How To Transfer Amex Points: A Step-by-Step Guide How To Transfer Amex Points: A Step-by-Step Guide

How To Transfer Amex Points: A Step-by-Step Guide

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I remember my first points transfer. It was a bit daunting. While I wasn't trying to figure out how to transfer Amex points, the process seemed confusing. I didn't want to mess anything up and lose my valuable points. Fortunately, things didn't go awry. Nor have they gone awry since then. Points transfers quickly become routine.

But if you're new to transferring points, you might be wondering how to do it. In this post, we'll walk you through how to transfer Amex points to hotel and airline programs, how to link your loyalty accounts, and cover a handful of other transfer rules and details you should note.

How to Transfer Amex Points to a Partner Program

To start, log into your account at This will take you to the accounts dashboard. If your default card is a Membership Rewards-earning card, you should see a button labeled “Explore Rewards.” Click on this.

a button says "explore rewards" that people can click on in their user portal

If your default card is a co-branded card, click on the highlighted card in the top right corner and switch to one of your Membership Rewards-earning cards first. It doesn't matter which one. All your Amex points are aggregated into one account.

Finding the Membership Rewards transfer partners

This takes you to the Membership Rewards account page. Here you'll see how many points you have and how many you've earned in the current year.

Amex Membership Rewards Dashboard with points balance information
Rewards dashboard for whichever card you selected.

Scroll down, then you'll see a section titled “Ready to Redeem?” You'll see the various options for redeeming your points here. Click on the “Transfer Points” tab, and then click on the “View All” button in the bottom corner. I don't know what controls which options American Express feeds you in the “featured” box, but they are never the ones I need.

How to Transfer Amex Points
Select the option to “Transfer Points.”

Here, you'll see a list of all the Amex transfer partners. Assuming you haven't linked any, none should say “Enrolled” under the program name. Nearly all of mine are linked, however. If American Express is offering a transfer bonus to any of its partners, you'll see it displayed in the list on the right side.

How to Transfer Amex Points to Partners
List of Amex transfer partners.

Linking your loyalty accounts

To link your airline or hotel loyalty account, you'll need your loyalty number. Hopefully, you're using AwardWallet to track your accounts and can easily log in and copy it from there. The good news is that, once you link your account, you don't have to re-enter your loyalty number each time you want to transfer your Amex points. It's a one-time deal.

Here, I am linking my Singapore KrisFlyer account to Membership Rewards so I can transfer Amex points to this program.

Link Singapore KrisFlyer Account to transfer Amex points from my account
Form for linking my Singapore KriFlyer account to Amex.

If you don't have an account, there is a link that will take you to the partner's page so you can create a loyalty account. American Express cannot create a loyalty account for you. Once you have your loyalty number, enter it in the box provided. The name on your card must match the name on the loyalty account.

To complete the link, American Express will ask for the card security code (CSC) from the card account you logged in with. You also can choose to receive a one-time passcode to your cell phone or email to complete the security verification.

It can take up to a minute for the link request to process. If the link is successful, American Express will give you a success message. If it wasn't, you'll see an error message asking you to check the name on the account or the account number.

Transferring points

Now, the step you've been waiting for: transferring your Amex points to an airline or hotel program. As you'll read in our guide to Amex transfer partners, transferring points to hotels rarely yields good value. Most airline programs fare better. Although we don't typically recommend moving points speculatively, I like to keep a stash of Avianca LifeMiles on hand, so this is the transfer I will make.

To initiate a transfer, go to the list of transfer partners and click on the program you want to use. You'll then be asked how many points you want to transfer. The box will show linked account numbers. We'll cover how to link additional accounts in a moment.

screenshot of transferring Amex points to LifeMiles
Select how many points you want to transfer.

Notice the minimum, maximum, and transfer increments to the left. Make sure you don't try to transfer too many, too few, or an oddball number of points. Most programs require you to transfer points in increments of 1,000. American Express also tells you the transfer time. However, most transfers process faster than stated. Transfers to Avianca LifeMiles are usually instant.

Related: Points and Miles Transfer Times

Once you settle on the number of points to transfer, click “Review Transfer.” Finally, confirm and submit the transfer request if you're satisfied.

How to Transfer Amex Points - screenshot of confirmation page
Submit your points transfer if you're sure you want to convert them.

Once the transfer is processed, check your loyalty account for the miles or points. Hopefully, you see them immediately and can book your trip! If the transfer isn't immediate, you can use the AwardWallet “Balance Watch” feature to be notified when your transfer is complete.

Paying the Excise Tax Offset Fee, if applicable

If you're transferring miles to a U.S. airline, there is one additional step: paying the excise tax offset fee. This doesn't apply to foreign carriers. But if you want to transfer your points to Delta, Hawaiian, or JetBlue, you'll pay $0.60 per 1,000 points. It's unfortunate, but it's what American Express charges. The transfer screen will look like the following.

Amex Excise Tax Offset Fee payment page
Amex unfortunately charges a small fee for transfers to U.S. airline programs.

Do not pay the fee with points. You only get 1 cent per point in value if you do so. AwardWallet users typically get 2.14¢ in value from Membership Rewards points (AKA, much more value), so pay the fee with your card.

Linking Authorized User Accounts

One additional note on linking accounts: It is possible to link loyalty programs in the names of authorized users if you follow this rule:

The person must have been an authorized user on one of your cards for at least 90 days.

American Express added this requirement some years back to combat suspected fraud and the selling of points. If you want to transfer points to family members, you'll need to first add them as authorized users to get the clock started. And remember: Even if you have a card like The Platinum Card® from American Express, you can add authorized users for free. Just don't add them as Platinum cardholder. Instead, add them as an additional Companion Platinum Card member on your account. This comes without an annual fee (Rates & Fees).

Once your authorized user account is eligible, linking is exactly the same as for the primary card member. Obviously, the name on the loyalty account must match the authorized user's name on the Amex card account.

Since Amex doesn't allow you to pool points with others, this is a great way to put points into family members' accounts.

Final Thoughts

Now you know how to transfer Amex points to travel partners. It's a bit involved the first time, as there are multiple steps required to link your loyalty accounts. But once linked, you won't have to link them again. You can simply transfer points as desired.

American Express has a great set of transfer partners and often runs points transfer bonuses, such as these to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, Flying Blue, and Avianca LifeMiles (these come and go and may not have bonuses right now). Make sure to keep tabs on the blog for the latest Amex points transfer promotions.

For rates and fees of the cards mentioned in this post, please visit the following links: The Platinum Card® from American Express (Rates & Fees)

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