If you’re new to the world of miles and points, there is one foundational process that you need to know about in order to maximize the value of your travel credit cards. To make the most of these hard-earned miles and points, you’ll want to transfer them to your card’s travel partners.
This is an essential step in the travel hacking game, and because it’s so important (and necessary!), we’ve put all of this helpful info in one place to serve as your go-to guide.
Pro Tip: Transferring points and miles to an airline or hotel is a one-and-done situation. Once you transfer them, you can’t move them back to where they came from. So, plan wisely.
Our List of Credit Card Transfer Partners
American Express offers point transferability to 17 airlines and three hotel partners. This gives you great flexibility with your travel options! Just note that Amex does charge a small fee of .06 cents per point to transfer to domestic airlines, and not all points will transfer at a 1:1 basis. However, Amex frequently offers transfer bonuses, so you can keep an eye on Daily Drop so you don’t miss out on the best ones 😉
Best Way to Earn Points
You’ll rack up points quickly with the Platinum Card® from American Express (*Rates and Fees) when you book travel through Amex’s portal. We’re talking 5x points per dollar! The Gold Card® from American Express (*Rates and Fees) is also a solid option for stashing some points with its 4x per dollar spent on dining and U.S. supermarkets. We love Amex points in general due to their flexibility with great airlines and hotels.
Pro Tip: Balance earning 5x points per dollar on flights through Amex Travel with redeeming those points through a transfer partner. Your points will typically go much farther (with a higher value) on a partner airline.
How to Transfer Amex Points
Log in to your Amex account. From the top navigation bar select Earn and Redeem, then Transfer Points.
You’ll then be brought to a page with a list of Amex’s transfer partners. You can scroll the page to see the entire list.
If you’re transferring for the first time, you will need to link your Amex account with the airline that you would like to transfer your points to. I’m going to go ahead and link my British Airways account with my Amex account.
It may ask you some additional questions and have you input any necessary info, but once your two accounts are linked, you’re ready to transfer!
If instead, I want to snag a great deal that I just saw on Emirates, I simply select Emirates from the list of transfer partners and choose how many points I want to transfer. Select Review Transfer at the bottom, then Okay. That’s it!
Just keep an eye out for when those points actually hit your airline account before you book!
Bilt is the new(ish) kid on the block in regard to its rewards transfer program. With 12 airline transfer partners and two hotel chains, it’s not far behind the others. Better yet, Bilt rewards points will transfer on a 1:1 basis to all of its partners. Its standout feature is that it allows U.S. renters to earn rewards just by paying their rent each month through the Bilt Rewards app. You can download the app to get all the specifics on this.
Best Way to Earn Points
The answer is the Bilt Mastercard with its $0 annual fee. In addition to its rent-paying appeal, you can also score 2-3x points per dollar on dining and travel. At this rate, you’ll be doubling and tripling your points with your normal spending.
Pro Tip: You could easily earn an extra 20,000+ points annually just by using Bilt to pay for your rent (it’s fee-free to do this!).
How to Transfer Bilt Points
We love Bilt, and they’re a little special. It’s important to know that you can only transfer their points within the Bilt app.
From your app’s home screen, select Travel > choose your transfer partner (we’re going with Hyatt) > Transfer Points > choose number of points to transfer > Next
You’ll have those points available to use within your transfer partner’s account in no time! Remember, always double-check they’ve made it over before you decide to book 😎
Capital One has continued to grow its transfer family in recent years. They currently have 17 airline partners and three hotel partners, but we anticipate this list will keep expanding. Almost all of their miles will transfer at a 1:1 ratio, so more often than not, you’ll be getting an excellent transfer deal.
Best Way to Earn Miles
The oh-so-popular Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is a truly premium travel card. If you want to earn 10x miles per dollar spent on hotels and rental cars booked through the Capital One travel portal, this is for you. Its younger, less fancy sibling, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, is also a great option. It’s always been popular with those who are new to travel credit cards, and with its minimum of 2x miles per dollar spent on everything, you’ll be doubling your earnings in no time.
