more than what AAdvantage would try to charge you.

      Reply
  23. David

    Well, first of all, I’m not a frequent flyer. (maybe once every other year) Have friends in London though and would love to fly more. I have one credit card that I use for everything possible (wish I could figure out how to use it on my mortgage) and pay off every month. Right now average maybe $800 – $1000 mo. in charges. My credit score is about as high as it can get! I get maybe $400 a year cash back on my current card with no annual fee. What card would you recommend to get me flying more??

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @David – Earning a bonus would probably be the best strategy to kick start. Chase Sapphire points are a good start if you swing $4,000 in spending within a single 3 month period. You could use the points on United (60k is a roundtrip to Europe) – or even Virgin Atlantic (35-40k) or British Airways if they fly somewhere near you live. There are some fees on Virgin / British Airways, but for Virgin at least it can be a good deal during the peak months.

      Reply
      1. David

        It’s just mind boggling trying to sort thru this stuff. Bonus if you spend this amount, 2X per dollar or 1X, annual fees and on and on!!! Thanks for your input.

        Reply
    2. Nelson

      David – load bluebird cards (at walmart ‘ATM’ – nicknamed “KATE” in forums) with GC’s from Simon Malls or the like.

      The PIN is the last 4 of the card. It costs only 3.95 per 500, then you can have bluebird pay a check for the mortgage.

      A great way to MS (manufacture spend) to pay big bills. Do you research friend and it will go very smooth.

      Reply
  24. GH

    I’m currently in the military and I travel often on commercial for deployments, many times very long distances. While this is great for overall mileage, I’m running into the problem that because I don’t get to pick the airline I fly in (the military does), I can’t quite seem to accumulate miles at an effective rate on any single airline. The airlines we fly in are normally United, American, and Delta. I’m wondering if there’s a card that would let me supplement any of those. Thanks in advance for your help.

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @GH – The Starwood card would let you supplement both American and Delta. You could also supplement United with it, but points are diluted in about half when you do that.

      Reply
  25. Peterw

    If I already have a Chase United Explorer Card, can I sign up for a Sapphire or Ink card from Chase and get a sign up bonus? If not, are there other cards that transfer to Mileage Plus?

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Peterw – You are allowed to hold both an Explorer and Sapphire or Ink – and get the bonus if you meet the requirements. Whether you are approved also depends on other factors like your credit and whether you’ve had too many accounts open. Some people are noting they’re having trouble getting approved if they’ve had several (more than 5 or so) new card accounts in the last year or two.

      Reply
  26. Alex

    Hi,
    I have Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elit MasterCard with 45.000 miles on it.
    I am looking for another card (or two) with big sign up bonus to combine it with my Barclaycard in order to have a good amount of points to travel from Boston to Hawaii next year.
    What would be the best thing I can do to travel to HI?
    What cards should I use to get the best deal for air, hotel and car rent?
    Thank you very much!

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Alex – If you haven’t applied for a lot of cards in the last 2 years (say 5 or fewer) then the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a good choice. It earns points you can transfer to United miles which has the most flights to Hawaii. A one way with United miles costs 22,500 miles if you find flights that have the ‘Saver’ price available. And looking at next March / April there are several dates with that option from Boston to Maui. The intro deal of 40k plus $4k in spending gets you right near the 45k points for a full roundtrip if you’re flexible. But don’t expect that price often during peak times like June.

      As for hotels, Starwood and Hyatt are generally the best value for Hawaii. The SPG Amex intro deal gets you enough for about 2 or 3 nights on Maui. And the Hyatt Visa intro deal is 2 free nights at any Hyatt. The Starwood hotels on Maui are very close to the Hyatt so you could stay at both and get about 4 or 5 nights.

      The other thing to remember is that buying two one way tickets on separate airlines costs about the same as buying one roundtrip to Hawaii. You can use that to your advantage to mix up points and be more flexible. For example, your 45k Arrival miles are worth $450 in airfare on any airline. So you could buy one ticket one way with your Arrival miles, and you could use the Sapphire points for the other direction if United doesn’t have awards available both ways.

      Or if you find United availability roundtrip consider using your Arrival points for car rental.

      Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @AAshish – Unfortunately there is no way to do that. You can work around by booking your next trip one way with Southwest and the other direction with United.

      Reply
  27. Michelle

    Hi there,

    I have 50,000 AA points, 50,000 Chase Rewards with another 50,000 United Plus awards on the way.

