AMEX Adds a New Airline Transfer Partner (Great for Star Alliance Awards With NO Fuel Surcharges!)
Signing up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Here’s our full advertising policy: How we make money.
Update: One or more card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers.
Exciting news! Folks with cards like The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express can now transfer AMEX Membership Rewards points to an airline partner that enables you to fly first class to Europe and within the US cheaply!
By transferring your AMEX points to the Avianca loyalty program, you can fly on their Star Alliance partners like United Airlines and Lufthansa for fewer miles to popular destinations.
Redeeming Avianca miles is a particularly good deal for Star Alliance Business and First Class flights, because you won’t pay fuel surcharges unlike many other airline programs. And there are a few sweet spots on the Avianca award chart that can save you miles!
Here’s more about AMEX Membership Rewards’ newest airline partner, Avianca.
AMEX Adds Avianca as a Transfer Partner
You’ll now be able to transfer AMEX Membership Rewards points to Avianca at a 1:1 ratio, in increments of 1,000 points. And because Avianca isn’t a US airline, you won’t pay an excise fee.
Many miles and points enthusiasts are fans of Avianca miles because of their reasonably-priced awards and lack of fuel surcharges on Star Alliance airlines like Air Canada, SWISS, and Lufthansa. And their award chart has a few gems!
For example, you can book short-haul flights within the US on United Airlines for as few as 7,500 Avianca miles one-way. Business Class flights from the US to Europe cost 63,000 Avianca miles on Star Alliance partners (compare with 70,000 miles for partner flights with United Airlines), and First Class flights to Europe cost 87,000 Avianca miles one-way (United Airlines would charge 110,000 miles!)
Here’s a look at the portion of the Avianca award chart for flights from North America:
Keep in mind, Avianca runs frequent promotions where you can purchase miles for as little as ~1.35 cents each. So if you’re looking to boost your account balance and there’s a sale going on, you might consider buying miles and saving your AMEX Membership Rewards points for a more valuable redemption.
A few other tidbits about Avianca miles:
- One-way award bookings are permitted
- Mixed-cabin bookings are allowed (you’ll pay the price of the highest cabin in your itinerary, though)
- You can book partner flights online (but may have trouble finding the routing you want)
- Folks report their call center can be frustrating to work with if you’re trying to book by phone
- There’s a $25 booking fee for all award tickets
Earn More American Express Membership Rewards Points
You can check out our list of the best American Express cards here. And don’t forget to have a look at our multi-part guide to American Express Membership Rewards points.
Are you happy to hear AMEX has added Avianca as a Membership Rewards transfer partner? If you have experience booking award flights with Avianca miles, please share in the comments!
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! :)