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If you use an American Express card (commonly called an Amex card), you may have racked up membership rewards points. These rewards points can be incredibly valuable, particularly if you plan to travel and want to redeem them for miles. Read on to learn how you can take advantage of your Amex rewards points — and start maximizing your credit card usage today.
How to Transfer American Express Rewards Points
When it comes to transferring Amex points, the first thing you will need to do is log into the American Express rewards website. From there, log into or create an account to view your account balance.
Next, click on the “transfer points” option. While you can book travel, transferring Amex points to a different airline or hotel rewards program may give you more flexibility in travel. From the “transfer points” page, you will see a list of options for airlines and hotel programs, ranging from British Airways and JetBlue, to Hilton and Starwood.
Examine these choices carefully, as the points don’t always transfer at a one-to-one ratio. Some points could have a reduced value of 50 percent or less, while others may have a greater value through transfer.
Once you have chosen your preferred airline or hotel option, you can then choose the amount of points you want to transfer. If your membership rewards account is not linked to the partner program, you will be prompted to enter the required information. The transfer will then be completed, and in most cases, the points will be immediately available for use through the partner program.
Importantly, there is a fee for transferring Amex points to a U.S. airline partner program of sixty cents for every 1,000 points transferred, up to a maximum of $99. While you can pay this fee with points, it is generally a better deal to pay with your credit card. This fee does not apply to hotel or foreign airline partners.
What Cards Are Eligible for Points Transfer?
Almost every American Express card that allows members to earn rewards points permits transfers of these points to partner programs. However, there are some notable exceptions to this general rule. Most Amex “Blue” cards, the Zync card, and co-branded Amex cards (such as Hilton, Delta, and Starwood cards) are not eligible for points transfer. If you have any questions about your eligibility for points transfer, contact American Express customer service by calling the number on the back of your card.
Can You Transfer Amex Points to a Friend’s Card?
In the past, American Express cardholders could freely transfer points between each other’s accounts. However, because brokers began selling these points, Amex began cracking down on the practice. Now American Express only permits the transfer of points between authorized users on an account.
If you would like to share your points with a friend, family member, or significant other, you will have to add them to your account as an authorized user. Just be aware that some American Express cards charge an annual fee for the addition of an authorized user before making this change.
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.