    I’m looking to book 2 RT tickets to Hawaii which is going to cost around 130,000 points. Is there anyway to transfer the AA points to United so I can just book it all thru them instead of opening another cc card for the award bonus?

    Thanks! :)
    Michelle

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Michelle – Unfortunately no there isn’t. But why not book one way with AA (2 one ways is 45k AA points if you find the right days / flights) and the other way with United or Chase?

      Reply
  28. Nick

    can i combine airmiles from all citi AAdvantage cards like gold mastercard and platinum select world mastder card with platinum select mastercard?
    also is it allowed to keep the points and not pay the annual fee if you cancel the card within the first year which waves the annual fee?

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Nick – Yes if you use the same AAdvantage membership number for each account they’ll all flow into the same account. And your points are yours regardless of whether you keep the cards open.

      Reply
      1. MileCards.com

        @Nick – Unfortunately you can’t combine those points with AAdvantage miles. What you could do is use AAdvantage miles to book one way, and use your Citi points to buy a ticket for the other direction.

        Reply
  29. Trenton

    Is there a fee to transfer miles to an airline? For example, does United Mileage Plus charge a fee to transfer miles/points from Chase Sapphire?

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Trenton – There are no fees for Chase transfers. Amex levies a very small fee on Membership Rewards transfers – it’s .0006 (6 one hundredths of a cent per point). So a 50k transfer is $30, with a maximum fee of $99.

      Reply
  30. Pam

    Hi, I have an AmEx SPG card, and wanted to use it for travel this summer. But it turns out the transfer process for airline programs is really cumbersome–there are limits as to how much you can transfer in a 24 hr period, and it can apparently take up to a week to post. The seats we wanted were limited, and in the end we just ended up using starpoints to buy a ticket directly (using much, much more points than if I’d transfered to the airline’s frequent flyer program) and just purchasing the other ticket (we were using them for business class). ( One advantage to that was that there are no blackout dates.) But I hated using up all my points (350K!). So now I’m looking to get a different card that’s easier to use. Is the Chase Preferred card easier to do the transfers? I.e., I could locate a seat, have them hold it, then transfer instantly over, with no “cap” as to how many miles I can transfer? My sister has an AmEx green card w/ membership rewards, and says that’s how her card works. But I’ve seen reviews saying the AmEx green card is very poor in terms of building up miles (also, no sign up bonus). What do you recommend? We mostly are looking to travel to Europe. (I have Avios points but there are rarely award seats from the West Coast to London on BA.)

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Pam – Yes the Chase card has more ‘instant’ partners and doesn’t have that 99k mile cap each day. For Amex, they have a newer ‘EveryDay Preferred card’ that earns miles much more quickly than the Green card and is worth considering, with 3x on groceries and 2x on gas, plus a 50% bonus on all points earned if you use it 30 times in a month. It has a $95 annual fee. Although the sign up bonus is small you could always consider a big bonus on another Amex card like the Premier Rewards Gold and then switch to the EveryDay Preferred.

      Of if you want no annual fee consider the Amex EveryDay (non Preferred) though it earns points a bit slower. Still much better than the Green version though.

      If you’re looking for transferable points with a big sign up bonus and just one card then the Chase card is a good start. It allows transfers to United which if you’re willing to pay 140k roundtrip for Business Class has decent options to Europe with its partners like Lufthansa and Air Canada.

      Reply
  31. Hammad

    Great article! Need a little help…

    I have about 20k miles on my Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan, and I accumulate 2k miles per month as I travel frequently using Alaska. My wife has the same amount of points as me and also accumulates 2k miles per month. We would love to travel the world as we recently got married. What is the best credit card, like the ultimate BEST credit card to accumulate points, and to transfer those points to my Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan in order to use that plan to purchase tickets? Also, by looking into sign-up bonuses to obtain the most miles possible. Or is there a better alternative? Oh, I also have 3.5K American Express Blue Sky Rewards points, can I use that anywhere for travel? Like combining it somewhere. or no?

    Thank you in advance!

    Reply
  32. Yana

    I’m having some trouble with Chase and would like to close all my chase accounts (Unitedplus and Sapphire) Is there any other credit card that will allow me to transfer points to United miles? Thank you!

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Yana – Unfortunately they have a lock on it. The Starwood American Express lets you transfer, but your points are cut almost in half when you do the transfer.

      Reply
  33. Brian

    Are there any cards that allow transfer into Southwest and Delta? Those airlines are the most used at my home airport. If not, would there be a “best option” to maximize those 2 airlines.
    thanks!