Pro Tip: With Capital One Miles, you’ve got the ability to mix and match your redemption options. Either transfer them to a travel partner or use fixed-value rewards to: redeem for recent travel (within last 90 days), book new travel via Capital One Travel, redeem for gift cards, or redeem for cash.
How to Transfer Capital One Miles
Once you log into your Capital One account, select View Rewards underneath your card balance and recent transactions.
From here, you’ll see a handful of options for using your rewards. Select Convert rewards.
You’ll then be prompted with a list of all of Capital One’s transfer partners! Once you find the program you’d like to transfer your miles to, simply select Transfer Miles to proceed.
If you don’t have your Capital One and (in this case) your FlyingBlue account linked, you’ll be prompted to input your membership number to link those two accounts. From here, you can add in your desired number of miles to transfer, and boom. You’re all set!
Chase has been a big-time player in the travel credit card league for a long time. With 11 airlines and three hotel transfer partners, it covers a lot of bases for some of the best in the industry. Plus, Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfer at a 1:1 ratio for all of its travel partners, so you’ll never lose any points that you’ve earned.
Best Way to Earn Points
The preferred method is, well, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. Just by eating out and buying groceries, you’ll earn 3x points per dollar on what you spend. If you decide to book any flights or accommodations through Chase Ultimate Rewards, you’ll even score 5x points per dollar. Chase points are some of the most versatile, so you’re definitely on the right track if you go with Chase.
Pro Tip: Chase is currently only one of two rewards programs whose points can transfer to Hyatt. Considering Hyatt’s current award chart maxes out at 40,000 points per night, you’ll be scoring luxurious, top-tier properties around the world (and at killer deals) all thanks to your Ultimate Rewards Points.
How to Transfer Chase Points
You’re gettin’ the hang of this now. Log in to your account, then from the home screen, select Transfer to Travel Partners.
You’ll see the list of available transfer partners from here. Let’s go with United. Select Transfer Points.
If you need to link your accounts, you may be asked to do so here. Otherwise, you’re free to add in the number of points you would like to transfer. Done deal!
Citi has some desirable transfer partners, but perhaps not as many big names as other cards. In total, it still has 14 airline partners and two hotel partners. One feature we like about Citi is its array of cards and the ability to pool points with other friends or family members. Keep in mind that any points transferred between accounts will expire after 90 days, so have a plan to use them before you share them!
Best Way to Earn Points
We’ve all got regular purchases that we need to make like getting groceries and gas. Most of us usually eat out from time-to-time, too. With the Citi Premier® Card, you’ll earn 3x points per dollar on all those common spends that I just mentioned. You’ll also get triple the points when you book flights and hotels, so Citi offers all-around good opportunities to stash up some points.
Pro Tip: Citi has been a long-time partner of the Colombian Airline, Avianca (long before other credit cards got onboard). Avianca is a great (and greatly undervalued) airline that serves many routes to desirable locations. Citi often offers transfer bonuses to Avianca, so if you’re looking to maximize your Citi ThankYou points, keep an eye out for this.
How to Transfer CitiThankYou Points
From your Citi ThankYou home page, navigate to More Ways to Redeem in the top menu, then select Points Transfer.
You’ll be taken to the transfer partners page where you can select Continue to start the transfer process.
If you need to link your two accounts, you’ll be asked to do that here. Otherwise, you can input the number of points you’d like to transfer.
We should also mention that you can technically transfer points to airlines from different hotel loyalty programs and their credit cards, but the transfer value is honestly terrible. We’re talking, on average, a transfer ratio of 3:1 (but up to 5:1 for Wyndham and a baffling 10:1 for Hilton!). You’re essentially throwing precious points away… We don’t recommend these transfers, but you have the freedom to do so.
Here’s a quick list of some of the most popular programs:
Transferring credit card points and miles to airlines and hotels is the bread and butter of travel hacking. This transferability is truly the golden currency for the travel enthusiast!
We hope this guide will help kickstart your journey into the wonderful world of travel credit card perks.
Cheers to transferring miles and points!
Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.