Transferring AMEX Membership Rewards (MR) points to frequent flyer programs like Aeroplan and British Airways is an excellent use of those points. However, for first time users, navigating the system can be a little tricky. This is a quick reference guide on how to transfer your AMEX MR points to frequent flyer programs.
STEP (1): First you have to make an American Express Online Account. Go to American Express and click “Create New Online Account” (or click the link). If you already have an account, login. Make sure your AMEX Gold/Platinum card is connected to the account, as these are the cards that have MR.
STEP (2): Once you login, you should see a splash-page with all your linked AMEX accounts. Navigate to your AMEX Gold/Plat account. Once there, you’ll see an area that says how many MR points you have, and a link for “View & Redeem Points”. Click on that link.
STEP (3): After clicking on “View & Redeem Points” you’ll be directed to the points redemption portal. You’ll see a box that looks like the one below. Click on “Travel Rewards”.
STEP (4): On the left side of the page, there will be a column with a number of links. Click on “Frequent Traveler Participants”
STEP (5): You will then see a page with a number of frequent flyer participants. The best two program with MR are Aeroplan and BA Avios, which transfer 1:1. The other programs transfer at a poorer rate. Click on “Transfer my points” for the program that you want.
STEP (6): You’ll then need to link your frequent flyer account. Click on the appropriate link in the dropdown box and then click “Next” and add your account information. For Aeroplan, this is usually accepted immediately. You might need to logout and back in for Aeroplan to show as accepted. For BA, it takes a couple days.
With Aeroplan, you can put any person’s number in, even though the names don’t match. The system will accept it. However, with BA Avios, the information has to match. If it doesn’t match, BA will create a new account for you.
STEP (7): Proceed to transfer your points. Click on the dropdown menu for the now accepted program that you want. Follow the prompts. Note that you can transfer a minimum of 1000 points, and you have to transfer in increments of 100. For example, I could transfer 255,100 points, but not 255,115.
Aeroplan points typically transfer instantly into your account. You might need to login and out of your Aeroplan account to have them show. For BA, the transfer takes a couple days. After doing the transfer you’ll receive an email with the details. This email arrives pretty late, and isn’t indicative of when your points will show up in your account.