Full information to American Categorical Membership Rewards companions

It is no surprise why TPG staffers (and our readers) love American Categorical Membership Rewards factors. You may switch Amex factors to high-value airline packages like Air Canada Aeroplan, Air France-KLM Flying Blue, ANA Mileage Membership, Avianca LifeMiles and British Airways Avios. That means, you’ll be able to e book flights on Alaska Airways, American Airways, Delta Air Strains and United Airways — typically at a fraction of the worth their very own loyalty packages cost for award tickets.

Along with airways, Amex has three lodge packages you’ll be able to switch factors to: Selection Privileges, Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy.

On this information, we’ll dive into these Membership Rewards companions so you’ll be able to be taught the most effective methods to take advantage of your Amex factors in your subsequent journey.

Playing cards you should utilize to earn Amex Membership Rewards

Earlier than we begin, it is important to know that you just want an eligible American Categorical card to earn Membership Rewards factors. This contains most Amex-branded playing cards, such because the American Categorical® Gold Card.

That mentioned, you will not discover bank cards just like the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Categorical Card or the Hilton Honors American Categorical Surpass® Card on this listing, as these playing cards earn factors and miles of their respective currencies. Money-back playing cards just like the Blue Money On a regular basis® Card from American Categorical don’t earn Membership Rewards factors both.

A number of widespread Membership Rewards-earning playing cards at present supply beneficiant welcome bonuses:

  • The Platinum Card® from American Categorical: Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards Factors after spending $8,000 on purchases in your first six months of card membership. Nevertheless, some readers have been focused for as much as a 125,000-point bonus utilizing the CardMatch instrument (supply topic to vary at any time). Phrases apply.
  • American Categorical Gold Card: Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards factors after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases together with your new card throughout the first six months of card membership. Nevertheless, some readers have been focused for as much as 75,000 bonus factors utilizing the CardMatch instrument (supply topic to vary at any time). Phrases apply.
  • The Enterprise Platinum Card® from American Categorical: Earn 120,000 Membership Rewards factors after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Enterprise Platinum Card throughout the first three months of card membership. Phrases apply.
  • American Categorical® Enterprise Gold Card: Earn 70,000 Membership Rewards factors after you spend $10,000 on eligible purchases together with your card within the first three months of card membership. Phrases apply.

Look by our listing of the most effective Amex playing cards and discover one (or extra) that works greatest in your spending habits. We suggest utilizing a mix of Amex playing cards every day to earn probably the most rewards doable. For instance, you should utilize the Amex Platinum to earn 5 factors per greenback spent on flights (on as much as $500,000 in purchases every calendar 12 months) and the Amex Gold to earn 4 factors per greenback spent on eating at worldwide eating places and groceries at U.S. supermarkets (on as much as $25,000 in purchases every calendar 12 months, then 1 level per greenback).

Be part of over 700,000 readers for breaking information, in-depth guides and unique offers from TPG’s specialists

Amex Membership Rewards switch companions

Now, let’s get to the enjoyable half: switch companions.

American Categorical has 18 airline and three lodge switch companions. These companions embrace at the very least one helpful possibility in every main alliance: SkyTeam, Star Alliance and Oneworld. Every accomplice has varied use circumstances; we’ll spotlight a pair for every beneath.

Observe that the majority transfers occur at a 1:1 ratio, although there are exceptions. It is also price checking for a switch bonus in your on-line account. Getting an additional 30% in rewards might simply flip a mediocre switch possibility right into a potent one.

Aer Lingus AerClub

AerClub is the loyalty program of Aer Lingus, an Irish airline based mostly in Dublin.

Sadly, there are not any nice makes use of for these factors. You will get a greater deal on Aer Lingus flights whenever you switch Amex factors to British Airways.

Switch time: Instantaneous

Switch ratio: 1:1

Associated: Which airways can I e book with Avios?

Aeromexico Membership Premier

Aeromexico Membership Premier is the loyalty program of Mexico Metropolis-based Aeromexico. This forex is greatest used on around-the-world itineraries that allow you to make a number of stops as you journey the world. When booked in enterprise class, these tickets can simply be price tens of hundreds of {dollars}.

Aeromexico costs award tickets barely otherwise than different airways, utilizing kilometers as an alternative of miles. Round-the-world tickets price 224,000 kilometers in economic system and 352,000 kilometers in enterprise class. Since factors switch from Amex to Aeromexico at a 1:1.6 ratio, you’d want simply 140,000 or 220,000 Amex factors for economic system or enterprise class, respectively.

