AMEX, American Express, has the best transfers to airlines out of any card. They allow transfers to 15 different airlines and hotels while giving you a 1:1 point conversion, sometimes even up to 2.2 cents per point. You can transfer your rewards to car rentals, Amtrak tickets, or pay for travel with your points, but your best bet for a great AMEX points transfer is for First Class tickets to any destination. Below are the current reward offering for AMEX Travel and Rewards Points credit cards. You can basically get a free trip with some cards by spending the specific dollar amount in the first 3 months. Additionally, you’ll find the best value and flights for your AMEX points transfer. This means you use the least amount of points for the best seats for flights around the globe. Unfortunately, some opportunities are like finding a needle in a haystack, but if you happen to call at the right times, you’ll be able to land an amazing seat and a low price. Some of the tickets require a phone call and transfer of points to a non-US based frequent flyer program, but this is all accomplished in a relatively painless way. If luxury seats with full beds and exceptional food and service for free sound good to you, transferring your AMEX Points is in your future.
Current AMEX Travel/Rewards Points Credit Card Offerings
- Blue Sky Preferred: Earn 15,000 Blue Sky points after you spend $1,000 within the first 3 months
- Platinum Card: Earn 40,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months
- Gold Delta SkyMiles: Earn 30,000 bonus miles after you make $1,000 worth of purchases in the first 3 months and a $50 statement credit when you purchase Delta tickets with your new card in the first 3 months
- Green Card: $0 Annual fee for the first year then $95 after
- Premier Rewards Gold: Earn 25,000 points after you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months
1. Singapore Suites: Transfer AMEX points to Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer (93,500 Singapore Airline Miles)
The Singapore Suite is a sweet dream for travelers. A full bed equip with luxury items, like rose petals and champagne, in addition to a 15% point discount when you book your trip online. And for only 93,500 Singapore Airline miles! AMEX allows you to transfer your points to Singapore’s KrisFlyer frequent flyer program, which gives you access to the business class award seats. So not only do you get to fly in first class, it costs less than it typically would with the points needed discount.
2. First Class to Europe: Transfer AMEX Points to Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer (57,500-67,500 KrisFlyer Miles)
Since you can transfer your AMEX points to Singapore Airlines, this means you can fly Singapore Suites (67,500 KrisFlyer miles) or Business Class (57,500 KrisFlyer miles) from JFK to Frankfurt. The advantage here over the Lufthansa First Class Terminal (and United or other Star Alliance miles members) is that you can book Singapore Airlines tickets in advance whereas Lufthansa only allows 15 days before the flight. There is also another option where you can fly or connect through Houston to Moscow as a great way to fly first class to Europe. Moscow and Frankfurt allow for easy connections to your final European destination but you get to fly over the pond in extreme comfort.
3. Alitalia Business Class to Italy: Transfer AMEX Points to Delta (125,000 Delta SkyMiles)
Although it is difficult to book, the Alitalia Magnifica Business Class seat is highly coveted and deluxe. You have to book through Delta though, which often means there’s only one business class seat available. Additionally, a transfer of points from AMEX to Delta results in an excise tax because you’re converting U.S.-based frequent flyer miles to a European airline currency. That means U.S.-based airlines such as Delta and Frontier, will incur a fee of $0.0006 (6/100th’s of a cent) per point up to a maximum of $99. If you manage to get a chance to fly in this seat for 125,000 Delta SkyMiles, you’ll have a full bed, exquisite food, and you’ll actually be able to sleep on the long flight.
4. Fly around Australia in First Class: Transfer AMEX Points to Delta (150,000 Delta SkyMiles)
V Australia allows you to use Delta SkyMiles for Business Class award seats. Although it’s difficult to get frequent flyer awards for Australia, if you can manage to find them, you can sit in Business Class for 150,000 miles round-trip and sleep on the long flight since the seat is a full bed. You still have to pay excise tax for the AMEX to Delta transfer (which is the same fee of $0.0006 (6/100th’s of a cent) per point up to a maximum of $99), but it’s an excellent option for a first class flight to Australia.
5. Cathay First Class NYC to Vancouver: Transfer AMEX Points to British Airways Avios (37,500 Avios)
For a mere 37,500 Avios, you can fly first class from NYC to Vancouver and enjoy caviar on the way. The Cathay First Class flights are known for their extravagant pampering and ritzy eating delicacies. You can also connect to any other Northwest U.S. city from Vancouver so it’s worth it to jump on this experience if you get the chance. Below, there’s also the Cathay First Class flight from NYC to Hong Kong; more chances for First Class fanciness.
