Not All Points Are Transferable – Here’s a Handy Reminder!

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Folks new to our hobby often wonder if it’s possible to move miles and points from one program to another.  For example, to combine small balances or scrape up enough miles and points for an award.

Million Mile Secrets reader Stephen asks:

Can I transfer my points from my Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard to my Barclaycard Lufthansa Miles & More® World Elite Mastercard®?

Unfortunately, Stephen, even though both cards are issued by the same bank, the answer is no.

Not All Points Are Transferable Heres A Handy Reminder
Credit Card Reward Programs Rules Can Be Confusing. I’ll Help You Dig Through the Fine Print!

The miles you earn with the Barclaycard Arrival Plus are NOT transferable to any other loyalty program.  And while the miles you earn with the Barclaycard Lufthansa Miles & More card have plenty of good uses, you can’t transfer them, either.

Miles and points programs can sometimes be confusing.  Some credit cards earn points.  And others earn miles.  But, regardless of what they are called, you will NOT usually be able to transfer points or miles between separate loyalty programs.

The exception is when you earn flexible points.  I’ll remind you which points you CAN transfer!

Use Transferable Points Programs for Big Travel

Link:   Why Chase Ultimate Rewards Is My Favorite Points Program

If you are looking to transfer points, then you’ll want to earn points in one of these 4 programs:

Each program has their own airline and hotel transfer partners.  Knowing a program’s transfer partners will help you decide which points to earn.  If Stephen wants Lufthansa miles, he could earn Starwood points because they transfer to Lufthansa at a 1:1 ratio.  And he’ll get 5,000 bonus miles for every 20,000 points he transfers!

You Can Transfer Points to A Different Account Within the Same Program

Many loyalty programs will let you transfer points to another account within the same program.  But with most, you’ll pay a fee for the privilege.  And that fee is sometimes the same whether you are buying or gifting miles!

Not All Points Are Transferable Heres A Handy Reminder
Transferring American Airlines Miles Costs the Same As Buying Them

Sometimes airlines run promotions that can make transferring or buying miles a good idea.  But otherwise I would NOT suggest doing this unless you are trying to top-up your account for an award ticket.

How to Use Points Between Programs (And Why You Might Not Want To Transfer Them)

Link:   How to Book United Airlines Flights With AMEX Membership Rewards Points

You can’t transfer miles between airline loyalty programs.  But you can use miles to book award flights on partner airlines.  This makes transferable points even more valuable!

Another thing to consider with transferable points is they do NOT expire as long as your account is open.  But when you transfer them, they will expire per the terms of the loyalty program you choose.

Not All Points Are Transferable Heres A Handy Reminder
Bank Points Won’t Expire Unless You Close Your Account or Transfer Them

It’s always a good idea to save until you are ready to book an award.  Because hotels and airlines are always changing their award charts.  And usually not for the better. 🙁

Keep in mind once you make the transfer, you can NOT transfer the points back into your account.

Bottom Line

You cannot transfer points from one Barclaycard account to another.  BUT you can transfer points to other loyalty programs if you have flexible points.

With transferable points you don’t have to worry about your points expiring.  And you won’t have to worry as much about airlines changing their award charts for the worse.

But only transfer your points when you’re ready to book an award.  Because the process is NOT reversible.

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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