That mentioned, we do not suggest transferring your Amex factors to Aeromexico. Award charges usually aren’t aggressive, and around-the-world tickets will be difficult to e book.

Switch time: 24 hours

Switch ratio: 1:1.6

Air Canada Aeroplan

Air Canada Aeroplan underwent a big overhaul in 2020, making it probably the most invaluable switch companions for American Categorical. The revamped program retained its commonplace award charts, eradicated gas expenses and launched beneficiant stopover guidelines. This implies you’ll be able to take advantage of a stopover and discover two cities on a single journey.

As an illustration, you’ll be able to e book a business-class flight from Los Angeles Worldwide Airport (LAX) to Hong Kong Worldwide Airport (HKG) to Mumbai, India’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Worldwide Airport (BOM) for simply 105,000 factors when there’s saver award area. Moreover, you’ll be able to get pleasure from an prolonged stopover in Hong Kong.

Check out the Aeroplan award chart (PDF hyperlink) and see if it is sensible to switch Amex factors to Air Canada in your subsequent redemption.

Switch time: Instantaneous

Switch ratio: 1:1

Air France-KLM Flying Blue

Air France and KLM share a joint loyalty program known as Flying Blue. This SkyTeam loyalty program dynamically costs all awards however continuously presents nice offers on worldwide award tickets. For instance, you’ll be able to typically discover business-class flights from the U.S. to Europe from simply 55,000 factors one-way.

Sadly, you will pay reasonable gas surcharges ($250 to $400) on most worldwide business-class routes. That mentioned, at all times verify Flying Blue to see if it is sensible in your subsequent worldwide SkyTeam redemption. It is typically cheaper than reserving related awards with Aeromexico Membership Premier or Delta SkyMiles.

Switch time: Instantaneous

Switch ratio: 1:1

All Nippon Airways Mileage Membership

As an American Categorical switch accomplice, ANA Mileage Membership has gained reputation amongst factors and miles fans. That is primarily as a result of alternative to safe glorious award offers with open jaws and stopovers. Nevertheless, it is price noting that the service solely permits round-trip award bookings.

As an illustration, you’ll be able to e book a round-trip business-class flight from the U.S. to Europe for simply 88,000 miles on Star Alliance companions. ANA Mileage Membership additionally presents nice worth for off-peak ANA flights, with round-trip tickets from the U.S. to Asia beginning at 75,000 miles throughout off-peak durations. Moreover, you’ll be able to get pleasure from a stopover in your journey, permitting you to discover two cities for the worth of 1.

One other implausible possibility is utilizing ANA Mileage Membership miles for around-the-world tickets with cheap pricing and easy routing guidelines.

It is necessary to do not forget that ANA passes on gas surcharges to clients for some airways. This implies you could have to pay over $1,000 for a round-trip business-class ticket to Europe on companions like Swiss and Lufthansa. Nevertheless, sure airways, akin to ANA, United (on Europe routes) and LOT Polish Airways, have low or no surcharges.

Switch time: 48 hours

Switch ratio: 1:1

Avianca LifeMiles

Avianca LifeMiles is one other glorious Star Alliance switch accomplice. Like ANA, the airline has largely stored a regular award chart, so there isn’t any dynamic pricing to fret about. You will discover the most effective offers on one-way business- and first-class flights to Europe and home flights on United, however there are different good redemptions.

On the U.S.-to-Europe facet, you will pay 63,000 LifeMiles every means for many business-class flights. You may decrease this worth by selecting to fly in economic system on the quick leg of a multistop ticket. Suppose I e book a Lufthansa flight from New York’s John F. Kennedy Worldwide Airport (JFK) to Prague Airport (PRG) by way of Frankfurt Airport (FRA) in enterprise class however choose economic system class on the Frankfurt to Prague section. In that case, the flight drops to 62,000 LifeMiles one-way.

Once more, home United flights are one other glorious deal. The LifeMiles award chart is cut up into three areas that roughly correspond to the East Coast, the Midwest and the West Coast. The extra areas you fly, the extra miles you will want. We have discovered the most cost effective home awards price simply 6,500 LifeMiles one-way in economic system.

