Award Tickets 101: Amex MR Transfer Fees

Many people know that American Express Membership Rewards points transfer to 17 different airlines and 3 different hotels, but did you know that some of those transfers incur a fee? Here is your full list of the transfer fees for each of the American Express Membership Rewards points transfer partners!

Amex 1

American Express will charge you an “excise tax offset fee” on transfers of your Membership Rewards points to certain of their transfer partners.

Amex 2

Below is the full list of airline and hotel transfer partners along with the “excise tax offset fee” you can expect to pay for the transfer.

Transfer PartnerAllianceTransfer FeeTransfer Time
DeltaSkyTeam$0.0006 Per PointSame day
AlitaliaSkyTeamNoneSame day
Air France/KLMSkyTeamNoneSame day
AeromexicoSkyTeamNoneUp to 7 days
British AirwaysOneWorldNoneSame day
IberiaOneWorldNoneUp to 7 days
Cathay PacificOneWorldNoneUp to 7 days
Air CanadaStar AllianceNoneSame day
ANAStar AllianceNone2-4 days
Singapore AirlinesStar AllianceNoneUp to 3 days
Virgin AmericaN/A$0.0006 Per PointSame day
Virgin AtlanticN/ANoneSame day
Jet BlueN/A$0.0006 Per PointSame day
Hawaiian AirlinesN/A$0.0006 Per PointSame day
El AlN/ANoneSame day
EmiratesN/ANoneSame day
EtihadN/ANoneSame day
Choice HotelsChoice Privileges RewardsNoneSame day
HiltonHilton HHonorsNoneSame day
SPGStarwood Preferred GuestNoneSame day

There is a cap of $99 on the transfer fee, so once you reach that threshold, you will not pay anything more than $99. In all cases, that threshold is reached once you transfer 165,000 or more Membership Rewards points. The transfer fee must be paid with your Membership Rewards points earning credit card as there is no other option to pay the transfer fee. As you can see, thankfully the “excise tax offset fee” only applies to a small handful of transfer partners. Regardless, it is a good thing to keep in mind when considering your transfer/redemption options!

Final Thoughts

While I personally do not utilize Membership Rewards points much anymore after they cut the transfer ratio to British Airways, there are a lot of really great transfer options available. You just need to make sure you have factored in what, if anything, it will cost you to transfer those points to your preferred transfer partner!

What is the most you have ever paid to transfer your Membership Rewards points somewhere?

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2 thoughts on “Award Tickets 101: Amex MR Transfer Fees

  1. I paid $99 when transferring 250k MR to Delta SkyMiles. I was able to redeem for 2 tickets in Alitalia Magnifica from JFK-FCO which I really enjoyed. And 2 tickets in Delta One from AMS-EWR. Delta One wasn’t nearly as nice as Alitalia, but the crew was great.

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