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Brian – The Chase Sapphire Preferred lets you transfer directly to Southwest. It also lets you book Delta flights via its Korean Skypass partner, though it can be a cumbersome process. Which airline do you think you’ll use most often? And where do you want to fly with your rewards?

      Reply
      1. Brian

        Over the last 10 years I have flown mostly with Southwest, but over the last few years our trips have been expanding and becoming more international. My hunch would be more Delta/international flights for my rewards, especially since Southwest tends to be more affordable anyway.

        Reply
        1. MileCards.com

          @Brian – In that case you may want to focus on earning Delta SkyMiles – and the Amex EveryDay Preferred is the fastest card for earning points you can transfer into Delta.

          Reply
  34. Parvin

    Hi,

    I have american airlines and US airways combined points approx 110000. I would like to add and combine more points from other credit cards, so that I can book tickets for my family. Can you please tell me the credit cards whose points can be combined with the american airlines points. So that I can apply for those cards.

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Parvin – The Citi AAdvantage cards will let you add point to your AAdvantage account. There are 3 personal versions (Gold, Platinum Select, and Executive AAdvantage), and you can earn a separate bonus from all three. There’s also the business version of the Platinum Select, which has its own bonus you could earn.

      Alternatively, the Starwood American Express earns points you can transfer to AAdvantage at a favorable rate. You may want to consider that if you have the Citi cards already.

      http://milecards.com/15/best-overall-starwood-american-express/

      Reply
  35. Roberta

    Can I transfer points accrued by using my American Express card to a new account I just opened with Capital One (Venture Card)? If I can, how do I do it?

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Roberta – Unfortunately no you can’t mix your Capital One points with any other bank’s points. But you can use your Capital One points to pay for any airline ticket you’d like. Just charge it to your Venture card and use points to erase the charge. Even if you don’t have enough points to erase the whole charge that’s fine too. Every 10,000 points is worth $100 in airfare.

      Reply
  36. SanFranSusie

    I have approximately 250,000 miles on my CapitolOne MasterCard account. How can I use them for a specific Air France itinerary I have developed but not purchased? Thank you in advance for your assistance.

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @SanFranSusie – Just purchase the ticket with your card, and the 250,000 miles can be used to erase up to $2,500 of the charge.

      Reply
  37. joe

    I have a capital one sparks card and wanted to know if i can transfer all my points to Air France flying blue miles for free ticket? I have around 120,000 points on the card.

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @joe – Unfortunately you can’t transfer your Capital One points to Air France Flying Blue. But you can use them to take up to $1,200 off the cost of any ticket you buy with your Spark card.

      Reply
      1. joe

        Sorry one more question i have a amex gold can there point be transfer to the Air France Flying Blue miles? What is the ratio if they can be. Thank you

        Reply
  38. mitch

    Hi, I have about 40,000 with chase mileage select. 129,000 with Delta american express. 60,000 with Korean US Bank card. what would be the best way to combine. I know that Delta always ask for more miles, and I want to change it. thanks very much for your advise.
    mitch

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @mitch – Where do you want to travel? Best idea is to book one way flights. For example for a trip to Seoul, use United miles for one direction and Delta miles the other direction. They let you book one-ways for half the cost of a roundtrip.

      Reply
  39. Lisa

    I have a chase united mileage plus explorer Visa card. United no longer flies out of the airport close to where I live. I would like to open a chase sapphire card to take advantage of the partner airlines. Can I transfer miles from my united mileage plus explorer card to a new chase sapphire card? Thanks.

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Lia – Unfortunately no. You can move as many Sapphire points to your United account as you’d like, but not the other way around.

      If you truly have no use for United miles, you can use them for hotel and car bookings among other things via the United MileagePlus website.

      Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Al & Bea – Unfortunately no you can’t transfer them out of your United account.

      However you can use your American Express points to book United flights – you can transfer them to Air Canada for example, which gives you access to United award flights.

      Reply
      1. Lee

        I have 450,000 point on my American Express card. Our family would like to go to Italy this summer, it averages around 140,000 pts per ticket with the American Express travel program, with United’s program it takes 30,000 pts per ticket.

        Am I understanding correctly that I can transfer points from American Express to Air Canada to buy United tickets?

        Is the point ratio the same, for a family of 4 people, I would need to transfer 120,000 point from American Express to Air Canada?

        (It seems like I’m not understanding correctly because it would take 560,000 (4 tkts) with Am. Express and 120,000 (4 tkts) with United.)

