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Do you have some American Express points? Are you trying to book a flight through American Airlines?
Well, you may be surprised to learn that the transaction isn’t going to be as smooth as you think.
Luckily, I’ve figured out a way that you can “rig the system” a bit.
After all, I’m pretty sure you’ve worked hard to earn your points, so you should be able to use them, right?
I’ll give you the full rundown in the guide below. Just keep reading.
Transfer Points to American Airlines – Bottom Line Up Front
The bottom line is, American Express credit card or frequent flyer points give you more bang for your buck. They partner with so many airlines, you’ll definitely be able to book a flight for a good deal using your points.
So What’s the Problem?
So, there’s a long and short explanation as to whether or not you can transfer American Express points to American Airlines. The short answer is no. You can’t transfer your American Express points to American Airlines to book flights.
However, there are a few other ways that you can somewhat take advantage of your Amex points for travel. I’ll delve into it a little more below:
American Express Reward Points Don’t Transfer to American Airlines
Although you can’t use your American Express points to book American airline flights, you can do so indirectly.
There are five American Express reward airline transfer partners that you can book through instead. Those flights are operated by American Airlines.
Basically, American Express has four Oneworld alliance transfer partners for Amex membership rewards. Well, American Airlines is one of those partners, and you can book an American Airlines flight through one of those avenues, which includes:
- Qantas airlines
- Iberia plus
- British Airways
- Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
There’s also an additional American Express airline partner that you can book a flight through, which is Etihad Airways.
Technically, they’re not in an airline alliance, but they do partner with multiple airlines. One of those is American Airlines. Therefore, you can redeem your Etihad miles that way.
American Express Airline Partners
American Express has numerous airline transfer partners. The major ones include:
- Star Alliance
- Sky Team
It’s safe to say that you have to do a bit of maneuvering to use your American Express points for an American flight, but it’s possible…in a way.
How to Transfer American Express Points to Airline Partners
The process is quite simple. Start by selecting the partner that you want and insert the number of points that you want to transfer.
Next, make sure to verify the information before moving forward. All point transfers are final once they’re done. Lastly, complete the transaction by confirming your request.
The Best AMEX Travel Partners
Honestly, every Amex membership rewards partner does things a bit differently. I have my favorites and I chose them based on the overall value that they provide and their redemption options:
British Airways Executive Club
This particular partner falls under the One World Airline Alliance. The Executive Club generally works best for Oneworld alliance flights, which includes those on American Airlines.
This is a good option because it works on a distance award charge. It provides better value for short flights that are close to the flight date.
That’s a good deal because prices usually rise the closer that you book them to the departure date. So, if you can use your points instead, you’ll save on the overall cost of the flight.
This is another good option, and it’s under the Star Alliance. It doesn’t matter if you want a domestic flight in the US or an international flight, you can get a lot of bang for your buck with this one.
You can utilize Singapore Krisflyer miles to travel throughout the US and Canada on United Airlines. Also, depending on the city that you fly out of, you can travel to Hawaii for less than 12,000 Krisflyer miles. That’s significantly less than the number of miles that it would require if you were to use your United Mileage Plus rewards.
In addition to those incredible perks, Singapore permits customers to transfer all of their transferable currencies like Capital One miles and Chase Ultimate Rewards. Being able to take advantage of all of these perks at once is remarkable. It gives you the opportunity to stockpile all of your points to pay for a fantastic trip.
Air France falls under the Sky Team. Their Flying Blue Loyalty Program is great for transferring points. The program allows you to transfer all of your point currencies. That makes it much more simple to consolidate everything.
Perhaps one of the most awesome aspects of using Flying Blue miles is the domestic flights via Delta Air Lines. Flying Blue doesn’t charge as many miles as Delta for the same flight. If you were to transfer your miles to Flying blue instead of Delta, you can definitely save some of your points.
Other Delta Airline Partners
There are a few other airline partners beyond this in case you are flying someplace unique and need a transfer partner:
- Korean Air
- LATAM Airlines
- Virgin Atlantic (Great Value)
- Aero Mexico
- Vietnam Airlines
- Czech Airlines
- China Airlines
- Hawaiian Airlines (Great Value)
- Cape Air
Past Delta Airline Partners (No Longer Affiliated)
These are a few of the past transfer partner alliances that you may remember but are not longer active partners:
- Aeroflot (Russia)
- Virgin Australia
Alternative Reward Services with AMEX Partner Airlines
Amex membership rewards isn’t the only avenue you can use to accumulate flight points and miles . The following companies currently offer airline miles as a reward’s system:
Chase Ultimate Rewards
Chase Ultimate Rewards is one of the best programs out there. You’ll get a 25-50% discount when you book flights through the Chase Travel portal. Essentially, your 1 point gets upgraded to 1.25-1.5 cents per point!
