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Amex is Adding Restrictions on Transferring Points to Authorized Users

Amex Authorized User Transfer

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Adding an authorized user to your American Express Platinum or American Express Gold cards can be a great move. You can share some of the great travel perks and even some Membership Rewards points with friends and family.

But the sharing points part is about to get harder. You can only transfer points to frequent flyer accounts of people who are added as an authorized user on your card. And Doctor of Credit reports that beginning Sept. 1, 2019, Amex will only allow these transfers to authorized users that were added at least 90 days prior.

That builds in some significant lead time in order to transfer Membership Rewards points to friends and family members. Come this fall, any users who aren’t already added to your card as an authorized user will need to wait at least three months.

As Doctor of Credit notes, this new restriction could help crack down on users bending the rules to sell points. And you’ve still got almost three months to send through any transfers easily before this restriction kicks in.

Read our guide on everything you need to know about adding an authorized user to your Amex card.

 

Our Analysis

This restriction makes sense, but it could still cause some trouble.

Luckily, there’s plenty of time to add an authorized user and transfer points to their frequent flyer or hotel accounts. Here’s the full list of American Express transfer partners.

 

ProgramTypeTransfer RatioTransfer Time
Aer LingusAirline1:1N/A
AeroMexicoAirline1:1.62-12 days
Air Canada AeroplanAirline1:1Instant
Air France/KLMAirline1:1Instant
AlitaliaAirline1:1Instant
ANAAirline1:11-2 days
AviancaAirline1:1Instant
British AirwaysAirline1:1Instant
Cathay PacificAirline1:11-7 days
DeltaAirline1:1Instant
El AlAirline50:1Instant
EmiratesAirline1:1Instant
EtihadAirline1:1Instant
HawaiianAirline1:1Instant
IberiaAirline1:11-3 days
JetBlueAirline1.25:1Instant
QantasAirline1:1Instant
SingaporeAirline1:112-48 hours
Virgin AtlanticAirline1:1Instant
Choice PrivilegesHotel1:1Instant
Hilton HonorsHotel1:2Instant
Marriott BonvoyHotel1:1Instant

 

This ability to transfer points to others’ frequent flyer accounts is one of the best reasons to consider adding an authorized user. If you hold the American Express Platinum card, for example, you can add up to three authorized users for $175 per year. And it doesn’t matter if you add just one or all three – you’ll pay a flat $175 fee.

Considering you can then transfer points to friends and family and allow them to use travel perks like free Global Entry, it could make sense to add a user to your account. Platinum cardholders can also give an authorized user an American Express Gold card for free, though that will cut out the travel perks.

 

Bottom Line

You’ve still got a few months to transfer Amex points to your authorized user’s accounts unhindered. But it will pay to start thinking about who you might want to add to your Amex cards soon rather than later.

 

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Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

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