        Please advise and clarify. Many Thanks!

        Reply
        1. MileCards.com

          @Lee – For Western Europe, yes it’s 30,000 miles one way.

          The catch is this…

          Make sure the award seats you see available are actual United flights, not a partner like Lufthansa, Austrian, Swiss, or Air Canada. That’s because most non-United flights booked with Air Canada Aeroplan miles incur big fuel surcharges of hundreds of dollars per ticket.

          You can check ahead of time by creating a free account at Aeroplan.com and looking for your flights there. And make sure there are enough award seats for 4 of you.

          Then if you see space, go ahead and transfer from Amex to Air Canada Aeroplan. It’s a 1:1 exchange.

          If there is only space for 1 or 2 of you, you can consider booking those, then using the Amex program for the others.

          Reply
  40. Celsa

    I have a Delta Skymiles from American Express. The regular one not the gold. Can I transfer the miles to the American Express Gold , the general AE Gold Card even though I know that I will have to pay around $150 for the annual membership.

    Thank you

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Celsa – You can move the miles from the American Express Gold to combine with the SkyMiles account you already have.

      Reply
  41. Hasanul

    Hi,

    I have chase sapphire preferred card (with 40,000 points), United mileage plus explorer card (with 30,000 points) and an american express premier rewards gold card (with 50,000 points). Is there any way to combine all this points to purchase a single ticket for a trip to Asia?

    Is there any way to combine/transfer points from the chase cards and the american express card?

    Thanks

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Hasanul – Your best bet is to book two one way tickets. One direction you can use United miles (30,000 you have plus what you have from the Sapphire Preferred). Then the other direction use the American Express points for the return. You could for example fly one-way by transferring from Amex to Singapore KrisFlyer for 37,500 points.

      There are also a few airline partners shared by both Amex and Chase, and they include British Airways, Singapore, and Virgin Atlantic.

      Where in Asia are you trying to fly, and where are you starting your trip?

      Reply
        1. MileCards.com

          @Hasanul – For Bangladesh you’ll need 40,000 United miles one-way and can fly United, Thai, ANA, Singapore, or any combination. If you transfer to Singapore miles you’ll need 42,500 miles one-way (plus about $250 in fees) and can fly the same airlines as with United miles. Another option for your Amex points is AsiaMiles, which will cost you 40,000 points plus the fees, and you can fly Cathay/Dragonair + American Airlines.

          One thing to keep in mind – you can’t see Singapore Airlines availability on United’s website, so you’ll need to call to inquire or check for it on Air Canada’s site (www.aeroplan.com). And for AsiaMiles, you can check flights using the British Airways website, or just call them directly.

          Reply
  42. Valencia

    Hello,

    I am looking for 2 credit cards with different companies that will allow me to choose different companies to redeem my miles with. I want to get the Chase Sapphire preferred for the Chase ultimate rewards, but I’m not sure which additional one I should get. I want the other one to be able to transfer to United miles. Would the Green card from American Express work? Or the Wyndham rewards?

    Thank you very much,

    Valencia

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Valencia – If transferring to United miles is a requirement then it’s tough to find anything that’s not from Chase. The Wyndham card effectively earns you 0.4 United miles per dollar you spend. The only other option is the Starwood Preferred Guest American Express. It transfers into United with a 2:1 ratio, with a bonus of 2,500 miles for every 20,000 points you transfer. So it earns you 0.6 United miles per dollar you spend. And you have the option to send to other airlines at a better rate.

      Here’s some more info:

      http://milecards.com/15/best-overall-starwood-american-express/

      Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Marty – Unfortunately no. However if your miles are in an Amex Membership Rewards account you can transfer them to Singapore or Air Canada to book United flights. Or you can transfer them to British Airways to book American flights. Make sure you call Singapore, Air Canada, or British Airways before the transfer so you know the right award price.

      Reply
  43. joe carrero

    question: I have 30,000 miles on my Capital – Venture one card can I transfer them to my United miles plus account. Would opening a Starwood Preferred Guest card be of value in this case?

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @joe – Unfortunately no, you can’t move your Capital One miles into your United miles account. But you can use the points to book a United or any other flight. Your 30,000 miles are worth $300 in travel expenses on any airline, at any hotel, and more.

      Reply
  44. Rose

    If I want to open a new Capital One Venture card and transfer my balance from my Citicard with AA miles- can I transfer the points I have earned to Capital One?

    Reply
    1. MileCards

      @Rose – Unfortunately no, your AA points will not transfer to another account.