United Mileageplus Program
This is another awesome program for travel rewards, particularly because you can get a free checked bag for up to two people traveling with you on the same reservation. You can earn up to 5 miles per dollar spent when buying tickets through United.com. This adds up quickly when shopping online!
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
You can trade in your miles for one free ticket on Alaska Airlines or their partners. You can also redeem for flights on American Airlines, Emirates, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Virgin Atlantic, and other select partners. This is great because you’re not limited to one airline.
American Airlines AAdvantage Program
This is another fantastic membership rewards points system for free flights! You can earn 1 mile per every 2 dollars spent on American Airline purchases. You can also double your miles, up to 100,000 miles each year. Plus, you can get one-time bonus miles when you reach a certain spending amount on the American Airlines website.
Delta Air Lines SkyMiles Program
Delta is a popular airline for travel rewards. They offer free checked bags and priority boarding on most flights. You can earn 1 mile per dollar spent on Delta purchases. You can also get up to a 75% bonus when you redeem your miles for award flights, depending on the time of year.
Southwest Rapid Rewards Program
In many ways, this is one of the simplest and easiest travel rewards programs out there. You can either use those membership rewards points for yourself or gift them to someone else. With Southwest flights starting at just $59 there are so many possibilities!
US Airways Dividend Miles Program
US Airways offers 1 mile per every 2 dollars spent on US Airways purchases and 1 mile per every dollar spent elsewhere. You can also get double miles after your first purchase and double miles for any purchases made through the US Airways shopping portal.
Using Flight Points Wisely
Using flight points provides such a thrill because you’re saving money. But before you rush to do anything, I highly suggest that you thoroughly read about how to apply your points when using them to book a flight.
Every airline has restrictions and stipulations for how points are to be used when purchasing a ticket. You want to make sure that you understand it completely. Sometimes, things can get a little tricky.
For starters, you may not have as much freedom as you’d like when picking your flight dates. Just like general flight prices, the points number of points for flights increases depending on the day.
So, you may find that you’ll have to adjust your schedule a bit if you want to get the most bang for your buck.
Also, you want to take the time to calculate things and make sure that it’s worth using your membership rewards points for a particular flight.
Of course, anytime you can use them instead of cash, it’s a win. But sometimes the amount of points for the type of flight that you’re taking isn’t worth it. It might be better to just pay for it and preserve your points for a better flight.
This point system thing is a bit complex, and I’m sure you have a few questions. Below are some of the FAQs submitted by others:
Answer: If you want to use your American Express points to buy a flight, you’ll first have to do a bit of pre-planning. Unfortunately, you can’t find a flight and decide that you want to transfer your points and use them that day. In most cases, it can take a few hours for the points to transfer, and sometimes it can take a whole day!
Answer: You can gain membership reward points on eligible charges made on an American Express credit card that’s connected to a membership rewards account. The number of points that you earn is determined by the card that you have. Typically, you’ll earn one point of every dollar that you spend. However, some American Express cards offer more points for making purchases at certain locations or for spending a particular amount of money during a billing period.
Answer: You can use your American Express points for travel perks other than flights. For instance, you can transport them to a Marriott Bonvoy account for hotel stays.
Answer: Unfortunately, you can’t do that. The points that you collect in your account cannot be given to another person or account. So, if you are hoping to transfer your points and combine them on another credit card to have more points overall, that’s not an option. However, you can gift American Express points between 1,000 to 50,000 points during a calendar year.
Answer: Absolutely! Don’t let the fact that you can’t use them directly discourage you from transferring them to a partner. Sometimes, you can get better deals that way. I encourage you to take a look at a few different options to see which method will save some of your points. As I mentioned above, there are some pretty sweet deals that you can take advantage of through airlines like Singapore and British Airways.
Answer: Oh, yes! American Airlines has a loyalty program called the AAdvantage program. It allows members to fly to close to 1,100 destinations around the globe, as well as use those miles to redeem car rentals, vacation packages, and hotels. You can use AA miles for any American, Oneworld, or affiliated airline.
Conclusion on Transferring Amex Points to AA
I hope this information wasn’t too confusing. Using your American Express points indirectly to purchase American Express flights isn’t as hard as it may seem. You certainly aren’t stuck booking Delta Skymiles on just Delta flights.
Again, all you have to do is transfer your points to an airline partner.
Once your points are there, you can use them to buy a flight on American Airlines via a Oneworld airline partner.
Some of those partners include British Airways and Qantas. But you can also go through another airline partner like Etihad. Etihad is connected to both American Airlines and American Express.
Essentially, where there’s a will, there’s a way. Once you’ve tried the indirect method, you’ll see that it’s quite simple.
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