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The wonderful thing about American Express points is the flexibility they afford. If you don’t have set travel plans for a future trip, these transferable points give you the option to choose from multiple airline and hotel partners when the time comes.
Earning flexible rewards, like AMEX Membership Rewards points, is one of the best strategies for success in the miles and points hobby. “Success” can mean anything from a First Class adventure around the world, a family trip to Europe, or even a trip to the Amazon rainforest! Even better, AMEX Membership Rewards points are easy to earn from many of the best American Express cards.
The AMEX Membership Rewards points program has many direct airline and hotel partners. Plus, you’ll get access to other indirect partners too! And you can also use your AMEX Membership Rewards points to book directly through the AMEX travel portal. So you’ve got lots of options.
We’ll show you how to use American Express points, including how quick and easy it is to link your loyalty accounts to AMEX and transfer AMEX Membership Rewards points to travel partners. And how simple booking through the AMEX travel portal can be!
How to Use American Express Points
Cards That Earn Transferable AMEX Membership Rewards Points
You can earn AMEX points with the following cards:
|Personal Cards||Business Cards|
|American Express® Gold Card||The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express|
|The Platinum Card® from American Express||American Express® Business Gold Card|
|Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express||The Business Platinum® Card from American Express|
|Business Green Rewards Card from American Express|
There are 2 main avenues for redeeming your AMEX Membership Rewards points.
The first is to transfer your points to one of AMEX’s airline and hotel transfer partners. The other is to use your Membership Rewards points for travel through AMEX’s travel portal.
Here’s a detailed explanation of how to take advantage of both of these options.
Transfer and Use AMEX Membership Rewards Points Through AMEX Travel Partners
Link Airline and Hotel Loyalty Accounts
Before you transfer AMEX Membership Rewards points to your loyalty accounts, you’ll need to link your airline or hotel account.
This only takes a few minutes. We recommend linking all of your airline and hotel loyalty accounts, even if you don’t have immediate plans to transfer points.
Because sometimes it can take a day or 2 to verify your accounts. So by linking your accounts sooner rather than later, you’ll be ready to transfer points when the time comes.
Here’s how you can link your accounts!
Step 1. Log-In to Your AMEX Account
First, log-in to your AMEX account. On the account summary page of any of your AMEX Membership Rewards cards, you’ll see your total points.
Underneath the points balance, click “Explore Rewards”.
One the next screen, click “Transfer Points” and then “View All”.
Step 2. Select Program to Link
Next, you can select from any of AMEX’s airline and hotel transfer partners. As you can see, I’ve already linked my British Airways account.
Here’s a look at the transfer ratios and estimated transfer times for each of the airline partners.
|American Express Membership Rewards Airline Transfer Partners|
|Airline||Transfer Ratio||Estimated Transfer Time|
|Asia Miles||1:1||48 Hours|
|Flying Blue (Air France / KLM)||1:1||Instant|
|Iberia||1:1||~1 to 3 days|
|Singapore Airlines||1:1||~1 to 2 days|
And this table references the estimated transfer times for each hotel partner.
|American Express Membership Rewards Hotel Transfer Partners|
|Hotel||Transfer Ratio||Estimated Transfer Time|
Step 3. Enter Loyalty Account Information
The next step is to verify your AMEX account by entering your credit card information. If you have multiple AMEX cards, you can just choose one and enter the required details. You can link loyalty accounts in your name or in the name of an authorized cardholder.
At this step, you’ll also enter your airline or hotel loyalty number. This will let AMEX know where to transfer the points!
Note: If you don’t have a frequent flyer number, there’s an option at the top of the screen to create a loyalty account with the airline or hotel.
Step 5. Confirm Account Is Linked
You’re ready to begin transferring points! You’ll see a confirmation indicating your airline or hotel account is now linked to your AMEX Membership Rewards account.
Transfer AMEX Membership Rewards Points
After your account is linked and verified, you can begin transferring points.
Here’s how to do it!