In contrast to ANA Mileage Membership, Avianca LifeMiles would not go on gas surcharges. You will pay the usual taxes and costs plus a nonrefundable reserving charge of $10 to $25. This makes it a superb possibility for reserving tickets on high-surcharge carriers like Lufthansa.

Switch time: Instantaneous

Switch ratio: 1:1

British Airways Government Membership

British Airways Government Membership is without doubt one of the mostly used Amex switch companions. You should use its forex — dubbed Avios — to e book flights on all Oneworld carriers. You will need to keep away from utilizing them on British Airways flights as they add substantial gas surcharges, however you may get an excellent deal when reserving accomplice flights.

The British Airways award chart is distance-based, so longer flights will price extra factors. It additionally costs awards by section, so it is best to attempt to follow nonstop routings every time doable.

Within the U.S., among the best methods to redeem British Airways Avios is on home short-haul American Airways and Alaska Airways flights. You will pay simply 7,500 Avios for flights as much as 600 miles and 9,000 Avios for a one-way flight as much as 1,151 miles with minimal taxes and costs. Or, think about using simply 26,000 Avios to e book round-trip economic system tickets from the West Coast to Hawaii on both American or Alaska.

Switch time: Instantaneous

Switch ratio: 1:1

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles is one other Oneworld switch accomplice that may be helpful for accomplice awards. Your greatest wager is utilizing Asia Miles to e book Cathay Pacific flights. You will get a stable redemption worth and entry to Cathay Pacific award area that is not bookable with accomplice miles. The airline has a regular award chart for its flights, which you’ll be able to see on the Asia Miles web site.

As mentioned, the award chart is affordable for Cathay Pacific flights. You may e book nonstop flights from HKG to LAX for 70,000 miles when there’s award area. Longer flights from Chicago’s O’Hare Worldwide Airport (ORD) and JFK, then again, price 85,000 miles one-way.

Simply observe that this system will implement some important adjustments to its award chart as of Oct. 1, 2023, so attempt to lock in any awards previous to that date.

Switch time: 48 hours

Switch ratio: 1:1

Delta SkyMiles

Delta SkyMiles is a invaluable home switch accomplice. Whereas Delta is a member of the SkyTeam alliance, it is normally greatest to make use of your miles for home flights. Award pricing for worldwide tickets, particularly in enterprise class, will be fairly costly.

Nevertheless, there are nonetheless glorious offers with SkyMiles award tickets. Typically, you’ll be able to snag one-way primary economic system tickets for as little as 4,500 SkyMiles, relying on the money worth of the flight. Moreover, holders of cobranded Delta bank cards get pleasure from at the very least 15% off Delta-operated award flights. It is at all times price checking SkyMiles availability when looking for home flights to probably discover an excellent deal.

Delta SkyMiles will also be used for inexpensive flights to Canada. Delta operates some flights, whereas others are operated by its accomplice WestJet. Delta awards have dynamic pricing, however WestJet awards constantly price 12,500 SkyMiles for a one-way economic system ticket between the U.S. and Canada when booked at the very least one month upfront.

Nevertheless, it is price noting that it’s essential to pay a small charge when transferring Amex factors to Delta SkyMiles. This offsets the federal excise tax that Amex pays on these transfers to U.S. airline packages. It is $0.0006 per level (with a most of $99), so transferring 50,000 factors would incur $30 in charges. Simply do not pay for that charge with factors, as you will get simply 0.5 cents in worth.

Switch time: Instantaneous

Switch ratio: 1:1

Emirates Skywards

If you wish to use your Amex factors to e book flights on Emirates, you would possibly think about transferring them to Emirates Skywards. Keep in mind that flights to Dubai Worldwide Airport (DXB) could have excessive gas surcharges. You may usually keep away from them when flying Emirates’ fifth freedom flights from the U.S. to Europe.

Emirates Skywards follows a distance-based award chart for all tickets. Air Canada Aeroplan additionally presents Emirates award flights, so it is price evaluating their charges.

Switch time: Instantaneous

Switch ratio: 1:1

Etihad Visitor

Etihad Visitor went from among the best to one of many worst Amex switch companions when the airline simplified its program earlier this 12 months. It launched a brand new chart with commonplace pricing for all accomplice airways and barely totally different charges for Etihad’s personal flights.

