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One of the key benefits of American Express Membership Rewards is flexibility. Amex has 20+ different travel partners providing a host of options when it comes time to book your travel using rewards points.
Some of our favorite cards that earn Membership Rewards are:
- The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express
- The Platinum Card® from American Express
- American Express® Gold Card
Redeem Membership Rewards points for flights, hotels, rental cars, and package deals, allowing you to put together a fantastic vacation paid for with Amex Membership Rewards points. Learn more about how the program works and what some of the most popular options are when it comes to using these valuable travel points.
Membership Rewards Features 19 Airline Transfer Partners
A lot of Membership Rewards' flexibility lies in its extensive list of transfer partners, with 19 different airline partners to choose from. When you consider each alliance and how widespread they are, you can effectively choose from nearly 100 different airlines when it comes time to book your flights.
For example, you can transfer your American Express Membership Rewards points to Air Canada's Aeroplan program and fly any Star Alliance airline, as Air Canada is a Star Alliance member. Other airline alliances include Skyteam and Oneworld.
An important thing to keep in mind is that for all transfers to frequent flyer programs of a U.S. airline, Amex will charge a fee of $0.0006 per point, with a maximum fee of $99 to your card account. No other program does this. American Express says, “We charge this fee to offset the federal excise tax we must pay on such conversions. The fee may be more or less than the actual amount of the excise tax we pay on any individual conversion.”
Honestly, we don't get it as Membership Rewards is the only program to charge this fee.
It's important to read the fine print regarding conversion value and any potential fees associated with the transfer, as some exchanges are going to be more valuable than others. There are options for both domestic and international travel, and all you need is an account with the partner that you wish to book your flights before logging in and making the points transfer. You can use your points to book the entire flight or use them for upgrades and select in-flight purchases.
Not all Membership Rewards transfer partners provide equal value, so it’s important to research your destination to find the best deals. For example, the British Airways Avios program is considered one of the best MR transfers, because there are often promotions offering bonuses of up to 50% for transferring MR points, and BA Avios offer flights on a huge number of OneWorld Alliance partners.
It's important to note that using Avios for international flights may lead to big fuel surcharges, but for those who figure out the nitty-gritty, like how to use Avios to book a domestic flight on American Airlines, Avios can be extremely valuable.
Another redemption option worth investigating is redeeming points and miles for upgrades on airline partners. With only a few thousand points, you can get upgraded tickets, priority seating, and more.
American Express Membership Rewards Transfer Partners
|Membership Rewards Transfer Partners||Minimum Points to Transfer||Transfer Ratio||Transfer Time|
|Aer Lingus AerClub||1,000||1,000 : 1,000 Avios||Unknown|
|Aeromexico Club Premier||1,000||1,000 : 1,600 Premier Points||1-2 days|
|Air Canada Aeroplan||1,000||1,000 : 1,000 Aeroplan Miles||Instant|
|Air France/KLM Flying Blue||1,000||1,000 : 1,000 Flying Blue Miles||Instant|
|Alitalia MilleMiglia||1,000||1,000 : 1,000 Alitalia Miles||1 day|
|ANA Airlines Mileage Club||1,000||1,000 : 1,000 ANA Miles||1-2 days|
|Avianca LifeMiles||1,000||1,000 : 1,000 LifeMiles||Instant|
|British Airways Avios||250||250 : 250 British Airways Avios||Instant|
|Cathay Pacific Asia Miles||1,000||1,000 : 1,000 Asia Miles||1-2 days|
|Delta SkyMiles||1,000||1,000 : 1,000 SkyMiles||Instant|
|El Al Matmid Club||1,000||1,000 : 20 Matmid Points||Instant|
|Emirates Skywards||1,000||1,000 : 1,000 Skywards Miles||Instant|
|Etihad Guest||1,000||1,000 : 1,000 Etihad Guest Miles||Instant|
|Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles||1,000||1,000 : 1,000 Hawaiian Miles||Instant|
|Iberia Plus||250||250 : 250 Iberia Avios||Instant|
|JetBlue TrueBlue||250||250 : 200 TrueBlue Points||Instant|
|Qantas Frequent Flyer||500||1,000 : 1,000 Qantas Points||Unknown|
|Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer||1,000||1,000 : 1,000 KrisFlyer Miles||1 day|
|Virgin Atlantic FlyingClub||1,000||1,000 : 1,000 Flying Club Miles||1 day|
|Choice Privileges Rewards (Hotel)||1,000||1,000 : 1,000 Choice Privileges Points||Instant|
|Hilton Honors (Hotel)||1,000||1,000 : 2,000 Hilton Honors Points||Instant|
|Marriott Rewards (Hotel)||1,000||1,000 : 1,000 Marriott Rewards||Unknown|
American Express applies a simple set of transfer restrictions when you move points from your Membership Rewards account to an airline or hotel partner.
The rules applying up until August 31, 2019:
You can transfer Membership Rewards points to an airline or hotel program if the destination account is in the name of the primary cardholder or in the name of an authorized user.
From September 1, 2019, Amex has adjusted the rule slightly:
You can transfer Membership Rewards points to an airline or hotel program if the destination account is in the name of the primary cardholder or in the name of an authorized user, provided the authorized user account has been open for at least 90 days.
The Amex Membership Rewards program offers travelers some excellent options when it comes to booking their travel reservations. With so many different airline and hotel partners to choose from, making the most out of your Membership Rewards points is not difficult—but you do have to pay attention to the details and do a little research. Each partner has different redemption policies, so explore some options before you commit.
Also, while redeeming for flights tends to be the most valuable way to use your rewards, you can also use them at many different hotels, which can be helpful when you want to book an entire trip or use a large number of accumulated Membership Rewards points!
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