Can You Transfer Airline Miles Into Your Flexible Points Account?

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Can You Transfer Airline Miles Into Your Flexible Points Account?

Million Mile SecretsCan You Transfer Airline Miles Into Your Flexible Points Account?Million Mile Secrets Team

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Few things in the points & miles world can be as frustrating as not having enough miles in your account to redeem for anything meaningful.

There are lots of tricks for getting more miles into your account, like opening one of the best credit cards for travel.  But is there any way to transfer the miles you have out of your account?

Unfortunately, Transferable Points Can Only Move in One Direction

Million Mile Secret Agent Mst commented:

Can I transfer Delta miles to Starwood points at a 1:1 ratio?

Sorry, Mst, but transferable points can only be moved in one direction. 🙁

When you transfer flexible points to a partner, you can NOT transfer them back.  And airline miles do NOT convert into transferable points.

This is one of the reasons why we value transferable points more than other points and miles.  Let’s take a look at which points transfer to which airlines.  And how to transfer points between accounts.

Which Points Transfer to Which Airlines?

The transfer ratios to all the major airlines are listed below.  Also, it’s important to know that for every 20,000 Starwood points you transfer to an airline partner with a 1:1 transfer ratio, you’ll get a 5,000-mile bonus!

Note:   Starwood points are living on borrowed time, as it will soon merge loyalty accounts with Marriott.

AirlineAmerican Express Membership RewardsChase Ultimate RewardsCiti ThankYouMarriott
Aer LingusNo1:1NoNo
Air Canada (Aeroplan)1:1NoNo3:1
Alaska AirlinesNoNoNo3:1
American AirlinesNoNoNo3:1
All Nippon Airways (ANA)1:1NoNo3:1
Asia Miles (Cathay Pacific)1:1No1:13:1
British Airways1:11:1No3:1
Flying Blue1:11:11:13:1
Hawaiian Airlines1:1NoNo3:1
Japan Airlines (JAL)NoNoNo3:1
Korean AirNo1:1No3:1
Miles & MoreNoNoNo3:1
Singapore Airlines1:11:11:13:1
United AirlinesNo1:1No3:1.1
Virgin Atlantic1:11:11:13:1

How to Transfer Points Between Accounts Within the Same Program

Even though you can NOT transfer points into your Starwood (or other transferable points) account, you usually can transfer points between accounts within the same loyalty program.

But the rules vary depending on the program.  Here are the transfer rules for the 4 major transferable points programs:

Again, note that the Starwood loyalty program will soon no longer exist.  Come August 2018, it will merge with Marriott.  You’ll then be able to transfer Marriott points to many airlines at a ratio of 3:1.  And for every 60,000 points you transfer, you’ll receive 5,000 bonus airline miles (60,000 Marriott points = 25,000 airline miles).

Most airlines allow you to transfer or “gift” miles to someone else’s account.  But you’ll most likely pay a fee.  And it’s usually NOT a good deal.

Can You Transfer Airline Miles Into Your Flexible Points Account
Transferring Delta Miles to Another Delta Account Is Usually Not a Good Deal

So unless you have miles that are expiring, or you’re just shy of having enough miles for an award, we would NOT suggest this option.

Bottom Line

Transferable points are great because you can transfer them to lots of different partners.  But once you transfer them out of your account, you can’t get them back. 🙁

And if you earn airline miles, you can NOT transfer them to your transferable points account.  But if you’re in a pinch, you can transfer miles between accounts within the same loyalty program.

Thanks for the question, Mst!

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Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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You can transfer United miles to Marriott points at a 1:1 ratio through the RewardsPlus program (assuming you have the requisite status), then transfer them from Marriott to SPG at a 3:1 ratio until the programs merge in August.