American Express has added its 22nd transfer partner, allowing travelers to transfer Membership Rewards points to Australia's Qantas Airways.
Dan's Deals first reported the news of the latest addition to American Express's portfolio. It first cropped up Friday morning.
There's one thing in particular that stands out about this addition: Not only do points transfer on a 1:1 basis, but you can transfer them in 500-point increments. Most airlines require 1,000-point increments.
Read up on all 22 Amex transfer partners, and how to transfer Amex Membership Rewards points.
This ability to transfer points to airlines is what makes credit card points so valuable. It gives points versatility, as you can transfer them to whichever airline or hotel partner will get you the most bang for your buck.
Breaking Down Qantas Transfers
Qantas is a member of the Oneworld alliance, which means you can use Qantas miles to book flights on partner airlines like American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, and many more.
That said, Qantas doesn't have the best mileage program. In most cases, you're much better off using a different program to book flights – including flights on Qantas itself. That's due in large part to the fact that Qantas uses a distance-based award chart, so the price depends on the length of the flight.
For example, you can book a Qantas flight from Los Angeles (LAX) to Melbourne (MEL) for 45,000 Qantas miles each way. But the exact same flight is bookable for 40,000 American AAdvantage miles.
That disparity gets much worse if you're looking to fly business or first class on a partner airline. Qantas charges a whopping 92,000 miles to fly from Chicago-O'Hare (ORD) to Tokyo-Narita (NRT) in Japan Airline's outstanding business class. But you can book that exact same flight with just 60,000 AAdvantage miles.
Those are just two examples, but they're telling. Except in very rare cases – like flying El Al airlines to or from Israel – you're probably better off using a different program than Qantas. What's more, you can already transfer points to Qantas from both Citi and Capital One.
Qantas might not be the world's best frequent flyer program. But the more options, the merrier!