How Long Do AmEx Membership Rewards Points Transfers Take?

In the interest of full disclosure, One Mile At A Time earns a referral bonus for anyone that’s approved through some of the below links. These are the best publicly available offers that we have found for each card. Please check out our advertiser policy for further details about the partners we work with. Thanks for your support!

Update: The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN has exciting new benefits, and a great new limited time offer. Learn more about the current offer here.

In general my three favorite points currencies are American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest.

The reason I like these currencies is because they’re so flexible, meaning you can pool your points in a currency that somewhat limits your devaluation risk. So if one of their airline transfer partners devalues their award chart, there are still many other programs you can transfer to.

While Chase Ultimate Rewards transfers are instant and Starwood Preferred Guest transfers vary wildly and can take a really long time, one of the most consistent programs for transfer times is American Express Membership Rewards.

Membership-Rewards-Transfer-Partners

Membership Rewards has 17 airline transfer partners, and the amount of time it takes to transfer points, along with the transfer ratios, are as follows:

Membership Rewards Transfer PartnerTransfer RatioTransfer Time
Aeromexico Club Premier1000 : 1000~ 4 to 5 days
Air Canada Aeroplan1000 : 1000Instant
Air France KLM Flying Blue1000 : 1000Instant
All Alitalia MilleMiglia Club1000 : 1000Instant
ANA Mileage Club1000 : 1000~ 2 to 3 days
British Airways Executive Club1000 : 1000Instant
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles1000 : 1000~ 1 day
Delta SkyMiles1000 : 1000Instant
El Al Matmid1000 : 20Instant
Emirates Skywards1000 : 1000Instant
Frontier Early Returns1000 : 1000Instant
Hawaiian HawaiianMiles1000 : 1000Instant
Iberia Plus1000 : 1000~ 1 to 2 days
JetBlue TrueBlue250 : 200Instant
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer1000 : 1000~ 12 to 24 hours
Virgin America Elevate200 : 100Instant
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club1000 : 1000~ 1 to 2 days

It’s worth noting that there’s no cash co-pay for points transfers, aside from a federal excise tax offset fee when transferring Membership Rewards points to a US carrier (which includes Delta, Frontier, Hawaiian, JetBlue, and Virgin America). This tax is $0.0006 per point, with a maximum fee of $99.

The absolute best card for accruing Membership Rewards points is the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express, which offers 3x points on airfare purchased directly with airlines, 2x points on gas purchased at US gas stations & groceries purchased at supermarkets. There’s also an increased 40,000 point sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN right now, both of which come with lots of great benefits.

Regarding Comments: The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Comments

  1. Thanks – this is very helpful. I’ve been acruing MR points looking to take Mrs Flight in SQ first class. On the PRG i have been dissapointed thst a card marketed to flyers does not have trip cancelation / interuption coverage. For thst reason I’ve been using the Sapphire more (slowing my MR accumulation). I have suggested to Amex that they look at this.

  2. It boggles my Canadian mind why Amex Canada can’t have a list like this. Only Aeroplan and BA are 1:1. Asia, Delta and Alitalia miles are all 1:750 – no ideal how long they would take to transfer either as I’ve never tried. Really pisses me off.

  3. @Jim, it looks like it’s 100:75, not 1:750. I read “1:750” and almost fell out of my chair. Still a shit deal, but… On the brighter side, the transfer ratio to SPG points is better than ours (1000:500 vs 1000:333). I guess that’s the sort of silver lining or something. Still a waste.

  4. I just canceled my Amex Plat/PRG cards last night, and talked with the rep briefly about the new Amex Everyday cards. According to him, the MR points accrued on those cards are NOT transferrable to partners on their own, only if the points are linked to a charge card such as the Plat/PRG/Business Gold/etc.

    Do you know if there’s any truth to that? Or will the Amex Everyday cards be full-earning MR cards, and transferrable to partners without needing a charge card?

  5. This is a GREAT list. Caution on both Singapore and Cathay transfers. I’ve had transfers take longer (two days on SQ and four days on CX). Best advise: use Lucky’s awesome guide….and always call AmEx customer service to verify transfer times. Also, take their customer service speak seriously: ‘transfer times are not guaranteed’.

  6. “Use your Card every day and earn points – they have no expiration date. Transfer points to 17 frequent flyer programs and 5 frequent guest programs or use them for gift cards and merchandise. “

  7. Why is there a federal excise tax assessed for Membership Awards transfers to US carriers, but none, to my knowledge, for either Ultimate Rewards or Starwoods?

  8. On the ones that are not instant, do any of them allow you to hold a reservation? Or are there tricks to do that?

  9. Recently made two transfers to AsiaMiles. Both times took 2-3 calendar days, which is similar to what is reported on FT.

  10. Hey there — the Aeromexico one isn’t correct. I’ve personally transferred 1000 points from Amex and it becomes 1600 Club Premiere points once it arrives at Aeromexico’s site. Also, the transfer time seemed like it might be done twice a month? Like my first transfer took 12 days and the second transfer took four.

  11. In my experience, transfers to SQ KF program can take 2 days but it could be due to timing of a request. It’s still way quicker than doing a transfer from SPG.

  12. How long does it take to link a Delta account to AMEX? I just linked a friends account bc he is short a few thousand miles for an award and I was going to transfer to him. It says status unconfirmed. I just added his Delta number on link accounts, it never asked for names or anything. Is this correct?

  13. @ stallion — It should be instant, and it sounds like it’s not linking because the names don’t match, so they’re just enforcing the rules.

  14. Aeroplan is not instant. The transfer shows as done on Aeroplan but you balance does not immediately update. I’m sure if you called in they can see it but the website can not.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *