Thrifty Traveler’s Master List of Credit Card Transfer Partners

Credit Card Transfer Partners

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A stash of airline miles is great, but points that you can transfer to a dozen or more different airlines? Even better. Enter the world of credit card transfer partners.

With four great transferrable currencies, more than 50 partner airlines and different transfer ratios between them, even we struggle to keep track. So here’s our master list of all the transfer partners for Chase, American Express, Citi and Starwood Preferred Guest.

Before we dive in, we need to cover a few ground rules. The cardinal rule of transferring points is that it’s a one-way street – once you’ve sent them out the door, you can’t get them back. That makes it critical to scope out award availability and ensure the seat you want is available before initiating a transfer. Until your plans are set, you’re much better off stashing those points in your credit card account.

Further, be sure to watch Thrifty Traveler for occasional bonuses on transferring credit card or hotel points to an airline partner. For example, the recent 25% bonus when moving American Express Membership Rewards to Air France/KLM.

 

Chase Ultimate Rewards

Chase is a titan in the travel rewards industry, and that’s due in large part to some excellent transfer partners. With nine airline and four hotel partners, Ultimate Rewards are a must for any frequent flyer. We’ve named the Chase Sapphire Reserve our #1 travel rewards card, while the Chase Sapphire Preferred is our #1 starter card. Get more information about these cards and other travel rewards cards here.

Thrifty Tip: Read our guide for the rundown on how to transfer your Ultimate Rewards points to partners. Here are your options:

ProgramTypeTransfer RatioTransfer Time
Aer LingusAirline1:1Instant
Air France/KLMAirline1:1Instant
British AirwaysAirline1:1Instant
Iberia PlusAirline1:1Instant
Korean AirAirline1:12-7 days
Singapore AirAirline1:112-24 hours
Southwest AirlinesAirline1:1Instant
United AirlinesAirline1:1Instant
Virgin AtlanticAirline1:1Instant
World of HyattHotel1:1Instant
IHGHotel1:11 day
Marriott RewardsHotel1:12 days
Ritz-Carlton RewardsHotel1:12 days

How to Earn Chase Ultimate Rewards Points: The Chase Sapphire Reserve is currently offering 50,000 points after spending $4,000 in 3 months, while also touting some of the best perks of any card in the travel space. The Chase Sapphire Preferred is also offering 50,000 points after spending $4,000 in 3 months. Get more information about these cards and other travel rewards cards here.

 

American Express Membership Rewards

American Express has 16 airline transfer partners and 3 hotel partners. So while that flexibility and easy earning opportunities make Membership Rewards points a must for any frequent traveler, there are a few downsides to keep in mind.

First, American Express charges a very small fee (.06 cents per point) on transfers to domestic airlines. So if you transfer 100,000 points to Delta or JetBlue, you’ll get charged $60. These fees are capped at $99.

And note that unlike Chase, there are several partners to whom your Amex points don’t transfer on a 1:1 basis. For example, transferring 1,000 points to JetBlue would get you 800 TrueBlue points. And sending 1,000 points to your Starwood Preferred Guest account would net you just 333 SPG points.

Here’s the full list:

 

ProgramTypeTransfer RatioTransfer Time
AeroMexicoAirline1:1.62-12 days
Air Canada AeroplanAirline1:1Instant
Air France/KLMAirline1:1Instant
AlitaliaAirline1:1Instant
ANAAirline1:11-2 days
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
SingaporeAirline1:112-48 hours
Virgin AtlanticAirline1:11-2 days
Choice PrivilegesHotel1:1Instant
HiltonHotel1:2Instant
Starwood Preferred GuestHotel3:1Instant

How to Earn Membership Rewards Points: There are a number of cards that earn Membership Rewards points, such as the Premier Rewards Gold card, the Amex Everyday and Everyday Preferred cards to name a few. However, the most notable card that earns Membership Rewards is The American Express Platinum card. The card is currently offering 60,000 points after spending $5,000 in 3 months. Check to see if you’re eligible for a 100,000 point welcome offerGet more information about this card and other travel rewards cards here.

 

Citi ThankYou Points

Citi is a mixed bag. On the one hand, there aren’t as many lucrative transfer partners as other travel programs on this list. Further, they do not have any hotel transfer partners.

Citi has a handful of cards which make it far easier to pool points with friends and family members to book a ticket. While Chase requires members to share a billing address to pool points, you can transfer Citi points to any Citi ThankYou account holder: A family member, friend or complete stranger. Just beware that those points transferred between accounts expire within 90 days.

