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How to transfer your Amex points to airline miles (illustrated)

by on Wed May 25, 2016 • 2 Comments


American Express Membership Rewards points are extremely valuable, if you know how to use them. The first step to the biggest value is by linking your frequent flier accounts to Amex and transferring your Amex points to frequent flier miles when you’re ready to book a trip.

Almost every Amex card that earns Membership Rewards points lets you transfer points into partner airline miles, including the no annual fee Amex Everyday.

Exceptions include most ‘Blue’ cards and the Zync card, as well as any Delta, Starwood, Hilton or other ‘co brand’ cards. Some Corporate cards from Amex charge a fee to be able to join Membership Rewards.

But if your card is eligible, here is a step to step guide that will show you how to transfer your Amex points to Delta or any of the other airline and hotel partners.

Step 1: Login

Go to and login by clicking the green arrow near the top right of the page.


Step 2: Go to the Transfer Points Page

There are two different ways to use points for travel: transferring points and booking with points through American Express. We are interested in transferring points. Click get started at the bottom of the page you see after logging in to get to the point transfer page.


Step 3: Choose an Amex transfer partner

You’ll see a list of airline and hotel programs you can transfer to. Click on one of them to get to the transfer page.


Amex airline transfer partners

Membership Rewards allows you to transfer points to the following programs:

1,000 Amex points = 1,000 partner points:

1,000 Amex points = 800 partner points:

1,000 Amex points = 500 partner points:

  • Virgin America Elevate

1,000 Amex points = 333 partner points:

  • Starwood Preferred Guest

1,000 Amex points = 1,500 partner points:

How long do transfers take?

Transfers are normally immediate for most partners, except for:

  • ANA (5-7 business days)
  • Asia Miles (3 – 7 days)
  • Iberia Plus (4 – 7 days)
  • Singapore KrisFlyer (3 days, sometimes up to 7)

It’s best to make sure there is actually award space with the transfer partner for the flights you want before you transfer, and unfortunately the programs that don’t offer immediate transfer won’t hold an award for you, so you’re gambling on space staying open by the time the transfer finishes.

Step 4: Enter the number of points you want to transfer

If you have already successfully linked your frequent flyer program, you can now complete your points transfer by entering in how many points you want to transfer and clicking continue. Don’t worry, there will be another page where you confirm the transaction before it’s final.

Screen Shot 2016-05-21 at 11.19.40 PM.png

If your account isn’t yet linked with the partner program, you’ll get the error message below. That’s okay – just click on the ‘Points Summary’ link on the error page and follow these steps to link your accounts.


Step 6: Complete the transfer

If you’ve already linked your account, you’ll get a chance to review your transaction and pay for the federal tax offset fee. That fee is $0.60 per 1,000 points you transfer, up to a maximum of $99 (a 165,000 point transfer will cost $99).

You’ll get the option to pay the fee either with your points or with your credit card. Paying the fee with points is a bad deal – you only get a half a cent per point in value for that – so you’re better off saving the points for your next trip.


Once you’ve made your selection, review your transfer total at the bottom and click Continue.

This will finalize your transfer, and the points will appear in your partner account according to the transfer time listed on the page. In this case for Delta, it’s normally instant, but can take up to 48 hours.

Transfers can’t be reversed, so only do this if you’re sure you will be able to use the points, and have already scoped out award availability with the partner.


How to link your Membership Rewards account to your mile and point accounts

Step 1: Go to your Points Summary page

If you’re not already on your ‘Points Summary’ page which lists recent transactions in your Membership Rewards account, login to and click on ‘Points Summary’ from the top right of your screen, where your account balance is listed.


Step 2: Find the Link Additional Programs link

On the right hand side of your summary page, click “Link Loyalty Programs.” A drop down menu will appear. Scroll to the bottom.

If you already have an account number with the frequent flier program you want to transfer to, click “Link Additional Programs.”

If you need to set up an account with the frequent flier program, you can do that by clicking ‘Enroll additional programs’ and establish an account number. AeroMexico, Air Canada Aeroplan, British Airways Executive Club, Delta SkyMiles, El Al Matmid, Emirates Skywards, and Virign Atlantic Flying Club will automatically link your account once you enroll.

For other programs like Air France Flying Blue and ANA Mileage Club you’ll be given a link to the airline where you can enroll. Once you have an account number, come back here and click ‘Link additional programs’ to continue.


Step 3: Choose the program you want to link

Select the program you would like to add and click continue.

Screen Shot 2016-05-21 at 11.10.39 PM.png

Step 4: Enter your account information

Add your frequent flyer information and verify your credit card to link the program to your account. Click link programs to complete the connection.

Screen Shot 2016-05-21 at 11.11.10 PM.png

Step 5: Go back to the transfer points page

Once you have successfully linked the frequent flyer program, you can click travel on the top menu to get back to transferring your points. You can follow the instructions from the beginning to transfer your points.





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2 thoughts on How to transfer your Amex points to airline miles (illustrated)

  1. Nirav

    Can I use American express card point towards etihad airlines?

    I think they are partner of etihad guest. So please let us know.

    Thank you.


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