6. Aer Lingus Boston to Dublin in Business Class : Transfer AMEX Points to British Airways Avios (50,000 Avios)
As one of the shortest transatlantic routes, Boston to Dublin is only 50,000 Avios round-trip for Business Class and 25,000 Avios for coach. Since British Airways is now more of a distance-based award system, this is an excellent choice for hopping to Europe or enjoying a short flight to Ireland. British Airways gives you excellent discounts on short-range flights, especially to Europe, but you have to make a phone call to book this award. Also, British Airways has trouble when it comes to connections throughout Europe because their award availability is slim.
7. Cathay Pacific Business Class NYC to Hong Kong: Transfer AMEX Points to British Airways Avios (70,000 Avios)
One of the great benefits to the AMEX to British Airways transfer is the transfer bonuses. You can get an extra 30-50% point bonus by making your points into Avios and then book your trip with the transfer bonus included. Although it is probably best value to use American Airlines miles for this trip, with the transfer bonuses, British Airways comes out on top. The award booking calendar for British Airways also opens up before the American Airlines one does so you can plan your trip easier. That means you can fly from NYC’s JFK to Hong Kong for only 70,000 Avios. If you happen to miss a British Airways bonus, you can transfer your points from AMEX to Cathay Pacific’s Asia Miles for Business Class from L.A. to Hong Kong for 120,000 miles. You can also book a first class round-trip British Airways ticket for 9,000 with Chase Ultimate Rewards points. Don’t forget, the Cathay Business Class is one of the best First Class flying experiences with lavish foods and amenities.
8. China Business Class to Asia: Transfer AMEX Points to Delta (140,000 Delta SkyMiles)
China Southern Airlines offers a full bed seat from LAX to Guangzhou for 140,000 Delta SkyMiles and allows for connections to other cities in Asia. You can sleep most of the 14-18 hour flight time in a comfortable, first class bed and then transfer to a shorter flight to your final destination. There’s plenty of award-based seating available but if you miss out a seat, you can try Air France before having to pick up the phone and call Delta (same fee of $0.0006 (6/100th’s of a cent) per point up to a maximum of $99 still applies here). Most likely you won’t end up having to make the call the Delta due to the large amount of availability for this flight, but it’s a possibility.
9. Air Berlin Business Class NYC to Berlin: Transfer AMEX Points to British Airways Avios (80,000 Avios)
For 80,000 Avios, you can fly from NYC to Berlin in Business Class. Air Berlin is in the process of updating their Business Class seating from traditional seats to full bed seats but hasn’t quite made it to the NYC to Berlin flight yet. The trip does come in well below normal point totals though and is a great discount if you’re trying to connect to Europe in both First Class and for cheap.
10. Convert AMEX Reward Points to Frequent Flyer Miles (Domestic Flights Starting at 28,659 Miles):
As mentioned above, AMEX has by far the best connections with airlines out of any credit card. They offer more airline transfers than anyone else and at a 1:1 basis. AMEX allows you to transfer to Delta SkyMiles, Aero Mexico, Air Canada, Air France, Frontier, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin America, ANA, Hawaiian Airlines, jetBlue, British Airways, and KrisFlyer just to name a few. You can also redeem points for Best Western, SPG Starwood, Hilton HHonors, and Jumeirah hotels but if you bundle hotels and airfare, you may lose out on valuable discounts. If you’re looking to get the best bang for your buck, transfer your points to frequent flyer miles. You can also pay for travel with your points if you choose not to convert to frequent flyer miles. But the difference is the point conversion ratio: Airfare rings in at 100 points=$1.00 or $0.01 for each point, hotels are 133 points=$1.00 or $0.0075 per point, and bundle offers of hotel and airfare are 117 points=$1.00 or $0.0085 per point. So your AMEX points transfer to airlines at a 1:1 ratio where 1 point=$1.00 is far better than using your points to pay for airfare through a portal where 100 points=$1. Hotels are better booked with the Chase Ultimate Rewards cards than the AMEX points cards. There are other options like gift cards, travelers checks, merchandise through the Membership Rewards portal, Amazon, and statement credits, but many of these options dip below a normal point conversion and aren’t worth the exchange. Stick to the frequent flyer miles transfer and you’ll never regret your First Class or Business class full bed seat for free.
Get The Best of Reserve First Class
Join our newsletter and get a daily update of everything First Class travel.