The most important devaluation comes from accomplice awards. Beforehand engaging choices, akin to flying American Airways Flagship First or Brussels Airways enterprise class, have seen important will increase in redemption charges. For instance, a flight from LAX to Sydney Airport (SYD) that used to price 62,500 miles now requires 200,000 miles. In consequence, there’s little or no cause to contemplate transferring Amex factors to Etihad.

Switch time: Instantaneous

Switch ratio: 1:1

Hawaiian Airways HawaiianMiles

HawaiianMiles are Most worthy when used for economy-class flights to Hawaii. Award charges range relying on availability. Saver award area presents the bottom costs, whereas higher-demand flights require extra factors.

The pricing for HawaiianMiles awards is affordable. As an illustration, a one-way economic system class ticket from Honolulu’s Daniel Ok. Inouye Worldwide Airport (HNL) to LAX prices 20,000 miles. As compared, enterprise class prices 40,000 miles when saver area is accessible. This can be a respectable possibility if you wish to expertise Hawaiian Airways. Nevertheless, you would possibly discover higher offers utilizing Avios for flights on American or Alaska or transferring to Singapore KrisFlyer for United flights.

Like Delta, you will must pay the federal excise tax offset charge of $0.0006 per level when transferring Amex factors to Hawaiian.

Switch time: Instantaneous

Switch ratio: 1:1

Iberia Plus

Like British Airways, Iberia Plus makes use of Avios as its loyalty forex. The airline has a regular award chart for all Iberia and accomplice flights, which will be fairly cheap.

Your greatest wager for utilizing Iberia Plus Avios is redeeming for off-peak awards on Iberia flights from Boston Logan Worldwide Airport (BOS), ORD or JFK to Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport (MAD). These flights price simply 17,000 Avios in economic system, 25,500 in premium economic system and 34,000 in enterprise class one-way.

Nevertheless, it is price noting that British Airways now makes use of an identical pricing (together with taxes and costs) on these Iberia-operated awards. And since transfers to British Airways are instantaneous whereas transfers to Iberia take as much as 48 hours, you are probably higher off transferring your Amex factors to British Airways.

Switch time: 48 hours

Switch ratio: 1:1

JetBlue TrueBlue

JetBlue’s TrueBlue loyalty program costs award flights based mostly on the price of a money flight; the extra a flight prices, the extra factors you will pay to e book it. The TPG group has discovered that you’re going to get roughly 1.3 cents per level when redeeming factors, however you might get barely kind of relying in your particular flight.

We do not normally suggest transferring Amex factors to JetBlue due to the restricted worth you will get out of your factors. Moreover, factors switch at a weak 250:200 switch ratio. This implies 10,000 Amex factors switch to eight,000 JetBlue factors, so you will additionally lose worth within the switch. Plus, you will be topic to the federal excise tax offset charge for these transactions.

Switch time: Instantaneous

Switch ratio: 250:200

Qantas Frequent Flyer

Qantas Frequent Flyer is one other Amex switch accomplice. Qantas is a Oneworld member with non-alliance partnerships with a handful of airways worldwide. Like many worldwide airways on this listing, Qantas has a traditional flights award chart.

You could need to switch Amex factors to Qantas to e book El Al award tickets. Amex misplaced El Al as a switch accomplice in 2020, however Qantas is an effective way to e book flights on the Israeli airline. El Al awards booked with Qantas require fewer factors than for those who have been to switch Amex factors to El Al previously.

Switch time: Instantaneous

Switch ratio: 1:1

Qatar Airways Privilege Membership

Qatar Airways Privilege Membership is without doubt one of the latest Amex switch companions since Qatar switched to Avios forex final 12 months. You may switch Avios freely between British Airways and Qatar Airways, however we suggest evaluating British and Qatar Airways award charges earlier than reserving.

Usually, you will need to use British Airways to e book partner-operated flights, however sometimes, Qatar Airways Avios can save on taxes and costs on Qatar-operated flights.

Switch time: Instantaneous

Switch ratio: 1:1

Singapore KrisFlyer

Singapore KrisFlyer is one other Star Alliance switch accomplice. It has two award charts: one for Singapore Airways awards (PDF hyperlink) and one other for Star Alliance award tickets (PDF hyperlink). It’s also possible to use the airline’s miles calculator instrument to view what number of miles a Singapore-operated award flight prices. Simply observe that this system was devalued in July 2022, so you will pay greater than in years previous.

