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American Express credit cards have quite a few perks, and one of the best is the ability to earn reward points that can be used for travel. American Express (Amex) partners with Delta Airlines on one of their credit card product lines, and almost any purchase you make will earn a varying rate of points per dollar you can transfer to your Delta SkyMiles account.
For a better understanding of how to transfer Amex points to Delta, you need to follow a few simple steps explained below.
First, go to Delta’s website and search for the flight you want to transfer points for. You can specifically tell the search engine to return the cost in miles, or miles plus cash. Once you know how many points you’ll need to transfer (1 point = 1 mile), it’s time to log into your American Express account.
Once you’ve accessed your account on the American Express website, you’ll need to link your frequent flyer or loyalty program account to your American Express cardholder account. You can do this by visiting the Membership Rewards link at the top of the screen, and then clicking Transfer Points.
Make sure the amount you want to transfer is correct; the website states that all transfers are final. Click the linked program you’d like to transfer your points to and go through with the transfer. Keep in mind that the points need to be transferred in increments of 1,000. The points should show up in your SkyMiles account right away. Before attempting to purchase your flight, double check your SkyMiles account to ensure the transfer went through.
What to Watch Out For
Transferring Amex points to any U.S.-based airline incurs a fee, and Delta is no exception. American Express charges a fee of six cents per mile, up to a maximum of $99. The fee is an excise tax the card company must pay; that charge is then passed on to you.
Because of this fee, some smart travelers who plan to use all their Membership Rewards points on travel end up transferring many at one time, instead of only transferring enough for one flight. The maximum tax is $99, so you can transfer unlimited points at one time without paying more than that.
Getting Help When You Transfer Points
While American Express attempts to make the transfer process both instantaneous and foolproof, every so often errors may happen. If you find yourself in need of help during the transfer process, you can contact American Express directly. Just visit their contact page and look for the customer service number that’s specific to your card. That way you can talk to someone who’s familiar with the type of card you have and can get you set up quickly.
You can also call Delta Airlines customer service if the problem is in your SkyMiles account, at 1-800-323-2323. They’ll be happy to assist you.
Author: Jeff Gitlen
Jeff Gitlen writes about a wide range of finance topics including everything from student loans to credit cards to small business financing. Jeff's work has been featured on a number of sites including Bloomberg, CNBC, Forbes, Market Watch, and more.