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Million Mile Secrets reader Jeremy emails:
I currently have the regular American Express Blue card. I have this to preserve my Membership Rewards points. If my wife gets the American Express EveryDay card, will I be able to transfer my points to her so they can be redeemed for travel?
Until earlier this year, American Express allowed spouses to transfer Membership Rewards points between their accounts. But they’ve changed the rules, and it’s no longer allowed.
Jeremy’s situation is a little more complicated because his only American Express credit card is the AMEX Blue. It’s a personal card that earns Membership Rewards points that can NOT be transferred to airline and hotel partners!
But read on, because I’ll suggest some workarounds!
Is There a Solution?
You can NOT transfer American Express Membership Rewards points directly to your spouse. However, you CAN transfer your points to an authorized user’s frequent flyer account. And that authorized user can be your spouse!
The American Express Membership Rewards terms and conditions say:
The frequent customer program account that you transfer points into must be held by you or an Additional Card Member linked to your program account.
American Express Membership Rewards points can be transferred to travel partners like Delta, British Airways, and Hilton.
But Jeremy’s American Express Blue card does not allow points transfers to airlines and hotels. So even if he adds his wife as an authorized user, he won’t be able to transfer points to her frequent flyer accounts.
He can, however, use his points to pay for travel using the Membership Rewards “Pay With Points” feature. But he generally won’t get as much value from his points compared to transferring to airlines and hotels.
What’s the Workaround?
In the past, some folks downgraded their American Express cards with high annual fees (like The Platinum Card from American Express or the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express ) to the AMEX Blue card. That’s because if they canceled their card altogether, they would lose all their Membership Rewards points.
At the time, the AMEX Blue card was the only Membership Rewards point-earning card with no annual fee. So many people got 1 to “preserve” their points, even though they could no longer transfer them to airlines.
But now, there’s the American Express EveryDay card. It earns Membership Rewards points that can be transferred to airlines and hotels, and also has NO annual fee.
So Jeremy’s best bet (if he wants to transfer points to his wife’s frequent traveler accounts) is to apply for the American Express EveryDay card, then add her as an authorized user.
He’ll get a sign-up bonus of 10,000 points (and a year of free Amazon Prime membership) after spending $1,000 in the 1st 3 months, and won’t pay an annual fee.
Once he links his new American Express EveryDay card to his Membership Rewards account, he’ll be able to transfer all the points in the account to airline and hotel partners.
That’s because the terms and conditions say:
If you have a Card enrolled in Membership Rewards when you enroll another Card, the Cards will be linked to the same program account. If this happens, both Cards will be eligible for the benefits available to the Card with the greater benefits. For example, if you link a Blue Card to a program account with your Platinum Card, you will be eligible to transfer points that you’ve earned by spending with your Blue Card.
Note: Jeremy might not want to apply for a new credit card if he’s buying a house or taking out a large loan soon. If that’s the case, he could call American Express and ask to convert his AMEX Blue card to the AMEX EveryDay card.
He will NOT get the sign-up bonus, but folks on FlyerTalk confirm it’s now possible to convert to the EveryDay card.
This could help improve his credit score in the long term if the AMEX Blue is the AMEX card he’s had the longest. Because AMEX measures your credit history based on your oldest account with them.
Million Mile Secrets reader Jeremy asks if he can transfer American Express Membership Rewards points from his AMEX Blue card to his wife, and then to airline and hotel partners.
American Express no longer allows points transfers between spouses. And the AMEX Blue card doesn’t let folks transfer points to airlines and hotels.
But if Jeremy converts his AMEX Blue card to an AMEX EveryDay card, or applies for a new EveryDay card, he can add his wife as an authorized user. And then he can transfer points to her frequent flyer accounts.
Thanks for the question, Jeremy!
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