On the Singapore facet, you will pay a good quantity of factors for these flights. That mentioned, it is usually the one program you should utilize to e book premium-cabin awards on Singapore Airways flights. This contains first-class Singapore Suites and enterprise class on the world’s longest flight.

Some accomplice tickets are cheap, too. Among the best makes use of is spending 19,500 factors for a one-way ticket from the mainland U.S. to Hawaii on United Airways.

This system does tack on gas surcharges for accomplice awards. This isn’t the case for flights on United, however it may be expensive on flights operated by Brussels Airways, Lufthansa and different airways that add gas surcharges.

Switch time: As much as 24 hours

Switch ratio: 1:1

Virgin Atlantic Flying Membership

You should use Virgin Atlantic Flying Membership factors for flights operated by Virgin Atlantic and its companions. We usually suggest staying away from reserving Virgin Atlantic flights with factors, as you are topic to excessive gas surcharges.

For instance, when there’s award area, you should utilize 50,000 factors to e book a one-way flight from the U.S. to Europe in Delta One enterprise class with minimal taxes and costs. Sadly, Virgin Atlantic devalued different Delta awards in early 2021, however the Europe candy spot has remained.

It’s also possible to use Virgin Atlantic factors to attain an excellent deal on ANA first and enterprise class. First-class awards begin at simply 145,000 factors spherical journey from the U.S. to Tokyo, which is a wonderful deal even with the current devaluation.

Switch time: Roughly 24 hours

Switch ratio: 1:1

Selection Privileges

Selection Privileges is certainly one of Amex’s lodge switch companions. This system is thought for its budget-friendly resorts worldwide, together with well-known manufacturers like Cambria Accommodations, Consolation Inn and Sleep Inn. It additionally just lately built-in Radisson Rewards Americas, giving members extra choices for incomes (and redeeming) factors.

Award costs range by property and date. You are usually greatest off paying money for many Selection awards as an alternative of transferring Amex factors.

Nevertheless, beneath some circumstances, it could possibly make sense to switch factors to Selection. For instance, a one-night keep on the Blue Angel Resort NYC, Ascend Resort Assortment prices $538.63 after taxes in September. The identical night time will be booked for 30,000 factors, providing you with a price of 1.8 cents per level. Though that does not fairly contact our 2-cent valuation of Amex factors, Selection could also be price contemplating in choose circumstances.

Switch time: Instantaneous

Switch ratio: 1:1

Hilton Honors

Amex Membership Rewards factors switch to Hilton Honors at a positive 1:2 switch ratio, so 10,000 Amex factors equals 20,000 Hilton Honors factors. We additionally see switch bonuses regularly, which might add much more worth. Hilton does worth awards dynamically, however most properties nonetheless have a ceiling on these charges. In consequence, despite the fact that level charges will be excessive when reserving on peak dates, transferring factors may give you respectable worth.

For instance, a keep on the DoubleTree by Hilton Resort New York Occasions Sq. West this New 12 months’s Eve prices 80,000 Hilton factors, which might be simply 40,000 Amex factors. Nevertheless, that very same room would set you again $1,014.47. For this redemption, you are getting a price of two.5 cents per Amex level.

Nevertheless, lower than two weeks later (for the night time of Jan. 9, 2024), that very same room will be booked for 36,000 Hilton factors (18,000 Amex factors) or $164.31. That is simply 0.9 cents per Amex level, effectively beneath our valuations.

This reveals how necessary it’s to crunch the numbers and see if transferring factors from Amex to Hilton is sensible. In lots of circumstances, you will probably get a low redemption worth, so you will need to give attention to incomes Hilton factors outright for those who plan to redeem factors for Hilton stays.

Switch time: Instantaneous.

Switch ratio: 1:2.

Marriott Bonvoy

Lastly, we’ve Marriott Bonvoy.

Just like Selection and Hilton, we not often suggest transferring factors to Marriott. Award nights have comparatively excessive prices in comparison with money charges. This may typically trigger you to get a low cent-per-point worth, even with an occasional switch bonus.

Like Hilton, think about incomes Marriott Bonvoy factors elsewhere to gas your lodge redemptions.

Switch time: Instantaneous

Switch ratio: 1:1

Backside line

American Categorical Membership Rewards factors are a number of the Most worthy factors available on the market. That is largely on account of Amex’s intensive airline and lodge switch companions listing

Leave a comment