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If you’ve heard the term “transferable points” but don’t completely understand the concept, you need this information.
When you open the best airline credit cards, you’re earning one particular airline miles currency. For example, if you open and use the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®, you’ll earn American Airlines miles. You can’t use those miles to fly on United or Delta, only American Airlines and its airline partners. The information for the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select card has been collected independently by Million Mile Secrets. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
However, when you collect transferable points, you can effectively collect dozens of airline miles at once. That’s because you can deposit those points into many loyalty programs, converting those points into the airline miles of your choice.
However, each points program has unique airline partners — and remembering all the airline partners of each transferable points program isn’t easy. If only there were a handy chart you could refer to when you needed this information.
We’ve created a table that allows you to see, at a glance, which points transfer to which airlines in a clear and understandable way.
Know which points transfer to your preferred airlines
I love transferable points because of the flexibility that comes with them. It can still be hard to figure out which miles and points to collect for your trip. If you already have an idea of where and how you want to travel, and which airlines or alliances you prefer, it’s easier to decide which credit cards to apply for. Knowing which airlines serve your home airport will help a lot in making a decision. Choose the points you earn by how useful they will be to you.
For example, even though most people place a smaller value on Delta miles, they are a wise choice for someone living near a Delta hub, like Atlanta.
Here is a chart to help you along the way! It includes every single airline, with the easiest to earn miles highlighted. Those with three or more flexible points transfer partners are bolded.
And remember, when you transfer points to an airline, you aren’t stuck flying ONLY that airline — you can also fly on partner airlines. For example, if you transfer your points to United Airlines, you will be able to book flights on Air Canada, South African Airways, Turkish Airlines, etc.
Make sure you examine the partners of each airline to see what works best for you.
|Airline||American Express Membership Rewards points||Chase Ultimate Rewards points||Citi ThankYou points||Capital One miles||Marriott points|
|Air Canada Aeroplan||1:1||1:1.5||3:1|
|Air New Zealand||200:1|
|Al Nippon Airways (ANA)||1:1||3:1|
|Flying Blue (Air France & KLM)||1:1||1:1||1:1||1:1.5||3:1|
|Japan Airlines (JAL)||3:1|
Pro tip: The conversion rate for Marriott points becomes 3:1.25 when you transfer in increments of 60,000. That’s because you will receive a 5,000 mile bonus
When you transfer Marriott points in increments of 60,000, you’ll receive a 5,000-mile bonus. In other words, transferring 60,000 Marriott points will net you 25,000 airline miles (3:1 ratio = 20,000 miles + 5,000 bonus miles). This effectively increases the transfer ratio to 3:1.25 for most transfer partners.
You can also convert other hotel points to some airlines for more miles. But the transfer rates are almost always very bad, and should be used as a last resort, or if you need just a couple thousand more miles for an award flight.
Only certain cards can transfer points
Most of these points programs will only let you transfer your points if you have one of their annual-fee cards.
For example, I’ve gladly kept my Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, even with its $95 annual fee, because it allows me to convert ALL my Chase Ultimate Rewards points to transfer partners, like United Airlines and Hyatt — including the points I’ve earned with my no-annual fee Chase Freedom® and Chase Freedom Unlimited® cards.
The information for the Chase Freedom and Chase Freedom Unlimited has been collected independently by Million Mile Secrets. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
American Express Membership Rewards
You can transfer Amex Membership Rewards points if you have any of the best Amex credit cards, including:
- The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
- The Platinum Card® from American Express
- American Express® Gold Card
- American Express® Business Gold Card
You can transfer your American Express Membership Rewards points to lots of great partners. But only certain credit cards are eligible to transfer points.
American Express charges a fee to transfer miles to U.S. airlines. They have to pay an excise tax for the transfer, and they pass along the costs to you, the cardholder. You will pay 0.06 cents per point, up to a maximum of $99 when you transfer American Express Membership Rewards points to a U.S. airline.
American Express Membership Rewards points usually transfer within two days, but can take longer depending on the airline. Read our post on the best ways to use Amex points to learn which airline partners can unlock literally thousands and thousands of dollars for your Amex points — just by earning a welcome bonus or two!
Chase Ultimate Rewards
To transfer the points you earn with these cards to travel partners, you must first transfer them to one of the following cards:
Most of the Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partners receive your Chase points instantly, but IHG and Marriott took me ~19 hours and ~41 hours respectively to receive my transferred points. Your results may vary, but just keep in mind that if you see a great deal, it may be gone before your points deposit into your account.
Check out the best ways to use Chase points to learn which transfer partners will give you the biggest bang for your point.
The information for the Chase Ink Business Cash and Chase Ink Business Preferred has been collected independently by Million Mile Secrets. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Citi ThankYou points
Like other programs, you can’t transfer Citi ThankYou points from just any card. Credit cards like the Citi® Double Cash Card and Citi Rewards+℠ Card do not have the capability to transfer points to airlines. You must combine those points with:
- Citi Premier℠ Card
- Citi Prestige® Card
Only then can you redeem them with Citi transfer partners.
It’s free to transfer Citi ThankYou points, but transfers are far from instant. The average wait time is two days, although it may take up to 14 days for the process to complete, depending on the transfer partner.
Read our post on the best ways to use Citi ThankYou points to learn which transfer partners are the most advantageous.
The information for the Citi Premier and Citi Prestige has been collected independently by Million Mile Secrets. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Capital One miles
- Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
- Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card
- Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business
There are a couple ways to redeem Capital One miles. Transferable miles give you flexibility when you travel and each program has its own sweet spots. But with this program in particular, not all travel partners are worth your time. Remember, you can always redeem Capital One miles for one cent each to erase an eligible travel purchase (made within the last 90 days ). If you’re going to transfer your miles, you want to get more than one cent per mile in value in return.
The information for the Capital One Venture, Capital One VentureOne, and Capital One Spark Miles has been collected independently by Million Mile Secrets. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Marriott credit cards earn the most flexible points for transferring to airlines. There are no card-specific transfer restrictions. As long as you have Marriott points, you can transfer them to airline partners:
- Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card
- Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card
- Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card
- Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card
You can transfer Marriott points to a lot of airlines that aren’t partners with any other program. Marriott has more than 40 transfer partners, which is more than American Express Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards combined!
There is no fee to transfer Marriott points, but they could take the longest amount of time to transfer. Even though points usually transfer between two and 12 days, it can take up to a criminal four weeks before you see them in your airline account. That’s a big deal if you have a certain redemption in mind and are afraid it will sell out.
American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Capital One miles, and Citi ThankYou points require you to have certain cards before you can transfer your points to airlines. Marriott is the one exception.
One super important aspect to transferable points is that converting is a one-way street. Once you transfer your points to an airline, you cannot transfer them back to points. Before you hit the transfer button, make sure that’s the decision you want to make.
Let us know which transferable points are your favorite in the comments. And subscribe to our newsletter for more helpful miles and points resources like this delivered to your inbox!