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Credit Cards with Airline Mile Transfer Features

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When it comes to credit cards with airline mile transfer features, we’re often asked “how can I top off my XXX miles account?” or “how can I combine my miles?”

A commonly overlooked tool is credit cards that let you transfer the points you earn directly to the loyalty programs of top global airlines with no fee, except for small excise taxes.

Should you transfer your rewards?

Here are three reasons mile transfer is something you should consider:

  1. You can maximize the chances you’ll find a free ticket. By pooling your spending and points onto a credit card that lets you transfer them to airline mile programs, you have multiple options to get a ticket. For example, if Delta Air Lines doesn’t have the ticket availability you’re looking for, you may be able to transfer your points to another airline instead.
  2. You can ‘top off’ existing mileage accounts. You may find yourself with 44,000 miles in your airline mile account, but need 50,000 miles for a reward. By having miles banked up on a credit card that allows mile transfer, you can top off your account. Gifting miles to friends or relatives is also easier — you can often link the account of your spouse or an authorized user, letting you share your points. This works for American Express Membership Rewards® and Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  3. You can take advantage of reward values. Not all airline miles programs charge the same amount of miles — even for the same seat on the same plane. Having points in a program that allows you transfer to multiple airline programs let you take advantage of every opportunity.

Below is a list of the programs that let you transfer points to miles at about a one-to-one conversion rate — so it’s an even exchange — and the credit cards associated with them.

Check out our post on credit scores needed for the top mile cards.

American Express Membership Rewards®

Credit cards: American Express® Gold Card, The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express*.

Transfer options: You must be enrolled in an airline loyalty program. You will be charged $0.0006 per point redeemed, with a maximum fee of $99, to cover federal excise taxes.

  • AerLingus AerClub
  • AeroMexico Club Premier
  • Air Canada Aeroplan
  • Air France / KLM Flying Blue
  • Alitalia MilleMiglia
  • ANA (All Nippon Airways) Mileage Club
  • Asia Miles™
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Delta SkyMiles®
  • El Al Frequent Flyer Club
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Etihad Guest
  • Hawaiian Airlines Hawaiian Miles
  • Iberia Plus
  • JetBlue True Blue
  • Singapore KrisFlyer
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

Time to transfer points: Generally instant for Delta, Air Canada, British Airways and JetBlue; others vary up to a week.

Conversion rate: 1,000 Membership Rewards points to 1,000 airline miles, except for JetBlue TrueBlue, 250 points for 250 miles; and El Al, 1,000 points for 20 points.

Chase Ultimate Rewards®

Credit cards: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve® and Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card.

Transfer options:

  • Aer Lingus AerClub
  • Air France/KLM Flying Blue
  • British Airways Avios
  • Iberia Plus
  • JetBlue TrueBlue
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards

United Airlines MileagePlus® and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club.

Time to transfer points: Generally instant. Singapore KrisFlyer can take up to 2 days.

Conversion rate: 1:1 for all partners.

Citi ThankYou®

Credit card: Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card.

Transfer options:

  • Air France / KLM Flying Blue
  • Avianca LifeMiles
  • Asia Miles™
  • Etihad Guest
  • EVA Air Infinity MileageLands
  • Garuda Indonesia Frequent Flyer
  • Jet Airways Jet Privilege
  • JetBlue TrueBlue™
  • Malaysia Airlines Enrich
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer
  • Qatar Airways Privilege Club
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus
  • Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

Conversion rate: 1,000 points to 1,000 miles except for Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club, 1,000 point to 1,300 miles (until October 13, 2018) and JetBlue TrueBlue, 1,000 points to 500 points.

Marriott Rewards®

Credit cards: Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card, Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card and Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card.

Transfer options:

  • Aegean Airlines
  • Aeroflot Bonus
  • AeroMexico ClubPremier
  • Air Canada Aeroplan
  • Air China Phoenix Miles
  • Air France / KLM Flying Blue
  • Air New Zealand Airpoints
  • Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
  • Alitalia MilleMiglia
  • ANA Mileage Club
  • American Airlines AAdvantage®
  • Asiana Airlines
  • Avianca LifeMiles
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • China Eastern Airlines Eastern Miles
  • China Southern Airlines
  • Copa Airlines ConnectMiles
  • Delta Air Lines SkyMiles®
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Etihad Guest
  • Frontier Airlines myFrontier
  • Hainan Airlines
  • Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles®
  • Iberia Plus
  • Japan Airlines (JAL) Mileage Bank
  • Jet Airways JetPrivilege®
  • JetBlue TrueBlue™
  • Korean Air SKYPASS
  • LATAM Airlines LATAMPASS
  • Lufthansa Miles and More
  • Multiplus
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer
  • Qatar Privilege Club
  • Saudia Airlines Alfursan
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • South African Airways Voyager
  • Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards®
  • TAP Air Portugal
  • Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus
  • Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles
  • United MileagePlus®
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
  • Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyer

Time to transfer points: Generally takes up to one week.

Conversion rate: 3 points for 1 mile; Air New Zealand is 200 Marriott points for 1 mile. Marriott Rewards adds 15,000 bonus points for every 60,000 points you transfer to airline miles.

Other factors to consider when transferring points

The time it takes to transfer. For example, American Express Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards generally offer instant or same day transfer, so you can find the award seat you want, then transfer the miles quickly to book it. Starwood can take a week or more, which may be a hassle if you have a specific date in mind.

Consider where you already have a stash of miles. Pick a card that lets you transfer into a program that you fly most often. Chances are you’ll already have a stash of miles to build on, and this can help you get there faster when needed.

Bonuses for points transfers. Sometimes airlines will offer bonuses for transferring miles into their program — this can net you substantial value for your points, so keep a lookout on your card’s website.

Alliances maximize your value. Nearly every airline mile program lets you redeem for flights on airlines beside the one that hosts the miles. This is because of alliances, and there are three main groups — Star Alliance (United, Lufthansa, Swiss, ANA, Singapore, and many more), oneworld (American, British Airways, Iberia, JAL, Cathay Pacific, and more), and SkyTeam (Delta, Air France, KLM, Alitalia, Korean, and more).

Booking flights. Miles for any one of the alliance members can be used to book travel on flights operated by any other alliance member — the only catch is you can’t transfer points between airline accounts. For example, the great advantage here with the , that offers transfer to United, and British Airways, is that you can book travel on every one of the Star Alliance and oneworld carriers.

The information related to The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express, Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card, Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card and Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card has been independently collected by LendingTree and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply to American Express credit card offers. See americanexpress.com for more information.