 

ProgramTypeTransfer RatioTransfer Time
Air France/KLM Airline1:1Instant
AviancaAirline1:1Instant
Cathay Airline1:112-24 hours
Etihad Airline1:15-7 days
EVA AirAirline1:11-3 days
Garuda IndonesiaAirline1:11-2 days
Jet AirwaysAirline1:1Instant
JetBlueAirline2:1Instant
Malaysian AirlinesAirline1:1No data
QantasAirline1:11-2 days
QatarAirline1:11-2 days
SingaporeAirline1:112-48 hours
ThaiAirline1:14-7 days
TurkishAirline1:11-2 days
Virgin AtlanticAirline1:1Instant

 

How to Earn Citi ThankYou Points: Citi ThankYou points can be earned from the Citi ThankYou Premier and their top tier Citi Prestige credit card. The ThankYou Premier card is currently offering 50,000 Citi ThankYou points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months of card membership. 

 

Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG)

Starwood Preferred Guest isn’t a credit card company, but boy are these points valuable and versatile. With more than 30 airline transfer partners, SPG hotel points are arguably the most flexible in the points and miles world. And that only increases their value.

A 1:1 transfer ratio to most airlines make this one of the few, if not the only, hotel point currencies that make sense to transfer. SPG goes farther by adding a 5,000-mile bonus for every transfer of 20,000 SPG points. That makes it our go-to currency when buying miles to top off an airline account to book an award.

Airlines occasionally offer bonuses on points transferred from hotel chains, which is an easy way to sweeten the deal. Watch for those occasional promotions here at Thrifty Traveler.

The only downside to transferring SPG points is that the process often takes longer than credit card points. You should expect it to take anywhere between 1 day to 2 weeks, so plan accordingly if you’re booking an award.

We should stress that changes to this format are coming Aug. 1, when the loyalty program finally merges with Marriott. But by the looks of it, the combined Marriott program will more or less maintain the same ability to transfer points to airlines at a strong rate. And they plan to keep the 5,000-point transfer bonus and actually add more transfer partners.

We’ll update this list as soon as the new transfer scheme goes into effect. But for now, here’s the list:

ProgramTypeTransfer RatioTransfer Time
Aegean AirlinesAirline1:17-10 days
AeroMexicoAirline1:12-7 days
Aeroplan (Air Canada) Airline1:12-7 days
Air ChinaAirline1:11-7 days
Air France/KLMAirline1:11-7 days
Air New ZealandAirline65:12-7 days
Alaska AirlinesAirline1:12-7 days
AlitaliaAirline1:17-14 days
ANAAirline1:13-14 days
American AirlinesAirline1:11-4 days
Asiana AirlinesAirline1:17-14 days
AviancaAirline1:11-7 days
British AirwaysAirline1:12-7 days
China EasternAirline1:17-14 days
Cathay PacificAirline1:12-10 days
Delta Airline1:11-3 days
EmiratesAirline1:12-7 days
EtihadAirline1:12-7 days
Gol AirlinesAirline2:17-10 days
Hainan AirlinesAirline1:13-7 days
Hawaiian AirlinesAirline1:12-7 days
IberiaAirline1:11-3 days
Japan AirlinesAirline1:13-7 days
Jet AirwaysAirline1:12-7 days
Korean AirAirline1:17-14 days
LufthansaAirline1:12-5 days
Qatar AirwaysAirline1:12-14 days
SaudiaAirline1:12-7 days
Singapore AirlinesAirline1:13-10 days
Thai AirwaysAirline1:17-14 days
United AirlinesAirline2:12-7 days
Virgin AtlanticAirline1:11-3 days
Virgin AustraliaAirline1:11-3 days

 

How to Earn SPG Points: Earning SPG points is in flux right now as the August launch of the mega-loyalty program with Marriott approaches. The traditional SPG card by American Express now offers a $100 statement credit after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months. This isn’t a great deal and thus shouldn’t be applied for currently.

However, since the ability to transfer points at a similar value will remain, your best bet may be the Marriott Rewards Premier Plus card. It offers 100,000 points after spending $5,000 in 3 months. This is essentially 33,000 SPG points. Get more information about this card and other travel rewards cards here.

 

Bottom Line

Mastering the ins and outs of credit card transfer partners, and piling up the right points to do so, is a key in the world of miles and points. We realize that everyone needs some help remembering which bank transfers to which airlines at what ratio. We hope this master list helps. Get more information about these cards and other travel rewards cards here. 

 

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