Following is a guide on how to transfer Amex Membership Rewards points to airlines. Before you make a transfer, there are 4 important things to know about transferring American Express Membership Rewards points:
1) If you have more than one American Express card that earns Membership Rewards points, all your Membership Rewards points are collected in one combined Membership Rewards account.
2) You can transfer Amex points to foreign airlines for free. However, you have to pay an excise tax offset fee of $0.0006 per point (with a maximum fee of $99) to transfer Amex points into a U.S. airline frequent flyer program like Delta.
3) As you will see from the steps below, you will need to have information from one of your credit cards to make the transfer – so locate one of your Amex credit cards that earns Membership Rewards to proceed.
4) You cannot transfer Amex points into the Amex Membership Rewards account of another person but you can transfer Amex points to frequent flyer accounts of your authorized users.
Here are the steps to transfer your Amex Membership Rewards points to airline miles:
Visit the Membership Rewards website. You can either access it from your Amex account or log in directly at membershiprewards.com.
If you are looking at transactions in your credit card account, click on “Explore Rewards” under your Membership Rewards balance which will be on the right side.
Then click on “Travel” on the top left.
Then click on the “Get Started” button under “Transfer Points” on the left side.
On the next page you will see all the transfer loyalty program partners under “Select a loyalty program to link” as well as the transfer ratios. If you have already linked a loyalty program it is listed above, under “your loyalty program” (I don’t have any linked accounts so you cannot see that).
(For a list of all of the Amex travel transfer partners see related post: List of Amex Membership Rewards Transfer Partners.)
Click on the loyalty program you want to transfer your Amex Membership Rewards points. I am choosing to transfer a few points into my British Airways Avios account in order to keep my points from expiring.
You will then be taken to another page to verify your card and enter your loyalty program number. If you don’t have one of your cards with you or a photo of the front and back, you will not be able to transfer points. This step is required every time you make a transfer.
As you can see, you can also transfer Amex Membership Rewards points to an authorized user on your card and their name will also be listed. (If you have picked a US airline for example Delta, you will see a note where it says to enter your frequent flyer account number that there is a fee for making the transfer. See the photo below for the difference.)
If you have more than one credit or charge card, pick any card to verify and enter the 4-digit Card ID and 3-digit security code found on your card.
You will be taken to a new page that confirms your account has been linked.
Once your frequent flyer account is linked you don’t have to enter your frequent flyer number again but you will still always have to verify your card every time your login into your Amex account.
Transfers from Amex Membership Rewards are normally immediate, but Amex allow up to 48 hours for the transfer to be completed. I checked my account within ten minutes and my points were already in there.
The whole process is pretty quick, but you have to remember to have a card with you. If you access your accounts from work or while traveling and don’t usually bring those cards with you, I recommend taking a photo on your phone of the front and back of the card.