Step 1. Select Airline or Hotel to Transfer Points
On the AMEX Membership Rewards page, you can see linked loyalty programs under “Your loyalty programs.”
To transfer points, you can click at the bottom of the linked loyalty account.
Step 2. Enter Number of Points
The next step is to enter the number of points you’d like to transfer to the airline or hotel partner.
As an example, I entered 1,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points, which will transfer to 1,000 Singapore Airlines miles.
Similar to before, you’ll also have to enter your credit card information to verify it’s you.
Keep in mind, after you click “Confirm & Transfer Points“, your points will be debited from your AMEX Membership Rewards balance. You will NOT be able to get them back to your AMEX Membership Rewards account.
You may have to verify your AMEX account by entering your card’s security information. And remember, if you’re transferring points to a US airline, you’ll have to pay an excise fee of 0.06 cents per point, up to a maximum of $99.
Step 3. Confirm Your Transfer
You’ll get a confirmation message that your points are being transferred to the airline or hotel partner.
Remember, the time it takes to transfer to each partner can vary. In this case, AMEX transfers to Hilton are instant. You’re ready to book a free hotel stay!
Use AMEX Membership Rewards Through the AMEX Travel Portal
Redeeming your AMEX Membership Rewards points for travel through AMEX’s travel site is very straightforward.
Step 1. Log-In to Your AMEX Account
Of course, you’ll first need to log-in to your AMEX account. Similarly to the above process, you’ll start by clicking “Explore Rewards” on the account summary page.
Step 2. Go to the American Express Travel Site
From there, select the “Book Travel” tab and click the “Explore Amex Travel” button.
After that, you’ll be redirected to the AMEX Travel page.
Once you’re there, click the “Start Booking” button.
Step 3. Search for Travel
Once you’ve started the booking process you’ll enter your travel details. AMEX’s travel portal works like many other travel search engines. You’ll need to enter information like your desired destination, travel dates, number of travelers, etc.
In this particular example, I’m searching for a flight between Seattle and New York. Once you’ve entered your travel details, click “Search Flights.”
Step 4. Select Your Desired Itinerary
AMEX’s travel portal will populate with a number of different options and will display the cash price and the number of AMEX Membership Rewards points you’d need for the flight.
From there, you’ll be able to select the flight you want.
Step 5. Complete the Booking Process
After selecting the flights you want, you’ll be taken through the process of confirming your booking.
You’ll be asked to review your flights, enter your personal information, and decide whether or not you want to use your points to purchase the ticket.
When you opt to use AMEX Membership Rewards points to purchase travel, you’ll be asked to confirm your AMEX card by entering the 4 numbers on the front and 3 numbers from the signature panel on the back. This is just for added security. You wouldn’t want anyone stealing those hard-earned rewards!
Again, the process is pretty straightforward. And just like with bookings made directly through the airlines, you’ll have 24 hours to cancel your booking for a full refund.
You have 2 main options to redeem your American Express points. You can either transfer them to an AMEX travel partner, or book travel through the AMEX Travel Portal.
To transfer AMEX Membership Rewards points to any of their airline and hotel partners, you’ll first need to link your accounts. I recommend linking all of your loyalty accounts to AMEX so you can save time when you decide to transfer points in the future.
After your accounts are linked, you can transfer points in 3 quick steps. Just remember, all transfers are final. So after your points are moved to an airline or hotel partner, you will NOT be able to get them back to your AMEX account.
Booking travel through AMEX’s travel site is even more straightforward and can be done in just 5 simple steps. It works much like other travel booking engines and at the final step, you’ll be able to choose whether you want to pay cash or use your AMEX Membership Rewards points to offset the cost of the booking.
If you’re looking to earn more AMEX Membership Rewards points, check out our post about the best American Express cards.
And check out these posts for more details on AMEX Membership Rewards points:
- American Express Points Review
- AMEX Points Value
- Best Way to Use AMEX Points
- AMEX Transfer Partners
- How to Earn AMEX Points
- How to Setup an American Express Membership Rewards Account
- Do American Express Points Expire?