American Express Membership Rewards points transfers to airline miles done online are now only possible to your or authorized users' frequent flyer accounts.
The policy itself isn't new–AMEX for awhile has specified “The frequent customer program account that you transfer points into must be held by you or an Additional Card Member linked to your program account” (see AMEX Points Transfer to Another Account: Authorized Users Only). That said, previously it was possible for online transfers of Membership Rewards points to airline frequent flyer accounts to specify the name and frequent flyer number of the account you wanted to link to your AMEX Membership Rewards account and transfer AMEX points to, and it didn't have to be your account.
So the change now is not the policy itself, but what is new is the hard coding of the card member name to match your AMEX Membership Rewards card or that of one of your card's authorized users.
So what happens now?
- You first have to select your AMEX Membership Rewards card account from a dropdown
- You then enter the account number of the frequent flyer program you want to transfer to, and the system checks that the name on that account matches the name of the AMEX Membership Rewards card account you selected.
- You then verify the details of your credit card by entering the 4 digit CID on the front of your AMEX card, and the 3 digit card security code (CSC) on the back of your card
- Security: helps to prevent unauthorized transfers of points, from hacked accounts
- Cut Down on Third Party Mileage Broker Activity: Mileage Brokers have benefited from the previous loophole allowing their sources of points to transfer miles to the accounts used to book awards. With this online loophold closed, it will likely significantly reduce mileage brokering, since those seeking to sell miles would have to book these tickets themselves out of their own frequent flyer accounts. There's no deniability there, as frequently happens with mileage brokering deals gone wrong.
Need Award Booking Help? Our fee is as low as $75 per ticket if you book your hotel through us.
Become a TravelSort Client and Book 5-Star Hotels with Virtuoso or Four Seasons Preferred Partner Amenities!