      But the good news is, even if you cancel your AA card, you will still be able to keep and use those miles, even after you no longer have the card.

      Reply
  45. Kim

    I have a bunch of points on my Chase Southwest credit cards. However, I want to go to a place where AirTran/Southwest does not go. But United Airlines does. Can i transfer mileage to a United Airlines flight? I do not have a Chase United Credit Card however. Thanks for your wisdom.

    Reply
    1. MileCards

      @Kim- Unfortunately you can’t transfer miles out of a Southwest card to United miles. However…

      You can still use Southwest points to go places Southwest doesn’t fly, including on United Airlines. Just go to this page and you’ll be able to search for flights to Hawaii and International destinations

      https://www.rewardingescapes.com/air_home/

      For places in the Caribbean or Mexico you can try transferring your points to AirTran, which does fly to many destinations there.

      http://milecards.com/8203/just-19200-southwest-points-to-9-mexico-caribbean-destinations-this-winter/

      Reply
  46. Poppy K.

    I feel so silly! I can’t seem to wrap my head around the best way to do this. I have 75,000 miles on a Venture One Capital Card. The flights to Italy are 150k miles. Does that seem like a lot??

    Can I transfer these miles to a better card or is there a card I should open and transfer them to Venture Capital one? How can I find out where else to redeem my miles besides the Venture Capital One Website?

    Reply
    1. MileCards

      @Poppy – Capital One Venture miles are always worth the same, no matter what the flight is. Each point is worth one cent toward the cost of a flight or other travel purchase you make with the card. So you have $750 worth of miles that can be applied as statement credit against travel purchases.

      The only catch is, you have to have enough miles in your account to cover the full cost of the purchase item you want removed from your statement. So…sounds like the tickets to Italy you want cost $1,500 in cash (which would be 150,000 points). Your options would be to find a cheaper ticket to Italy at another time or on a different airline, though finding one that’s $750 or less could be tough. The other option would be to use the miles for other travel purchases that are $750 or less, like hotel rooms while you are in Italy.

      Reply
  47. Shawn

    I travel to south africa often my question is I haveafriendwillingtogive me Amex points now and I’m not sure of my next flight which airline should I put it in flying blue? Air Canada which is partners with saa? Or a different one

    Reply
    1. MileCards

      @Shawn – Can your friend wait and do the transfer when you’re ready to book your trip? Best idea is to do a search for the dates you’re interested in — see if it’s available, then do the transfer and book. You can check Air Canada partners at http://www.aeroplan.com online anytime without any special login.

      For Flying Blue you’ll need to setup a free account, but once you do that searching for reward availability is quite simple online.

      Flying Blue tends to have more reasonable change fees (about 45 euros, vs $90 for Air Canada).

      Flying Blue requires 80,000 miles from the US to South Africa, Aeroplan Air Canada requires 100,000 miles.

      Reply
      1. Shawn

        He wants to do it now the question is will there usually be more availability on aero plan bc south African air is a partner or is Kim also good to africa

        Reply
        1. MileCards

          @Shawn – Take a look at aeroplan.com and do a search on dates you might consider. Looking from here it seems South African has decent availability on its nonstop out of New York. If your friend is willing to transfer a full 100,000 miles then might as well try for that.

          Reply
  48. nicholas

    Q1. I have a large balance of miles with USAIR. can i transfer them into the Chase Preferred program?

    Q2. assuming that I have a balance with Chase Preferred and none with USAIR if i want to fly with USAIR to Paris from the USA would I be charged the “partner” milage rate by USAIR or the “native” rate ?

    Q3. I have a $25,000 credit limit with USAIR Visa. Would I be able to have the same credit limit with Chase Prefered. ( i pay off my balance in full each month, and between my wife and myself spend about $6/7000 a month)

    Reply
    1. MileCards

      @nicholas –

      Q1 – No, you can’t transfer points into the Sapphire Preferred’s Ultimate Rewards program from other airlines, just out.

      Q2 – If you wanted to fly on US Air with points from your Chase Sapphire Preferred you would actually transfer the miles to United. You can’t transfer them directly to US Air. However once they are in United miles you can use those miles to book reward tickets on US Airways flights. That’s because United and US Airways are partners. It’s 60,000 miles roundtrip for a ‘saver’ coach ticket from the US to Europe with United miles on its own flights or any of its partners.

      Q3 – The credit limit varies for each card, and the US Air card is issued by a different bank than the Chase cards.

      Reply

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