Can you transfer AMEX Membership Rewards points to American AAdvantage miles? A TravelSort reader comments “I need help with how to transfer American Express points to American Airlines…”
American AAdvantage isn't a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards, so a direct transfer isn't possible. Here's what is possible:
Transfer American Express Points to British Airways to Gain Access to Oneworld Awards
While American AAdvantage is not an AMEX Membership Rewards transfer partner, British Airways Executive Club is, so it would be possible to transfer AMEX points to British Airways Avios and book Oneworld awards. The transfer is instant, so you won't wait the way you would if transferring SPG points to British Airways.
The downside is that the award chart is distance based and first class is 3X the price of economy, so it will be more expensive to book long haul first class awards using Avios. There are sometimes transfer bonuses from AMEX points to British Airways Avios that sweeten the points transfer, but there are no transfer bonuses currently.
Transfer American Express Points to Aeroplan Then to American via Points.com, But At a Poor Conversion Ratio
You can transfer American Express Membership Rewards points to Aeroplan (also virtually instantaneous) and then, using Points.com, transfer Aeroplan miles to American…but at a terrible conversion ratio of 1000 AMEX points to 373 AAdvantage miles. So this option isn't attractive, unless you truly just need a few AAdvantage miles and don't want to simply buy them.
Used to Be Possible to Transfer AMEX Points to Aeroplan Then to US Airways at a Slight Haircut
Now, it used to be possible to use Points.com to transfer Aeroplan miles to US Airways, at a 1 to 0.84 ratio, such that you could transfer up to 100,000 Aeroplan miles per calendar year into 84,000 US Airways miles (minimum transfer was 15,000 Aeroplan miles).
I don't see this any longer when I log into Points.com, but if you see this in your account, please comment. While US Airways Dividend Miles are not transferable to AAdvantage miles yet, and the award charts are a bit different, it's still zone based so you would have been able to more closely approximate the cost of AAdvantage awards using US Airways Dividend miles, though again, it doesn't seem to be an option any longer.
Earn AAdvantage Miles Directly via the 100K AAdvantage Executive Platinum
If this reader has some time and really needs AAdvantage miles (for example, because of wanting to book Etihad awards, when that functionality returns–see Etihad Awards Still Unbookable with AAdvantage Miles and What to Do) then I'd recommend getting approved for the 100K Citi Executive AAdvantage Card with $200 Statement Credit to earn AAdvantage miles directly. It's a good idea to apply for other credit cards at the same time, since credit card issuers don't like to see too many recent credit inquiries. By applying all on the same day, they won't see that you're applying for multiple cards, and you'll have had several months prior with no credit inquiries.
Have other recommendations for transferring AMEX points to American or accruing AAdvantage miles? Share them in the comments!
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Disclaimer: Note that some cards in this post offer credit to me if you’re approved using my links. The opinions, analyses, and evaluations are mine. This content is not provided or commissioned by Chase, Barclays, American Express, Citibank, US Bank, Bank of America, or any other company. They have not reviewed, approved or endorsed any of my articles.